Liberals will use the Bible with their politics when they believe it defends a position that supports their agenda. You’ll even find liberals using the Bible to support homosexual marriage by quoting familiar passages like Matthew 7:1–2 and Mark 12:31 but ignoring Matthew 19:1–12 and other anti-homosexual passages (Rom. 1:18–32; 1 Cor. 6;9–11; 1 Tim. 1:8–10).
Matthew 7:1 states: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” Sounds pretty absolute until you read the second verse: “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”
Jesus isn’t saying don’t ever judge. If he were, He would be contradicting Himself since He also said “judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). While Jesus protected the woman caught in adultery from the men who set her up (If she had “been caught in adultery, in the very act,” where was the man?: John 8:4), Jesus still told her to “Go and sin no more” (8:11; also see 5:14).
Jesus is reminding us what the law states about consistency in judging:
“You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a large and a small. You shall not have in your house differing measures, a large and a small. You shall have a full and just weight; you shall have a full and just measure, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you. For everyone who does these things, everyone who acts unjustly is an abomination to the Lord your God” (Deut. 25:13–16; cf. Lev. 19:35–37; Prov. 11:1; 20:23; Ezek. 45:10; Micah 6:11).
Then there’s this line of logic: (1) The Bible says, “love your neighbor as yourself”; (2) the homosexual is your neighbor, therefore (3) you must accept the homosexual and his homosexual behavior. There’s even a book on the subject: Is the Homosexual My Neighbor? written by feminist author Letha Dawson Scanzoni.
I could have a thief, an adulterer, a child molester, a crooked politician, or a murderer as a neighbor. Does Mark 12:31 require that I approve of the behavior of my neighbor if his behavior is immoral? The homosexual issue is about behavior not the status of a person as a person. Jesus judges repeatedly. The New Testament takes ethical matters seriously. Not only on homosexuality but on a variety of sexual sins including adultery (1 Cor. 6:9) and incest (1 Cor. 5:1).
It should also be pointed out that the requirement to love our neighbors as ourselves is found in Leviticus 19:18, between two chapters that condemn homosexuality (18:22; 20:13).
When it comes to government interference on issues like abortion and homosexuality, liberals denounce the Bible as irrelevant, archaic, and medieval. But like the two passages above, liberals will cite the Bible when they think they’ve found something that supports their beliefs.
Consider this article from the Alabama Law Review that “applies the moral principles of Judeo-Christian ethics as a basis for urging the citizens of Alabama to insist that Alabama’s elected political leaders reform Alabama’s state tax structure.”
The author, Susan Pace Hamill, a former Internal Revenue attorney, states that while her approach might seem “unusual,” the “principles of Judeo-Christian ethics offer moral arguments that complement and often strengthen secularly based ethical arguments illustrating the need for social reform.”1
And all the people said, “Amen.” But hold on. Let’s change a few words and have Hamill’s thesis read this way: “This article applies the moral principles of Judeo-Christian ethics as a basis for urging the citizens of Alabama to insist that Alabama’s elected political leaders reform our nation’s __________________ laws.”
Fill in the blank with the words “homosexual” and “abortion” and watch liberals protest. They can’t have it both ways.
The problem with Hamill’s tax thesis is that the Bible does not support it anywhere. There is no progressive income tax found in the Bible. Everybody is taxed equally.
Hamill, like other liberal biblical ethicists, loves to quote a passage like this: “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me” (Matt. 25:45). In fact, Hamill begins her long journal article with it.
Here’s the problem for Hamill and other Statists who want to use the Bible selectively: Jesus is directing his comments to individuals not the Roman government or the civil government of Israel. Civil government in the Bible is limited in power and scope. Charity is a private affair.
So the next time a liberal quotes the Bible in support of some liberal cause, be sure that you have enough ammunition (metaphorically speaking) to shoot down the argument (metaphorically speaking) with a good counterattack (metaphorically speaking).
- Susan Pace Hamill, “An Argument for Tax Reform Based on Judeo-Christian Ethics,” Alabama Law Review 54:1 (Fall 2002), 3–4.(↩)