Who Owes Me Three Dollars?

August 11, 2005

Faith is sin. Now that should get your attention. …

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 3:27 am

Faith is sin.
Now that should get your attention. That is right out of the Bible. Romans 14:23 in fact. Maybe you should go look it up. I’ll wait a second while you get your Bible out.

Ok. So you say I was wrong in my handling of the text. In fact, you’re even a little peeved for my misusing scripture. You rightly want to charge me with a very poor reading of the Bible. I want to tell you it happens all the time.

What exactly was the error of my handling of Romans 14:23? Simple. I took a piece of a verse out of its context. Is taking a piece of a verse out of context any worse than taking a whole verse out of context? I don’t think it is. Either way, you are killing the word of God.

The most common reason we take things out of context is that we have an agenda or a pet belief we want to advocate. Out of context proof-texting is our strongest ally for that enterprise. Another motivator behind ignoring context is that we want a ouija-board kind of method of handling scripture. We sort of hover over a sound-byte Bible phrase and listen for what the Spirit is saying, frequently paying no attention to what the writer is saying. You may not be guilty of either of these but this is no strawman argument. It is done all the time.

The problem we can have is that the inviolable principle of context is so pedestrian, so mundane, so boring. There is no short cut method to understanding the Bible. There never will come a day when context is not fundamental.

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