Throughout the centuries misunderstanding scripture has caused mental and physical pain.

17th November 2017
Chalke Talk 3: Bad theology costs lives

“Bad theology costs lives” argues Steve in the third instalment of ‘Chalke Talk.’  From Luther and his persecution of the Jews, to the Church’s relatively recent poor treatment of unmarried mothers and divorced people, misunderstanding Scripture can lead to mental and physical wellbeing being seriously undermined.

Chalke Talk 3: Bad theology costs lives 17.11.17 from Open Church network on Vimeo.

However, in the video Steve suggests that in any issue or decision, we should be guided by the bigger Biblical principle that God is love.  Anything that alienates, hurts people and causes harm cannot be from God.

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You make some good points here which should keep us on our guard about the way in which we use the scriptures.

But there is another perspective we need to consider. What if the message of Jesus which we proclaim "alienates," "hurts" or "offends" people? Jesus warned his disciples that they would experience hatred, rejection and even death on account of preaching the gospel. The fact that Jesus himself was put to death only proves the point that his message alienated and hurt people.

I imagine, for example, that Jesus' sexual ethics would alienate most young people because it would deny them the right to have sexual relations outside marriage.

In short, if we preach Christ crucified we are bound to hurt and alienate people. I'm not sure you address this point.

Yes, Jesus upset a lot of people, including his own disciples at times. The gospel of grace is not simply about saying people can do whatever they want. Love is not love if it does not point out that suffering can be prevented as well as alleviated. Sin causes hurt and pain whether to ourselves or others. Only Jesus offers a solution. Yes, we should share God's love with broken people and go about doing good as Jesus did. But there is far more to the gospel than "God is love". That prompts the question, "How can I know the God who is love?"

Wow! A church leader who tells it like it is. How refreshing... "Bad theology costs lives" and begins with people listening to church leaders rather than questioning what they preach and checking it out for themselves though.

If we want a good understanding of Jesus' teachings we certainly need to use "God is love" (1 John 4:16) as a measure of our theology.  

Would a God of love call us to hatred and conflict with one another? Would a God of love torment people for an eternity in a firey hell? Would a God of love allow the suffering and death of hundreds of millions of people just because one man and his wife ate a forbidden fruit? 

Surely a God of love would find a much better way than that and open peoples hearts and minds to a better understanding of Him rather than threatening unbelievers with death and eternal torment.

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