Monday, March 22, 2010

#132-Taking verses out of context....(aka our priceless endeavor to educate on context and not brief sentences)

To fully understand this post, let's see an extreme example...

Psalms 14:1- "...There is no God..."

Done. Atheism is proven by the bible....

Except, of course for my honesty to include the ellipses indicating there is more to the verse than what I wrote....

which upon further investigation will reveal that it is the fool who says there is no God.

But the idea is evident, it's very easy to pry small parts of the bible and the foundation from which God and the author intended, and use them for your own assumptions to back up some weird image of how God works....

The difficulty from the verse quoted above is that the verse was pried from it's immediate context within a verse itself. The trouble comes with understanding that chapter breaks were not even within the bible until 1227 AD via Archbishop Stephen Langton. Verses were not apart of the bible until the 1400's. That means for the first 14 centuries of Christianity, the idea of quoting specific verses was unheard of.

So let's look to some of my favorite verses that are ripped from their immediate context for the sake of supporting a peculiar view of God which is not necessarily justified within the broader context of which the scripture is ripped from.... (I have not done anything of a comprehensive list in hopes that the comment section will include other examples)....This means that each verse that is quoted necessitates us to read the entire chapter/book to grasp it's larger context

My favorite for apostolics:
James 2:19-"You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder."
This verse has us using justification that God is one. Except James is mocking the point. There is nothing to brag about the fact that we know God is one. It does not add us any extra benefits in such an acknowledgement. Even the demons themselves know that God is one and as we know, demons are not on the fast track to heaven.

Philippians 4:13-"I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
As if this verse means I can become president of the United States or fly via my own wings if I wanted to. Or worse yet, let it be a verse that justifies a pursuit of wealth. I have observed a church that had this verse painted on it's back wall as if it was the justification they needed that all matters of pursuit of material success were justified in this brief sentence. Yet Paul writes this statement from within jail and as a proof that God will give him the strength of contentment (v. 12) in all his circumstances.

Matthew 7:1 which cites "judge not lest ye be judged." As in the picture above, some people assume that judgement is reserved for God alone.  Except these same people fail to read the rest of the context of the verse which clearly demonstrates that once one takes the plank out of their own eye, it is feasible to help a brother along with their sin (or the "speck" in the neighbor's eye). See the second half of I Corinthians 5 for further proof that in being brother's with another, judgement in hopes of reconciliation is not only acceptable but promoted.

Matthew 18:20- "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I with them."

Firstly, we must notice that if we take this scripture as absolute truth, let's understand that it's numerical opposite may very well be true also: "If one is gathered in my name, I am not with them." Of course we know how ridiculous this idea is. We know that God is with us in our prayers through one person or by a community.

The worst is the fact that the immediate context has nothing to do with prayer as supposed. The reality is the context is dealing with rebuke amongst a body of believers. See I Corinthians 5 again for further evidence of the idea that judgement and rebuke may occur via the pronouncement of a body of believers.

Point being, that in context this verse has absolutely nothing to do with prayer.

I Corinthians 15:31- "I Die Daily." Never have I witnessed a scripture so consistently stripped from it's context and applied to a need for daily biblical devotion within a sermon than that which is quoted here. But I really believe, the tendency to rip such scripture from it's context (which has to do with daily sufferings in Paul's life) and apply it to prayer displays our horrible irreverence for the Word and manipulate it any which way we want without thought about what we may be doing to God's word.

I repeat, this verse has nothing to do with killing our flesh daily in prayer.

II Corinthians 6:14- "Do not be unequally yoked." Probably the second most popular verse to rip from it's context and apply some insane meaning which Paul, nor God ever intended. This verse has nothing to do with marriage. The bigger context of the immediate verse itself demonstrates the need to be weary of friendships which unite the "unbeliever and the believer...darkness and light..." Degrees of spirituality or the suspected amount one prayers or the invisibility of one's ministry outside of the platform/altar should have no bearing on who we decide to marry (at least with this verse in mind)...

