During last Thursday’s debate Jeanette Rishell referenced the Holy Bible in order to support her policy positions. I was pretty shocked by this, as the context she used made the Bible seem more like it’s a social manifesto of one of the “three Abrahamic faith traditions” rather than the sacred text of the inspired Word of God. It’s bothered me terribly all this week, and I’ve pondered, reflected and prayed about what to say about this ever since. While I can crank out a response to a political question pretty quickly, when the matter is this utterly serious it’s a challenge to come to terms with the proper way to address this. Hopefully after all this reflection I have.
Why is this episode so bothersome? Ms. Rishell threw out these references pretty casually, and quoted Book and Chapter only (specifically Leviticus 3 and Matthew 25) which is rather unusual. Devoid of any context about why these passages were important, and what we are to learn from these parts of the Bible I looked these up as soon as I could, especially since Leviticus is very infrequently referenced and I wasn’t familiar with this passage. I was then shocked to discover that it appears that these two passages were selected entirely at random, have no relation to each other, and have nothing at all to do with what Jeanette Rishell was speaking about at the time. To me, it clearly was an attempt by a candidate to appear more informed and introspective than she really was, and her convenient weapon to wield at the time was her rather poor grasp of the Holy Bible and it’s message of salvation.
The Bible is not simply some ancient piece of literature to many of us. It serves a clear and distinct purpose, which is described in John 20:31:
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
What I learned when I went to the passages Jeanette Rishell quoted was that the first several chapters of Leviticus describe in great detail the rules God gave to Moses regarding the proper method of sacrificing animals. To Christians (Jews also regard this text as sacred, but have a different understanding of it’s meaning) these books show how hugely significant the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was, and these chapters presage this sacrifice for us. Chapter 25 of Matthew talks to us about the end times using three parables, and shows us how vitally important it is for us to be ready as the end of the world can come at any time. I invite readers familiar with the Bible to read these passages, especially those from Matthew in order to strengthen their faith and more closely follow God’s law. For readers less familiar with the Bible it’s probably wiser to start with passages which are easier to understand, such as John 1:1-18. That passage is pretty short, very meaningful, and doesn’t require much in the way of context outside of the passage.
I urge Ms. Rishell to display more discretion and not use the Bible in a manner inconsistent with it’s purpose and teachings. Perverting God’s word is a serious sin, and setting aside my political differences with her, I do not wish to see her sin and suffer the consequences which result. Ms. Rishell, I hope you come to grasp the true meaning of the Bible, it’s message of salvation, obtain forgiveness for your sins as I have for mine, and experience the same joy which this has provided to me. I may not want to see you elected, but I do hope and pray that you will be saved.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.
You can follow the discussion through the Comments feed.