Joel Elliott Mooneyhan
The Right Tool
Updated: Sep 10, 2020
"We are often more interested in defending God's Word than in studying it."
I have seen a lot of this and am admittedly guilty of it myself. Lately, it has come around a lot more in interactions between people on different sides of issues, desperate to show that they are "on the right side."
And therein lies the problem. Scripture is not a wad of putty that we get to mold and shape into whatever fits our view. It isn't a convenience.
It's more like a tool chest. Each part of it has a specific purpose. Try as you may, you cannot drive a nail with a screwdriver. Even if you succeed, you'll likely have ruined the nail, and that isn't the proper use of a screwdriver.
We who believe the Bible have to come to it in humility. If you are not convicted or conflicted by Scripture at least a few times, then I would submit that you are reading it wrong. It shouldn't be a source of validation for what we are. It should be a source of inspiration for what we could be. Instead of looking to it to validate our positions, we should look to it as the basis for our positions. And if our positions do not line up, it is we who have the responsibility to investigate why that is the case.
This is not to say that we should take it "at face value." It is to say that if we take it seriously and intend to use it in conversation, then we must do the honest and hard work of understanding it for what it really is, not for what we want it to be.
Sometimes that means we resonate with it. Sometimes that means we have to tune ourselves differently. Whichever the case, we owe it to the truth of the Word to study it humbly and use it graciously, not as a weapon to bludgeon others, but as a set of tools with which we build the Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Y'all take care and be good to one another.