How Evangelical Christians Handle Difficult Verses Part 1 By Mike Bugal 6/18/2016 9:00:10 AM While reading my Newsfeed on Facebook the other day I came across this meme titled “10 Biblical Verses That Protestants Cannot Accept (Without Becoming Catholic)” I responded that while this is mostly true it’s not 100% true. The reason it’s not is because it’s inaccurate to consider “Protestants” as a monolith with the same theology and thus the same interpretation of these verses. There is no such thing as “Protestant Theology” due primarily to their false doctrine of Sola Scriptura which has resulted in thousands and thousands of denomination with thousands more just waiting for the right reason to come into existence. In addition, since most Evangelical Christians believe the Bible to be the sole authority on matters of faith and doctrine, they cannot “not accept” these verses. They accept them as part of the Bible, but what they do is pick and choose which verses they will pay attention to and which verses they will ignore… or reinterpret in a way that doesn’t mean what the verses say. So, I thought it would be good for a former Evangelical Christian minister and Apologetics writer to talk about what they actually do with these verses. Matthew 16:18-19 and Isaiah 22:22 These verses in Matthew (and Isaiah’s which they fulfill) are the verses which establish Saint Peter as the rock upon which Christ would establish His Church. What the Evangelical Christians do here is play semantic games with the Greek language. They say that Jesus referred to Peter as a “pebble” and the substantial “rock” that Jesus referred to was not Peter but his profession of faith. It’s only natural that they would do so since those who they follow rebelled against the true Authority of the Church founded by the Lord. These verses have to mean something other than their plain reading or they have no choice but to admit that the Lord Jesus conferred upon Peter the “keys to the Kingdom” as well as the Authority to “bind” or “loose” on Earth to which Heaven will agree. Once they deny Peter, they must also state that the Lord conferred this Authority on all believers and not just Peter. 1 Timothy 3:15 Since they deny the authority of the Church established in the verses in Matthew, they must interpret this verse. This is done by altering the Scriptural view of the Church as both a physical and metaphysical body to make the word mean “the invisible body of believers from all ages and in all places” … in short a strictly spiritual meaning. This, of course, requires ignoring the fact that the Lord established a Church with a hierarchy, that the Apostles maintained that hierarchy in the very first chapter of Acts by selecting Matheus to fill the vacancy created by Judas’ death, and that the New Testament writers spelled out the qualifications for various offices within the hierarchy. The “pillar and ground” to the Evangelical Christian is the shifting sand of an unbiblical doctrine: Sola Scriptura. 2 Thessalonians 2:15 Now this is a verse that is generally skimmed over with no emphasis on the word” tradition” whatsoever. They ignore the fact that Saint Paul clearly says that his teaching is both verbal as well as written. Again, their reliance upon the man-made doctrine of Sola Scriptura requires that sound doctrine only exists in the written word. Of course, that also ignores the fact that there wouldn’t be an established and recognized Canon of Scripture for nearly 300 years after Saint Paul penned these words. In short, there was no “scriptura” to be “sola”. Sacred Tradition is all there was until the Canon was established and, in reality, not until Saint Jerome’s Latin Vulgate… the first Bible. 1 Peter 3:21 What happens to this verse varies in Evangelical Christianity depending on the person’s denomination and theological viewpoint. The majority of what is called “mainline evangelical denominations” hold that baptism is an optional ritual which would be nice if the person would do it, but has no importance whatsoever. Certain others say that it is important as an “act of obedience” but utterly meaningless as far as salvation is concerned. There are, however, some who “accurately handle the Word of Truth” as Saint Paul says, and believe that baptism is a required part of the “plan of salvation”. I wrote a series of articles on this subject and Part 1 deals specifically with this verse. John 20:23 I experienced a prime example of what happens to this verse in the mind of many Evangelical Christians shortly after I reverted to the Church in 2012. I was driving truck over the road in the United States (the last of many occupations I held during my working life) and was at a Petro Truck Stop in Kingdom City, Missouri. There was another truck driver that I was talking to about the things of the Lord. Everything was okay until I mentioned that I had recently reverted. You would have thought I had just told her I had become a Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness. She was dumb founded and asked the question every Apologetics teacher loves to hear: “Why!!” I began sharing with her what I not only found from my studies of extra biblical sources, but also the biblical support. I told her that the Lord had given the power to the Apostles to forgive sin. Her response was complete denial. I told her to read this verse and she literally ran away saying “I don’t want to hear anymore.” (a similar experience to what happened just the other day on Facebook). In short, this verse is generally ignored and unless the person is a good student of the Scriptures and reads it themselves, they may never know it’s there. No preacher or teacher that I know of within Evangelical Christianity would touch it. In Part 2 we’ll look at the remaining 5 verses.