In closing, thanks to my good, great, and long lost friend, John Wallace for the banner. I think the awkwardness of the banner fits well with what we're going for here on the site. Also, remember to leave your own verses taken out of context in the comment section...and a reminder about our new twitter...

I love you all!


  1. could we not safely assume that if we are not to be unequally yoked in friendship(if this is what the writer is getting at), that this would bleed over to marriage? thats the explanation i've always heard anyway.

  2. Oh I agree, marriage is still pertinent here in that regards Hayden....

    But I have always heard it under the guise of not to "yoke up" with someone who is not on the same spiritual plane as you...

    aka an excuse for pastor's kids not to marry a non-pastor's kid

  3. I've always heard it as an explanation as to why one shouldn't marry someone of a different race. I think you already addressed that on the blog though...

  4. Here's the verse whose misuse I absolutely despise: "the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force" (Matt 11:12). Ugh. It has NOTHING to do with "getting violent for God" or whatever! In context, it's talking about John the Baptist and the persecution of believers. I literally cringe every time this verse is used as some sort of rallying cry.

  5. an "excuse for pastor's kids not to marry a non-pastor's kid" is to avoid sociological incest.

  6. I hate it when verses are taken out of context as well, but this line of thought gives me pause: Where do we delimit the text? That is to say, what/where/when exactly is the context for the scripture?

    One could very well argue that the context we might want to put verses in is hopelessly small and, in fact, not complete. Put another way, can you clearly define the context for I Corinthians only by reading the text itself with narrow circularity? Perhaps you would instead seek to ground the text in its historical origins--Paul the original author and the Mediterranean world he and the Corinthian followers lived in?

    Even that, though, is incomplete. We can conceive of the boundaries of the text as merely constructs of a mind desirous of order and fooled by the illusion of authorship. The text itself may merely be a nodal point for the transference of countless cooperating and conflicting views; in other words the separation between epicurean, platonic, pharisitic, mystery cult, and early christian discourses is impossible to ascertain with any certainty beyond the faith we have in our own interpretive capacities and spiritual sensitivity.

    In short, context is itself a dubious field and we have to be careful that we don't give to it the same sort of baseless authority that we criticize in out-of-context use of scripture.

  7. After spending the last six years studying literature, literary theory and being forced to analyze A LOT of stories, novels, plays, memoirs, poems (you name the genre I've had to read it), the whole "theologians" taking passages out of context is a bit troubling. My personal opinion is that you must read the entire book of the Bible to understand what the author's getting at.

    Otherwise you're doing the same as a person who pulls flowery passages from "Romeo and Juliet" about love without realizing they're speaking of cherishing cold death.

    Read the whole work for crying out loud. Make an attempt to understand the theme Paul is working towards in 1 Corinthians...don't take a chapter and think that it stands alone.

    "To be or not to be" is a nice sounding line...but do you really know why Hamlet said it in the story?...

    "Nature itself teaches that it is a shame for a man to have long hair." 1 Corinthians 11:11

    Get those trimmers out!!!!

  8. Stanton - good parallel between understanding literature such as Shakespeare and the importance of understanding the wholeness of the Bible. Never thought about it that way... couldn't agree more.

    I think it's saying far too much about ones self to think you (or I) can make accurate assumptions about scripture without reading, comprehending and studying the whole Book in its entirety. Which leads back to a blog I read elsewhere indicating pastors should be required to attend some sort of bible college/seminary before fulfilling their calling to lead others.

    But that's a whole other can of worms one of you intelligent bloggers can tackle here on SAL, if you desire. :)

  9. Uh oh. I like where this is going.

    I think what Joel, and more so I, get aggravated at is the incessant misapplication based on the taking out of context, as well as the proof texting (I addressed that in comments on a previous post).

    I agree with Chady and Stanton, especially in that the entire book is what sets the context for individual statements. The bible is one huge continuous story - first the fall, about 65 books of reconciliation and then the "happily ever after".

