Your Opinion: March 6, 2015
Good News is for all
A valid point was made in a “Letter to the Editor” the other day concerning “cherry picking” scripture to prove a point or bolster an argument. Many who are familiar with scripture are probably guilty of this at one time or another. But we have to also be careful to not so narrowly define or expand the meaning of words and verses in scripture that we become guilty of missing the “orchard” entirely.
Jesus never used the term “cocaine,” for example, but it is doubtful that he condoned either snorting or smoking as part of the process of “seeking the Kingdom of Heaven.”
We are often just as guilty of misinterpretation when we summarily dismiss the Old Testament as not applicable because of some ancient customs and cultures that are recorded there. To do so is to summarily dismiss Jesus, who often referred to the Old Testament when questioned about moral, civil, or legal matters, such as the issue of divorce and marriage found in Matthew 19:3-12. In these passages he refers to the Old Testament to define marriage, to illustrate the sinful bent of mankind, and to the difficulty of taking the moral high road, even when the truth is hard or inconvenient.
The Good News is that none of this changes the value God has placed upon us. Jesus died for all sinners — churched or un-churched, liberal or conservative, drunk or teetotaler, faithful or philanderer, etcetera — and welcomes all into his kingdom who earnestly turn from their sins and place their trust in him; even those like myself who make missteps in the process.