When Christian author Rachel Held Evans heard about the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn controversy, she was upset because she loves the book so much. How dare people change the book by revising parts they don’t like?!
And what about the House Republicans’ desire to read the Constitution aloud… but only after omitting that whole Three-Fifths Compromise? How dare people change the Constitution by getting rid of the parts that don’t sit well with the public?
That’s when she realized she had been doing the same thing with the Bible:
I was putting together the liturgy for The Mission and decided I wanted to include Psalm 9 in our reading.
Verses 4-6 didn’t sound very Christlike to me, so I whipped out that most venerated weapon in the Bible-reader’s arsenal — the ellipses — and with the precision of an expert, surgically removed them. Our liturgy was tidy and consistent and comfortable again. No one would even notice those three little dots.
It took about 17 seconds for the irony of the situation to settle in.
It raises a lot of questions:
Why is it ok for Christians to effectively ignore books like Leviticus in their Bible studies?
Why don’t pastors ever seem to talk about the rape and murder in the Old Testament?
Why is it ok for Christians to clip out Bible verses they don’t think represent their faith well when preparing a reading?
It’s not like they “sanitize” the Bible for children and then give them the real, full version as adults — the adults ignore the embarrassing parts, too.
If you’re going to be a Christian, you can’t pretend like those verses aren’t there.