Lately, a well-respected pastor in my town has been preaching on relationships. His social media-savvy congregation has filled my Facebook feed with image ads for this series, promising to reveal exciting truths about God’s plan for singles, for our futures and the relationships and marriages that might be in store.
Part of me is intrigued by what he might have to say. The other part of me goes,
“NO.” Continue reading
You all know the telephone game. A bunch of people sit in a circle, with a sentence whispered from one person to another, until the last person announces what he or she has heard. Usually, the results are hilariously distorted by the end. It’s the fallibility of memory.
This can happen to the Bible. Since God relies on human beings to pass its truths on between each other and between generations, we run the risk of distorting what we remember. The written Bible itself remains true, thanks to the care God has taken to preserve it (and the fact that we, unlike telephone game participants, are allowed to check with the original source). If we stand on reading the book – with our actual eyes – there’s little risk of its truth winding up like veal in our brains.
But when we operate on memory instead, things can get messy – and occasionally, those messes go viral and become firmly planted in our churches.
Without knowing the context of individual verses, the meaning can change entirely, leaving the Christian misinformed about important things. I can think of three Scripture verses that I constantly hear misused. I’ve even heard them from the pulpit on occasion.
#1. God won’t give you more than he can handle.
They say the “millennials” are those born from 1982-2004. As an ’83 baby, I guess that makes me an elder statesman of this generation.
Scary thought at first. What do I know?
Well, I know what I’ve seen. Even scarier is the amount of junk that keeps us millennials from Jesus. We already know the world would hide Him from us. But there’s so much religion out there, so much half-baked and wishful teaching that’s not based on God’s Word, that it ends up accomplishing the same thing. We end up with, in the words of George MacDonald, “…a false Christ, hard to exorcise!”