Top Ten Ways to Deal With Verses You Don’t Like

One of the problems with the Bible is that it was written by God. Now, I know, having a book written by God is supposed to be a good thing, and it would be, if God agreed with us more.

But God’s wisdom is the opposite of man’s wisdom, therefore, when you read the Bible you will encounter many a verse that might inconvenience your beliefs and actions.

Rather than going through the inconvenience of changing beliefs or actions, it is easier to convince yourself the verse actually doesn’t mean what it says. I have been a Christian and been around Christians for a long time now, and I know the best ways to loophole your way out of inconvenient verses.

So, for the laymen out there, for those who haven’t yet learned the secrets to avoiding anything in the Bible that remotely causes you pain, inconvenience, bloating or any other mild reaction, here, as a service to you, are the top ten ways to avoid biblical conviction.

1) Start messing with Greek and Hebrew. Sure, you never took any classes on it, but one time you watched Fiddler on the Roof and you used to belong to a sorority with those Greek letter names so, you’re good. Just act like you know what you’re doing and say, “Well, according to the Greek this word actually means. . .” and off you go.

2) Bludgeon your verse with all the verses that can remotely be taken to mean the opposite and thus convince yourself that God only meant this side of the story, not the one that causes you trouble.

3) Forget the Bible and just quote some white guy you agree with who lived a long time ago.

4) Allegorize, allegorize, allegorize! Remember, any word can be the right word if any word can mean anything. Marrying a divorced woman is adultery seems problematic, until you understand that this was an allegory for God’s relationship with fig trees and how fig trees with no fruit are cursed and therefore we can know that cursed fig trees are what He is talking about with divorce. I know, on the surface this makes no sense, but don’t worry about it, it’s just an allegory, which means you can just keep changing it over and over.

5) Invent new definitions. After a while the new definition will be the old definition! For instance, grace used to mean “favor,” until the definition was changed to “undeserved favor.” Now, “undeserved favor” is actually the definition!

6) Read verses really quickly so that you “accidentally” replace inconvenient words with better ones. Keep saying it that way without looking it up so that eventually you memorize your words rather than God’s and then things are cool.

7) Whatever verse you don’t like was actually not written to you. You live in America in the 21st century, there is no way, some camel riding Jews from 4,000 years ago knew anything about you or what you need.

8) Bash men. As you may know, no woman had any part in the writing of Scripture. Now, as we all know, men are complete idiots. You’re going to trust a bunch of men to tell you what’s up? I think not. Men don’t even ask for directions. Ask Moses! It took him 40 years to walk a few hundred miles, and I have to listen to his ideas? I think not.

9) Cut and Paste. Remove verses you don’t like from the Bible. Stay away from all expositional, verse by verse preaching. Follow the example of one of our Founding Fathers and actually cut verses out you don’t like. Mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter, baby!

10) Stop reading the Bible! No one reads that dusty, old book any more. Get off your high horse, exit the ivory tower and come live with the rest of us. You will soon find out that the Bible loses all power over you when you stop paying attention to it.

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10 Responses to Top Ten Ways to Deal With Verses You Don’t Like

  1. Pingback: “Top Ten Ways to Deal With Verses You Don’t Like |… | The Richard W. Hendricks Experience

  2. descriptivegrace says:

    “3) Forget the Bible and just quote some white guy you agree with who lived a long time ago.”

    Tertullian was probably black. Can’t we quote him?

  3. jeff says:

    I suppose I can allow the exception, but don’t get carried away!

  4. Rob says:

    This post did actually crack me up :)

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  6. Kristen says:

    Are you advocating for a “plain sense” reading here? That the way it appears to read to us, thousands of years, a completely different language and half the globe away, with our own cultural assumptions that may or may not be shared by the original audience, is what God actually meant? In that case I’d better put on a gag when I go to church– I’ve got no need to actually participate in church anyway, since I’m saved by having babies. And if I go to church I’ve got to greet everyone with a kiss, which is embarrassing.

    Somehow I don’t think that’s what you’re getting at, or you wouldn’t like my blog at all, and I can see you’ve linked to it– thanks! But I actually think that the Bible was written by humans. Inspired by God, yes. Conveying spiritual truth, yes– but with the understandings, writing styles, personalities and limitations of the human authors still intact. In any event, I strongly believe that we need to do our best to get at what original author intended to convey to the original hearers, before we start applying verses to our own lives..

  7. jeff says:

    Yes, I am advocating a “plain sense” reading. To use cultural norms as the guide to agree or disagree with what God said is a nasty can of worms. Man becomes the judge, not God’s Word then.

    The fact that there are verses that are difficult to accept or practice does not mean we can chuck em all if we don’t like them. My disobedience to God’s Word, when it comes up with God at judgment day, will not be excused if I say, “Hey, some random person I met on the internet doesn’t kiss everyone who enters their church, so I just figured I didn’t have to listen to you then either.”

  8. descriptivegrace says:

    “Yes, I am advocating a “plain sense” reading. To use cultural norms as the guide to agree or disagree with what God said is a nasty can of worms. Man becomes the judge, not God’s Word then.”

    You had a post a while back about how writing is the art of figuring out what you believe. As I read the Pauline epistles I am more persuaded of the truth of that even than I am when reading a blog. So, although I would agree with a “plain sense” reading of the Pauline epistles, I would never agree with the notion that I must agree with everything Paul says. For example, Romans 9, whether bases on a plain sense reading or any other, is anathema to me because Paul clearly is misusing the Old Testament passages he is citing to make a point which they DO NOT make and CANNOT make. I guess, in other words, my point is when a New Testament writer (Paul) does not do a “plain sense” reading of the Old Testament, but twists the Old Testament to agree with some cockamamie point that is nonsense then even though I believe in interpreting the NT writer with a “plain sense” reading, I cannot agree with him because he himself did not use a plain sense reading in his interpretation of the OT! Does that make any sense?

  9. descriptivegrace says:

    “The fact that there are verses that are difficult to accept or practice does not mean we can chuck em all if we don’t like them. My disobedience to God’s Word, when it comes up with God at judgment day, will not be excused….”

    Of course, Romans 9 has nothing to do with obedience or disobedience. Part of the problem with it, obviously, is it denies the importance of obedience and gives an excuse for disobedience.

  10. jeff says:

    I understand what you are saying, but would have a hard time agreeing with your conclusion.

    I do see the problems brought up when the NT interprets the OT, sometimes quite liberally applied. This does cause some concern, or should. I am willing to admit that. I would rather chalk up my concern to my inability to know what I’m talking about rather than to chalk it up to Paul, or other writers of Scripture who were inspired, not knowing what they were talking about.

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