Are you getting a little tired of people pulling out scripture to entrap you, tell you how wrong you are, and get you to change? I am! When people use scripture as a weapon, they’re using it wrong. To use the Bible correctly is to seek its overarching message: restoration, healing, hope, love, promise.
Every time it is used, it should be used in a way that matches the heart of God. If it is not, it is being abused.
Every time naysayers fought Jesus with scripture, he backed them off of it, he superseded it, he showed them that it meant something they didn’t understand. He never answered the way they expected. Even though they tried to back him into a corner again and again, he would open a door to let sunlight flood in. They had no understanding that the scripture was meant to be an open door, not a prison cell.
I’m tired of people doing it to me, and I’m certainly tired of them doing it to you. Jesus is tired of it too, and here are reasons why:
To use scripture as “correction” is to use it as a weapon. Or, entrapment. The Bible tells the story of satan trying to trick Jesus to depend on himself instead of on God. Religious leaders tried to entrap Jesus into excluding or correcting people, or taking sides in their factions. Sounds again like a misuse of scripture; Jesus didn’t fall for it, and we need not fall for it either.
In the Bible, only two parties used scripture as “correction”: the religious leaders and satan. Did you catch that? Only religious leaders and satan used scripture to correct others. I’m not sure why we haven’t paid more attention to this, because it is earth-shattering. Sounds like using scripture to correct others is a misuse of scripture.
It’s Not a Weapon.
What about those “clobber” passages? They are NOT talking about you, NOT talking about homosexuality. They’re talking about men married to women having sex with boys and slaves, the common practice of “worship through cult prostitution”, and other things that have absolutely nothing to do with same-sex loving relationships. (More on that here.)
Jesus did not use scripture this way. That is a stunning realization! Jesus never threw scripture at people to tell them how wrong they were and/or to get them to change their ways. Anyone whose heart is in the right place should find that sufficient reason to cease and desist…IF their heart is in the right place. When current religious leaders use scripture from the pulpit, airwaves or internet to denigrate LGBTQ people, pregnant teens, divorcees, not only are they doing it wrong, but you have to wonder if their heart is in the right place.
Jesus answered back with scripture only those who used it as a weapon. He did not use it to correct broken, wounded, hurt, stumbling, seeking, gentle, willing souls. (Even those in clear sin.) He offered a life-giving relationship.
All the difference in the world.
You don’t have to be hurt by scripture, any more than Jesus was. You don’t have to be afraid of what someone will dig out of there to entrap you—because they are using it wrong. No one has permission to use scripture as a weapon, because we have clear instruction not to do that. You can rest and trust in a God who loves the world so much that whosoever believes in God will have life!
Please don’t feel obligated to answer back scripture verses! Good chance those using them against you do not want to listen to your answers, and it will leave YOU extremely frustrated, angry and sad.
Unless God specifically leads you, it is better to back out of a scriptural debate, and instead, offer resources that answer more fully and cleanly than you may be able to. This saves you from unnecessary turmoil, and it distinguishes those who will really seek out more guidance from those who are just looking to entrap you.
If you want to understand the “clobber passages” for your own sanity, there are great resources for it. But don’t worry about what you don’t yet understand; instead, trust the Spirit of God to calm your heart, to reassure you, to speak truth to you.
Rest in the verses that show you how much God loves you! God will guide you! You are the apple of God’s eye! God put those in the Bible multiple times for good reason, because we totally need to hear them, and we are totally told the opposite way too many times. The loving passages are a great place to park.
This is an excerpt from Susan’s brand new book—True Colors: Celebrating the Truth and Beauty of the Real You. AVAILABLE NOW! Click here for details.