Posts Tagged 'Scripture'

There is an interesting phenomenon that takes place in the world of the church (blogdom serves as a microcosm of this phenomenon). It is marked by a careless attention to detail when it comes to Scripture which thus results in a profound misreading of Scripture to suit one’s own ends, to justify one’s own position, and to hammer to death those with whom we disagree. This phenomenon is, of course, proof-texting.

I heard a professor say it like this once: A text without a context becomes a pretext for a proof-text. Or, something similar to that. As I reflect on the way I was trained to read Scripture and exegete it, I see what the professor was getting at: the authors of the Bible did not write verses. Instead, they wrote books comprised of stories, poems, laws, Gospel and more. Paul did not sit down and write Romans 3:21. Paul sat down and wrote an entire letter to a church (or churches) in the city of Rome (1:7). In other words, what we call Romans 3:21 is merely (not minimally) part of a carefully crafted argument concerning God, the Scripture, and humanity contained within a much larger context. He wrote it to a specific people, at a specific time, and in specific circumstances.

Still, he did not write a single verse of Scripture. He wrote entire letters, the contents of which have been, through the years, utterly mangled in people’s attempt to justify their own belief systems in a sort of a priori kind of way: I have an idea, let’s see if I kind find a verse of Scripture to back it up! And, as it turns out, just about any idea we want to find in the Bible can be found in the Bible. And wow! The ideas are limitless. I never cease to marvel at the religions that have been constructed upon the foundation of one jot or one iota of one word of one verse and then given the name ‘Christianity.’

I have an idea about the Bible that is fairly simple and greatly eases the project of exegesis. Commenting on the nature of the hermeneutic used by Luther, Berkhof writes, “He defended the right of private judgment; emphasized the necessity of taking the context and historical circumstances into account; demanded faith and spiritual insight in the interpreter; and desired to find Christ everywhere in Scripture” (Principles of Biblical Interpretation, Louis Berkhof, 26-27). It’s in that last phrase that I find the most hope and, I think, that through the years it has been that piece that has stuck in my mind and heart more than any other piece of hermeneutics: Jesus is there in Scripture, and all I have to do is open my eyes, listen to the Holy Spirit, an adjust my priorities (so that I am looking for Jesus and nothing else).

So, we look carefully at Scripture and we see Jesus all over the pages, and in every story, without allegorizing or even putting too much effort into it. Paul did write, “But apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.” Jesus made similar statements in Luke’s Gospel: “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and Psalms” (Luke 24:44, cf. Luke 24:25-27). There are other instances too, for example John 5:36-47 and Acts 8:26-35—especially verse 34-35. That sounds too easy, doesn’t it? Even the book of Revelation, so often abused and misused and misunderstood is perfectly understood if we begin with the idea that it is (as it is in the Greek) ‘the Revelation of Jesus Christ’ (I take it as both an objective and subjective genitive) instead of as ‘the Revelation of John’ (as it is in English) or the ‘Revelation of how the end times will come about’ (as it is in so much popular fiction based on the book.

A wonderful example of what I am talking about is the letter we call ‘Hebrews.’ This short letter, surely one of the most beautifully written books in our Bible, is about Jesus—first to last. It is difficult to read Hebrews and come away with anything but a stunning picture of Jesus who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God. I could go on and on and on.  All this is to say that I believe we spend far too much time looking for things in Scripture that are simply not there—and we are not meant to find them. When we read the Bible, we are meant to find Jesus.

Jesus is the point of Scripture. I heard it also this way: The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed; the New Testament is Old Testament revealed. Cliché? Yes. True? Yes. “Jesus our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians 5:7; it’s kind of difficult to escape the sort of Jesus hermeneutic that Paul is using.)

But there is ‘tragedy’ in the church. Mafred Brauch writes of this tragedy, “…many who most passionately and stridently proclaim allegiance to the Bible and love for the inspired, authoritative Word of God often interpret and apply Scripture in ways that are abusive, thus distorting its mean and message…[C]onsequently, instead of releasing the transforming power from God and the treasures of God’s Word into the world in and through broken vessels of our presence and witness (2 Cor 4:7), we contribute to brokenness and abusiveness in our world” (Abusing Scripture, 18). Brauch goes forward with five specific ways we manage to accomplish this (the following paragraphs are direct quotes from Brauch):

A. We use [the Bible] as an instrument of bitter warfare, both within our own circles and against outsiders: we condemn, judge, malign, demean and reject. What does this say about the validity of the central message of Jesus—loving not only brothers and sisters but also neighbors and adversaries?

B. We announce that the Bible speaks the truth from God about human life and relationships, but then we undermine our commitment to that truth by using all kinds of biblical proof texts—often out of context and not in keeping with their original meaning or intent—in an effort to ‘prove’ to those with whom we disagree that we are ‘on the Lord’s side’ and they are of the devil (or at least very wrong!) Is this attitude and practice compatible with the spirit and teaching of the Jesus of the Gospels?

C. We use biblical texts selectively to build arguments for particular theological doctrines or biblical teachings, while conveniently ignoring biblical texts that stand in tension with our views.  Or we employ sophisticated (and often deceptive!) ‘exegetical gymnastics’ to eliminate tensions between and among diverse texts, or we reinterpret texts that are inconvenient and do not support our dearly held convictions or doctrines. What does this say about integrity in the work of interpretation?

D. We invest tremendous energy and time on matters that our Lord told us were not to be our primary concern (such as timetables of the end times) and spend too little time and energy on matters that both God’s prophets and our Lord, as well as his earliest followers, placed very high on their agendas—such as a passion for justice, peacemaking, concern for the poor and righteousness in human affairs. Does this not undermine our claim that the whole Bible is our authority?

