Put Your Scissors Down.
by Alexandra Rutkowski
1820. Thomas Jefferson, a deist, decides that not everything in the New Testament is to his liking. He’s not a fan of all that supernatural mumbo-jumbo. So what does he do? He takes a razor and cuts out everything dealing with the supernatural- miracles, angels, demons, Christ’s identity as the Son of God, the Trinity, and the resurrection, among other things. He pastes excerpts from the Gospels together, creating his own small version of Scripture… or what’s left of it at least. But it’s just what he wanted.
It breaks my heart to read the last verse of his publication: “Now, in the place where he was crucified, there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus. And rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.” And that’s where the story ends. No resurrection. No salvation. No hope for humanity. Just empty.
“He decided that the rules of the club to which he wished to belong were not the rules he wanted to play by. So instead of changing clubs, he changed the rule book by literally cutting and pasting together only the sections that he found relevant to his interpretation.” -Percival Everett
It’s so easy to point a finger and gasp at what he did. How could he touch the word of God like that? Despicable, right? But what’s even worse is that while we’re shocked at what he did, we don’t realize that many of us do the same. We may not take scissors and literally cut the words out, but way too many Christians simply pick and choose what they like from Scripture. When there’s something we stumble upon in the Word that we don’t necessarily like, what do we do? We pick up our metaphorical razors, cut away, and rearrange. We may disagree on the way that Scripture was recorded, but we can all agree on one thing: 2 Timothy 3:16 says that “all Scripture is God-breathed,” unless we want to take that out too. The word of God is sacred. It is the Word of the living God. Who are we to pick and choose what we will believe from it? Once you question or leave out one small thing, that opens up the rest of Scripture to interpretation. If the Creation story is a metaphor, why can’t the resurrection be as well? If you want to take the Holy Spirit out of the equation, why can’t you ignore Jesus’ existence at all? Meanwhile, others just tend to leave out the things that are most convicting. We’re cutting… and pasting… and rearranging. Just like Jefferson.
So put your scissors down.