With all of the hot-button issues regarding the Bible and God’s standard of holiness and morality being thrown around the news lately, I was intrigued by one writer’s proposed way of tackling the issues if he were ever interviewed by “Piers or Larry or Tavis or Rosie or Ellen or The View” (or as the author calls them, “TaPierRosEllRy”).
Rather than tackle the particular issue with its certainty of a resulting firestorm of being called intolerant, ignorant, backwards (and any other version of slander and libel tossed around by those seeking to dismiss anyone who dares to publicly present the Word of God for what it says), this author said that he has decided to side-step the conversation and start with the “most offensive” verse in the Bible.
I like the tactic, not because it is sure to pour more fuel on the fire, but because this author’s “most offensive verse” was selected because it goes to the root of the problem, the basic source of all the various controversies that pop up when a person holds a stance based upon the belief that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and that God actually means what He says. The tactic is an interesting way of cutting through the smokescreens as well as opening and easy door to present the gospel.
So, what is the author’s “most offensive verse” in the Bible? Genesis 1:1.
Why Genesis 1:1? Read the article below and find out for yourself.
by Dan Phillips
In the Sunday School class at CBC we’re doing a series called Marriage, the Bible and You. In the second lesson of the series, I brought up the subject of secular talk shows and how they like to try to beat up on Christians of any size, shape, and significance about whatever topic they think is most embarrassing and controversial. Of course, at the moment it’s “gay” “marriage,” or the topic of homosexuality at all.
In the course of the lesson, I remarked that I think — from the comfortable quiet safety of my study — that I’d take a different approach.
When Piers or Larry or Tavis or Rosie or Ellen or The View or whoever tried probing me about homosexuality, or wifely submission, or any other area where God has spoken (to the world’s consternation), I think I’d decline the worm altogether. I think instead, I’d say something like,
“You know, TaPierRosEllRy, when you ask me about X, you’re obviously picking a topic that is deeply offensive to non-Christians — but it’s far from the most offensive thing I believe. You’re just nibbling at the edge of one of the relatively minor leaves on the Tree of Offense. Let me do you a favor, and just take you right down to the root. Let me take you to the most offensive thing I believe.
“The most offensive thing I believe is Genesis 1:1, and everything it implies.
“Therefore, we are not free to create meaning or value. We have only two options. We can discover the true value assigned by the Creator and revealed in His Word, the Bible; or we can rebel against that meaning.That is, I believe in a sovereign Creator who is Lord and Definer of all. Everything in the universe — the planet, the laws of physics, the laws of morality, you, me — everything was created by Another, was designed by Another, was given value and definition by Another. God is Creator and Lord, and so He is ultimate. That means we are created and subjects, and therefore derivative and dependent.
“Any time you bring up questions about any of these issues, you do so from one of two stances. You either do it as someone advocating and enabling rebellion against the Creator’s design, or as someone seeking submissive understanding of that design. You do it as servant or rebel. There is no third option.
“So yeah, insofar as I’m consistent with my core beliefs, everything I think about sexuality, relationships, morals, the whole nine yards, all of it is derived from what the Creator says. If I deviate from that, I’m wrong.
“To anyone involved in the doomed, damned you-shall-be-as-God project, that is the most offensive truth in the world, and it is the most offensive belief I hold.
“But if I can say one more thing, the first noun in that verse —beginning — immediately points us forward. It points to the end. And the end is all about Jesus Christ. That takes us to the topic of God’s world-tilting Gospel, and that’s what we really need to talk about.”
I mean, why quibble about minor offenses, when we know how to take them right to the mother lode of all offense — that God is God, and we are not?