I’m sorry, folks. I know you have a lot of nostalgia for Friends, but if you really believe the Bible, then you will cancel your Hulu subscription right away! You may not be aware, and I’m sure God will be gracious towards your ignorance, but Jennifer Aniston is not to be trusted!
You see, the Bible is plain: “One of them, a prophet of their own, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.’ This testimony is true!” (Titus 1:12-13). Unfortunately for Friends fans everywhere, Jennifer Aniston is the daughter of John Aniston who was born on the island of Crete. Readers will be shocked to learn that his name isn’t John; it is actually Γιάννης Αναστασάκη. I don’t know what that means, but according to Paul, we probably shouldn’t trust it!
After all, when the Bible says that Cretans are always liars, that settles it!
So, do you want to support the daughter of a lying, evil, glutton? I shouldn’t think so!
Alright, alright, I’m done messing around, but hopefully you get my point. We have to use a little bit of wisdom when reading the Bible. This may seem obvious in this example. After all, among these lying, evil gluttons were also men who were dignified and had self-control (Titus 2:2). So you don’t have to burn your anniversary edition DVDs and hoodies quite yet. But it does teach us a valuable lesson: just because someone quotes the Bible verbatim does not mean the passage is being used as it was originally intended.
I’ve seen a meme floating around which pokes fun at “progressive” Christians, which is about as undefinable of a group as you can find since the term is so subjective (same with “conservative” or “liberal” Christians). This meme said that when someone quotes a Bible verse, progressives say “Well, that’s a little extreme!”
But this passage from Titus applied in my silly example shows why this meme is a bit unfair, as all stereotypical statements are in one way or another. When one reacts to the Bible in this way, they may not be reacting to the Bible itself but to how that passage is typically applied.
Now, I understand I’m doing the same thing to the meme that I did to Paul in my caricature, but I know some really do believe that about those with whom they disagree: “they just don’t believe the Bible.” For example, several weeks ago I visited with one Christian man who has served the Lord for many years, but commenting on another brother in Christ, he was sure that the other fellow didn’t believe the Bible. Why? Because of a disagreement over head coverings!
“But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for it is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved.”
“That’s bit extreme!” Many “conservative” Christians say today. But are they reacting to the passage or to the interpretation of the passage they are used to hearing?
May we have the wisdom to use wisdom when reading the epistles and dealing with those with whom we disagree. May we use wisdom when quoting Scripture because even Satan knew how to quote the Bible out of context.