Encountering the Whole Word of God
Almost every cult with which we have any acquaintance practices this art of selecting and ignoring. The no-hell cults, for example, habitually stress everything in the Bible that seems to support their position and play down or explain away all the passages that deal with eternal punishment.
But we do well to look closer to home. Proneness to heresy is not confined to the cults. By nature, we are all heretics. We who count ourselves to be in the historic tradition of sound doctrine may in actual practice become heretics after a sort. We may unconsciously select for special attention such Scriptures as comfort and encourage us and pass over the ones that rebuke and warn us. This trap is so easy to fall into that we may be in it before we are aware.
Take, for instance, the “well-marked” Bible. It might be an illuminating experience to peep into one sometimes and note how the owner has underscored almost exclusively the passages that console him or that support his views on doctrine. We habitually love the verses that are easy on us and shy away from the ones that disturb us.