    We can discuss the depths of what constitutes context, and it's a discussion worth having, but we need to tackle some smaller battles first.

    Preachers (and congregants alike), have to stop isolating individual scriptures and small passages and basing belief systems. doctrines, *cough*standards*cough*, and so on off of them!

    I've heard some of the most asinine things spoken and claimed to be from God, all based on individual scriptures, lifted off their pages in a crude and thoughtless manner.

    If we really wanted, and I would suggest we don't because it would turn very ugly very fast, but if we really wanted we could take individual doctrinal dogma's, and even more so - standards, find the context, examine them thoroughly and easily conclude that the scripture was robbed of its meaning and used in a pejorative manner.

    Allow me to be very, very blunt - I'm stinking sick and tired of unstudied people claiming to be the authority on "what God says and thinks" and basing everything they say off of their own opinions and then backing it up with out of context verses.
    I came from a church that was notorious for this, and I've heard so much of it I could scream.
    This is why I oppose topical preaching. You can make the bible say anything you want it to by isolating verses from their context!! When I sit down and here a preacher give some corny title and say "Turn with me to -insert Old Testament Book-" I cringe. True, the O.T is filled with types and shadows of things to come in the N.T, but we use it as a book of allegories to make our messages sound deep.
    I said on my FB once - if I could force every preacher to preach through the entire new testament, verse by verse, and temporarily ban the old testament until completion of the new, I would.

  10. Blogger Miss,

    OMG You just won my heart and soul forever!

    It should be a REQUIREMENT of all UPCI ministers to achieve a four year degree (in any field) before being licensed.

    The errancies, fallacies and pitfalls I've seen in our movement overwhelmingly come from uneducated men. The ministries I grew up under, albeit well intentioned, perpetuated some of the grossest raping of scripture, but you know what? Not a one had more than a semester of post secondary education, and none were active readers.

    College teaches one thing - how to learn, and unfortunately we've got a bunch of people making decisions for bodies of people who never learned how to learn.

    Excellent comment miss, I appreciate that.

  11. Blogger Miss and Glenn

    I'm in! I am from a District in the UPCI in which establishment ministers eye those of us that have some post-secondary religious education under our belts with distrust and dismissive phrases like "I bet your liberal professor told you that" to which I counter, yes and the rabbi's who understand what Moses was getting at and historians who have spent their entire lives studying the subject" (all in my head of course).

    I believe that we won't be able move from superstitious mysticism and folkloric understandings held as "the apostolic truth" to a genuine respect for scripture and desire to learn more of God, even the stuff that doesn't fit in my box until we hold our ministers (even the old timers) to a higher standard of knowledge of the scripture.

    My own grandfather got married at 16 and finished night school with a degree in electronics...he then worked for a large retail corporation and became a VP...quit...started his own retail chain...moved to his own rural hometown...took the pastorate of a failed church at 29 and grew it from 5 to 300 members and managed to help mentor 31 pastors, evangelists and missionaries out of church in a town of 6,000 people.

    Meanwhile he has studied Hebrew and Rabbinic Analysis at Hebrew University in Tel Aviv and holds two BAs in Religion and Philosophy and an Honorary MA in Theology and Ethics.

    Last night at 74 years old he told me about a new book of rabbinic commentaries on Paul's writings he was reading and some anthropology reports on Paul's applying Christianity for the Greeks...he also chopped wood for his fireplace that afternoon...

    That's a lot of info about someone you don't know and I love and admire deeply...

    The point is this: He's been a bi-vocational minister his entire life and has managed to study and learn more than most "full time" pastors or's not about time or's about a real desire to know God and understand what He wants us to know rather than regurgitating what the generation before us said.

    Sorry...rambled again...ty adult ADHD

  12. Someone once told me something scary, but I think it's true. He was referring to this as a bad thing, not glorifying it, but he said "If you can get a church, get it up to between one and two hundred people, most of them faithful tithers, you can live like a king."

