[forthright] Barack Obama and the Misuse of Scripture

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2008 12:36:50 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Square One

Barack Obama and the Misuse of Scripture
by Richard Mansel

Democratic Presidential candidate, Barack Obama,
recently said that while he did not believe in
"gay marriage," he did believe in same sex civil
unions. He said, "If people find that
controversial then I would just refer them to the
Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind,
for my faith, more central than an obscure passage
in Romans."/1

Mr. Obama's flawed use of Scripture is common and
evidences the complete lack of Biblical knowledge
existent today (cf. 2 Peter 3:15,16).    

Obscure is defined as, "not clear or plain;
ambiguous, vague, or uncertain; hard to
perceive."/2 Not one of these definitions fits
what Paul wrote in Romans. However, we fear being
labeled bigots and homophobes, so we succumb to
political pressure to accept a sinful practice as
being acceptable. However, we must fear God rather
than activists (Acts 5:29).    

The Apostle Paul wrote by inspiration that
homosexuality is "against nature," which means
that it is contrary to the plan of God (Romans
1:26,27) /3 Scripture says, "God gave them up to
'vile passions' (Romans 1:26, NKJV); 'dishonorable
passions' (RSV); 'degrading passions' (NEB, NASB,
NRSB, NAB); 'vile affections' (KJV, Amplified
Bible); 'shameful lusts' (NIV); 'shameful
affections' (Rheims). Thayer defines it as "base
lusts, vile passions."/4 Bauer translates it as
"shameful passions."/5

Paul clearly denounces homosexuality in this
passage and others (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; e tal).
There is nothing obscure about what the New
Testament says about the sinfulness of
homosexuality.

Mr. Obama's reference to the Sermon on the Mount
validating homosexual behavior is completely
without merit. Jesus is God and therefore the
author of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16,17; John 1:1).
He did not have to address homosexuality
explicitly because whenever the New Testament
denounces it, Jesus speaks clearly (John 14:10;
John 1:1-3).

Perusing the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew
5-7, we find two passages that Mr. Obama might
have been alluding to in Jesus' sermon. Neither
one is used properly.

First, Matthew 7:1 reads, "Judge not, that you be
not judged." This is one of the more abused
passages in the New Testament. It becomes the
favored weapon of the rationalizing and desperate.
This verse condemns unrighteous judging. "For what
judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with
the same measure you use, it will be measured back
to you" (Matthew 7:2).

Jesus never offered a wholesale denunciation of
all judging. "Courts must judge whether a crime
has been committed (Romans 13). Churches must
judge whether a member has become disorderly and
between sound and false teachers (1 Corinthians
15:1-13; 2 Peter 2:1; Titus 3:10,11; 1 John
4:1)."/6

Second, Matthew 7:5 reads, "Hypocrite! First
remove the plank from your own eye, and then you
will see clearly to remove the speck out of your
brother's eye." Despite the rationalizations of
men, this verse does not say that if we have any
sin in our lives that we cannot charge others with
sin. God says that all have sinned (Romans 3:23).
However, Christians are commanded to evangelize
those who are lost in sin (Matthew 28:20). We are
told to help save brethren who are lost in sin
(James 4:19,20). It is clear that man's
interpretation of Matthew 7:5 is erroneous.

Curiously, Mr. Obama overlooks a salient point.
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall
enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the
will of My Father in heaven" (Matthew 7:21; cf.
Revelation 20:12-15). In short, not everyone who
speaks of the Bible, knows what they are talking
about.

__________    
1/ http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/332110.aspx?option=print
2/ http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/obscure
3/ http://preacherpages.net/2006/10/21/is-homosexuality-natural/
4/ Joseph H. Thayer, Thayer's Greek-English
Lexicon of the New Testament (Broadman: Nashville,
1977), 660.
5/ Walter Bauer, William F. Ardnt and F. Wilbur
Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New
Testament and Other Early Christian Literature
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979), 869.
6/ http://www.forthright.net/square_one/how_dare_you_judge_me.html

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