The Bible gets used to give support for many topics.
Is there a problem with using the Bible like a magic 8 ball? Can we look to it to find answers to all issues?
Throughout my years in a variety of church circles I have heard Bible based arguments for each of the following issues. Some have used the Bible to claim these issues are clearly sin. Others conclude they are not.
- Drinking alcohol
- Mixed gender swimming
- Females wearing pants
- Females without head coverings in church
- Females in leadership roles at church
- Symbols like Christmas trees used in church
- Use of drums in church
- Use of musical instruments in church
- Going to movie theaters
- Listening to secular music
- Birth control
- Participating in Halloween
- Participating in armed conflict
- Being protestant
- Being catholic
- Being ______
Here are some bigger past issues that people had used the Bible to support:
- Hitler's actions against Jews
- Condemning interracial marriage
- Ku Klux Klan
- Many harmful cults
"The devil can site scripture for his own purpose! An evil soul producing holy witness is like a villain with a smiling cheek." [Merchant Of Venice]
So why do some people feel the need to say the Bible has clear answers to every issue?
Is the bible black and white on all issues?
How many of these issues need to be central to our faith?
Should we use the Bible like a magic 8 ball to find answers to all issues?
We can learn from history that there are some obvious dangers to using scripture to promote a position that is not part of the central message of the Bible.
I propose one of the biggest dangers is the divisions in Christ's church that have been created by holding too tightly to these non-essential positions.
When Christ's body is not One, the world will not recognize us as His.
I think it is wise to look to scripture and study what it has to say on all issues. But if it is outside the central message of scripture, let's not get too dogmatic about it.
Can we agree to disagree on issues that have less scriptural support than our essential belief of Christian Unity?