Section 8
Lesson 1B

Misrepresentations of Scripture



               It goes without saying that none of us want to be guilty of misrepresenting scripture, yet, we do.
           I'm not going to give a running list of the various ways we do this. I just want to give a couple examples so that we will walk away from this teaching determined to be more careful about the Word of God.
    You know, most of us come into Christianity quite intimidated by the totality of the Word of God - because it's seriously intense. And then with the necessity of knowing we must rely upon the Holy Spirit to unveil the hidden meanings behind the passages, but we're not to so readily able, we cling to the teachers of the Word, hoping that all understanding and answers will be provided through them.  Not that this is wrong, but it allows us, to some extent, to be lazy about searching the truths out for ourselves. As a result, we trust our teachers and receive whatever they lay before us - for the most part. And we seldom learn to confirm things.
          This isn't a testimony against "where teachers make mistakes".  This is an address to the responsibility each and everyone of us believers has to get to know the Lord and His truths for ourselves. Sure, He sends the teachers and prophets. There's a time and place for them. But they aren't the end to our pursuit of truth.
          The Holy Spirit has always been available to every believer since Pentecost 2000 years ago to reveal the scriptures to us. But today, we have the added luxury through technological advancement to search many translations of the Bible at once. As well as the luxury of jumping over to review the original Hebrew or Greek texts on a different website!  So, we have everything at our fingertips and the Holy Teacher with us to guide us into understanding all truth. If we just took more time to do so.  If we only wanted to know God for real...
          But since we do not seek to know God and His truths as we should, we have been gullable for things that aren't even in the Bible. We just adopt the ideas because they're popular Christian perspectives based on supposed passages in the Word. But, if we really look closely, some of these things are quite off. And we don't have to debate that this surely must be displeasing, even painful, to the Lord. I wonder just how much it grieves Him that we don't really care to get to the bottom of His truths.
          For example, "God will never give you more than you can handle."  That's the most common intrepretation of 1 Corinthians 10:13 where it says, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 
          When we really look at it, the verse tells us God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability because, first of all, we have been given the power from on High to resist it the devil and his temptations, but secondly, as verse 13 states, God will provide a way to escape the temptation so that you don't have to succomb. In other words, God won't allow us to be tempted without the ability to overcome through Him.  It has nothing to do with God not ever giving us anything more than we can handle in life. That's a lie.
          But why is this a problem? It seems it should be no big deal. Yet, how would you feel if your children believed something about you that wasn't true? Further, are we one with God when we're not on the same page with Him concerning His reality? Last, can we identify the danger of this particular lie? We decide God won't give us anything more than "we" can bear because He's, oh, so merciful. But His mercy is that He knew there was so much to life that we actually could not handle, so He made a way for us to deal with it through Him, with His kingdom power in us. His mercy made the way for us to depend on Him. Yet, we declare independence from God saying, "He is merciful enough to not give me more than I can handle all on my own."  Do you see the problem?
          Another example is our singing and crying out to the Lord, "More of You, and less of me." This comes from John 3:30, "I must decrease so that He (Jesus) might increase".  When we look closely at the passage, we see plainly that John is saying his MINISTRY must now take a low profile so that the Lord's can increase.  This has nothing to do with John personally desiring to have more of God and less of himself - in himself. In fact, it's an insult to the baptist because he was called at birth into a life wholly unto God - set apart. His life in the wilderness, eating locusts and honey,  was out of complete consecration to God. It screams, "Here I am Lord. My life is completelyYours! It's ALL about You, Lord. Nothing about me."  That's a far cry from "More of You and less of me".  
          Could you imagine standing before Jesus 2000 years ago the very moment He said, “In the same way, those of you who do not forsake all that you have cannot be my disciples", Luke 14:33, and you respond, “Indeed, Lord, I want more of You and less of me.” Everyone would have looked at you cross-eyed with their foreheads all wrinkled saying, “Did you not just hear what the Master said?”  
          These are just two simple popular sayings in the Church. I'm not really interested in teaching all the passages in scripture that are misrepresented. My goal here is to bring emphasis to the importance of truly being one with God by getting to know His Word for ourselves. If we love God, we should want to know Him and what He says, as it truly is. But this will only happen if we take the time to dig into the Bible for ourselves. 
          If you are one who struggles to read the Word like I once did, please go to Section 1 and find the teaching entitled "Reading the Bible Does Not Have to Be a Struggle".
          Meanwhile, understand that our journey with Christ calls us to literally get to know Him. The majority of us don't really do this. But if you want to experience the full reality of the fullness of Christ and the kingdom of God and its benefits, then you must... You must get to know God via His Word for yourself.
           Amen.