Have you ever had an atheist complain that Christians cherry pick the Bible and only follow the parts with which they agree? I read the work of an on-line atheist this week. He wrote that nearly everyone, from every denomination of Christianity, cherry picks the Bible. Is this the case? Do most Christians edit the Bible to meet their desires?
Well, over the decades I’ve visited a very large sample of churches, including Pentecostal, Baptist, Catholic, and others – a very nice sampling of congregations – and I have yet to meet a serious Christian who picks and chooses what parts of scripture he or she accepts. I’m not saying there are none who do this. I am saying it is unfair to say most Christians do this; and it is based on a very self-inflated opinion of one’s own ability to understand the Bible.
It’s been my experience that the cherry-picking compliant comes from those who believe no one could read the Bible and walk away with a different understanding than they have reached. To be clear, I am not saying the Bible means whatever you want it to mean. I am saying the opposite. The Bible has one meaning, and it is possible to misunderstand it. An atheist who complains of Christian cherry picking is often doing exactly what they claim Christians are doing; they are editing the Bible to meet their desires.
The next time a non-believer makes this claim, look at it as a door they’ve opened to discuss scripture. Have them show you the scripture and explain their belief. If they are honest and not simply looking for an argument, you may end up with a chance to share your faith. If it becomes apparent they are not interested in truth, and only want to “win” an argument, do as Matthew 10:14 says and shake the dust off your feet.
What do you think?