The term cherry picking is about picking and choosing what is convenient. Specifically about Christianity, it is a concept of selective verse picking, in order to sell an idea or concept. Many years ago, when I was still friendly towards Christianity, I found myself in situations where I attempted to sway a racist christian, only to be told I was “cherry picking the bible.” From my perspective, the racist was cherry picking the bible.
The Christian Racist
It took 10 years of breaking away from the clutches of christianity, to see the bible for what it is. It’s a book of inconsistencies and opposing dogma. The racist christian, such as my 2nd oldest brother, will cherry pick a flavor of the faith. They start with the old testament, where slavery wasn’t illegal, and allowable under the judeo christian god. Then they jump into the new testament, and point out that jesus never spoke against the political use of slaves. Finally, they end with Ephesians 6:5 that says, “Slaves obey your masters…”
Sidenote: In 2019, that verse was the last page of the bible I burned. I saved it for last. I spit on the page in blasphemous rage and burned it, offering the ashes to my freedom – for I am no slave.
The Loving Christian
To counter the racist christian, the so-called ‘loving christian’ will point out the verses about loving one’s enemies, caring for those who abuse or use them. They point out the long suffering nature of god and so on.
The Political Christian
Political christians are all the rage these days. Consider how one political group of christians in the GOP began citing 2nd Thessalonians 3:10, “If a man doesn’t work, neither shall he eat,” as a reference to end Welfare programs and even in some cases (such as Ft. Lauderdale) to outlaw feeding the homeless.
Yet another political christian group espouses the opposite! Consider how they quote Matthew 25:31-40. The passage is Jesus instructing people to feed, clothe and invite the stranger in. The quote says that when we feed the least of society, it as though we feed Jesus himself. Refusing to feed (or invite the stranger in) the hungry, Jesus said, will cast a person into hell.
Two opposing ideas here. One from the New Testament directing against the feeding of the hungry, and the other from the same New Testament, directing for the feeding of the hungry.
Core Christian Cherry Picking
The core foundation of Christian is itself Cherry picked!
Jesus as a savior dying for your sins, is a stream of cherry picked verses in the old testament, supposedly predicting the messiah image of Jesus.
Consider that in Genesis 6:6-7, god (who is described as being eternal, having the same ideals yesterday, today and forever) is stated to regret making mankind. Meaning, god regretted you, me and every other human since the dawn of time. It reads there, that god was about to destroy all life in his emotional regret.
Yet in John 3:16 it reads that “god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…”
Which is right? Did god (in Genesis) really want to kill all beings on earth? Or was god loving towards humanity, and giving his own son? It’s up to the believer to pick and chose, and given the choice a believer will pick the latter message.
Burn the Book
If the bible can’t have a consistent message, if it can be used by a sexual predator to defend rape, a mob to defend vigilante justice, if it can be used by law makers to law the feeding of the homeless, if it can be used as a tool to encourage more war… then what good is it?
Don’t give the “read only the teachings of Jesus” argument. These other passages are in your same book. For every kind christian, there’s a hundred more intolerant ones, just waiting to harm and hurt others.
As the book can be twisted towards any dogma, political creed imaginable… it shows the weaknesses of the faith. It is diluted. A socialist and a fascist can both quote the same book as the core of their founding principals.
Face it, the bible is a book of every avarice or kind thought possible. You get to pick and choose what you want the bible to reflect, and then call that your faith. In reality it’s just a cherry picked doctrine.
It’s time we move past the bible. It can not meet the needs of the Individual, let alone a complex society, since it can be anything to anyone. Search your faith, divorce yourself from emotionalism, and decide on your bible… potentially burn your own bible, or in the least, walk away from it.