Have you ever heard of the term Loophole Christians. You know, Christians who use the bible to justify their position rather than adjusting their position based upon the bible. I watched a video by Andy Stanley of Northpoint Church talking about loophole Christians.
He said that we use one part of a verse to support our desires and leave off the second part or a follow-up verse. We take two different passages in the bible that aren’t even related and splice them together to give us comfort or confidence in some position or other. We take God’s Word out of context or follow the rules without looking at God’s intent of the law.
We all do it. Even as I listened to the video and thought of all of the examples of everyone else doing it, I know that I too do the same.
Not on purpose. Of course not. Unfortunately the video didn’t distinguish between On-Purpose Loophole Christians and On-Accident Loophole Christians.
The Two Greatest Commandments
The Word of God is pretty expansive and their is so much that is just out of our grasp of understanding. Theologians dedicate their lives to studying God’s Word, yet they amazingly don’t all come to a consensus.
So, I comfort myself that it is pretty hard to get it all right and in total context.
Thankfully, God realized our limitation and tried to help us. Jesus came and through His sacrifice, simplified things. He gave us a clean slate to all of our sin and law breaking. It wasn’t a do over to just go on our merry way and sin some more. That wasn’t His intent. However, I think He realized it was all a stretch for us and so He tried to give us the heart of the law rather than focus on the letter of the law.
For me these verses actually simplify things. In Matthew 22:34-38:
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
It’s really quite unbelievable because if we follow these two commandments, the heart of God’s desire for us is fully covered. I don’t think that anyone would try to argue that having an affair was loving others as yourself. We don’t tend to steal from, lie to or covet to show our love for others. And, if we are idolizing our wealth, a hobby or talent, or right out obsessing over something in this world, we are not doing a good job of loving God with all of our heart, soul and mind.
The Heart is at the Heart of Faith
Back to the loophole Christians. He made it pretty simple. He wants our hearts and if our hearts are His we are going to love Him and love others.
Therefore we don’t need to manipulate scripture to justify our own position. We don’t need to search the topical index or keyword search in the Bible to find a passage or verse to support our opinion.
We just do what He says. We love Him. We love others. We do these first and foremost and all of the rest begins to fall into place.
It may be hard to do, but it isn’t hard to understand. And there isn’t a loophole. We need to quit looking for them.
And as we try to follow Jesus greatest commandments, be thankful for His grace and mercy, because even these, we won’t get right all of the time.
But rather than putting all of the effort out to find the loopholes, I am going to take that energy and follow Him.