Disclaimer: I am not ordained. I have not gone to seminary. I am not a theologian. I did not major in theology in college. These are my personal opinions, observations, and conclusions with studying the Bible.
I am going to address the idea of verses and context. Both sides of the religious community can take a verse from the Bible and use it to defend their viewpoint or attack the opposition’s viewpoint. There is a major flaw in this, regardless of whose side is making the point.
I propose this scenario. A stranger is passing by two people in conversation on a college campus. Both people involved in the conversation are young in appearance. One party of the conversation is Black American. The other party is Asian American.
Picture the above scene in clarity in your mind. As the stranger approaches the two people involved in conversation, they can hear the below exchange.
Asian American – “What is with you people?!”
Black American – “We shouldn’t have to put up with it!”
Asian American – “Where do you people get these ideas from?!”
Black American – “We have a right to do this!”
This is what the stranger is privy to while walking past the two involved in discussion. What conclusions do you draw in your mind from this brief exchange? Do you think that the Asian American is racist?
Society has programmed the majority of us to think in terms of race, but really, if you came to this conclusion, you are operating out of context. Read the next part of the conversation below.
Asian American – “I don’t understand why students think they have that right when it goes against university policy.”
What if the conversation was between a Black American male and an Asian American female or a White American female and an Asian American male? You could place any number of people by gender, age, sex, and religious backgrounds into the scenario and take any of it out of context because you are only seeing a part of the conversation.
This is no different when attacking or defending the Bible through the use of one or two verses. The Bible is not about winning an argument. It is not about proving a point.
The Bible is a guide to a pathway which leads to salvation and brings humans to a better understanding of God. The Bible does not reveal everything we need to know about God, but it does show us His love for us. It shows people what He expects from us and that it is alright to fall short of that expectation because we are forgiven.
I leave you with this question.
If you are a parent, could you sacrifice a child to pay for the sins of one other person?
God not only sacrificed His only son, but His son paid the price for all human sins.