    Unfortunately I think this contributes to the problem of the lack of academia in the church. When it becomes your paycheck and not your passion you'll cease to attempt to grow yourself.

    Stanton, it sounds like your grandpa never lost that passion, but I have seen men in whom the passion has died, which gives way to a mentality that they've learned as much as they need to know, grown to full maturity and now their job is to sit on their thrown of accomplishment and dictate to a congregation of subordinates.

    Granted, this doesn't describe every unlearned pastor, but I do believe there is a pandemic of this in our movement. Pastors that don't keep office hours, whose libraries collect dust, ignorant of technologies and current events, exist all across our great movement.

    I have such great respect and admiration for the leadership in my church because of the level of continual study I know they practice. My pastor, my bishops, my former and current student pastors, are always talking about what they've read, and teach not only topically, but verse by verse, contextually. Not only that but they've all received much post secondary education. The contrast between my former leadership, which did not study AT ALL, and my current leadership, which seems to be in a constant state of study, is stark.

    Education is clutch in the ministry and it should be mandatory. It seems lately that they're giving not only licenses but POSITIONS to the guys who just show up to everything. Who cares if they don't know jack about the bible, they've been at all the conferences, they can talk for thirty minutes, and they'll kiss the general boards butt every time they touch a mic, so of course they deserve to be youth president, secretary, sectional director, presbyter, etc etc etc.

    In my district two years ago our youth board was almost full of men with some sort of college education. The youth president had gone to a state university, several of the sectional guys had B.A's, the secretary had a bible college degree, and man were our events popping. But we began to draw criticism from the unlearned, uneducated side, who picked apart everything they did (without citing one biblical verse for the attacks). Now, two years later the whole thing is full of 'yes men' who collectively have about 5 semesters of college between ALL of them, and our events are in a state of decline.
    Why? Because when you've learned how to learn you're fit to lead, and when you haven't you'll sit on the sidelines and pick apart what you don't understand because you. haven't. studied.

    I say this all the time but I can't help but say it again:
    When your belief's are not based on in depth contextual study, but simply seeking to back up what you already know, you do a gross injustice to the Word. It doesn't need your exposition, your analysis or your conjecture. It is perfect as it is and needs practically, contextually applied to our lives.

  13. Glen & Stanton, I don't think I could agree more with every thing you've said. I do know of some great 'unlearned' pastors that have done their homework outside of seminary. That being said, they are very well seasoned and have been pastoring for decades. What I don't like to see is ignorant 20-something year olds yelling behind a pulpit a whole bunch of nonsense just to get a crowd of impressionable young people pumped.

    There is definitely something to be said for having a full throttle passion/anointing, backed by intelligence, diligence and continual study of the scripture and other resources.

    I was under the misguided leadership of one of 'these men' for far too many years. I've learned a lot from the situation and can safely say I will never put myself in the position again of being 'led' by such ignorance.

    In reference to your comment Glen about the person saying "you can live like a king with a church of 200" - all I can say is God Save Them. I've heard similar things also and it really just turns my stomach.

    My current pastor/leader (whom I admire & respect) is very educated but also has what I believe is a divine calling to lead others as is made evident by his pastoral ability and massive congregation that actually follows. Not to mention he doesn't drive a flashy Benz or sport Prada suits on Sunday mornings. (Again, another issue for another time on "costly array").

    Oh boy. I better hit the post button before I really get going.

  14. To Chady,

    in regards to your comment about the difficulty to decipher when we have uncovered an appropriate "context" to inform truth...



  15. One of my favorite verses is 1 Thess. 5:22 "Abstain from all appearance of evil" A lot of people say "flee from the appearance of evil". Like this verse is telling us that we can't go to the store and buy sparkling grape juice because it looks like wine and we don't want to look like we are committing an evil act(assuming that drinking wine is evil. Here is a more modern translation "Keep away from every kind of evil." it is not saying make sure that you never appear as if you are doing evil.

