Cut-and-Paste Bible

Cut-and-Paste Bible August 9, 2012

Several people shared the above spoof advertisement on Facebook. I know that some conservative Christians will view the above as a jibe at liberals, whom they accuse of picking and choosing. But in my experience, liberals like myself are at least aware of what is in the Bible, warts and all, and for that very reason adopt the stance that we do, namely that we do not and should not try to believe or practice everything that is in the Bible. We recognize that the Bible tracks changing and developing beliefs, and thus what we focus on tends to be the key principles. And so we freely admit to picking and choosing, and are happy to explain why we do so and what our rationale is.

Conservative Evangelicals, on the other hand, tend to produce and read books and devotionals with “All God's Promises,” or all the verses about this or that topic, all nicely cut loose from their original contexts and pasted together to become something other than what they were before they were chosen, picked, and transplanted in that way.

I do not think that the problem is with not believing or doing what the Bible says in every detail, since there are diverse viewpoints enshrined in the Bible, and so one simply cannot embrace them all simultaneously.

No, the point is precisely that one must be aware of what is in the Bible, incuding things that one disagrees with, so that, if you then choose some “memory verses” and focus on them or collect them together, making them the slogans through which you articulate your viewpoint, you do not mistakenly think that by peppering your life and worldview with Biblical extracts, you are “doing what the Bible says” or “believing the whole Bible” or any number of other things that you aren't actually doing.

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