A Cautionary Tale

Steven Haguewood

The cover story for the December 15, 2008, Newsweek is an article with some disturbing twists. The author, Lisa Miller, attempts to use the Bible to prove that God approves of gay marriages and that those who do not approve are, in some way, un-Christian in their approach. She takes passages out of context, calls one a “throw-away text,” and argues that the Bible changes as times change. Needless-to-say, I would strongly disagree with her assessment of the timeless nature of the scripture and take issue with her misuse of scripture. However, I want to take this opportunity to give a couple of warnings.

First, be careful what you say and write. Many will read Lisa's article and be swayed. She is obviously a talented writer and has done some research. The problem is that her research was not geared at truth, but proof-texting. She began with her conclusions in mind and then sought out a means of proving herself true. The Bereans were touted in Acts 17:11 as “noble-minded” because they searched the scriptures to “see if these things were so.” They sought the truth, not proof of a particular personal point. They were not seeking to show Paul right or wrong. They were seeking to know the truth. In your study, make sure you are looking for God's truth, not proof of your own point.

Second, be careful whom you read. Some non-Christian authors have some good things to say, and you can “eat the fish and throw away the bones.” That is a way of saying that you can get some good if you discard the bad. However, some people just have nothing good to say. Paul warns Timothy to “steer clear” of Alexander the coppersmith because he was full of much harm (2 Timothy 4:14). Job's wife advises him to "…curse God and die" (Job 2:9). Not everyone who has ever spoken needs to be heard. Scholarship is not based on the number of articles or books read but in the gathering and ingesting of pertinent and accurate material. Anything that is not inspired by God should be read with caution and compared with the source of actual and eternal truth (John 17:17).

Be willing to read and study. Nevertheless, be careful what influences you allow into your life. This one article may not sway you toward homosexual acceptance; but, many, put together, may weaken your stance on this vital issue. Also, when you see God quoted, go back, check out the Bible, and read that quote in its context. Be careful in your approach to the scriptures and to the writings of others. –1301 West Virginia Ave., Parkersburg, WV 26104. steven@northendchurch.com

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