Welcome to Fundagelical Scripture Twisting 101! You might want to take a few notes so you too can avoid doing all those pesky things Jesus taught.
Let’s start with love. That whole love your neighbor, love your enemy thing can be very inconvenient. You might have to buy a meal for a hungry person or give equal rights to a Homosexual. Fundagelicals know they are supposed to love; it’s in red letters in their Bible. However, with just a tiny bit of twisting and redefinition, you too can avoid actually loving anyone.
Let’s tackle that helping a needy person first. Yes, Jesus told us to love our neighbor. He even has that whole sheep and goats story. However, is helping a person really the loving thing to do? Fundagelicals tell you that “The Bible says it; I believe it; that settles it.” Remember that only applies to other people. When it comes to things you don’t want to do, it’s more “The Bible says it; I have to re-interpret it; now I don’t have to do it.” Fundagelicals would gladly feed a hungry person but, by feeding them, they would actually harm them. The reason that person is hungry is that they have been irresponsible or a sinner. They have squandered their money (Bad stewardship), or they have spent it on drugs or alcohol. (SIN!) If I feed them, then I am helping support their bad habits and sinful lifestyle. If I feed them, I will enable them to keep on sinning. Helping would harm them. That’s unloving. We can’t have that. Remember kids; it’s best to leave the hungry – – – hungry.
See how easy it is? With just a little bit of creativity, you can judge someone’s imaginary sins without knowing them and avoid having to actually do what Jesus teaches.
Equal rights for homosexuals are easy to avoid. Remember they are sinners. I know some people say it isn’t a sin, that’s because they aren’t using a “plain reading” of the Bible. We won’t have any of that. Except of course loving people needs a little nuance work. Remember when it comes to homosexuals, you love the sinner, not the sin. You aren’t discriminating against them – – – you are preventing sin. If you take away the civil right of marriage to gay people, you just prevented a sin. Forget that whole “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” thing, stopping sin overrides that. It’s not oppression of civil rights; it’s holiness. See it’s so easy!
Now it does get a little tricky with that James passage. “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:15-17 NIV) Did you notice the question in there? “What good is it?” That’s the out. I can answer that: the good is that I prevented the possibility of sin. My faith isn’t dead; I acted: I encouraged holiness. A good Fundagelical can always choose holiness over love even when the holiness is questionable. It’s better to err on the side of legalism than encourage possible sin with grace. Promoting holiness can get you out of almost anything you don’t want to do. The best part, holiness doesn’t apply to you; you aren’t perfect, just forgiven.