Pick up your Bible again

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Akilah Holder is an author and social commentator who resides in Trinidad and Tobago. She is a former journalist and a former adjunct lecturer of political science. She also has a blog which can be read at akilahholder.blogspot.com

By Akilah Holder

Colin Robinson…well I almost died with laughter about two Sundays ago when I put on my laptop, visited the Trinidad Newsday’s webpage to read the latest news and columns when I saw Robinson’s column…Well yes, I “coulda” dead.  “Ah coulda” dead because it seems to me like someone stepped on Robinson’s corn.

According to Robinson, head of the Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation (CAISO) in Trinidad and Tobago, in his latest Sunday column in the Trinidad Newsday, Pick Up Your Bible, I made him pick up his Bible.  Well amen. Unfortunately, it was to no avail, since he came to an erroneous conclusion, as is usual with his kind.

But yes, according to him, I made him pick up his Bible. Interestingly, though, it wasn’t one of my columns or letters that led him to pick up his Bible, but a media statement issued by the Trinidad and Tobago Council of Evangelical Churches lauding marriage as the only legitimate intimate relationship.  He singled me out for the obvious reason, the fact that I have been an outspoken opponent in my own writings of the LGBTQIA movement.

So, to be clear, the council’s statement made him pick up his Bible.

Of greater concern to me, however, is his misrepresentation of the Bible, by pointing to the fact that it contains many sinful stories and by using that to discredit Genesis 2:24 and by extension, the rest of the Bible; and his comparison of the call of Christian’s for all to abide by the word of God to Islamic Jihad.

Let’s begin with the sinful stories. He writes, “The Pentateuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy, the five opening books of the Christian Bible, I’m supposed to say politically correctly) is chock full of the most salacious, violent and nasty practices and prescriptions, often towards women – because, of course, it was written literally 26 centuries ago, and describes lives and events going way further back. The stuff in there is, bluntly, primitive.

“There’s probably nothing besides that one half-a-verse that suggests heterosexual monogamy as a Christian tenet. I mean, all the Old Testament folk are polygamous, for a start.”

In other words, because several Israelite men engaged in polygamy, monogamous marriage is not the only legitimate form of an intimate relationship, and Christians are grossly misled if they believe that.

However, people doing bad things in the Bible, which is essentially the logic of Robinson, does not mean that those things are okay and do not countermand God’s original edict.  If Genesis 2:24 states that monogamous marriage is the only legitimate form of an intimate relationship, then so it is.

What Robinson and other secularists fail to consider (and sometimes I think deliberately so), is the fact that polygamous marriages came about after the fall of man. In the Garden of Eden, that was not God’s original design. Admittedly, though, God allowed polygamy once his people began to engage in it, though it went against his commandment; but not because he approved of it, but because of their hard hearts.

Renowned American pastor, John Piper, explains on desiringgod.org that, “When Jesus dealt with divorce and showed how the Pharisees were getting divorces when they shouldn’t even though it was permitted in the Old Testament he showed us in his response a way to understand why polygamy was also permitted and yet is now forbidden.

Here is what he said: ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?  So, they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” And they said, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?’ ‘…Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning, it was not so’ (Matthew 19:4–8).” Piper explains that the same explanation could be given for why God allowed polygamy.

Why didn’t God address it then? Piper clarifies that by the time Jesus came along, “Jewish culture had basically already given it up.”

He continues, that Genesis 4, makes this even clearer.  “Here is what it says in Genesis 4:19: ‘Lamech took two wives,’ — the first time it has ever happened — ‘Lamech said to his wives: ‘Ada and Zillah, hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say: I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me. If Cain’s revenge is sevenfold, then Lamech’s is seventy-sevenfold.’ (Genesis 4:23–24).”  Wicked man, not so?  Piper points out that he made the statement “after saying he took two wives, unlike the others. So, things are getting so bad, people are now multiplying wives.” In the New Testament, however, God raised the standard, as Piper notes.  He went back to his original design.

On the topic of Christians advocating that all adopt Christian virtues as Islamic Jihad, there is a difference between preaching and violently forcing someone to adopt Christian virtues.  All Christians do, the true ones anyway, speak the truth to lead as many as possible down the right path.

So, Colin Robinson, next time you pick up your Bible, be sure to seek counsel from the Lord, or one of his people, lest you come to the same erroneous conclusions that you came to last.

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