  16. To Joel,

    Your retreat into Modernity ruined my cup of hazelnut coffee, but it's hard to argue with The Dude.

  17. SAL, the highlight of my dreary day amidst 4 hours of history classes here at the University. All these people able to come together and peaceably discuss a topic. How genius. I have a question though Joel.

    In first Corinthians (I think its one of the earlier chapters.) Paul talks about the greeks desire for wisdom and the Hebrews desire or miracles and how they were letting themselves be wrapped up in this instead of the actual word. He talked about how wisdom provided ignorance to the simplistic approach of Jesus Christ. Now I'm a college student and studying to go before the board for a license, so I'm not exactly the most ignorant but neither am I the wisest. I also know that Paul talks about not treating wisdom as a bad thing either. I just caution us not to be so judgmental of those without 4 year degrees. Just because they haven't gone to college doesn't mean they are ignorant. However I do agree with putting those with experiencing that can think for themselves into leadership. I think one should know the bible because how else can you expect to understand anything whatsoever. Pardon me for using OT but God directed Joshua to study the law that Moses had recorded so that he would know how to lead. I am firmly behind somebody knowing and understanding a subject before they even attempt to assume a leadership position. I don't think though that we should be so critical about the schooling that they have undergone in the secular world.

  18. ^^ Sorry, I should have said "The Jews seek a sign" I think. ^^

  19. I'd like to clarify something right quick -
    When we make a blog post, we're trying to keep with some sort of code. I mean by that, when I make an official SAL post I'm (to a degree) speaking for Joel, so what I say is somewhat filtered so that the greater message is still in line with Joel (the facilitator of the blog).

    However when I comment, it's just me, speaking for me, as with all the other bloggers. So, if you read the comment section and I have a comment, it shouldn't be attributed as an official SAL response.
    So, that said, I was the one criticizing the lack of education in leadership, not Joel. Just wanted to make sure I put that out there.

    So, onto a reply. I agree that there are learned men that didn't go to college and are worth their salt. There are pastors who never graced a college campus that could write a dissertation on the most complex of theological topics. I respect and admire these men, and do not mean to belittle them.

    I reserve my criticism for the ones who have neither gone to college and have minimal education in general.
    The most dogmatic preacher I have ever seen was a man who went to 3 semesters to bible college, finishing with a D average, spends his nights playing computer and video games, 0 hours in study, yet vehemently and unabashedly preaches the most ignorant and scripturally unfounded messages, criticizes everything around him that he disagrees with, and frequently makes the statement when getting up to preach "I didn't know what I was going to preach until I got to church."
    Oh yeah, he also served several years in an official UPC position.

    Guys like this are the ones I'm talking about, not the ones who didn't go to college, yet study.

    That reminds me of something, and I was going to write a post about it.
    The next time I hear someone say they didn't know what they were going to preach until they got to church, I'm walking out, and I encourage you to do the same. I don't mean they had several messages to choose from and they didn't know which God wanted. The guy I referenced was usually a blank slate, winging it as he went along.

    When you're charged with standing in front of a group of people and delivering them a Word from God, some study and preparation is in order. If you're so busy that you don't have time to study and pray, pass it off to someone who does. Like I said, the messages that followed that statement typically were nothing more than angry rants, reprimanding the students who were present, or going on some tirade about something he heard someone say, with a few out of context scriptures sprinkled on the top to make it seem like an actual sermon.

    Sorry to ramble, my mind just went back to the years I spent listening to that garbage and it makes me angry. I'm sure some of you can relate.

  20. Thanks for clarifying Glen. I always enjoy your posts and comments you leave behind. Completely agree with this subject matter btw.

  21. Anon,

    I Corinthians 3 and Paul's discussion of the wisdom of the world in contrast to the wisdom of God is a chapter I hold very dear to me. It is ultimately the chapter that I use to keep me grounded and confuse my pursuit of philosophy/theology in academics as any kind of justification of being "enlightened" in matters of spirituality or God.

