I have just read a blog-rant by someone who calls himself a Christian against Jan Crouch, the co-founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network, who recently died. I have no idea what a woman who spent forty years building the largest Christian broadcasting network on earth might have done to offend this Bible-thumper! But he used a lot of Biblical quotations to assure his readers that Ms. Crouch is at this moment frying in a fiery hell.
I’m sorry, but this has done it for me. I am going to tell you now categorically that not only is the entire Christian Bible not the Inspired Word of God, but anyone who uses pieces of it to beat down someone who has tried to serve God is himself enmired in deepest evil. We have been assured by those we used to think were dead that no powerful evil entity exists, but if there were a Satan, those who wield such hate-filled nonsense would be his disciples!
The strictest Christians insist to us that the entire Christian Bible is the inspired word of God, and it still applies today. Okay. Fair enough. Let’s take just a glimpse at what they claim that God is saying to us. So you won’t have to spend your whole day reading, what follows is just a tiny sample of God’s purported Old Testament Words that no loving God could conceivably utter:
If a girl is taken to wife and found to be not a virgin, “then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death.” (Deuteronomy 22: 21)
If your brother, your child, your wife, or your friend tries to persuade you to serve a different god, “you shall not yield to him or listen to him; and your eye shall not pity him, nor shall you spare or conceal him. But you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.” (Deuteronomy 13:8-9)
If a son is rebellious and resists correction, “then his father and mother shall seize him, and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gateway of his hometown. They shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey us, he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death.” (Deuteronomy 21:19-21)
And if someone breaks any of God’s commandments, or even falls away from the approved religion, “then you shall bring out that man or that woman who has done this evil deed to your gates, that is, the man or the woman, and you shall stone them to death.” (Deuteronomy 17:5)
They must have had piles of rocks all over, just waiting for someone to slip up! Even back three thousand years ago, this all must have seemed a bit over-the-top, so the Old Testament contains such further exhortations as, “Thus you shall not show pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” (Deuteronomy 19:21)
For heaven’s sake, even eating shellfish (Deut 14:9-10), wearing blended fabrics (Leviticus 19:19), or cutting your hair or beard, shaving, or wearing a tattoo (Leviticus 26-28) is a detestable Biblical crime! So whenever you look at a well-dressed and nicely coifed woman, or at a barbered and clean-shaven man, you are seeing someone who is not a strictly Biblical Christian. Or if he or she insists to you that the whole Bible is the Inspired Word of God, then you are looking at a hypocrite. There can be no getting around that.
Yet there are some few Biblical rules that these strict Bible-thumpers delight in enforcing! For example, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death.” (Leviticus 20:13) Let’s all be true Christians and destroy those gays! Can you imagine anyone less Christian than someone who selectively ignores parts of Holy Scripture that he doesn’t like while he delights in battering other people and ruining their lives with the parts that he does like?
What would Jesus say about all of this? We don’t need to wonder. He tells us in the Gospels that He came to bring us God’s new law of love, with which He intended to replace the whole of what later became the Christian Old Testament:
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets” (MT 22:37-40).
He even tells us plainly not to package His teachings with what became the Old Testament:
“But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results. Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved” (MT 9:16-17).
Dear friends, either every word of the Christian Bible is the Inspired Word of God, or none of it is except for any parts that we can somehow corroborate. Thanks to nearly two hundred years of testimony from people we used to think were dead, we can now abundantly confirm that indeed the Gospel words of Jesus on love, forgiveness, and the meaning and purpose of our lives were spoken by the genuine God Who came to earth in the person of Jesus. Those parts of the Gospels are indeed holy scripture! So the fact that so many modern Christians ignore the Gospel teachings is a tragedy of cosmic proportions. If any Christians remain who love Jesus and want to serve Him first of all, it is time now for all of us to speak out and defend the Lord from everyone who insists on using the Old Testament to diminish His message and to sully His name.