One of the many wonderful aspects of the Bible is that it can be interpreted in countless ways.
My understanding of the Bible I’ve read since childhood is that no one is entirely right or entirely wrong … if they believe in what they are interpreting.
So, when a preacher says that the Bible gives the president of the United States all the authority he needs to blow another nation to bits, well, that’s the preacher’s belief. It doesn’t have to be mine.
The Rev. Robert Jeffress is an avid Donald Trump supporter who went on “Fox and Friends” — the president’s favorite TV show — to proclaim that Romans 13 gives the president justification for attacking North Korea in the wake of that country’s threats to the United States.
I looked up Romans 13 in the Bible on my desk. I scoured through it and I don’t read anything of the sort. Then again, I’m not a biblical scholar. I’ll give Jeffress credit for studying the Bible more than I have. But as I noted already, we ultimately are left to our own value systems to interpret words written thousands of years ago. Believers can differ in their understanding of the holy word.
Some of them take the words literally; others — such as yours truly — take a more interpretive view of its contents. I won’t challenge Rev. Jeffress’s faith. I’ll just stand by a different view of the Bible’s contents.
The Bible I’ve read tells me Jesus Christ preached love and tolerance. I don’t know where he says it’s all right to destroy thousands of human lives because of a political dispute.
Is it in there? Somewhere? I don’t believe it is.