This is part one of a two part series, next I will discuss “why I love to post scriptures.”
Recently I read a post going around Facebook of a greeting card that said this, “If thou therefore shall worship me, all shall be thine”- Luke 4:7. What a great passage to live by, correct? or not…when we learn who made this statement we find out that this is not that great of a verse to live by. It was Satan speaking to Jesus while wandering in the desert for 40 days. So with that, I want to give you 4 reasons why I struggle posting scriptures online.
1. Context determines meaning
I have already mentioned this principle but one reason why, if I do a post scripture, I want to post enough of the verse and a clear enough passage that no other conclusion can be made than that which the verse is actually saying. Many times I post a scripture with a brief statement along with it, not because I think I need to help God, but it is actually an attempt to give a brief context to help the hearers with what the passage is saying. Posting a random verse like Luke 4:7, may have a good meaning but once you understand it’s context, it does not have a good meaning at all, it is about following Satan.
*This point is the foundation for the other 3 points.
2. Verses can be used to support any doctrine
Let’s go back to Luke 4, where Satan is tempting Jesus. How does he do so? He actually quotes scripture…so why doesn’t Jesus say something along the lines, “Okay, well since you quoted scripture, you must be right?” Too many assume that because somebody made a statement and put one or two scriptures behind it, that they must automatically be correct. It has been said by many preachers and others who study the bible that I can make you believe just about anything with the bible. We need to be like the noble Berean’s and search the scripture to see if what people are saying is true (Acts 17:11). I never want to fall into this category of posting a false concept and using scripture to support a false biblical idea.
3. The bible is not a “bumper sticker” book
When we post only one scripture, it actually takes away from the greatness of the biblical account. Some tend to think that one scripture can settle the matter on a topic when that is just not the case. We need to consider many verses if not all the verses on a given topic to come to a proper understanding of any given topic. This takes time and effort. The bible is written so that it needs to be studied in totality, no verse is superior to another verse but they must work together to get the complete picture of any given topic.
4. I don’t know my audience
While preaching radio sermons, one of the most difficult things to do is to preach to an audience you don’t know. Why is this so hard? Because the bible was written to specific people, during a specific time, and for a specific reason. You see the bible was not written to me but for me. The difference is, I do not live at the church at Corinth, so I do not have to disfellowsip the man who is sleeping with his father’s wife, but I do need to be able use that principle in my congregation if there is a public sin that one is unwilling to repent of and would hurt the church has a whole (c.f. 1 Cor. 5). Same with the Old Covenant, I am not a Jew living under the Mosaic law but as Paul says, it was written for our learning, that we may know how God deals with sin, faithfulness, and many other things. So not knowing my audience hinders my effectiveness as a preacher and as “poster” of scripture online.
We always need to be concerned that we are not hurting the advancement of the gospel but helping people to understand God and His will for them in their lives. Some scriptures are self-evident of what they mean and are talking about, but others need more work to understand, as Peter says about Paul’s letters”
“as also in all his [Paul’s] letters, speaking in them of these things, in which some are hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of scriptures, to their own destruction”- 2 Peter 3:16.
I want to be like Ezra, in the book of Nehemiah, who doesn’t just read the scripture out loud but then goes and gives understanding to all those who could understand. Posting scriptures can cause more confusion sometimes if the reader does not understand the context in which the verse is being quoted. I do not want to be one who twists the scriptures to my own destruction or the destruction of others.
Here is my final admonishment to all who are considering posting scriptures,
“Pay close attention to yourselves and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you”- 1 Timothy 4:16