In fact, what sparked this column was a warning by a nationally prominent Republican to his party that it ought not go "Old Testament" and oppose same-sex marriage.
I don't want to turn this column into a rant about same-sex marriage, but I cite this example to illustrate a common tendency to bifurcate the Old Testament and the New Testament and to paint Jesus Christ as a figure of unqualified, open-armed tolerance and non-judgmentalism.
The more one studies the Bible with an open heart and a receptive mind the more he realizes it is a fully integrated and divinely inspired work.
First, let's dispense with the myth that one's belief in or rejection of the Bible is a matter of intelligence, as opposed to his worldview, heart and attitude. There are millions of brilliant believers throughout the world.
Let's also recognize that Christian "faith" does not require us to suspend our rational faculties or ignore evidence. To the contrary, our faith is based on an abundance of credible, compelling evidence. Yes, faith is absolutely indispensible to Christianity, but it is wholly compatible with our God-given critical capacities.
People decry and ridicule the Bible as full of superstition, bigotry and incredible supernaturalism, yet eagerly embrace their own superstitions that often require more faith to believe than biblical truths. Their God-void entices them to spiritualize and idolize environmentalism, full-blown Darwinism, astrology, pagan mysticism and any number of other politically correct beliefs, while scoffing at biblical Christianity.
The same type of person who will sit enraptured by stories of Nostradamus allegedly prophesying about (Adolf) "Hister" seems unaware of or unreceptive to far more impressive detailed prophesy in the Old Testament that has been fulfilled in history.
Others don't reject the Bible in toto, but cherry pick scripture out of innocence or for purposes of political expedience. Especially prevalent are efforts to ridicule the Old Testament, as with the above-cited example, and to recast Jesus as one who was open to all ideas and who rejected the supposed harshness of the Old Testament.
Unlike certain cultural icons today, Jesus didn't preach what people's itching ears wanted to hear. He didn't cater his sermons to curry favor with the popular culture. He articulated a higher standard of morality than even the Old Testament did.
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