Some Scripture abuse happens innocently or even accidentally. Unintentional Scripture abuse comes from not knowing or understanding the Word of God. Think of Psalm 119:11 which says, "Your word I have treasured in my heart that I may not sin against You." (NASB) To first treasure something in your heart you must first HAVE it in your heart. Merriam-Webster defines the verb "treasure" as:
1 : to collect and store up (something of value) for future use
2 : to hold or keep as precious : cherish, prize.
I like both definitions of treasure for God's word. If you don't know God's word well enough, you can be deceived by anyone, anywhere, anytime. In fact, I think Scripture abuse is a by-product of the end times. Matthew 24:11 says "Many false prophets will arise and mislead many." One of the ways they will mislead is to twist Scripture.
Right now it is not politically correct to speak out against sin that has been considered acceptable by our society. This includes homosexuality, so-called "same-sex marriage", abortion, divorce, adultery, drunkenness, idolatry, sorcery, fornication, and the list goes on. However, the Bible is clear that these things are indeed sin and will be rewarded with the wages that sin brings: DEATH.
It isn't popular to condemn what society approves. You are labeled everything from "fundamentalist" to "hate-monger". Lets be very clear about this; I am not preaching hate. I am preaching, however, that God hates sin and cannot/will not tolerate it. When folks think that they are "getting by" with something and God doesn't care, they don't realize that they really will have to pay for their sins one day.
I thank God that He has chosen to reveal to me the wonders of grace and salvation through Jesus Christ. I am no better than anyone, but the blood of Christ makes me holy and acceptable to God. This free gift of God is available to all who will accept it. But make no mistake; He will not tolerate your sin. He will show it to you and He will give you strength to change. But repentance must be done.
Know Scripture. Know God. Know true peace and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
I totally agree.
The only thing I might add is the one area of abuse that Jesus most adamantly opposes... the area that is supported by the pharisees.
In many ways I feel the same way. I am less consumed with the sins of the world and more alarmed by the falsehoods taught by the church.
Matt, you are spot on! What I wrote yesterday was "off the cuff" rather than a scholarly piece. I was frustrated with someone who is ignoring/twisting Scripture to condone her lesbian marriage.
But to mention the whole area that the Pharisees abused, that is to interpret to the point of burden, is certainly another area that should be explored. John said, "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome." I John 5:3.
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