Are you a Cafeteria Style Christian?

it depends...

using scripture right

The expression "Cafeteria Style Christian" is generally used as a derogatory term for people who pick and chose their favourite passages from the Bible and discard the rest.


The words of the bible are indeed powerful, and throughout history have been quoted many times to inspire and rouse people to great deeds and actions.

They can also be used wrong. A classic example is where the Devil tried to use scripture to tempt Jesus (Mat.4:6) - only Jesus countered with a more appropriate bible passage (Mat.4:7).

If you know the bible well enough you can justify just about anything: slavery, war, discrimination, elitism, mutilation, greed, self-indulgence - whatever you want to argue. Here are some examples...

Slavery and servitude: Col.4:1 Psalm 2:11

War: Dt.21:10, 1Tim.1:18

Discrimination and elitism: Dt.7:6 Dan.1:20

Mutilation: Mark 9:43,45

Self-indulgence: Ecc. 2:24

Do I need to go on?

You can really make a mess when saying, "Well, the good book says..." - That's of course the wrong way to use the bible.

Others say you have to balance scripture with scripture in order to come to a full understanding.

And then of course there are those who hold every word of the bible to be holy and inerrant, which is a difficult position to maintain.

I think the Lord has a sense of humor. He surprised me recently when I believe He told me, "You can use the Bible as a cafeteria, I don't mind!" That was kind of a new thought for me. Call me a heretic but in that sense you could call me a cafeteria style Christian - ha!

It often happens when I am seeking the Lord for an answer to my personal situation, He bring a passage of scripture to mind that is like a key to unlock the door to the answer I am seeking. If you take the whole passage where that scripture is found it may have a completely different meaning, but the Lord uses those few words as the answer to my question.

Come to think of it, it doesn't even have to be something from the bible, the Lord can use anything you have seen or read, that is stored in your memory, and use it to answer your questions. He'll work with what's at hand if you are in the spirit and your motives are right.

So there you have it - a new definition of a Cafeteria Style Christian :-)


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