Abusing Scripture for Personal or Political Purposes

Every Christian ought to be repulsed and speak out against politicians or anyone changing the words of Scripture to support their own agendas or vested interests—including those of their parties, organizations, businesses, or nations.

Recently, in the U.S., someone speaking at a major political party event “quoted” a passage from the Epistle to the Hebrews inserting words that make it sound as if the Bible (this passage in Hebrews, anyway) supports his or her political agenda and America as a nation favored by God, as if the party and America are somehow “hidden” in the Bible.

It’s one thing to argue that a particular political persuasion or even a nation is obliquely referred to in the Bible or that some biblical principle supports some parts of those. It’s a step beyond that (an ancient and common misuse of the Bible) to actually altering the words of Scripture, misquoting Scripture, to mix into it a modern political agenda or national status. American patriotism and nationalism are not in the Bible.

*Sidebar: The opinions expressed here are my own (or those of the guest writer); I do not speak for any other person, group or organization; nor do I imply that the opinions expressed here reflect those of any other person, group or organization unless I say so specifically. Before commenting read the entire post and the “Note to commenters” at its end.*

I am flabbergasted that any true Christian could so abuse Scripture. That they do strongly supports my suspicion that many American Christians are Americans first and Christians second. And as a Christian theologian I believe you cannot be a Christian and change the very words of Scripture to support a political agenda or nationalism.

I am increasingly concerned that many American “Christians” are more committed to a “Make American Great Again” (or “Keep American Great”) political, patriotric, nationalistic agenda than to the honor of God’s Word.

And I believe the time has come for a new Confessing Church movement that eschews this sort of nationalistic, political syncretism—to the point of excluding every evidence of it from the churches. Jesus does not stand somewhere on a pyramid of other values and commitments and neither he nor the Bible can be manipulated to support a political or nationalistic philosophy or agenda. “Jesus is Lord” means that he stands above all of that. So with the Bible as God’s Word written—it stands above all humanly devised philosophies, political agendas, nation-states, parties, denominations, etc. Manipulating God, Jesus Christ, God’s Word to support such is heresy if not apostasy.

*Note to commenters: This blog is not a discussion board; please respond with a question or comment only to me. If you do not share my evangelical Christian perspective (very broadly defined), feel free to ask a question for clarification, but know that this is not a space for debating incommensurate perspectives/worldviews. In any case, know that there is no guarantee that your question or comment will be posted by the moderator or answered by the writer. If you hope for your question or comment to appear here and be answered or responded to, make sure it is civil, respectful, and “on topic.” Do not comment if you have not read the entire post and do not misrepresent what it says. Keep any comment (including questions) to minimal length; do not post essays, sermons or testimonies here. Do not post links to internet sites here. This is a space for expressions of the blogger’s (or guest writers’) opinions and constructive dialogue among evangelical Christians (very broadly defined).

By athiest

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