Quite a few Christians don't believe something in The Bible.
Even Christians who say they believe the Bible word-for-word.
To avoid getting off on a tangent arguing which verses we disagree about, let's make up an example that isn't actually in the Bible. How about: "Don't write with green ink." Let's say the Apostle Paul wrote this in III Goofians.
Some readers are going to foreswear green ink because the Bible forbids its use. Some of these foreswearers who are theologians will think up good reasons for the edict: Green represents the deadly sin envy, as in "green with envy," or perhaps the serpent who tempted Eve was a green snake. Others, who are just plain followers of the text (i.e. fundamentalists) simply note that green ink is a sin and avoid it.
Other readers who can't think of any logical reason not to use green ink -- or maybe they just think it's pretty -- will come up with reasons that this passage should be considered in context. Maybe in Paul's day you had to kill a kitten to produce green ink. Since catricide is no longer necessary to the process today, green ink is fine. Or maybe Paul was talking only to the Goofians because that city's culture associated green ink with worshiping false gods. Or maybe Paul never said it at all, and the green ink ban was put in later by makers of red ink who didn't want to change their business model.
Whatever the case, the disagreement brings about the creation of several churches based on either believing in or not believing in the green ink ban. Also, a publisher will get four theologians to contribute to a book titled "Four Views of Green Ink" in which this one verse of Scripture is dissected ad nauseam.
Then there's the whole loophole of writing in yellow, then tracing over it with blue. Is this sinful? After all, the intent is to produce green writing. Is it OK to write in green on computers since the text says "ink" and computers don't use ink?
Some people will say that anyone writing with green ink is going to hell. Others say that while green ink is clearly unbiblical, God's forgiveness is vast. And, in certain circumstances, green might be the only ink available with which to share the gospel in printed form. Is it better that the Word not be shared at all, or that it be shared in green?
In the end, the debate will not be settled, because I am right (no pun intended) and you are a child of perdition. Even though you think the same thing about me, that just makes you judgmental.
Photo: Paper Mate