Cherry-picking from the Bible

 

I cherry-pick from the Bible as everyone else, but am at least honest about it. I take the parts I find interesting, and interpret them in a way that makes sense to me and supports my current worldview.

Here is a quote from a discussion I came across on Facebook:

I will re-iterate the fact that my point is very simple- I disagree. I do not wish to be “right” I wish to follow only he who created all of us. Now less of my words & more of his; Jesus the Son of God our maker & creator ofheaven & earth. “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12-30 “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion & every evil thing are there.” James 3:16 “I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore keep my statues and judgements, which if man does, he shall live by them; I am the Lord. You shall not lie with a man as with a woman. (Speaking to Moses) It is an abomination. It is perversion. Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you.” Leviticus 18:17 Lastly, God most certainly is love. Through His forever-trustworthy words, God will keep for you His promise for the days when you can’t see where you’re going. You can stake everything on this promise: Isaiah 42:16 – “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”

And here is some additional advice from that wise book:

All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)

If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)

If a man lies in sexual intercourse with a woman during her menstrual period, both of them shall be cut off from their people, because they have laid bare the flowing fountain of her blood. (Leviticus 20:18NAB)

Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and equitable but also to those who are perverse. (1 Peter 2:18 NAB)

A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death. (Leviticus 20:27 NAB)

No one whose testicles have been crushed or whose penis has been cut off may be admitted into the community of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 23:2 NAB)

No child of an incestuous union may be admitted into the community of the Lord, nor any descendent of his even to the tenth generation. (Deuteronomy 23:3 NAB)

“Happy those who seize your children and smash them against a rock.” Psalms 137:9 NAB

On six days work may be done, but the seventh day shall be sacred to you as the Sabbath of complete rest to the Lord.  Anyone who does work on that day, shall be put to death.  You shall not even light a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day. (Exodus 35:2-3 NAB)

But if this charge is true (that she wasn’t a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father’s house.  Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst. (Deuteronomy  22:20-21 NAB)

“Suppose a man has a stubborn, rebellious son who will not obey his father or mother, even though they discipline him. In such cases, the father and mother must take the son before the leaders of the town. They must declare: ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious and refuses to obey. He is a worthless drunkard.’ Then all the men of the town must stone him to death. In this way, you will cleanse this evil from among you, and all Israel will hear about it and be afraid.” (Deuteronomy 21:18-21 NLT)

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.  If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again.  But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her.  And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter.  If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife.  If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

“Suppose you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God hands them over to you and you take captives. And suppose you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you are attracted to her and want to marry her. If this happens, you may take her to your home, where she must shave her head, cut her fingernails, and change all her clothes. Then she must remain in your home for a full month, mourning for her father and mother. After that you may marry her. But if you marry her and then decide you do not like her, you must let her go free. You may not sell her or treat her as a slave, for you have humiliated her.” (Deuteronomy 21:10-14 NLT)

About the same time I realized that some of the men of Judah had married women from Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab.  Even worse, half their children spoke in the language of Ashdod or some other people and could not speak the language of Judah at all.  So I confronted them and called down curses on them.  I beat some of them and pulled out their hair.  I made them swear before God that they would not let their children intermarry with the pagan people of the land.  “Wasn’t this exactly what led King Solomon of Israel into sin?”  I demanded.  “There was no king from any nation who could compare to him, and God loved him and made him king over all Israel.  But even he was led into sin by his foreign wives.  How could you even think of committing this sinful deed and acting unfaithfully toward God by marrying foreign women? (Nehemiah 13:23-27 NLT)

If two Israelite men are fighting and the wife of one tries to rescue her husband by grabbing the testicles of the other man, her hand must be cut off without pity. (Deuteronomy 25:11-12 NLT)

Of course, there are genuinely wise words in the Bible as well, especially in the New Testament. And what I quoted here obviously made some sense in that particular cultural context. But to cherry-pick to support your views, leave out whatever doesn’t fit (even if they are next-door verses!), and say it is right because it is “the word of God” is just plain silly.

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