Twisting and Distorting the Scriptures

Normally I would not respond to the kind of diatribe I read on anti-Christian websites like www.rightwingwatch.org. But I thought one recent piece found at that website could act as a good teaching lesson for Christians.

Last week, I spoke at the “Watchman on the Wall” conference (headed by Christian activist and ministry friend Tony Perkins) in Washington, DC. As just one part of my message, I dealt with the fact that Jesus in Matthew 19 defines marriage, by quoting from Genesis, as a male and a female—one man and one woman. Thus, anything else (e.g., “gay” marriage, etc.) that goes against this biblical teaching is wrong and therefore sin.

Well, an excerpt of the section where I discussed marriage (and referenced President Obama’s recent pronouncement about his endorsement of “gay” marriage) was put on the internet. It wasn’t long before secularists were linking to the video and spouting forth their usual hate speech against Christians who stand on God’s Word and define marriage the way God does!

On one such website we read:

As luck would have it, just last week I bought a copy of “The One Year Chronological Bible” and had begun reading through it in conjunction with my copy of The ESV Study Bible.  Ham’s assertion that a literal interpretation was required in order to understand the true nature of biblical marriage was in the forefront of my mind as I began working my way through Genesis, especially once I realized how much polygamy and incest the book contained.

In fact, outside of Adam and Eve, and Noah and his wife, just about every major patriarch engaged in either polygamy or some form of incest, and often both.

According to Genesis 16, Abraham slept with and married his wife’s Sarah’s slave because Sarah was was unable to bear children. On top of that, according to Genesis 20, Sarah was also Abraham’s half-sister and he later took at least one more wife.

Abraham’s son Issac was married to Rebekah, who, according to Genesis 24, was the daughter of the son of Abraham’s brother, which would make Rebekah the daughter of Issac’s cousin, or Issac’s first cousin, once removed.

Rebekah then gave birth to Esau and Jacob.  According to Genesis 26, Esau married two Hittite women and then later took a third wife while Jacob married the daughters of his mother’s brother, his first cousins, named Leah and Rachel.  Rachel was unable to bear children and so gave Jacob her servant to sleep with and take as a wife, to which Leah responded by likewise giving Jacob her servant for a wife.

In addition to these arrangements, Genesis 38 tells the story of Judah sleeping with and impregnating his daughter-in-law while Genesis 19 tells the story of God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah where only Lot and his two daughters were saved … after which Lot’s daughters got their father drunk and slept with him and became pregnant.

One of the arguments we hear most often from the Religious Right is that changing “the biblical definition of marriage” by allowing gay marriage will lead to things like polygamy and incest … which is odd considering that, according to the Book of Genesis, polygamy and incest were predominant forms of marriage.

Just a few comments about the above:

1. I find it interesting that the author attempts to make moral judgements about polygamy and “incest ” but without believing in an absolute authority for determining what is right and wrong. Of course, this is inconsistent. Now, the author may claim they are making such judgments using the Christians’ own basis: the Bible. But by doing so, they are distorting the truth and misquoting the Scriptures—showing their gross ignorance of the Bible (or deliberate attempts at deception).

2. The word “incest” is a modern, invented word. Now there are a lot of issues that today we include under the term “incest” but some would only be included since the time of Moses. For instance, it wasn’t until Moses (as we read in Leviticus) that God said no longer should close relatives marry. When a man and a woman marry today, did you know they were related before they were married, as all people are descendants of the same one man and one woman? As long as marriage is one man for one woman, originally there was no problem with close relations marrying. But because of the mistakes that have accumulated in our genes over time, if close relatives married today, it would be a problem—and God changed the rules (because sin changes things, like genes) in regard to marriage at the time of Moses. You can read more about this topic on our website.

3. Yes, the Bible does record events of polygamy—and adultery—and many other sins. But the Scriptures plainly teach that marriage is between one man and one woman (e.g.,  Matthew 19). However, one of the hallmarks of the Bible’s authenticity is that it does not hide the failures of people who were even great men and women of God yet lapsed on occasion. David’s adultery is recorded for everyone to read about—and to see the devastating consequences. On the basis of the logic used in the article quote above, then the Bible is endorsing adultery! This of course is nonsense. Also, the negative consequences of polygamous relationships are obvious from the text in Scripture (including all sorts of family issues like jealousy). The point is that anything other than God’s created order for marriage (male and female) is a sin against the holy God of the Bible—whether that sin be polygamy, adultery, fornication, or homosexual behavior. Yes, Lot’s daughters obviously did what was recorded, but it was sin—the Bible is not endorsing such willfully rebellious behavior. For more information on polygamy and the Bible, read this AiG article.

4.  The article states, “One of the arguments we hear most often from the Religious Right is that changing ‘the biblical definition of marriage’ by allowing gay marriage will lead to things like polygamy and incest … which is odd considering that, according to the Book of Genesis, polygamy and incest were predominant forms of marriage.” But, it has nothing to do with “changing the biblical definition of marriage.”  The point is without an absolute authority, there is really no such thing as marriage, and thus one could define any relationship as marriage—it would all be totally subjective. Only on the basis of the absolute authority of the Word of God can one have a definition of marriage that must be adhered to—and the biblical definition is one man for one woman for life, according to Genesis.

I had to smile when I read another blogger who quoted the item on the Right Wing Watch website and then stated, “As I’ve said before, whenever a ‘godly Christian’ is making pronouncements, the safest course of action is to assume that they are lying. Rarely will such not be the case.”

So who then determines what “lying” is?  Who decides there is an absolute standard of truth? Of course, such inconsistencies abound because ultimately, the secularists have to borrow from he Christian worldview to claim an absolute moral standard in their inconsistent attempts to judge matters!

Here is the link to the Right Wing Watch blog.

Influence Science Education Standards—Participate by Friday!

Next Generation Science Standards is a project to develop K–12 science education standards for the next generation of U.S. students. The NGSS has posted a draft of the proposed standards online—and they’re asking for public’s input!

Now is your opportunity to potentially influence public school science standards in America. Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell of AiG has written about this project twice already. You can read a more complete description of the science standards on our website.

While we at AiG don’t advocate the mandating of the teaching of creationism in public schools, we do believe that students should have the opportunity to think critically about science, particularly non-repeatable historical science (e.g., evolutionary ideas). The draft of the standards does not allow for critical thought regarding the assumptions that evolutionary ideas are based upon—students will be taught these beliefs as though they are fact!

I urge you to make your voice heard and participate in the survey by Friday, June 1! You can access the survey at this link. Click the link in the center of the page to access the draft standards. Read through the standards and when you’re ready to register for and take the survey, click “Go to the NGSS Survey/PDF” on the left-hand side of the screen.

I have been given some tips about taking the survey: 1. You will need to register with a valid email address and create a password. 2. Tell the system you are not registered for a survey; it will direct you to the “Public Survey.” 3. You can flip back and forth between tabs to evaluate the search features and the standards themselves as you take the survey.

You will be given the opportunity to provide open feedback on the search features (near the beginning of the survey) and on the standards in general (near the end of the survey). I encourage you to give your thoughts on the draft standards.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken