2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)I was reading some blog comments the other day about Christianity and homosexuality. One of the comments in support of accepting the homosexual lifestyle as an acceptable Christian lifestyle was that Jesus never condemned homosexual behavior in the Gospels. The point being made was that since Jesus was silent on the issue, this overrides whatever may have been stated in the Old Testament or in Paul's Epistles.
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righ teousness,
I've seen this logic used more than once and it's been gnawing at me for the last couple of weeks. I think what bothers me so much about this errant view of the Bible is that I've used this logic myself in the past to justify my own sins. It's a favorite practice of Christians to lean on the parts of the Bible that agree with our views on life but not on the parts of the Bible that disagree with our own bias.
My point here is not to argue the homosexual issue (I've raised that issue in a couple of other posts and comments if your interested - God Loves Gays, Seinfeld, Comment). I'm not saying that there cannot be strong arguments on both sides of a particular interpretation of scripture. My point here, is that you should not use Jesus' silence on an issue in the Gospels to override other biblical principles and truths.
There are probably many positions on the scope of the authority of scripture. For my case against what I am calling "red letter theology" I'll just assume a couple of broad views. One view is that all scripture is the infallible, inerrant word of God. An opposing view would be that the Bible was written by men, highly spiritual men, but men that had a personal and cultural bias included in what they wrote. Therefore, the Bible is not without its faults and is not infallible and inerrant.
If you hold to the first view, then you cannot put more weight on the Gospels and less on the rest of the Bible. It is all God inspired and it is all God's words, whether written in red or black ink. There is a NewTestament covenant that has replaced the Mosaic law. However, we know this because the Bible declares this. Not because there are issues in the Old Testament not addressed in the New Testament.
If Moses said it, God said it. If Paul said it, God said it. If you don't believe this then you have to admit that you do not hold to the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible.
The other broad view is that Bible is holy but not infallible and inerrant. However, even with this view, putting more weight on the Gospels than on other parts of the Bible is not logically sound. The Gospels were not written by Jesus. They were written by men that could have just as much personal and cultural bias in their accounts of what Jesus said as Paul has in his letters.
If you disagree with how a principle discussed in the Bible should be applied in our culture today, then do your homework and pray. God did not intend for His truth to be hidden from those that seek it. However, don't take the lazy way out by declaring everything is good that wasn't explicitly called out as evil by Jesus in the Gospels.
Let's not forget, Jesus made a point about speaking against man-made pharisaic interpretations of the Old Testament. If silence is to be given more weight to a particular view, then the case should be made that silence means agreement, not opposition.