    As Glen pointed out, it was he who had the statement against the lack of education of pastor's not I. Being a seminary student and realizing the amount I needed seminary to help inform my ministry (and before it I thought I was justified in my knowledge of the bible as well), I do think there is a lot of merit to making licensed ministers attend seminary. However, I would no way say this has to happen or that men can only be educated properly through seminary...

    However, if I was to guess, in the next half century, the requirement of seminary will be a requirement in the UPC. again, not anything I am being dogmatic about. I just can see the winds moving ever so slightly in that direction...

  22. This is a bit off topic in regards to the post, but related to the lack of higher education in the UPCI. I think the worst part about the UPCI movement, or maybe just the UPC in my area, is the belittlement of women who choose to obtain a degree versus getting married at age 18 and having babies. I have been made to feel that I am going against God's will because I chose to obtain two degrees before marriage.

  23. TOTALLY off the subject but I just wanna share this with EVERYONE!!! Six kids! Six Kids! Six kids! SIX KIDS GOT THE HOLY GHOST TONIGHT!!! Read my blog post!!!!!!

  24. What I also love is when they'll take one word out of the middle of a verse and break it down and build the entire sermon around it. Especially when you look in another version of the Bible and the word they've been explicating isn't there. It's one of my favorite things. Lol. Context what?!


  25. I often feel like I am not what you guys would consider "Apostolic" when I read this. Not saying that to slam anything, but where I am from, submission to the ministry is taught. Apologetics are taught, maintaining holiness in dress and deportment are taught, Hollywood and movies are preached against, souls are to be reached out to, etc. I am from a conservative church, and I am very thankful for that. Not saying any of us are better than anyone else, by any means, but it has saved a lot of grey areas for the "post-modern" apostolic. The preachers in our area know the Bible, and are some of the most well-spoken, well-learned people I know personally. The tone of this blog, although meant to be taken in a humorous way, is reminiscent of university professors mocking Christianity. And, yes, I am a Uni student. I guess I am questioning what section of Apostolics you guys represent, as nothing, save fighting over the pews and Sunday School games, and dressing up, are things I have found really to be that common in my experience with Oneness Pentecostals.
    Just a thought....

  26. Lynne,

    Thank you for your inquiry and the sincerity behind it. it's a question we get asked on occasion but most take a tone of anger and belittlement than sincerity.

    I do not think we have ever encouraged rebellion on this site. At least I hope not. Those who know me know that I really hold to a "submission unto death" policy.

    But i do not think submission entails agreement to what the speaker/pastor/fellow apostolic is declaring truth.

    We are also very suspicious and value dearly what truth is. We do not take a declaration from a local pastor that "this is truth" and accept it. Nor do we take the word of an islamic shiite and believe what he calls "truth."

    We will study. We search. We will hold those who claim truth in suspicion for truth is of the utmost value and we do not think it should have a claim to ownership. Because with all the different kind of people/religions/sciences claiming truth, quite frankly it's losing it's value....and I don't like it.

    That in mind, suspicion and remembering that the world is bigger than our many traditions is of the utmost concern.

    As for the tone of the blog, entertainment is also a purpose....and satirical tones can go a long way into fulfilling this purpose...

    We appeal to the minute details and the periphery of our religious experience and kind of submit this experience to a sociological analysis. To make note of these claims one has to not only have lived in this society, but also must be willing to stick their head above the ocean from time to time to get a different point of view....

    I know i rambled, but i hope this answers your question somewhat.

