Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Do you misuse scripture?

When serving as a pastor in a church, your members often question you on different things that are found in the bible. Usually they have some valid questions, other times they are simply clueless on easier issues. But I have found that my wife can ask questions that would only come from a seminary professor. The deep thinking that this woman has is incredible.
Too many people in too many churches (pastors included) read the bible from their favorite translation and take it literally. They preach that the words found on the pages are from "God's Holy Word."
Yes, that they are. But not everything can be read aloud and made law today. This is why too many churches get too far away from the real gospel and too perilously close to what the Pharisees and Sadduccees were several millinia ago.
To read the bible means to get into where the readers mind was at during the period of the writing. We have to understand what was going on at the time the words were given, especially in the letters to the churches or apostles that are found in the New Testament.
While going through some of the processes for pastoral search committees from different churches, I have been appalled at the number of misused scriptures that are being clung to, and even included in their statement of faith.
One church in general believes that speaking in tongues only occured in the book of Acts, and that the power of healing was only given to the disciples. Me and you cannot lay hands on someone and have them be healed. That person can ask God for healing, and he may do it on a whim, but even God keeps it to a sparse number. They use 1 Cor. 14 to say that women are not allowed to teach/preach in the churches. No one who is divorced may serve as a pastor, you can only divorce for adultery (they forgot to read the old testament and many other writings from that period on that one).
I highly recommend reading this for clarification on this subject: A Biblical Scholar's Writings on Divorce/Remarriage
Would you believe this is a Baptist church? Now before you start throwing your pencils/pens at the monitors before you, I'm not saying this is the belief of all Baptists (I happen to know others who have been taught by learned scholars), but just because the church has an accepted name on the door doesn't mean that what is taught inside is scriptural.
Just like the part about the women. There was a problem with the women in the church at Corinth who were causing a stir and trying to inject their own philosophies into what was going on. They had not ever been allowed in a place where the scriptures were taught, and Paul is simply saying, shut up, sit down, listen and learn. Women today have been in churches for centuries, and they are learned, some are even schooled in bible colleges or seminaries. So this line doesn't apply today. We have to find out what was going on behind the scenes, the events that were taking place, then we can understand the writings.
We have to remember. Corinthians, Ephesians, Galatians and others were written to specific churches to address problems that were going on within the churches and what was needed to rectify the situation.
Just like in 1 Tim., polygamy was still very prevalent. It really isn't today, but it is still found in some religions/societies. In order that a man may have his life in order, Paul says a deacon (or leader) should only have one wife and his kids should not be unruly. In other words, no distractions.
You know from your experiences if you've ever been married and had kids, life can be rather hard. Now add other women that have to be cared for, and most likely other children, and your time will not be available to serve the church as you are being called.
People, we need to quit making the bible say what we want. We have to study more than just the words in the bible. The internet has plenty of information available, most of it for free. There are some bible courses available online from accredited schools where you can study what the word of God really says if you are not able to go to a university/seminary.
The Old Testament is a history lesson, with plenty of times where God spoke to the people or person directly and we can gleen much information about how we're supposed to live our lives. It is a great history lesson on what not to do too! But you can't do everything in the Old Testament, saying that God is talking to you. Your name may match the person that is in the verses, but it doesn't mean all the Davids in the world should slay the giants. (It was what was needed at the time for the safety of Israel.)
The four Gospels, Matthew/Mark/Luke/John reveal Jesus's teachings on many subjects (though you had better go back and understand where the questions were coming from, especially from the Pharisees, if you want to understand the answer that Jesus gave, or many times it will seem contradictory.) The letters to the churches and apostles are just that. Letters that addressed problems. We can use these letters to be able to have our churches be the true houses of worship that they were meant to be. But we have to understand first why they were written, the time period in which they were written and the applicable laws of the land in order to be able to know what to apply to our modern day lives and churches. Lastly, the book of Revelations is a wonderful look at the end times. Jesus reminds us that no one knows when He will return again. (even He doesn't, he has to wait on His Father to tell Him to come) But to know what will transpire is awesome to study. So the 66 books/letters that were decided upon centuries ago that would make up the bible are a great teaching tool to educate us. We just have to understand and be willing to be taught what the words truly mean.
Thank you for stopping by and may God bless you in your daily lives. I hope you will take this to heart and start to seriously study God's word. Don't just read it. Dig in, find out and discern the real meaning and truth behind the scriptures. And go to a church where you can learn the truth, not just the words. Your life will be blessed for it.


  1. Pray for my family that we can find that church you speak of, for now it is online believers as our community. Well written post, and much needed in a sound bite world to have the depth and context in the Word of God.

  2. Hey Mystic,
    Thank you for reading the post and the kudos. I am sad to say that there are not many churches in the world today even that are true disciples of the word. The biggest thing I can tell you is to pray, pray and pray some more. Then go where God sends you. For me one time it was just driving by the church and God saying, Go. I will gladly pray for you, and I ask that you pray for me as I seek where God would have me lead a congregation next.
    If I can be of further help, email me:
    Thanks for your continued interest in my blog, and please pass it along to others for them to hopefully be blessed also!


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