One area where professing atheists are painfully correct is that too many people who call themselves "Christians" are ignorant of what is in the Bible they profess to believe. (My father facetiously said, "To thine own self be true. John 3:16". He knew full well that it's in 3 Peter 2:11.) Then they act like atheists, twisting Scripture to manipulate or condemn Christians. That's not the way it works, old son. We need to know what the Bible really teaches, and how to use it properly.
|Modified from an image found at Pixabay by Dowdster|
Years ago, I approached Pastor Dourface about taking the youth of the church to an upcoming Christian rock concert. He response was along the lines of, "Noooooo, brotherrrrrrr, we have to avoid every appearance of evil". He had the presupposition that rock music itself was evil, therefore, Christian rock is evil, too. Plus he misused a verse to back up his view. Meanwhile, he presents the Word of God in the pulpit dressed like a banker or lawyer (aren't there evil people in those professions?) and using a public address system (atheists use those too, you know). Let's be rational, and let's use Scripture correctly, shall we?
I was making remarks about a topic along this line, and I was directed to a very helpful article. Don't take this as an endorsement of everything on the site or what the author says, I'm only recommending this particular article. Shame I feel the need to give such a disclaimer, isn't it? Anyway:
This is one of several occasional essays on “Scripture Twisting.” The purpose of these very brief essays is to challenge certain popular interpretations of the Bible that really have little or no basis.To read the rest, click on "1 Thessalonians 5:22 — The Sin Sniffer’s Catch-All Verse".
I attended a Christian liberal arts college. The students there had scores of little oral traditions that helped them obey God. My wife and I still joke about them. Our favorite was this: “You should pray over a meal if it cost more than 50 cents or if you have to eat it with a fork.” Where is that in the Bible? No place, of course, but we students felt that it was a necessary add-on for our sanctification.
You, too, have probably been exposed to such oral traditions. Over the years we have seen various essays and heard far too many sermons that extol the virtues of avoiding the appearance of evil. I remember growing up in a church in which the pastor would frequently preach on the evils of going to movies, or dancing, or drinking and smoking. Nowadays, such sermons are usually passé. Instead, there are laundry lists that ask various questions about an activity such as “Is it honoring to God? Might it harm a weaker brother or sister? Is it the best use of your time? Does it promote the cause of Christ? Does it avoid the appearance of evil?”