He said WHAT? (or, another good reason to know the Bible)
If anyone ever asks me what “kind” of a Christian I am, I sort of mumble, “born again, Bible-believing” and my voice tails off from there. Some might understand if I say “Pentecostal” (which would be accurate), but beyond that, as my profile says, I can’t be pigeon-holed.
The thing is, I do believe the Bible. I’ve read it through a few times now, and the more I read it, the more I believe. And the more I read it, the more I wish everyone would. It would give a whole lot of encouragement in a world where encouragement is in short supply. It would also save a whole lot of heartache and headache and misconceptions, especially when it comes to politics.
I was reminded of this one-person mission of mine when I read a piece in the New York Times about Fox News commentator Sean Hannity, who’s regarded as a serious apologist for President Trump. The article said Hannity had waved off the revelation about the then-candidate’s attitudes towards women by saying, “King David had 500 concubines, for crying out loud!”
Well, no. We know David had quite a few wives, but the Bible doesn’t put a number on it. King Solomon was the one whose wives and concubines were numbered: 700 wives and 300 concubines.
Another quasi-Biblical “defense” came last month, the Attorney-General for the State of Alabama addressed the allegations against Senate candidate Roy Moore by saying that Joseph was considerably older than Mary. Apparently, he considered that to be Biblical justification for child-molestation.
Aside from jumping into the running for the “Asinine Remark of the Year” Award and possibly getting a memo saying, “Don’t help me. Thx. Roy.”, it’s worth pointing out that this remark has no Scriptural basis. Historians have conjectured, based on the culture of the time, that there may have been a major age difference, but nowhere in the Gospels will you find that there was a “September-April” thing going on.
Sadly, there are very likely some fine, Bible-toting, church-going people who would listen to these comments and nod sagely, as if the commenter had not only defended “their guy”, but had God on his side in doing so. And if they had put aside their personal biases and opened their minds and their Bibles, they would have known that both remarks are a pile of navel lint.
Does Hannity’s slip amount to much? You could say that he meant to say “Solomon,” but got mixed-up in the heat of the moment; besides, in the overall scheme of things, what difference does it make if you’re out by a few hundred female companions?
Well, as a former reporter, I can tell you that being inaccurate in one fact, however minor, throws your whole thesis into doubt. And when you’re talking about a Biblical fact that a lot of people would know, like the matter of who had hundreds of wives and concubines, it suggests to me that he was going on what someone else had told him the Bible said and hadn’t actually read that part of it.
A lot of people do that, and that can be dangerous.
This is why I say it’s important for people to read the Bible. They don’t have to believe it (although I personally can’t see how anyone wouldn’t, once they’ve read it), but at least, if they reject it, they’d know what they’re rejecting. Also, they would avoid being hoodwinked by people who claim to be speaking from a position of Biblical knowledge but are only taking things out of context or (worse) making up stuff that sounds holy and righteous.
Like it or not, the Bible still informs much of the philosophy and politics of our time, and you’ll be surprised — as I was — at how much of today’s events have been foretold. One owes it to oneself to find out what it really says.
God gave us His word for many reasons, one of which was to make sure we don’t get fooled.