Q: Any ideas about how to convince half of the people I care about not to soak their children in fear culture, not to hate or abuse people who aren’t like them, and not to support the destruction of the world?
A: Couple of ideas . . . quote the Bible better than they do. There are dozens of examples of helping aliens and widows and children in scripture. Nearly no examples of opposing aliens dwelling among us. How do they support capital punishment, for example, when Jesus was executed? They want to raise their children “Biblically?” But they don’t want to take disrespectful children to the gates of the city to stone them? Then they are picking and choosing which verses they follow.
(As an aside, I had unsolicited advice from in-laws this weekend on the helpfulness of James Dobson’s book on disciplining children. Coincidentally – for non-believers – or by Divine intervention, I later found notes on a blog post about beating children. I’ll get that posted soon.)
Another point, when it comes to Biblical interpretation – are they reading in Greek or Hebrew? Then do the words really matter, if you don’t know what they mean in the native language?
The message of the Bible is the totality of the message. In the beginning was the Word. And the Word made form was Jesus. Nothing else matters. If people want to believe that other things matter, that’s fine, but then they are worshiping a book or a lifestyle or a culture, and not the actually teachings of Jesus.
They may never understand that. I’m not as concerned with the damage they do themselves, and the sad lives they may live, as I’m concerned that they obstruct the benefits that can be found in finding and following Jesus in an authentic and sincere way. They are welcome to get in their own way, but when they do, they make it harder for non-believers to see Jesus. And that sort of damage is exactly what Jesus says not to do, because it’s the sort of behavior that drives people away.