Speaking of awkward passages we don’t want to take literally, how about James 5:14-16?
This is a beauty for fans of being literal. Dispensationalism prides itself on being literal and dispensationalists typically chuck all of James and especially this passage.
Ironically, J N Darby, oft said to be the father of dispensational theology, applied this passage literally. Allow me to quote Mr. Harry Ironside on James 5:
“Mr. J N Darby and Mr. J G Bellet were called into many sick rooms in Dublin, where they acted literally upon the directions given here. Many remarkable healings were vouchsafed in answer to the prayer of faith; so much so that attention began to be centered upon these two brothers as special instruments used of God.”
Apparently, Mr Darby was the first and last dispensationalist to literally use James 5. Literalness is handy until it makes us feel awkward, then it is rather embarrassing.