“Cherry Picking” Scripture

Three Quick Thoughts on Scripture and its Authority:

  • Ambiguity exists in scripture.  Its isn’t the voice of God – it is voices about God and God’s people.  This doesn’t mean it lacks authority and insight into deep truths. It means that this authority is more complicated and nuanced than simply saying it is the Word of God, for it is filled with alternate voices, worldviews, and sensibilities about the life of faith. It is a mosaic of faith which is, at times, at odds with itself.  And yes, somewhere in this stream of its voices we believe God to be revealed by God’s own will.  But let us take some care not to misrepresent the clarity and consistency with which that is true.
  • We all cherry-pick scripture. This isn’t an indictment, its just true.  Its necessarily true. The diversity of scriptural voices means that we cannot help but lend greater authority to some voices within the text.  We all – ALL – will pick and choose what stays front and center, what shifts from the foreground to the background, and what we exit stage right/left.  I would contend even that you cannot actually hold yourself accountable to the whole of scripture simultaneously in all its parts for within the texts themselves there are voices vying against each other for the stronger truth claims.
  • Idolatry of God and God’s Word is inevitable.  The life long challenge scripture’s ambiguity presents us is that we will gravitate to texts that confirm our own desires, fears, and sense of self.  We will want to give greater authority to that which agrees with our notion of faith and diminish the voices of scripture that challenge our worldview – no matter how cosmopolitan we think ourselves.  This is the insidious way we create God in our own image.  We make God and scripture into idols that are less than the whole and fashioned from ourselves, and we worship our own image/imagination.

This three-part nature of scripture means we must acknowledge ambiguity lest we forget the interpretive task and make rigid something that is a living text.  We must place ourselves in diverse communities that hold together the tensions of life and resists monolithic faith.  And we have to be willing to constantly be placed outside our comfort zones to be de-settled… set apart from our own self to encounter the God who is holy-other.

About Andrew Kukla

I am the proud father of four wonderful children, loving husband to Caroline, brother to three mostly wonderful sisters, and son of two parents that gifted me with a foundation of love and freedom. I also am a Presbyterian pastor and former philosophy major with a love of too many words (written with many grammatical errors and parenthetic thoughts), Soren Kierkegaard, and reflections on living a life of discipleship that is open to all the challenges, ups and downs, brokenness and grace, of a chaotic and wonderful life founded upon the love of God for all of creation.

Posted on March 27, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Ah. Well put. “this is the Word of the Lord.” A revisit??



  2. Pastor Kukla: I am somewhat intrigued by you thoughts on Cherry Picking Scripture and wondering if you would clarify.

    In light of your thoughts about the Idolatry of God and His word, what do you mean by this statement: “lest we forget the interpretive task and make rigid something that is a living text”, from the above essay. What is a living text?

    Thank you much

  3. No words. Your mockery of abortion and praise for Planned Parenthood is literally sickening. You lefty Presbys are about as evil and Hell-bound as they come. At first I thought your views were satire, like The Onion, but you’re actually serious. Sam Kinison mocked God relentlessly and he got smoked by the Almighty at the pinnacle of his success and just after his honeymoon, too. Maybe He can promptly change your wicked heart before it’s too late, or maybe not. Hopefully Boise avoids you like the spiritual death you represent.

  4. Hey Andrew, I love the Word of God. It was first spoken by His Holy Spirit to trustworthy men who would record what they had heard, not what they thought. Our Savior taught His Jewish disciples that He would send His Holy Spirit as a comforter to His believers. Your view of the Word becomes a hopeless work of satan because you believe that others, like yourself, view the Bible from their own self-centered point of view rather than God’s

    Jesus did not give you a pass, but He did lament that in the days we live in today, that men would be lovers of self, and He asked if there would be any faith left. Your only solace might be in the fact that you are just one of many poor, terribly mistaken, mockers of God. You do exactly what you have written in your blog; you twist God’s inspired Word to make it of no effect by denying the Divine Author, by “cherry picking” the interpretation from your point of view, your own worldview. Yes self. The same thing that drives women to abortion.
    Those who assist in the act are not serving God, but the father of lies and for unholy motives.

    Please repent for the sake of those who are so ignorant as to put any stock in your beliefs and for the sake of your own family. Oh; and yes, has not our Lord said, “I knew you before I knit you in your mother’s womb” ? Abortion is murder, always will be and those who have part in it will be judged for it. Even a fool can see how America has plummeted from God’s favor following Roe v. Wade.

    Repent before God silences you.

  5. Henry Ceslewski Jr

    This is meant to justify killing babies via abortion?

  6. Sir: As a christian and fellow-minister, I have a solution for you. I’ve thought about this for 2-3 seconds and my suggestion is –quit the ministry. You have no right to call yourself a minister of God whatsoever. You believe in murder. I believe that killing in listed in the top “10′. i guess you have failed to read that list as well. You are an embarrassment to any person who has taken the oath of an ordained minister to follow the word of God and never casting any part aside. You have this sneer on your face that God will gladly knock off. What would it be like if your mom had an abortion with you? You married? What if your wife ( if you have any) had an abortion with your kids? Makes you wonder, huh??So you believe in aborting doctors, scientists, inventors, ministers,members that you could have in your church?

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