Monday, 15 April 2019

Are All Biblical Examples Meant for Us to Follow?

In 1963, a movie called Heavens Above, starring Peter Sellers, came out. It was about a vicar who took scriptures literally rather than literately. This foolish minister ended up bankrupting the local businesses and his church.

This film also shows how foolish Christians can be when they spout scriptures without knowing their contexts and meanings. One example is the rich, young ruler who came to Christ and asked how he might enter the kingdom of heaven. Imagine if everybody did what Jesus said to him in Mark 10:21 (BBE). "And Jesus, looking on him and loving him, said, 'There is one thing needed: go, get money for your goods, and give it to the poor, and you will have wealth in heaven: and come with me.'"

Who would have the money to support missions if we all sold our possessions? How would churches exist without donations? Governments certainly wouldn't help us out, given their hostility to Christianity.

The reason Jesus said this to that man was because he loved his riches more than God. We could say that wealth was his god.

Some people do the flip-and-point method of finding out God's will for them in Scripture. This is a foolish way to read the Bible. Like what the butler said to the vicar in Heavens Above, he was to Apply Matthew 27:5 (BBE) to himself. It reads, "And he put down the silver in the Temple and went out, and put himself to death by hanging." Would those foolish Christians do that if their finger landed on that verse?

Then the butler quoted John 13:27 (BBE) which reads, "And when Judas took the bread Satan went into him. Then Jesus said to him, 'Do quickly what you have to do.'"

This is a silly example but some folks have actually maimed themselves. I've heard that a man in a bad marriage cut off his right hand because he read Mark 9:43 (BBE) which instructs, "And if your hand is a cause of trouble to you, let it be cut off; it is better for you to go into life with one hand than to have two hands and go into hell, into the eternal fire."

For this and other reasons, I'm writing a book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? I don't want anybody to assume they're going there and then find out at death that they're sentenced to eternal damnation.

On Thursday, I'll be addressing the subject of how not to misquote Scripture.

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