  27. Hey!
    I just read Lynes comment and I see where she is coming from cause that is my stand point. When I get on this blog there is often so much stuff I can't even relate offense! And it does often seem like this blog is being critical so sometimes I just don't know what to think! :) BUT ONE I can relate to is the Jean skirts! LOL Other stuff...I just don't feel like argueing about...its TOTALLY POINTLESS! LOL But I liked Joel's response to Lynne. You seem cool...And I'm not even being sarcastic when I say that!!! :D

  28. Mary and Lynne,

    One thing to note is how different peoples experiences can be. We are one subculture with many subcultures within it. In our movement there are churches that are very conservative (i.e - white collar shirts only, no name brands, no sporting events, etc etc), and there are churches that are very liberal (theaters permitted, hair cutting ok, etc etc).
    It's important to note that it is still ONE movement.
    However, due to the polarity there will be some things that some people won't relate to.
    We at SAL do our best to cover topics that are all encompassing, and some that relate to either side.
    We try not to let our own view points polarize our audience, but sometimes this happens inadvertently.
    We are not attempting to push an agenda or theological point of view. We simply seek to lampoon some of the cultural nuances and memes that can be experiences growing up Apo.
    Thanks for your loyalty to the blog!

  29. Just to echo Joel and Glenn, or perhaps to form the basis for their argument, see Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:14-16

    14For the body is not one member, but many. 15If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

    For further reference, and very likely the template from which Paul drew inspiration for in I Corinthians, see Socrates' discourse on the many forms of Virtue (honor, justice, love, etc.) in "Meno."

  30. I understand where you guys are coming from...I know we're all one movement. I mean my family came in under a man of God TOTALLY different then the one I have now. I guess you could say he was on the more liberal side of things BUT I love him and hold him in the utmost respect because that is the man that brought my family the truth. But I do have to be honest and say that sometimes I am just SHOCKED by the things that are on here cause I honestly didn't realize that they were ALLOWED ANYWHERE!!! (Makeup, cutting hair, Any sort of television) But once God gives me a conviction about something I try to never go back. Anywayz there is some stuff on here that is really funny! AND heeeeey you all need to come on over to Classic Mary Moments...I mean its like HAPPENING over there! NEW stuff almost EVERY day! :D AND If I read ya alls stuff...ya all SOOOOO owe me back! ;)

  31. You know Mary, it's a little tacky to try to promote your blog on someone else's the way you do.

  32. LOL! Perhaps you've never been on my IS tacky!!! :D Besides, thats one way of gettin more readers, by leaving comments on OTHER people's blogs! Of course if the owner of the blog doesn't like it they can ALWAYS delete or moderate my comment!!! :)P.S. It's ALSO a little tacky to leave anonymous comments to me but YOUR still doing it and I don't mind! ;)

  33. Here's one: "Touch not mine anointed!"

    Usually quoted to strike fear in people about saying anything contrary to the Reverend. Also, usually said to show the special elite status the Reverend has among the congregation. Anyone want to take an exegetical stab at what this verse really meant to its original audience? Hint: our modern-day context isn't close.

  34. Unequally Yoked:

    Paul is not simply forbidding a yoking together, but the yoking of two things that are severely opposite and incongruous. To say Paul has in mind here marriage is a stretch.

    In addressing marriages between the Christian and the content unbeliever, Paul instructed the marriage to continue (I Cor. 7: 12-16). If such a union had automatically been a sin, Paul would have required the dissolution of all such marriages. Nonetheless, it is not recommended for the Christian to marry a non-Christian.

    It would have a secondary meaning perhaps that makes a great implication to marriage. Why partner with someone going a different direction? Partner and "yoke up" with others who are living for the Mission of God. (That's what oxen were "yoked" for anyway, right? Work? Mission?)

  35. If a person's entire focus in life will be to disciple and teach others, I'd hope they pursue and work for a degree. We are studying books that have complete relevance to us today, but must be first understood for what they originally meant - forcing us to cross the oceans of time, culture, literary style, historical context, etc... It's not a lazy man's work.

    I enjoyed this post. We could keep it going with more.

    Love not the world. I like this one. Then preachers proceed to name what the "world" is and say "whatever the "world likes" we don't like." A little ignorant? In this passage, the actual meaning of the author is given in the following verses! Wow! That one didn't even take a deep digging!

