It wasn’t so long ago that people believed only men should be allowed to vote. It wasn’t so long ago that women received less pay than their male counterparts for the same amount of completed work. Today, most would agree that these beliefs were wrong. But it was not easy to persuade people to think differently. Some beliefs are harder to change than others.
I do not believe in watering down the Bible. I believe the Word of God is God-breathed and true. I believe most truths are clear and that Christians from across the denominations would agree on them. However, some truths are not as clear and are open for discussion and upon these truths we have established denominational divides.
It wasn’t so long ago that people used Bible Scripture to condone slavery. Today, we would agree that this was a gross misuse of what the Scriptures say. So, how do we get past the muddle? How do we know when something was written for a specific period of time, but was not meant to be a governing law for today? How do we know if our interpretations have taken the context properly into account? Or, how do we know when we are not importing our own views onto a text?
Scriptures that are clear and easy to understand should be the deciding factor when compared with unclear Scriptures. Anyone who is dogmatic about what is unclear and creates a law with it makes the same error that some converted Jews did by telling the Gentiles that, in order to be a part of Christ’s Church, they must be circumcised. When Christ has set us free, we should not go back to a yoke of slavery brought on by self-inflicted laws.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28 NIV).
By Tina Morley