Using the Bible as a Weapon is Bad…Using it as a Defense is Worse
At the heart of my call to ministry is the desire to combat the use of the Bible as a weapon. Christians are not called to tear other people down–governments, temples and systems of oppressions–yes…but never people. We can’t possibly attempt to live into our call to follow Jesus Christ and to become more Christ-like if we insist on tearing, holding and/or keeping others down. “Love one another as I have loved you,” is not a suggestion for Christians. It’s a command…like one of the greatest. Check it out. The Bible says so.
Pretty much since it came into being, the Bible has been wielded as a weapon against anyone people in power want to keep powerless and oppressed. It has been used against the poor, women, people of color, divorced people (particularly women) and the LGBTQ population. In a weird way, it makes me believe in the truth of the Bible even more. Any book that still has something to say to us after centuries of misuse and abuse must truly be from God.
And now, not only do people still wield the Bible as a weapon (when it suits their purposes), but also as a defense against evil and oppressive behavior:
a defense against homophobia by people whose “religious beliefs” don’t allow them to be kind and decent to gay people,
a defense against misogyny and the abuse of women, because after all, women should be silent in the church and men are the heads of the family,
and now it’s being used as a defense for GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, who initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl decades ago. Citing the age difference between Mary and Joseph (the parents of Jesus himself and the lead characters in our most beloved sacred story) as a justification of his actions.
Knock this *#%@ off! Stop using the Bible to justify your own hate and prejudice. And for God’s sake (actually for all of our sakes), don’t bring the Holy Family into defending your heinous, inexcusable and criminal behavior.
Stop the heresy. Stop the hypocrisy. Stop the holier-than-thou posturing.
Or if you’re not going to stop, then quit using my God, my Savior and my sacred text as an excuse or justification for your actions. Jesus loves you, but I’m pretty sure He’s not going to be a witness for your defense.
Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow us on Facebook and get emails to keep up with all that is happening.