~ Threads of Truth Are Only Part of the Spool of Truth ~
Some people tend to treat the Bible as a kind of divine rabbits foot. Others use a small portion of Scripture to prove a point. Neither of these is God-honoring.
Mystical Use ~ There is a well-known story about the man who used his Bible like a fortune cookie or crystal ball. Each day he would flip the Bible open and wherever his eyes landed he would take the first verse he read as his word for the day. One morning following this daily procedure the first thing he read was “he put his household in order and hanged himself” (2 Samuel 17:23). This was confusing to him so he decided to break his pattern and give it a second try. This time he read “Jesus said unto him, ‘go and do likewise’” (Luke 10:37). Enough said about the mystical, or rabbit foot, approach to interpretation of God’s Word.
Proof Texting ~ Many times this comes about when someone believes something strongly and either searches out or stumbles across something that they feel proves their point. There have been well-known personalities who built their entire ministries based on a small portion of scripture. Some of the more widely known such individuals have ended up disillusioned and out of the ministry.
The Anecdote for Both ~ One of the most basic principles of hermeneutics (the theory, techniques, and practice of interpretation) is that “Scripture interprets Scripture” which is violated when mystical or proof texting is utilized. Another key principle of interpretation is considering the context of the particular passage. There are other critical principles involved to correctly interpret the Word of God.
Paul’s Example ~ Paul in his exhortation to the elders at the church in Ephesus stated, “For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God” (Acts 20:27).
Jesus’ Example ~ While on earth Jesus frequently quoted from the Scriptures. He referenced portions throughout many parts of the Scriptures. He used Scripture to explain the Word of God—both Himself, the Living Word, and His Words which would form the Gospels in our New Testament. His life and His ministry were built on the entire Word of God. May I, tongue in cheek, use a proof text, “go and do likewise.”
remember: If there is a thread of Truth attached to what you read or hear it will always be connected to the whole spool of Truth.
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW
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