Our 3 year old grandson, Samuel, was instructed by his mother to put on his pajamas. Samuel grabbed what he had worn the night before. However, his mother said that he shouldn’t because he had spilled water on them earlier and they were wet. Samuel responded by saying, “The Bible says they are not wet.”
Ignoring some of the issues, in a way, I like his approach. Samuel is already banking on the authority of the Scripture and applying it to real life situations. I really wish that many young people today would trust in the authority of the Bible instead of taking the words of friends and teachers above God’s Word. This is especially true regarding moral choices and evolution as well.
Of course, my 3 year old grandson’s “standing on the Word” also illustrates that Christians need to read and study the Bible to adequately wield it in a discussion. Some atheists know the Bible (at least select parts of it) better than many Christians. Sometimes un-prepared Christians find themselves in trouble rather than being “salt and light.”
When we speak at the universities, we frequently find atheists who defend their position by telling us what the Bible says. Many times, they do one of 3 things: misquote the Bible, take the passage out of context, or simply pull something out of thin air.
Although we have heard many arguments utilizing the first two items, we had a very vocal atheist student state why he can’t believe the Bible. He said, “It’s because the Bible says the earth rests on the backs of two turtles.” Of, course, we asked him to show us where it says that in the Bible (It doesn’t.)
So just like this atheist’s appealing to the authority of Scripture (falsely), or with Samuel’s attempt, we must be on our toes! The only way to do that is to know what the Bible actually says first.
I also like to try to figure out how the person got what they say. For the atheist, perhaps he was mixing up eastern mystic religions with Biblical thought. One religion does teach the 2-turtle idea. But where could Samuel have gotten the idea that the Bible says his pajamas were not wet? Perhaps it’s just a 3 year old way to not obey and instead do what he wants. Who can fathom the mind of a 3 year old? Perhaps he heard in Sunday school, or someplace else, the story of Gideon putting out a fleece (Judges 6: 36-40). Yes, one day the fleece was perfectly dry. Since Samuel had ‘fleece” pajamas, in the 3-year old mind, it could all make sense!
Now you know why we tell students, “Context, context, context! Study the full council of God’s Word.”
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