A few weeks ago one of my professors gave me an article from CNN.COM written by Michael Coogan. The title of the article is: “Cherry-picking the Bible for family values.” I was asked to write a response and it is that response I am sharing with you today.
I respectfully disagree with the article written by Michael Coogan titled, “Cherry-picking the Bible for family values” for many reasons. First, let me state, the Bible is indeed written by human authors and each one gave their book their own personal style. However, all Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, correcting, training in righteousness and rebuking when wrong. (2 Tim. 3:16) Therefore, while it is important to know that each writer infused their own personality into their writings, it is far more imperative to understand God ordained each word. That makes the Bible absolute. What you call inconsistencies, is actually the manifestation of the various personalities, the writers discernment and their passion to share the story. God breathed scripture in spite of who wrote the words.
Second, slavery is a hot topic that will evoke heated and emotional responses. When I find it used to challenge the validity of the Bible I find its use rather adolescent. Certainly, as an educated man you understand the erroneous way in which it was used. Slavery in the Bible as opposed to slavery in the American history is contradictory debates. There is no argument that many of the American slaves were mistreated, it is wrong however to suggest Scripture supports that. In fact, the Pentateuch clearly states God’s intentions and His laws of protection for slaves. Then you continue this course and try to connect the slavery argument to sins, such as: sex, homosexuality and abortion. You even attempt to tie in women’s rights as if our asking for them is sinful and should be tied in with perversion. This brings me to my third objection which cannot be adequately addressed in this forum. I will share with you what I taught my children when they were younger. The Ten Commandments are commandments, they are not suggestions. Obedience is not optional and refusal to obey is sin. As for women’s rights, God made us both in His image, male and female and that is equality. (Gen. 1:27)
The Bible is a series of books written by several authors – it is still the Word of God. Individual texts should not be chosen and picked out of context to write an article. I agree that is cherry picking and that is just what you did. Your comparison to our Constitution is clever but falls short. Our forefathers, in writing the Constitution certainly could not ascertain by their limited and time bound view just how immoral our culture would be today. God did not have that problem and His Word is living and absolutely addresses all of our human faults and depravity; regardless of the time. God is not bound by human restrictions and that is what makes His Word uniquely absolute and literal.
The root of our problems is obedience to God. When we take His Word and make it less than what it is, when we pick it apart and try to arrange it contextually for an argument than we misrepresent the Word of God. Christians are called to love God with all their heart, soul and might and to love one another (Matt 22:37-40). These are the two greatest commandments and they do fulfill the law and the reason they do is because they are precursory to the other laws. By the way, Jesus is the One who spoke those words.
In closing, I do want to say that I did find one part of this article educational and that is in the editor’s note. I would have never thought of researching the editors of bibles and checking their accreditations prior to purchasing one. Now I do.