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A couple of people have asked me to comment on a recent viral video from the Netherlands called the Holy Quran Experiment, in which two guys read violent, scandalous passages from what they claim to be the Quran to people on the street and ask them to comment and compare it with the Bible. The respondents say that it’s horrible and that the Bible is much more peaceful, and then comes the reveal – the book they’ve read from is the Bible!
The video has become popular both among those who want to combat islamophobia and think that people are hypocritical to how they view their own religious heritage compared to others, and among people who think that all religions are stupid and inspire violence and bad values.
Now, as an apostolic Christian I’m the first to say that there are commands and descriptions of practices in the Bible that no one should follow today, such as the violent punishments in the Old Testament. And it is indeed the Old Testament that the Dutch guys read from, with one exception: Paul’s statement in 1 Tim 2:12 on how women shouldn’t teach, a command most Protestant churches today would say is culturally bound (women had hardly any access to education in ancient times, and most couldn’t read). (more…)
To read other parts of the series, go here.
“What about king David?” people ask me when we debate whether a Christian should be rich or not. David was a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22) who clearly loved and feared the Lord, and yet he was very rich. Same thing is true for many believers in the Old Testament – kings like Solomon or Hezekiah as well as landlords as Abraham and Job. They believed in God, and still were rich.
However, we must remember that just because you are a believer, all your actions do not necessarily reflect the will of God. The only person in the Bible that we know lived a totally holy life is Jesus Christ. But when it comes to Abraham for example, he had married his sister. Should we use that as an argument for us to do the same?
Likewise, when it comes to David and Solomon, they lived in polygamy. We know however that Scripture condemns polygamy in other places. And interestingly enough, the same Bible verse that forbids Old Testament kings to take several wives also tells them not to accumulate wealth. This verse is not so famous, but is is a clear debunking of the “what about king David”argument. In Deutoronomy 17, God speaks of the lifestyle of the future king of Israel. Among other things, He says:
He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold. (Deut 17:17)