We’ve probably all heard some form of Jimothy’s complaint in the first frame. Maybe we’ve even said the same thing ourselves. Yet we have to recognize some form of “this was written in context.” Often we fool ourselves into thinking we really want to apply every verse literally. However, when it comes to something like slavery, we’re often quick to ditch that logic and respond as Jimothy does when challenged. It’s been said “The Bible was written for us – it was not written to us.” So Beth’s question is a valid one: how do we decide when the text ought to be applied just as written and how do we decide when that isn’t the case? We can probably all agree that commands to not eat shrimp were written but are not applicable. When it comes to instructions given by Paul, it’s a more difficult conversation.
Do I hold a consistent view of interpreting and applying scripture – or do I just pick and choose when it’s convenient?
Do I encourage discussions about what should be applied literally and what shouldn’t, or do I shut them down?
Have I excluded people who want to be faithful to scripture but who apply it differently than I/we do?