Tag Archives: Bible
The lost world often takes Scripture out of context in order to make it mean what they want it to mean. Verses are twisted and little to no exegesis is ever used in the effort to justify sin. This is completely understandable, as lost people do not have the Holy Spirit to guide them in understanding the Bible.
What about Christians that seem to do the same thing? How do we make sense of a professing Christian that holds to an unbiblical view or takes verses out of context? That’s a big conversation reserved for another day. For today, let’s focus on some of the most abused verses in the Bible and see if we can gain some clarity on their proper, contextual and biblical meaning.
Here’s a short list of some of the most misused, abused, and taken out of context verses in the Bible.
The question that arose in conversation is whether taxes are appropriate or whether they are theft. Some subsequent conversation is whether Christians should stand against taxes and oppose any form of taxation or dutifully pay our taxes.
There’s one perspective that says: the Bible says theft is sin, taxes are theft, and therefore taxes are sinful.
Though this is a simplification of the position, it is a good summary and starting point for the discussion. This position says that God never ordains taxes and never gives the government authority to impose taxes. Because all authority is derived from God and God never gives explicit authority to impose taxes, taxation is theft. And since theft is a violation of God’s moral law (10 Commandments), any government imposition of taxes is theft and should be opposed.
Most Protestant parents have never given catechism a first thought, much less a second-thought. Our Protestant churches, Baptist in particular, don’t consider catechism important and give no effort to teaching parents its importance.
In this short video, however, Tim Keller gives a few reasons why catechism is an important aspect of spiritual formation in children. Rather than relying solely on the church to teach and train kids parents are to be intimately involved in this process.
Catechism, meaning memorization, is not something only Catholics do, although we tend to think of Catholics when we think of catechism. Catechism is the process of spiritual formation designed to impart biblical knowledge and teach children God’s word. And, as Keller points out, “memorization always leads to mediation.” This memorization and meditation is one of the key benefits of catechism. But it’s also critical for spiritual formation in a culture that is saturated with information.
The fact that God chose Abraham out of the many He could have chosen makes the concept of biblical election clear. This example also shows us that election is an act of God’s sovereign will, having nothing to do with the person being chosen (elected). Abraham didn’t petition God to be elected, God chose Abraham before Abraham chose God. But, and this is important, once God chose Abraham, Abraham then chose God. When God called Abraham to leave his country, Abraham obeyed. This is the perfect picture of election because God chose Abraham, then Abraham chose God, just as the American people choose their president and then the “president-elect” chooses the American people by accepting the position.
Many misconceptions about salvation exist today. Misconceptions such as “everyone can be saved” pave the way for massive evangelistic efforts that leave churches wondering, “what went wrong?” Other misconceptions, such as “man has no part in salvation” make it seem as though anyone that is saved is saved against their will. These misconceptions and others are creating confusion as to the nature of salvation and the part that God and man play in the process.
An article by John Reisinger at Monergism does an excellent job of explaining the process of salvation, including God’s part and man’s part in the process. I want to share it with you in the hopes of clearing up misconceptions and laying out the biblical process for salvation. The article starts by stating:
“God and man must both do something before a man can be saved. Hyper-Calvinism denies the necessity of human action, and Arminianism denies the true nature of the Divine action. The Bible clearly sets forth both the divine and human as essential in God’s plan of salvation. This is not to say, as Arminianism does, God’s part is to freely provide salvation for all men, and man’s part is to become willing to accept it. This is not what we said above, nor is it what the Bible teaches.”
For those who have not spent much time studying the Bible and the context of these two verses, let’s take a closer look at them and see if they do in fact support transgenderism or not.
In the first verse, Genesis 1:27, is recorded the words of Scripture after the creation of man and woman. The first thing we need to notice is the use of the word “him” and “them” in this verse. The writer of Genesis first says that God decided to man (lit. “mankind,” Heb. adam). So first, God says that He intends to make mankind and will fashion mankind in the image of God. This means, simply that God decided to make mankind in the same image of God, as God’s imago dei (image bearer). In this, both male and female are the image bearers of God and were both made in God’s image.
When I was about 9 years old my elementary school announced that our class, a group of fourth graders, would be taking part in a sex-education course. They sent a letter home to all parents and let them know the dates of the course. This allowed parents to decide whether they wanted their kids to be in the class or not.
My parents decided that they did not want me in the course and signed a form requesting that I be excused from the class during that period.
So, every day during the sex-education class – which only lasted a week or so – I went to another room and did other work while my peers and friends took part in the course.
I recently came across an article sharing the “Ten Crucial Lessons Every Father Should Teach,” from John MacArthur’s book Brave Dad. This list is not only biblically based it’s practical. Furthermore, it’s counter-cultural.
Look, the bottom line is that we live in a society that is upside down. The things that are valued in our culture go against the biblical values that we want to teach. And, in order to combat that anti-biblical teaching our kids are bombarded with in culture we must be diligent in teaching them, clearly, what the Bible says. It won’t happen by accident. And while we should expect our church to reinforce what we are teaching our kids at home, we should not expect our church to be the primary biblical teacher of our kids.
Look at how practical, and counter-cultural, these lessons we need to be teaching our kids are:
Finally, the secret to growing a church has been discovered, and revealed.
Like me, if you have spent time in leadership at your church you have wondered, and discussed, ways to grow the church. You’ve tried to figure out what the “secret” is and how you can see church growth in your church. You’ve looked at programs, discussed strategies, and planned campaigns designed to see exponential and permanent growth. And you are still wondering: what is the key?
Personally, I’ve been concerned that the secret to church growth is having a full head of hair and a Ph.D.; because I have neither. I’ve also been concerned that the secret to quick growth is in cool glasses and skinny jeans and soy-non-fat-mocha-vegan-gluten-free-useless warm brown water. Because, if that’s it…I’m in trouble.
There is much confusion and misinformation in our world about what the Gospel is. Some people think the Gospel is doing good things, living “right” (whatever that means), or going to church once in a while. Many Americans believe that being born in America or in a particular part of the country is enough “Gospel” to save someone. And other, well meaning “church people” would say that the Gospel is doing good deeds as a form of “servant evangelism.”
Still, there’s those pesky mega-preachers that claim to know Jesus and say that the Gospel is loving people. All you gotta do is flash a perfectly white smile, say some fluffy, inspiring cliché’s and, voila, Jesus.
None of this is the Gospel. So the question remains, what is the Gospel?