Politicians Make Bad Exegetes
Friday, February 03, 2012 Comments (0)
Politicians make bad exegetes especially when they misuse Scripture to make their point. This was the case yesterday when our president used Luke 12:48 a justification for raising taxes on the rich. Since this blog is a ministry of our church, I have reserved it to speak on moral and theological issues. I have purposely made an effort not to talk politics or candidates on this blog. I do not want to violate any IRS rules for nonprofit organizations.
As a pastor, however, I am allowed by IRS rules to comment on moral issues facing our country. Since the president brought up Scripture in his comments yesterday, I feel compelled to correct his misunderstanding and misuse of the Bible. In other words, this is obviously a moral issue.
It is wrong to take verses out of context. This is obviously what the president did yesterday. If you read Luke 12:48 in its context, you will notice the passage is not talking about the poor or rich people giving to the poor. It is the parable of the wise steward or manager. Each parable has a big idea. Jesus used parables to communicate spiritual truth. If you read the parable carefully, you get the big idea. The big idea of the parable of the wise steward is this: people who have been entrusted by God with many abilities and responsibilities will be held to a higher standard when Jesus returns.
There are many other passages that speak our responsibility to care for people who are genuinely poor. The parable of the wise steward is not one of them. The debate on how to best care for the poor and empower people to work and care for themselves will continue in the political arena. Caring for the poor is a moral and spiritual issue and Christians should prayerfully consider the best ways to care for and empower the poor. Yet the argument the rich should pay more taxes because Jesus said, “To whom much was given, of him much will be required,” is a dubious one.
It is also our responsibility to point out when our government officials misuse or mischaracterize the Bible. No matter who you are you are not at liberty to take verses out of context. Government leaders do not like it when we take their words out of context. Guess what? God does not like it when you take his words out of context.
Soli Deo Gloria!
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