  36. I love how people claim they aren't "post-modern" or otherwise influenced by their culture. Check out the language you use, the clothes you wear (even if they are fuddy duddy!), the books you read- culture is something we all make up collectively. Now, what we are to resist is points of our culture that aren't biblical. Resist may be the wrong word. Live a life opposite of. The world proclaims selfishness. We live in love. The world lives its freedoms to the degree of self, we live our freedoms in Christ but with humility toward one another. The world sees no virtue in sex, marriage. We live these principles out in the proper context. You see, quit fighting culture, because it's futile. Just keep living for Jesus with a heart toward Him, and you'll thrive in any culture you live. 50's culture is no better than 2010's.

  37. Other verses out of context:

    Anything out of 1 Corinthians (but we'll leave that alone) :)

    This is a great post to add to throughout the year.

  38. Sara, this is golden stuff.. (i saw what you wrote on the front row post as well)...some valuable stuff here

    i really loved your 'touch not my anointed one.' I think the ministers taking this out of context is more due to a misinformed theology weighted in the old testament.....

  39. I think you'll enjoy this comic strip:

    I'll paste someone else's comments (not technical):
    Context is everything. The verse (if you read it properly) is David's psalm to Israel, reminding them of the promise God made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He was recalling that the anointed kings and prophets of Israel had been protected from physical harm by God. It's about physically hurting and killing, not about questioning or disagreeing with teachings. This is not translatable to today, in my opinion. It was a promise made to a certain group of people at a certain time. Perhaps if you are currently an anointed king of Israel you may have at least some basis to claim the scripture as yours and warn attackers against killing you. Otherwise, no.

    (It's interesting that Paul didn't use this disclaimer with all his detractors!)

  40. I was always against using scripture out of context, and one day i was at an apostolic church that shall remain nameless. There was a guy preaching that preaches quite often at this church and i realized hey he used that scripture out of context. I happened to be linked to this guy on face book so i wrote him and explained hey you use this passage out of context. The response he gave me enlightened me as to why it is ok to use scripture out of context, it is done so a preacher can prove a broader point.

  41. At Anon. HAHAHAHA.

    Make the broader point without molesting the Text and forcing it to say something it does not. If the point is truly "broad" it will have sufficient support elsewhere in the Text.

  42. Back to "How can they hear without a preacher" as the proof-text for preacher worship.

    The context is actually Paul's indictment of the Jews for never fulfilling God's intention from the beginning: spreading the promise to Gentiles. "In thee shall ALL nations of the world be blessed."

    This proof-text is right in the middle of a rebuke to Israel. Furthermore, the focus is on "telling people the Good News" not the salvific role of a preacher, as if they stand between you and the cross.

    Oh, I cringe when I hear this particular proof-text!!

  43. "God's gifts and callings are without repentance."

    How many have heard this one used to explain how one can be a prophet of God even while sinning.

    Instead, this verse is a strongly Calvinists position (in style). It reveals more the faithfulness of God's promises to us (in view here is His election). The gifts and callings are terms describing the context, God's Sovereign calling and election of Israel. But we insist on using it to explain the charismata and special talents we all have.

  44. The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, But the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.
    Proverbs 15:14
    What does this mean to you?

  45. To me, it seems to be a prophetic word regarding a future battle of wits where one side is foolish and the other knowledgeable.... If my translation is correct, I can definitely see that the foolish mouth in question is George W. Bush and the knowledgeable one, Al Gore... Sadly we did not listen to the verse in it's warning and elected the foolish one in 2000 and we have been the worse off for it.

  46. Go tell that long tongue liar
    Go and tell that midnight rider
    Tell the rambler, the gambler, the back biter
    Tell 'em that God's gonna cut 'em down
    Tell 'em that God's gonna cut 'em down

  47. Have you written anywhere in your blogs about how everything after the book of Acts is written and understood by holy ghost filled believers? Cuz that makes a huge difference when trying to understand some stuff