Theological Pet Peeve #23875

I can always tell people who view their Christianity through the filter of their politics.  If they are politically conservative, their reading of the Bible totally supports their viewpoint.  Same with politicially liberal people.  I really think we need to ask ourselves, am I trying to fit my religious view into my political box, as opposed to the other way around?

Here’s a hint: if your Christian religious views don’t force you to take a stand that is opposite your political pursuasion (for me, it’s the death penalty and immigration), you’ve probably got it backwards. 

Now, twice lately I’ve seen someone use an argument that gets on my nerves to no end: an argument from biblical silence.  No, I will not link to the argument(s), because they are about a subject that is guaranteed to immediately get your blog bogged down in a flame war, and we don’t do that here.  But just imagine to yourself the statement: “Such-and-such controversial issue is never mentioned in the Bible”, and it really doesn’t matter what the underlying issue is, to me it’s a shoddy agrument.

Did you know, for instance, that the sin of child molestestation is not directly referenced in the Bible?  Does this mean that child molestation is not a sin?  Does God benignly approve of child molestation?  By no means!

Certainly, through regular Bible study, one can properly discern the Will of God on an issue, even if the issue isn’t directly referenced in scripture.  Anyone that’s done even a little bit of this knows that God seriously disapproves of commiting harm toward an innocent.  He doesn’t have to say, “Do not molest a child”, unless we blind ourselves, the will of God on this matter is there for us to discern, plain as day.

Back to the unnamed controversial issue: my understanding of the scriptures lead me to believe that God is really, really big on protecting the helpless and the innocent, even at great risk to ourselves and those we love.  There are probably a hundred examples in scripture where God asks someone to do just that. 

Back to the more general point, if you are still willing to accept an argument from silence, think about this: Jesus never once petitioned the governments in Jeruselem (either Jewish or Roman) to help the poor.  We know He was all about helping the poor, but He really didn’t seem to think government was the way to go about it.  Why is that?

There’s actually a whole sermon I could give about that (helping the poor is as much about changing ourselves  as it is about our fellow man getting treated with dignity – and if you are “helping the poor” through a payroll deduction, you never “feel” the help leaving your body and going to another.  There is no connection between the helper and the helped). 

But, I’m not going to make this argument, because it’s based on an argument from silence, and that really gets on my nerves.  I want to be consistent, you know.

Anyway, if you are going to make a political argument from a Christian point of view, try something with a little more meat to it than, “The Bible never mentions…”

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