3 Bad Things Happen When We Oversimplify Scripture

I am obsessed with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical “Hamilton.”

I’m late to this bandwagon – I know.  Even Miranda has cut his ponytail and moved on, but too bad.  I am struck anew at phrases from his musical that come at me as biblical life lessons.  Like George Washington’s reply to Hamilton’s idea of dying like a martyr, “Dying is easy, young man.  Living is harder.”

We get it.  Not the dying part, which we know is hard, but the living part, which is regularly more than most of us can get our heads around.

Believers have been known to tackle the complicated task of living life by tossing everybody’s thoughts to later.  Heaven!  Just you wait!

The problem is, “just you wait” is a bit of an oversimplification & not really how the story of Scripture goes.  The afterlife does have a big storyline in Scripture, but it is set against a backdrop of a lot to do and think and see and experience about God while living right now.

Oversimplifying the Bible is nothing new.  However, I’ve noticed, it makes the hard task of living life just a little bit…worse.

PROBLEM #1 WITH OVERSIMPLIFYING SCRIPTURE: IT SWITCHES A SCRIPTURE THAT IS DIRECTED AT BELIEVERS TO A RUNNING DIATRIBE DIRECTED AT A NEBULOUS CULPRIT CALLED “THE WORLD.”

That is not to say we are to conform to the patterns of this world (Romans 12:2).  The God of Scripture endorses righteous behavior, but that often looks funny.  Like forefather Judah, who got his comeuppance when his daughter-in-law, Tamar, was brave and shoved it in his face that he’d been a narcissistic hypocrite and she wasn’t going to take it lying down.

Judah’s response?

 

*this article was written for a new site called “The Rising.” See the rest of the article here!

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