Quick: what’s your opinion on gender roles? The debt ceiling? Gay marriage? Michelle Bachmann? War? Predestination?
Before you blurt it out–stop.
Think for a moment about the words that are about to leave your mouth. Are they kind? Thoughtful? Honoring to God?
Think about the person who is asking you the question; their background, their needs, their hurts, their dreams. Will your words draw them closer to Christ, or push them further away?
Stop, and ask yourself if your answer makes you feel morally superior, self-congratulatory, or smug. Be honest. If it does, you should rethink your answer. Not because your answer is wrong, necessarily, but because you are probably in no position to speak godly, edifying words.
This morning, I witnessed a “Bible bullet” attack, and it’s still bugging me. You know what “Bible bullets” are, right? Snippets of scripture (often used with disregard to their immediate or larger context) lobbed at a person as if that verse settles the matter for all time, as if that sentence proves that the Bible and God are on the shooter’s side.
I’ve been trying to figure why this bugs me so much (besides the obvious, boorish behavior behind it), and I think I finally put my finger on it. It may look like the Scripture-quoting assailant is trying to get the victim to change their mind, but usually, they’re not. Usually, they’re just trying to get the victim to shut up.
God said it, I believe it, and that settles it for me. Interpretation: disagree with me, and you’re disagreeing with God! Speak only at risk of damnation, thou spiritually-inferior Cretan!
There generally isn’t much conversation about the meaning of the Bible verse being thrown around, about its context, scriptural or current, or what God might have meant by including it in the scope of the Bible. There isn’t generally much discussion at all, because the whole point of shooting Bible bullets is to unleash your shock and awe spirituality on your “spiritually-inferior” enemies, to pound them into dust so your ideas can dominate.
All for the glory of God, of course.
I should know. I’ve resorted to it at times, and regretted it. Look at the Pharisees. Just because you do the right thing (if it even IS the right thing) doesn’t mean you’re doing it in the right way, with the right motives. And that makes all the difference.
What do you think? How can we get beyond shooting “Bible bullets” at each other, and foster God-honoring conversations in the Christian and secular community?