Monday, May 4, 2009

Applying Scripture to Our Lives

As I've said before, Peyton really enjoys apologetics (the defense of the faith). He loves to study and read books that have titles such as "Why I'm not an Atheist" which is written in response to another book, written by an atheist, called "Why I'm not a Christian". Anyway, one of his favorite apologists is a fairly conservative, evangelical guy named Greg Koukl. He has a radio apologetics ministry that we listen to some. Well, Peyton recently ordered some CD's of his called "The Ambassador's Basic Curriculum", which is all about how to be an effective ambassador for Christ. He says some good things, such as how to be a good ambassador we have to 1) have knowledge of the King 2)have wisdom in applying this knowledge and 3) have character that lines up with our claim. Great stuff! Here is were I got a little uncomfortable.....

He was talking about how we, as evangelicals, often read scripture. Instead of reading it in context, people sometimes just search for a verse for their specific situation. He gives three examples:
1) A woman who is unhappy in her marriage is looking for guidance if she should pursue a relationship with another man--she claims the verse "Put on the new man"
2) A man is praying about whetherr he should date/marry a girl named Grace. He claims the verse "Grace be unto you".
3) Another lady is praying for her family to be saved. She reads about Paul and the jailer and it says "He and his whole family were saved". She claims that verse for her situation.

Okay, so clearly #1 is a fallacy, because it's not only wrong, its an immoral application. BUT, Koukl says is it just a wrong application, or is the entire methodology wrong (i.e. claiming a verse as a private message from God)? #2 is not an immoral application, but is still a little for-fetched. Clearly God was talking about grace the state of being, not Grace the person. #3 is even less black and white. I mean this verse was about a specific family, in a specific time, at a specific place. Could someone (presumably led by the Holy Spirit) claim this verse?

I have always thought that God could, and does, speak to individuals through scripture. And I don't think this guy would argue. He just thinks he speaks in a more general way. And truthfully, most of the times that I feel God showing me something in scripture it is pretty general. For example, my worry/complaining post. I mean I feel like God lead me to these verses at a certain time, that was defiantly the Holy Spirit. However, at the same time they weren't a "private message" for me; they are applicable to all Christians. I don't know. I'd love to hear what you think. Can you tell me about a time God spoke specifically to you through scripture? I'd really love to hear everyone's thoughts on this!


Renee said...

Hey! I just saw where you asked me a question about my daughter Sophie on my blog. If you go to March 12, 2008 there should be a post that will explain it. I don't mind you 'stalking'. :) I have plenty of blogs I stalk too!

The Morris Family said...

This might be a bit lengthy for a comment but, oh well!! And thanks for coming over and checking out our family and farm!! I definitely believe that the Lord speaks to His children through the scriptures and as we had put scriptures in our hearts,the Holy Spirit often brings these to mind through out our dailiness, like when we do not just have a Bible open. I have a few specific ones but there are ever so many more that I know they were specific and individualized to me and my heart. Thats what the Holy Spirit does as he groans on our behalf before the Lord.When I was preg with Joel and Josiah we desired to have a home birth and as we told folks our plan, there were many thoughts of concern and they questioned our plan, for safety and all. I respected their opinions yet I found myself quickly becoming fearful for all the thoughts that others were having for us. I remember ever so clearly one night just laying in bed and begging the Lord to show us what HE wanted us to do. I could go to the hosp or I could stay at home, I just wanted to know!!! the next morning in my regular reading I read Is. 8: 11, 12,17,18,19. One phrase in there was my answer but I wish you could take a moment and read the verses. It said "neither fear ye their fears nor be afraid." Now how can that be general when here I am preg. and facing fears that others were sharing through their concerns. I guess you noticed that our little 3 yr Joel went to live with Jesus 1/23/07 and I can not imagine traveling a road with out "hearing" from the Lord. It has been through countless scriptures but time and space here are a few. John 16:20-22, Here I am in great sorrow of heart and just in my daily reading. John 19:41, again as I grieve and read and pray and seek, the Lord speaks that there is a garden in the place where He was crucified. As we faced death, there is a garden where seeds from this trial will spring forth. John 14:22-23, I too had a question like this person in this verse, how was the Lord going to manifest himself to me, I wanted signs and wonders, but as I read here the Lord spoke through the scriptures and said to my broken heart, he has already manifested himself to me in these 4 ways and I drew them from the scriptures, in verse 23, he will and has manifested himself to me by my loving him, he would manifest himself to me by my obedience, keeps my word, and then fellowship, the Father will love him, and last His presence, making our abode with him. To me these I have listed are designed specifically for me and my situation but that is how incredible, infinite, all inspiring WORD works. I have never in all my life since Joel died "heard" things like I do now but its through the scriptures!!!
Hope you do not mind the length.
Blessings and keep in touch!!

The Morris Family said...

Oh...and BTW the Lord granted a wonderful birth and answered every criteria of the midwife to have them at was amazing!!!