Monday, March 23, 2009

Something to Think About...

This article comes from the _awakening blog by Mike DeVries. Original post is here.

The Whole of Scripture?

Once again, James McGrath points out the painfully obvious:

Perhaps the most important point to note, however, is how those who claim to be "defending traditional marriage" or "defending Biblical morality" in fact are picking and choosing in ways that suggest ulterior motives on their part. This part of Leviticus includes laws about honesty in business, payment of workers' wages, and treatment of foreigners living in one's territory. Why are such topics ignored by some in favor of a focus on homosexuality? Clearly it is not a desire to be faithful to the Bible that is at the heart of this, since the other matters mentioned are scarcely less pressing issues today. Why do those claiming to "defend marriage" not focus more on divorce, which is the subject of much clearer Biblical teaching and is more obviously a threat to heterosexual marriages? It seems obvious that there must be other motivating factors than those claims. Indeed, one possibility is that this simply reflects an instinct we all have, if we are honest, namely the tendency to focus on that which others are doing, to shift blame, find scapegoats, and see the shortcomings of others more clearly than our own. But on this matter the teaching of Jesus is clear: our focus ought to be on the beams in our own eyes, not on the splinters in others'.

This once again brings us back to a central question. Why is it that some issues have become a sort of "canon within a canon" so to speak? Why are some issues given voice, while others are left silent? We do ourselves, and the scriptures, a great disservice when uncritically and rigorously apply one portion of scripture without the thoughtful engagement of other texts. Simply put, it makes us look like we have an axe to grind, not to mention a lazy hermeneutical approach. If we want to engage culture, we must be more thoughtful it seems to me.

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