Telephone tag. Making molehills out of mountains – Part 4

Last week I published parts 1, 2, and 3 of my review of the article entitled A Mountain I’m Willing to Die On. We are picking up today in the middle of the author’s hypothetical letter written to her son who has grown up and declared himself to be homosexual. I have backed up one sentence to give a little context to today’s discussion.

Chase, we don’t believe that homosexuality is a sin. The Bible was inspired by God, but it was written, translated, and interpreted by imperfect people just like us.  (Glennon).

Glennon’s view of the Bible is vastly different from the view of Scripture held by Jesus and the apostles. Jesus affirmed that Scripture is the word of God. For example, Jesus calls Scripture “the word of God” which “cannot be broken”:

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came–and Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:34-35).

The Scripture that Jesus was referring to was what we today call the Old Testament. It too was written by imperfect men; hundreds and even thousands of years before Jesus. Jesus confirmed not only the overarching message of the Old Testament, but every pen stroke made by these imperfect men.

For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished (Matthew 5:18).

These imperfect men were the instruments used by a perfect God to create our Bible. Just as God uses imperfect men to share the gospel, preach, and teach. God can write a straight line with a crooked stick. The apostles Paul and Peter likewise confirmed that the revelation contained in Scripture was directly from God:

All Scripture is breathed out by God (2 Timothy 3:16).

For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21).

The Bible is absolutely clear that the words are God’s words. Yes, humans were employed through the working of the Holy Spirit, but the Bible is God-breathed. All of it. Glennon then repeats a common, but completely erroneous, claim that the Bible has been passed down like a message in the “telephone game” played by children:

This means that the passing of this sacred scripture from generation to generation and from culture to culture has been a bit like the “telephone game” you play at school. After thousands of years, it’s impossible to judge the original spirit of some scripture (Glennon).

This could not be further from the truth. The Bible is the most well-attested and documented book of antiquity. You can purchase a copy of a New Testament written in the original Koine Greek of which less than 1% of the text is even in any doubt. And none of the text in doubt affects any major doctrines of historic Christianity. You can take courses in Koine Greek and learn to read the New Testament just as it was originally written by the apostles. Or, you can simply read any of the many good English translations (English Standard Version, New American Standard, New King James, New International) of the New Testament that were directly translated from the original Greek. No “telephone game.” Directly from Greek to English. Similarly for the Old Testament from the original Hebrew.

After thousands of years we can not only “judge the original spirit of some scripture,” but we can rest assured that the Bible we hold in our hands has not been corrupted or lost over the millennia because it has been faithfully preserved. But, do not just take my word for it. Go do some research on the preservation of the Biblical manuscripts. For example, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? by F.F. Bruce is a good place to start.

We believe that when in doubt, mercy triumphs judgment. So your parents are Christians who study and pray and then carefully choose what we follow in the Bible, based on whether or not it matches our understanding of Jesus’s overall message (Glennon).

Do you see the broken reasoning here? Glennon claims we cannot be sure that the words of the Bible are accurate because it was “written, translated, and interpreted by imperfect people.” Yet, she has somehow managed to understand Jesus’ overall message. How does she know she has any of Jesus’ actual words? And what about Jesus’ first message: repent? Is that part of the overall message? It would appear not to be since sin has been cast aside. This all sounds suspiciously similar to the serpent’s challenge to Eve in the garden of Eden, “Did God actually say?” (Gen 3:1).

Some folks will tell you that our approach to Christianity is scandalous and blasphemous. But honey, the only thing that’s scandalous about this approach is admitting it out loud. The truth is that every Christian is a Christian who chooses what he follows in the Bible (Glennon).

Well, I guess I am one of those people who say that this approach to God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Scripture, the Gospel and Christianity is scandalous and blasphemous. I take no joy in saying that. We as Christians should not pick and choose what we follow in the Bible, but we do have to recognize the differing contexts of various Bible books and passages. For example, we do not live under the Old Testament sacrificial system as the Israelites did in the Old Testament because Jesus was the final sacrifice and now lives as our high priest to make intercession for us. I do not “choose” to not follow this aspect of the Bible, but rather choose to understand the sacrificial system pointed us to something greater, Jesus Christ, who came to fulfill the law and the prophecy. We do not get to pick and choose to create our own personal version of Christianity based upon our own piecemeal version of the Bible like it is some cafeteria plan.

While there is still so much to say regarding the rest of the article, I feel like I need a short interlude to remind everyone (and perhaps even myself) of the real Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner and so are you. I have broken all 10 of the Commandments. You probably have too. God knows every transgression of his law – whether in thought or deed. My sexuality is broken and imperfect. So is the sexuality of homosexuals. We are not broken in the same ways, but our sexualities are both broken. Both of us need to turn from these sins (repent), not embrace them, cherish them, celebrate them and self-identify by them. Jesus died that horrible death on the cross to redeem sinners and saved me from God’s holy, righteous judgment. So, if you have not already, repent of your sins and put your trust in Jesus for forgiveness of those sins. Do not embrace, celebrate and cherish those sins. That is not the true, historic Christian faith as revealed in our trustworthy Bible. That is  not the faith that saves.

Link to part 5.

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