I’m a seminary student.
That means I enjoy a good theological debate. I like to nitpick and expose theological error.
However, I think I have come to enjoy it a little too much. Refuting false teaching can quickly change from a Biblical imperative to an unhealthy obsession. Guarding the truth and exposing error is both necessary and commanded, but should it really be something we crave? Here are three indicators that you have crossed the line from Biblical nit-picking to sinful nit-picking.
I have read through Genesis many times. That’s not meant to be impressive, because a number of those times were when I attempted to read through the Bible in a year, only to give up a month or so in. Through-the-Bible-in-a-year programs usually go really well, until about halfway through Exodus. Then we get bogged down with specific laws for Israel and chapter after chapter describing how to build the Tabernacle. If we manage to make it through Exodus, we find ourselves in Leviticus, and then Numbers, and by that point many have thrown in the towel.
There are portions of the Old Testament that people love. One of the most common answers I get when asking teens where they are reading their Bibles has been Proverbs. The Psalms are well loved, and rightly so, for the way they speak directly to our emotions. But there are sections that confuse and challenge us. Wiping out all the Canaanites? Nine chapters of genealogies in 1 Chronicles! I mean, genealogies are one thing, but nine chapters! Then there’s poetry that doesn’t rhyme, imagery that doesn’t make sense to those living in the technology age, and prophets addressing a political scene that many are unfamiliar with, and before we know it we are back in the familiar territory of one of Paul’s letters.
You’ve read the articles and gone to the seminars about it. You’ve seen the info graphics and watched the videos about it. You may have even sought out the advice of the self-described “professional” on how in the world to reach this demographic known as The Millennials. Yet there still doesn’t seem to be much conclusive help as to how to reach this group.
The problem is that we’re not treating millennials as individuals. Instead, there’s a common misconception that millennials are all the same and you can reach them all in the same way. I’m a millennial, and I’m much different than other millennials that I work with and interact with on a daily basis. We’re not all the same!
I’m sure you’re quite fed up with the intolerance of Christians toward homosexuality. Perhaps you’re wondering when we’re finally going to catch up with the rest of society. If so, I just want to give you a word of reassurance. We’ll tolerate homosexuality soon enough. Just give us some time.
First of all, it’s not surprising that we oppose it. Although the Bible never condones hatred of other people, it does say that Christians are supposed to be intolerant of all sin, including homosexuality. But frankly, we don’t follow this rule very well.
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