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Why Do Unbelievers Bother Distorting the Bible?

03-21-2021
CNN anchor Don Lemon (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
CNN anchor Don Lemon (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)

God is not about hindering people or even judging people.”

This was CNN host Don Lemon’s response on The View when asked about the Vatican declaring same-sex marriages couldn’t be blessed because it’s a sin. Clearly, there are huge theological problems with that sentiment – I’ll address those briefly since they’re rather clear.

What I’m more interested in is the desire for people to mischaracterize who God is and what the Bible really says. If Lemon is not a believer, then why does it matter to him what the Bible says? If he is a believer, why cling to a version of God clearly not present in the Bible?

Here are Lemon’s comments, made on The View while promoting his book:

First and foremost, of course, Lemon’s ideas on Christianity are substantially off-base. I suspect most of you already are aware that yes, God is indeed a judge. And as for the “hindering” comment, I’d just have Mr. Lemon refer to the book of Genesis when God floods the entire earth because everyone acted wickedly 24/7. If a devastating flood that kills every living thing on earth sans what hopped on Noah’s ark isn’t “hindering” in the affairs of man, I don’t know what is.

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The entire reason Christ went to the cross was precisely because sinners were destined for eternal judgment, for all have sinned and the wages of sin is death. This is why we celebrate, worship, and praise Jesus – because he took our rightful place on the cross and endured the punishment we deserved. God’s wrath, or judgment, was poured out.

You don’t have to look long to find evidence in the Bible that God is indeed a judge.

  • “Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” – Genesis 18:25
  • “The Lord will judge the ends of the earth” – 1 Samuel 2:10
  • “Can anyone teach God knowledge, In that He judges those on high?” – Job 21:22
  • “The Lord judges the peoples” – Psalm 7:8
  • “God is a righteous Judge” – Psalm 7:11
  • “God is the Judge” – Psalm 75:7
  • “For the Lord will judge His people” – Psalm 135:14
  • “For the Lord is our Judge” – Isaiah 33:22
  • “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” – John 3:18
  • “He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” – Acts 17:31
  • “Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead” – 2 Timothy 4:1

These are just a smattering of the plentiful verses throughout both the Old and New Testament testifying to the fact that God is indeed a judge. So, yes, as many others have pointed out – Lemon is quite incorrect when talking about the nature of God and his purposes through His creation.

What’s interesting to me, however, more so than just a severely flawed basic understanding of Christian beliefs, is the fact that he is firmly tethered to this newly invented version of God – and quite comfortable describing Him publicly in this way.

We’ve seen more of this type of man-centered, modern theology purporting to be Christian confidently presenting itself with increased frequency. For example, an openly gay “pastor” recently went viral for claiming Jesus was a racist who later “repented” of his alleged “sin.” This person with the title ‘pastor’ took the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lived a perfect and sinless life and sacrificed Himself on the cross for His people, and reduced him to just another sinner in need of saving. It’s quite difficult to imagine anyone preaching a message like that truly believes what they are saying. The gap between reality and this woke-goggled version of events could span entire galaxies. Why would anyone worship someone like that? What would be the point of Christianity if Jesus is unable to save?

There are major issues with Lemon’s position whether he claims to be a believer or not. If he is a believer, for the reasons stated above, it is problematic. Lemon has said in the past it’s “naive” and “dangerous” to believe the Bible is the literal, inerrant, Word of God. Those whose political views and lifestyles find themselves at odds with Scripture often land in a similar place. Arriving at a fork in the road, they must choose – my sin, my life, my way, my politics – or the God of the Bible. Sadly, it is becoming all too common to see ‘pastors’ and others choose their sin and their way over God’s way.

Perhaps even more perplexing is the unbeliever who continues to be committed to distorting and twisting Scripture. Once someone leaves the faith, there is no logical reason to distort what’s in the Bible. Yet, despite the abandonment of adherence to anything remotely resembling a Christian worldview, many like Lemon still feel the need to convince others of something the Bible definitely does not say.

This could be explained by Romans 1:18-19, that men know the truth of God and are without excuse and suppress the truth in unrighteousness. They cling to their sin and desperately try to bend and mold and twist and shape the Bible to fit their current lifestyle so they don’t have to change.

Whatever the specific reason, this phenomenon can only be either a) ignorance or b) a willful and sinful desire to lead others astray.

If Lemon’s distortion is due to ignorance, I pray he has seen one of the many posts – such as this – that have tried to point him in the right direction about who God is and who he isn’t.

If his distortion is intentional and knowing, I pray for those who may be tempted and swayed by his false teaching. That they may know the Bible is the Holy, inspired, infallible Word of God, and not be drawn into a life of sin and rebellion.

I also pray for those who find themselves at that fork in the road, at that very moment the Bible confronts us in our sin – and trust me, it will do that. I pray they cry out to God at that moment with all that is in them, and choose the path that leads to life.

The Bible is not some book of handy life-hacks to take or leave whenever you feel like it. It is God’s special revelation for His people in written form. It’s the way God chose to communicate with us – and “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

Those, like Lemon, who proclaim to pride themselves on being intellectual, should go to greater lengths to understand the position of others before going on national television and misrepresenting them. Especially someone in news. If they can botch something as basic as the core beliefs of Christianity, what are we to make of all the other news of the day they cover?

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