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There are many people that claim to be Christians, but who base their core theological beliefs on a philosophy that is not biblical at all. In fact, there are even entire historically Christian denominations that have dropped their reliance on the Bible and picked up naturalistic philosophy as their primary authority source.
A recent illustration of this phenomenon involved a presidential candidate attempting to justify his support of gay rights using the Bible as his reason for supporting it. Recently, CNN did an LGBTQ town hall, where all of the Democrat presidential candidates were questioned on their beliefs about “gay rights.” This one contender shared that he’s been dealing with the “juxtaposing issues of religious freedom and LGBTQ rights” all of his life as a Christian, with people “using religion as a justification for discrimination.” He then went on to quote Micah 6:8 to justify his point of view. Here is his quote, “It is said in Micah, ‘What do you want from your Lord but what is it you want from your people?’ he said, ‘Which is to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly’ – walk humbly – and, so for me, I cannot allow, as a leader, that people are going to use religion as a justification for discrimination.”
It is actually hard to know where to even start with his misuse of Scripture. Perhaps the most important thing to recognize is that he has taken the passage out of context. There is definitely a principle here that allows application beyond the immediate context, but his approach doesn’t do that. He has not used biblical theology as the starting point for his beliefs. Rather, he has used naturalistic philosophy, then cherry picked a verse from the Bible to use as a proof text to support his non-biblical beliefs. This approach to biblical interpretation is completely illegitimate.
The entirety of the Bible is based on a particular worldview – a particular way of understanding how reality is structured. It begins with God’s purpose for creating the world and mankind. He created it to exist in a particular way, and it doesn’t exist any other way. He created it to fulfill a particular purpose, and any effort by humans to live life based on some other purpose does not correspond with reality as it actually exists.
This presidential candidate tried to use the Bible to justify the legitimacy of a homosexual lifestyle, but all he really did was to claim that the Bible says something it does not say. God only created two genders, and the reality is that the two operate in a complementary fashion. Mischaracterization of the way reality actually exists does not change reality.
But people who take this approach don’t limit their misinterpretations to the issue of homosexuality. There are those who try to justify other kinds of sexual immorality, racism, Socialism/Communism, illegal immigration, and many other things, by cherry picking Bible verses and using them as an illegitimate justification for things that are wrong.
The Bible is God’s revelation of himself and his ways to mankind. He provided it to us as a means for knowing him and his ways. Attempts to use it in ways that contradict its actual message are ultimately meaningless.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
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