March 8, 2012

How to Silence God on a Subject You Don’t Like

I’ve noticed that if you want to silence the Bible on some topic, an easy way to do that is to tell people that the Bible is “unclear” on that topic. People do this all the time and people fall for it all the time. If you don't like what the Bible says about homosexuality, say that it is “unclear.” If you don’t like what the Bible says about gender roles in the church, say that it is “unclear.” If you don’t like what it says about salvation or hell, say that the Bible is “unclear.”

Someone might object and say the Bible is clear on a topic. If they do, then just tell them that if it was clear then everyone would agree. Since people disagree, then the Bible obviously isn’t clear. Hopefully they won’t realize that there are other reasons why people disagree, such as the fact that some people just believe what they want to believe, or that some people buy into bad arguments. If they go this way, emphasize that good Bible-believing Christians disagree about these issues. This makes it hard for them to disagree with you and sound nice at the same time.

Now that you have eliminated the voice of God from the conversation, you can argue whatever point you want. 

There are some problems with it though.

The first problem is that it is saying that God is a bad communicator. It is one thing to say that He hasn’t spoken on a topic, but it is another thing to say that He has spoken but we can’t figure out what He is trying to say. 

The second problem is that it makes us the judge on these issues. If we silence the Bible on these topics, then we have to decide based on popular opinion, culture, our own desires, and other such things. We make ourselves, or our society, the judge rather than God. This isn’t a good idea.

Also, people are never consistent in this. To make this argument work well, you have to say, “Since people disagree, then the Bible is unclear.” The problem is that there are plenty of counter-examples to disprove this.  In the early church, the Arians said the Bible taught that Jesus is not fully God. Since people disagreed, does this mean that the Bible isn't clear about the deity of Christ? Some teach that salvation is a mix of grace and works. And some of the same people who will tell you that the Bible is unclear on some things would never say that the Bible is unclear about their pet issues, even if Christians disagree about those things. 

And finally, by blowing off God’s Word and what He says, we are rebelling against Him and probably making Him… not happy.

Still, if these things don’t bother you, go ahead and use this tactic. It has a very successful track record.

1 comment:

  1. Just to clarify, I'm not saying that any simplistic interpretation of the Bible is valid. However, I do believe in the perspicuity of Scripture, especially in the most important matters. The Bible as written with the assumption that it could be understood. Certainly there are difficult passages, and certainly we need to interpret passages in context and with proper methods. But my main point is that the Bible is not nearly as muddy as many people make it out to be. Often, the reason we can't see it clearly is because he have our hands over our eyes.


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