It doesn’t take long in discussions with Christians (or atheists for that matter) on blogs or forums to witness this strategy. I like to call it the pile on, but an arms race seems to fit the bill as well.
The definition of this tactic is to provide multiple Biblical texts, in rapid fire style, so as to make responding to them difficult, if not impossible, in a coherent matter:
I think that when we start counting verses against someone or in support of our idea it can become like a Bible Verse Arms Race. Instead of collecting nukes like two enemies at war, we gather verses to fire over at people that disagree with us. (The Bible is one of the most important things in my life and I’m by no means saying, “don’t use it with God to set the course for your life.”)
The author then goes on, satirically, to suggest some point totals for the different source of the quotes1, but if this is what Christianity has been reduced to we’ve truly lost something.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have “proof texts” or a Biblical backing for our theology. What I’m saying is that if the sum total of our argument consists of creating the equivalent of verse WMD I think we’ve missed the whole point.
The Bible’s main focus is teach that men are sinners and that by Jesus’ death on the cross we can be saved and live a life for Him. Yes, we need to learn how to live this life– to learn God’s likes and dislikes– but the core of Romans 14’s teaching is that we’re to be concerned about our heart attitude in what we do more than we are to be concerned with what we do.
It doesn’t give us a blanket check to sin, but it does tell us that glorifying God is to be a higher aim than winning an argument. And if our argument does damage to a brother in the process, we have really lost rather than won.
- And I recommend you read it because it’s good for a laugh