As the teacher of an Adult Sunday School for a few years now, I’ve had to do a lot of study, and while I’m not biblical scholar, there is one things I am absolutely certain about…the Bible is not literal nor is it inerrant. There, I said it. It doesn’t mean I don’t respect the Bible as Holy Canon, but it could not be applied to our lives today were it to be taken literally. A video by Mike Huckabee (hereinafter referred to as “the Hukster”) makes that point.
Let’s start with the video (don’t worry, it’s short):
Now let’s look at the verse he’s using here. He quotes from 2 Chronicles 7:14, but I think you have to include verse 13 as well. Here are the verses from the New International Version (NIV):
13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Let me explain some things I learned during my study, which are critical to understanding the Old Testament especially. In this verse God is speaking specifically to the Jewish people. Chronicles is the final two books of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament to Christians), and the language used is very specific throughout the Old Testament in relation to whom God speaks. There are times when the prophets, speaking for God, addressed everyone, and times they addressed only the Jewish people.
For example, in Micah 6:8, the prophet says, “He has told you, O man, what is good….” In this case, the use of “O man,” means that God is speaking to, and applying this to everyone. (for the record, what he is applying here to everyone is the commandment to “…do justice, love mercy, and walk Humbly with your God.) Anyway, in other verses God directs his communication to “my people.” In those cases, he was speaking specifically to his chosen people…the Jewish people.
So you see, this verse applies only to the Jewish people. It amazes me the arrogance of, most especially American, evangelical Christians who somehow think that God changed his mind about the Jewish people being his chosen people, and decided the gentiles were his chosen people (because “Paul” I guess). The verse is specifically discussing yet another fall by the Jewish people, and what it will take for God to restore their land, Israel. God really didn’t have any reason to be addressing the United States of America and evangelical Christians during Old Testament times…there were none.
In addition, the Huckster here is saying that Christians, turning to God, will end racism. Let’s be clear, what God LITERALLY said here was he would not send a drought, swarms of locust or plagues on the Jewish people if they turn from their wicked ways. Nothing in there about Christians…remember, Christians didn’t even exist at this time. In fact, Jesus nor Paul had been born when Chronicles was written.
So, if you think about evangelical Christians’ belief that the Bible is true and inerrant, then when they claim that verses like this, are directed at America instead of Israel and it’s people, they are clearly saying there is some fudge factor in their inerrant Bible, or that God changed his mind about his chosen people, but that leap of logic is lost on them.
It amazes me the arrogance of, most especially American, Christians who somehow think that God changed his mind about the Jewish people being his chosen people, and decided the gentiles were his chosen people (because “Paul” I guess), especially white American evangelicals. The verse is specifically discussing yet another fall by the Jewish people, and what it will take for God to restore land, Israel. God really didn’t have any reason to be addressing the United States of America and evangelical Christians during Old Testament times…there were none.
Never mind all the verses in the Bible that stand in direct disagreement with one another (there are whole volumes written on the conflicting verses of the Bible, so we won’t try to cover that here).
So, again, while I respect that the Bible offers much for the soul, applying it to situations and Peoples not even known to the Hebrew writers, and then claim it as literal, sets up something of a heresy. I wish they’d learn to apply some scholarship before they try to teach others. I believe false teaching is an abomination.