Recently I read an article, in response to Margaret Court’s view of the Bible, entitled “Sorry Margaret, the Bible isn’t meant to be read that literally.”
Among other incredulous things, the writer stated;
“There is nothing inherently Christian about the so-called traditional arrangement of the nuclear family. You can find that model in the Bible if you look for it, but it is not the dominant view. Nor does the Bible condemn what we understand to be loving, mutual LGBTQI relationships today. There is nothing like the contemporary concept of sexual orientation in the biblical text.”
In response I must say… I’m sorry, the Bible IS to be read literally!
Unless the Bible states that the passage in question is a parable or illustrative of a principle or truth, what the Bible says is what it means, literally.
You don’t get to pick and choose what you feel is relevant for your circumstances. Because you are then arrogantly putting yourself above the Word of God as its judge – a very dangerous thing to do!
You would have better integrity to dismiss the Bible completely rather than claim you honour it but only the parts you agree with.
It’s just like patronisingly and naively trying to say that Jesus was a “great religious leader” but wasn’t the Son of God. You can’t have it both ways! You see, if He claimed to be GOD, which He did, but actually wasn’t, then He was nothing more than a nut-job like all the other religious freaks of history who also claimed to be a god.
Likewise, you either need to accept the Bible as divine revelation, that supersedes culture and fickle opinions, and thus something to which we are all accountable or you honestly admit that you regard it as just a “book of man” that has no credibility.
Further, just because the Bible often DESCRIBES certain situations and historical real life circumstances does not mean it PRESCRIBES them.
The author of the article in question tried to claim that because the Bible presents the reality of slavery and polygamy, that some Old Testament Saints had concubines and slaves and committed various ungodly acts, we likewise today should move on from the archaic Bible instruction about homosexuality and normative traditional family.
However, this completely misunderstands and misrepresents the context of biblical literature. Just because the Bible may describe history, warts and all, does NOT mean everything is therefore God’s will or endorsed by Him. Again, description is different to prescription.
And please, let’s not try to play stupid word games by claiming that Jesus never spoke against homosexual relationships and marriage!
It is technically true that Jesus did not specifically address homosexuality in the Gospel accounts; however, He did speak clearly about sexuality.
Concerning marriage, Jesus stated, “At the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ so they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:4–6).
Here Jesus clearly referred to Adam and Eve affirming God’s intended design for marriage and sexuality between a man and woman.
Actually, as you progress with biblical revelation through the life and teachings of Jesus and New Testament authors, the “morality bar” is raised higher and it becomes clearer what God thinks about sexuality and sin.
Ironically, what this “theological expert” criticised Margaret Court for doing, in wrongly interpreting Scripture, is exactly what she is doing herself – making up her own stuff and manipulating the Bible with very poor interpretative principles.
So again, if you don’t like or agree with what the Bible says, dismiss it! You are free to do so and to live your life how you wish. Like everyone else, you will be accountable for your decision. But don’t patronisingly and arrogantly claim you regard the Bible to be of any value but merely decide for yourself what parts with which you agree and disagree or will obey and reject.
Because the Bible says – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16)
And Jesus even said in Matthew 5:18 – For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.