Monday, June 13, 2016

"Do not be deceived"

As I've said before, citing scripture outside the context of a worship service or a study group is abusive to scripture and to the audience it is quoted at.  More and more scripture is being "weaponized" (a dreadful but sadly appropriate term), which means it is used as a club to beat down some group and so build up the group gathered around the words.  If you have any regard for the words of the Bible as the "word of God," this is an abuse you should find repugnant and heretical.

Sadly, no.

But the worst part is, it encourages proof-texting.  Take Paul's words of out context, they become abusive.  Put them back into context, and they really don't allow the use Lite Guv. Patrick made of them; in fact, insofar as scripture is God's word, it is Patrick who is mocking God:

6 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Look to yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if any one thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5 For each man will have to bear his own load.

6 Let him who is taught the word share all good things with him who teaches.

7 Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

11 See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. 12 It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that would compel you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For even those who receive circumcision do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may glory in your flesh. 14 But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which[a] the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God.

17 Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.

There is, frankly, no spirit of gentleness in quoting scripture by verse and posting it out of context to a general audience.

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