God Says vs. It’s My Opinion: the Rhetoric of Religion   3 comments

It’s not uncommon these days to hear people quote from the Bible with the onramp phrase, “God says…” and they have so much authority in their voice– and that phrase!  It’s so solid, so absolute.  The same verse might be quoted by someone else with the starting wind-up, “It’s just my opinion, but I believe this verse says…” which, whether you believe their thoughts or not, always tends to sound weaker, and more arguable.  

Same verse, different introductions.  Most often, the “God Says” beginning is coming from a hardcore conservative Evangelical who believes the Bible is the Word of God.  And, on the other hand, it is often the more liberal-minded Christian, or even non-Christian, who might equivocate on the absolutism of a verse of scripture.  Being liberal minded, they understand that the reader is the person who interprets the scripture and therefore no one can say what the original authors may have absolutely intended, nor can they say that this is, indeed, the voice of God speaking.  Evangelicals have some core verses that they believe have a God Says in front of them, but for some reason, verses on greed, divorce, lying, judgement–these don’t seem to have that same “God Says” too often.

For gays and lesbians, it can seem like the strongest opponents to acceptance of LGBT folks carry the Rhetorical Club of God, but they really only carry the Rhetorical Club of “God Says”–there’s no God in their God Says.  I know because God didn’t say it.  And God DOES say every day that he loves me and supports me and wants me to find a good man to love.  That’s what God Says. 

Unfortunately, the shaky equivocating voice of liberal Christians who believe in multiple interpretations of scripture can sound milquetoast compared to the Solid Rock of God Says.  Even when we’re right, we sound unsure, shaky, ready to be disputed.

We need a bit more God Says in our voice—but perhaps, we just don’t believe in the myth of “God Says”–or the deception that it purports.  It makes the Bible into an oral work completely breathed in one session by God.  While Evangelicals are looking closely at every word that is written in His Voice, we should be looking for What God Means.  And being assured, and sure, when we talk to LGBT Christians or any people–of the freedoms, the love, and the forgiveness towards everyone (including Evangelicals).  You can’t cherry pick the God Says, but you also can’t really make 66 books, as many authors, perhaps, get God down to a science.  If He were that easy to regulate, compile, assimilate, create a composite of, we wouldn’t be having these arguments— it’s 66 versions of God that some people try to make make sense.  

I see a loving, forgiving God–who is not so concerned with the type of sin, but with making sure his people do not put “things” between themselves and God.  That’s sin.  Sin is what comes between you and God.  God has no problem with our sexuality until it becomes the sole focus of our lives.  Heterosexuals and homosexuals alike.  But for anyone to say that gays have to “hold off” being sexual means that they are creating a barrier between gays and God which does not exist.

Let’s borrow some techniques from Evangelicals: be bold in what you believe God believes.  Base it on your experience and on the Bible stories.  Do not equivocate anymore.  While they can show chapter and verse, God cannot be quantified or held ransom by a book so interpreted, so translated, so warped by time—God is not a literal version of the deity we see in the Bible; he would be schizophrenic.  God is beyond what was written–it cannot contain him.  And no Evangelical can use him as a blunt instrument to beat back the good souls of gays and lesbians. 

God says no. 

Posted February 27, 2012 by jstueart in Uncategorized

3 responses to “God Says vs. It’s My Opinion: the Rhetoric of Religion

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  1. It doesn’t matter what you say, I say, a liberal “Christian” says, or a “conservative” Christian says. What matters is what God says, and He said, “Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders…will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9). And you are right we can’t cherry pick the Bible, otherwise where is truth? Whose truth is it, yours or God’s? Although I understand sometime the Bible might be hard to understand, overall the Bible is generally to the point. Different versions simplify the language. Research supports the accuracy of the Bible. If the Bible is not THE source of truth from God, then what is? I will, and do, stand upon the truth of the Bible, otherwise who is God? Obviously many other religions have their opinion, and therein lies the problem. Does this mean I hate homosexuals? No, we are all human beings and deserve God’s love. We also need to understand that just as a parent sets limits, so does God.

  2. Well, “Anonymous”, thanks for finding us. All are welcome and folks who share your opinion were actually some of the intended beneficiaries of this website. You can find answers to all your Biblical questions here: http://www.whosoever.org/bible/ which you’ll find by clicking Helpful Resources above. Those helpful resources are put there to educate folks about the Bible, especially those verses they think condemn gays. That will help you understand that verse better. I don’t really have the time to argue with you—this WHOLE website was made to inform people of the Truth, not the lies others tell you about the Bible. Take some time. Read and think about the issue. It’s a journey, and I don’t expect that it will be an easy one for you. It wasn’t for me either. But I suggest you read more of the site before you comment–some things you bring up are actually answered really well under Helpful Resources.

    And I encourage you to own your comment. If you’re going to comment, you should state your name. Is a stand for Christ taken seriously when someone hides behind “Anonymous”? I’m not convinced. I took my stand. Paul took his. Peter took his. Jesus took a very brave stand. They all “owned” their comments. Be brave; own yours.

  3. It’s actually a pretty good read–the explanation of that verse: http://www.whosoever.org/bible/corin.shtml

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