Six Degrees

Everybody has heard of the game “Six Degrees from Kevin Bacon.”  Supposedly Kevin Bacon has been in so many movies that you can trace him to any actor in six degrees or less.

After the Republican debate in Arizona last week, I realized that this law not only applies to actors; it also applies to political positions.

First, Rick Santorum accused Mitt Romney of supporting Barack Obama’s health care plan.  How did he arrive at that conclusion?  Well, Romney had a healthcare plan when he was governor of Massachusetts.  Santorum saw that as a “precursor” to Obamacare, and voila! Romney supports a very controversial healthcare plan.

Then it was Romney’s turn.  He pointed out that Rick Santorum had supported Arlen Specter’s campaign for Senate.  Specter changed parties from Republican to Democrat and voted for Obama’s healthcare plan.  So, you see, Santorum supports Obamacare![1]

It appeared that both candidates supported Obama when in truth they opposed his healthcare plan and were campaigning for the chance to defeat him!  But who cares about truth when you’re running for public office?

It occurred to me that we play this game with the Bible too, connecting the wrong dots to make the Bible say what we want it to say.

Those who want to defend the practice of homosexuality will argue that Jesus never condemned homosexuality and that his words are more authoritative than Paul’s, who frequently condemned it as sin (Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-11).

Never mind that…

  • Jesus did condemn the practice of “fornication,” which includes homosexuality (Mt. 15:19; Mk. 7:21).
  • Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to guide the apostles into the same truth he taught (cf. Jn. 14:10, 16, 26; 16:13), so their words are just as authoritative as his.

Another example: Some argue that baptism is not essential for salvation, arguing that we are saved by grace and not by works, and baptism is a work; therefore you do not need to be baptized to be saved.

Never mind that…

  • The works that the New Testament writers said cannot save were the works of the law of Moses (cf. Jas. 2:17).
  • Baptism is a work of God, not a work of man (Col. 2:12).
  • Over and over, the New Testament says baptism is necessary for salvation (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:3-4; 1 Pet. 3:21).

People also defend instrumental music in worship by pointing to passages in the Old Testament as authority for the practice.

Never mind that…

  • We are not under the Old Testament because it was set aside when Jesus died on the cross (Rom. 7:6; Col. 2:14).
  • The New Testament church did not use musical instruments in worship, only vocal music (Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19).

These are just a few examples of the way people play fast and loose with the Scriptures.  The Christian life isn’t a game.  Our life should be governed by what the Bible says.  Let’s show respect for God’s Word.  Let’s speak where the Bible speaks, and remain silent where the Bible is silent.

Father, thank you for your Spirit who led the apostles and prophets to write your word in a message we can understand.  Give us humble hearts that will receive it and live it.  Forgive us for mishandling your Word; give us time to repent.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.


[1] Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg, “Romney, Seeking Traction, Deuls with Santorum,” The New York Times (Feb. 22, 2012).

Posted on May 16, 2012

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Preachers

Drew Kizer
Andrew Kingsley

Sunday

Morning Bible Study: 9:00 am
Morning Worship: 10:00 am
Evening Worship: 5:00 pm

Wednesday

Evening Bible Study: 7:00 pm

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