I probably won’t have time to engage after this post…but I’ll respond briefly:
1. I’m sorry that those claiming the name of Christ have engaged in those types of degrading tactics. I personally don’t know Christians like that, but I don’t doubt they exist. I simply doubt if they actually have been born again (either way, they’re sinning in those actions and should repent). The Westboro Baptist crowd is a disgrace and don’t speak for God, that’s for sure! As far as not being sure that “the Bible is consistent on telling us that all people are made in the image of God”, I’d disagree. Starting from the beginning of the Bible (e.g., Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 9:6) and all the way through to the New Testament (e.g., James 3:9) this is the Biblical portrayal of humanity. The image of God in all of us may be marred with our sin, but it’s there in all human beings.
Also, let’s not confuse with God’s divine judgment of people (as in the Old Testament) with genocide. And let’s also not make the mistake of thinking that just because the Bible mentions something means that God approves of everything contained in the narrative. While we probably disagree on how to read and interpret the Bible, hopefully we can agree on those two points (though I doubt it).
2. In any case, you asked how I would respond to certain situations:
a) Women in abusive marriages…That’s a horrible situation to be in, but I would tell them to separate from the abuser, call the police, try to get the abuser locked up, and that I’d try to help them sort things out in the aftermath.
b) The couple that married “too young”. Not sure what your age limit is for being responsible for our decisions, but I’ll answer regardless. Instead of compounding what might have been a mistake by pursuing a divorce (a sin if it doesn’t fit the Bible’s narrow exceptions), I would tell them to stay married and seek Jesus for transformation of their life together. People can change by God’s grace! The question is: Will they trust God’s design as good and seek Him together for what is needed?
As far as “who are we to judge”…that’s easy. It’s not for me to judge. I just try to follow the Bible because God’s the only Judge that matters. You can disagree with me, but I’m just trying to apply what the Bible says to my life. If other people don’t care about Him or His word, then that’s on them. It makes me grieve, but I can’t make them change if they won’t trust that Jesus is good. They will likely divorce and remarry, and that’s on them. But they shouldn’t try to claim the name of Christ and ignore what He says…that’s where I would draw the line and say that I could not accept them as a member of my church (because they’re not seeking to follow Christ). So, to “sinfully divorce” or “sinfully remarry” is simply to divorce or remarry outside of the very narrow exceptions found in the Scriptures.
As far as inconsistency (hypocrisy) among Christians (or the SBC, or Albert Mohler)…I’m afraid we agree! I am not proud of it, but I am sometimes a hypocrite myself. A lot of people think Christians think we’re better than everyone else. Just the opposite! True Christians believe we are probably worse than everyone else. We know we’re sinners, that we need God’s help to be changed, and that forgiveness and transformation happen by grace through faith in Jesus alone. So, yes…sometimes we mess up! We’re still not perfect. But true Christians repent when we realize our sin…turning to Christ in faith once again. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be called out on hypocrisy, it just explains why it happens. The good news is that because Jesus lived a perfect life on my behalf and then died the death I deserve for my sin, my failures are not counted against me. He gives me His righteousness because He took my sin upon Himself at the cross! (2 Corinthians 5:21)
The Bible teaches that Christians are changed bit by bit to become more like Jesus over a long period of time. But that’s no excuse for our own disobedience to God. We can’t say, “Hey, look at that person (Christian or not) over there…they’re a hypocrite, so I don’t have to trust and obey God either.” We shouldn’t use others’ behavior as an excuse to ignore the Bible’s teaching in any area. That includes divorce, remarriage, murder, lying, homosexuality, greed, gluttony, etc. We are all sinners in need of forgiveness and transformation through Christ.
3. As far as the font goes, I think you’re being a little disingenuous. It does seem to have a similarity to the font of Hitler’s book, but also of literally THOUSANDS of documents throughout history (off the top of my head I could recall it from the Declaration of Independence, which I linked to in my previous comment). It looks like a pretty standard “Old English” font to me. Why, if no one was making the comparison between Mohler and an evil figure like Hitler, was Hitler’s book the only example that got posted? I’m pretty sure that was the point of mentioning the font.
Finally, I fully understand that some people are not “Bible literalists”. I’m just constantly confused as to why those folks insist that other people can’t read the Bible as the Bible itself says to read it. The Bible clearly aimed at writing theological history, aimed at communicating the supernatural (i.e., the miracles mentioned are not meant to be seen as myths) and especially to point to Jesus Christ as the Savior of all who believe and the fulfillment of the entire Old Testament narrative (Luke 24:27, 24:44-28).
So, yes…I believe the Bible, and I seek to read it on its own terms. I do believe it speaks to the “right kind of marriage” (Matthew 5:27-32, 19:1-12; Mark 10:1-12; Ephesians 5:22-32, and many other verses). We take the more clear “teaching” passages like these I’ve just mentioned and then work toward the less clear passages of narrative and the like. And I believe what you end up with is that marriage is defined in the Bible as the exclusive and life-long covenantal union of one man and one woman (Genesis 1:26-28, 2:18-24; Matthew 19:3-9; Mark 10:2-9; Romans 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:2-16, 39). That’s God’s design.
I hope that you’ll understand that I have no animosity toward those who disagree with me. I only seek to follow the contours of the Scriptures, as I believe the Bible to be God’s holy word. I hope that you will come to that conclusion for yourself and trust in Jesus Christ and the word that points us to Him. Thanks for your time if you’ve read this long reply!
P.S. Webster’s Dictionary defines a “straw man” argument as: weak or imaginary opposition (as an argument or adversary) set up only to be easily confuted.
That is to say, I thought John Shore’s representation of the opposing view was (intentionally?) set up to be easily confuted. He didn’t engage the actual opposition, only a fallacious version of his opponent’s viewpoint. Al Mohler does not give divorcees a “free pass” as John Shore stated. The Bible does not teach that ALL divorcees should be automatically disqualified from church membership. Those are “straw man” arguments because they’re imaginary opposition (i.e., not what Mohler or the Bible actually says).
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Source : http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2014/06/southern-baptists-why-obey-your-own-law-on-homosexuality-but-ignore-jesus-words-on-divorce/