The Bible Is Not a Zigsaw Puzzle

pagan christianityScriptures in Context – the grammatical, historical, cultural and specific peculiar intent of the textual content.

Background

I started this blog 3 years ago after I heard how 3 John 2 was preached in my church.  (Since then, most of the blog content has to do with the Health & Wealth teachings – elements of which started in the garden and the wilderness temptations, and now sadly disseminated from the pulpit.)

I just wondered how there are still many around who continue to hold to the prayer for prosperity when Jim Bakker was incarcerated after such a belief led him to the pursuit of prosperity – having experienced the grace and freedom in the Lord, that believers could fall from grace into legalism and libertinism! (I hope to write about this from the book of Galatians). I believe that is what happened in CHC, as it happened with Jimmy Bakker.

In 1966, the Bakkers started working at Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, and greatly contributed to the growth of the network. Later, they created the “Praise the Lord” show for Paul Crouch and the Bakker’s new Trinity Broadcasting Network. The rest is history.

From wiki – “In their success, the Bakkers took conspicuous consumption to an unusual level for a nonprofit organization. According to Frances FitzGerald in an April 1987 New Yorker article, “They epitomized the excesses of the 1980s; the greed, the love of glitz, and the shamelessness; which in their case was so pure as to almost amount to a kind of innocence.”

I read Jimmy Bakker’s book “I Was Wrong” written when he was in prison, and have been on guard ever since.  Immitating the Bereans, but moreso like the Ethiopian.  I learn to understand the scriptures and the importance of sound doctrines <> satanic doctrines.

“Bakker has renounced his past teachings on prosperity theology, saying they were wrong. In his 1996 book, I Was Wrong, he admitted that the first time he actually read the Bible all the way through was while he was in prison, and that it made him realize he had taken certain passages out of context — passages which he had used as “proof texts” to back up his prosperity teachings. He wrote:

“The more I studied the Bible, however, I had to admit that the prosperity message did not line up with the tenor of Scripture. My heart was crushed to think that I led so many people astray. I was appalled that I could have been so wrong, and I was deeply grateful that God had not struck me dead as a false prophet!”  (source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Bakker)

“He wrote another book ” Prosperity and the Coming Apocalypse” and feedback in Amazon commented =

“God has truly inspired Mr. Bakker to warn all Christians of the “THE DANGERS OF MATERIALISTIC CHRISTIANITY IN THE END TIMES”. I walked away with eyes to see, ears to hear, and an urgency to love Jesus with all my heart for we are one in the same. Mr. Bakker has awakened the silent death of false teachings concerning prosperity. Teachings that have plagued so many Christians with spiritual death”

Frank Viola said in http://www.paganchristianity.org/Pagan_Ch11.pdf, in the chapter on “THE BIBLE IS NOT A JIGSAW PUZZLE”  that the problem most Christians have in understanding what the scriptures says

“by an approach “most commonly used among contemporary Christians when studying the Bible is called ― proof texting.”  He continues “This set the stage for the idea that if we lift a verse out of the Bible, it is true in its own right and can be used to prove a doctrine or a practice.”

“The Protestant scholastics held that not only is the Scripture the Word of God, but every part of it is the Word of God in and of itself—irrespective of context.”

“God’s people have approached the New Testament with scissors and glue, cutting and pasting isolated, disjointed sentences from different letters, lifting them out of their real-life setting, lashing them together to build floatable doctrines, and then calling it ―the Word of God”

We Christians have been taught to approach the Bible in one of eight ways:

1) You look for verses that inspire you. Upon finding such verses, you either highlight, memorize, meditate upon, or put them on your refrigerator door.

2) You look for verses that tell you what God has promised so that you can confess it in faith and thereby obligate the Lord to do what you want.

3) You look for verses that tell you what God commands you to do.

4) You look for verses that you can quote to scare the devil out of his wits or resist him in the hour of temptation.

5) You look for verses that will prove your particular doctrine so that you can slice-and-dice your theological sparring partner into biblical ribbons. (Because of the proof-texting method, a vast wasteland of Christianity behaves as if the mere citation of some random, decontextualized verse of Scripture ends all discussion on virtually any subject.)

6) You look for verses in the Bible to control and/or correct others.

7) You look for verses that ―preach well and make good sermon material. (This is an ongoing addiction for many who preach and teach.)

8) You sometimes close your eyes, flip open the Bible randomly, stick your finger on a page, read what the text says, and then take what you have read as a personal ―word from the Lord.”

“Now look at this list again. Which of these approaches have you used? Look again: Notice how each is highly individualistic. All of them put you, the individual Christian, at the center. Each approach ignores the fact that most of the New Testament was written to corporate bodies of people (churches), not to individuals. But that is not all. Each of these approaches is built on isolated proof texting. Each treats the New Testament like a manual and blinds us to its real message”

“We have been taught to approach the Bible like a jigsaw puzzle. Most of us have never been told the entire story that lies behind the letters that Paul, Peter, James, John, and Jude wrote. We have been taught chapters and verses, not the historical context.”

One will have to read http://www.paganchristianity.org/Pagan_Ch11.pdf.  I am definitely sure that it will open up more panoramas, vistas of how we could enjoy the New Testament, and have our minds and hearts enlightened and illumined.  I have been printing out this chapter and also emailed to many others, and the NT is being restored to its context and intent, and minds and hearts are renewed.

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