E. In the midst of the confusing and distorting voices about human sexuality in our time, we champion Scripture’s call to holy living and morality, grounded in creational intention and covenant commitment. And so we must. But at the same time we often blithely set aside or ignore the cancers eating away at the communal life and witness of our churches—such as strife, bitterness, gossip, backbiting, greed, divisiveness—all named in the New Testament as incompatible with kingdom values (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Ephesians 4:25-32; 5:3-5). Are we then not guilty of distorting the Bible’s claim on all areas of human life and community?  (All quotes are from Manfred Brauch, Abusing Scripture, 18-19.)

I don’t think Brauch is suggesting anything radical or out of the ordinary or, for that matter, new. What I do think he is suggesting is that we carefully examine ourselves and how we use Scripture, what we expect of Scripture, and what we are showing the world when we talk about Scripture. Let’s find a way to listen to Scripture, to seek Jesus who, from first to last, is the Mystery of Scripture.

Think about it: what would happen if we, the Body of Christ, consistently pointed to Jesus instead of our pet projects and pet theologies when we talk about Scripture? I wonder how much strife could be done away with in the church if we ‘used’ the Bible to talk about Jesus—which is what God used it for. Doesn’t it lay to rest a lot of controversy when we point to Jesus instead of ourselves? Seriously, isn’t the end of all hermeneutical adventures to find Jesus? I wonder how many churches could be planted if we preached Christ and him Crucified instead of something else? How many churches would not split if we were all on board that Jesus matters only? How many preachers would not lose their jobs if they consistently, weekly, perpetually preached about Jesus? Conversely, how many preachers would lose their jobs if that were all they talked about?

Sometimes I think that we talk about all the extra stuff because we are not brilliant enough to talk about Jesus without end. Or we get bored talking about Jesus so we have to talk about all that other stuff that is so beside the point. I’d challenge any preacher to put aside his plans for sermons about life, family, finances, heaven and hell and talk for a whole entire year about nothing and no one but Jesus. I contend that if we talked more about Jesus we could talk about the rest of it much, much less. Can we ever exhaust our conversation about Jesus? But we are not predestined to become like a theological system or an idea about life. We are, Paul wrote, predestined to become like Jesus (see Ephesians 1)—and God is, in fact, renewing and restoring in us the image of Jesus (wow, see Colossians; what else could this mean, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ, in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you will also appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-4); see also Hebrews 12:1-3 among others).

“The story of Jesus is full of darkness as well as of light. It is a story that hides more than it reveals. It is the story of a mystery we must never assume we understand and that comes to us breathless and broken with unspeakable beauty at the heart of it, yet it is by no means a pretty story, though that is the way we’re apt to peddle it much of the time. We sand down the rough edges. We play down the obscurities and contradictions. What we can’t explain, we explain away. We set Jesus forth as clear-eyed and noble-browed, whereas the chances are he can’t have been anything but old before this time once the world started working him over, and once the world was through, his clear eyes swollen shut and his noble brow as much of a shambles as the rest of him. We’re apt to tell his story when we tell it at all, to sell his story, for the poetry and panacea of it. ‘But we are the aroma of Christ,’ Paul says, and the story we are given to tell is a story that smells of his life in all its aliveness, and our commission is to tell it in a way that makes it come alive as a story in all its aliveness and to make those who hear it come alive and God knows to make ourselves come alive too.” (Frederick Buechner, “The Two Stories” in Secrets in the Dark, 85-86),

May we find Jesus in the Scripture, that the world may find Jesus in us.

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I went out to eat with my wife this evening and when the food was done we ended up at the Half-Price Bookstore–which is like a cigarette after s**. Oh, :)

While at the Half-Price Bookstore, I picked up a brand spanking new hard cover copy of the ESV–the latest rage among the neo-Reformed. It sure is pretty.–inside and out; I love it.

Seems there is a lot of conversation lately about the proper use of words and what words we are allowed to use when we speak or preach. Some preachers have been taking a real hit from some who think their words are too, uh, vulgar. I have already blogged about this just a bit; some of you have commented.

Lately, I have been reading the Prophet Ezekiel. I thought you might also enjoy this chapter of Ezekiel, 23,  that I read tonight because it speaks to our time, our day, our culture, and our church. I have left the footnotes intact for your benefit.

Oholah and Oholibah

1The word of the LORD came to me: 2(A) “Son of man, there were(B) two women, the daughters of one mother. 3(C) They played the whore in Egypt;(D) they played the whore in their youth; there their breasts were pressed and their virgin bosoms[a] handled. 4Oholah was the name of the elder and Oholibah the name of her sister.(E) They became mine, and they(F) bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Oholah is(G) Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem.

5“Oholah played the whore(H) while she was mine, and(I) she lusted after her lovers(J) the Assyrians, warriors 6clothed in purple,(K) governors and commanders,(L) all of them desirable young men,(M) horsemen riding on horses. 7She bestowed her whoring upon them, the choicest men of Assyria all of them, and she defiled herself with all the idols of everyone after whom she lusted. 8She did not give up her whoring(N) that she had begun in Egypt; for in her youth men had lain with her and handled her virgin bosom and poured out their whoring lust upon her. 9Therefore(O) I delivered her into the hands of her lovers, into the hands of the Assyrians, after whom she lusted. 10(P) These uncovered her nakedness;(Q) they seized her sons and her daughters; and as for her, they killed her with the sword; and she became(R) a byword among women,(S) when judgment had been executed on her.

11(T) “Her sister Oholibah saw this, and she became(U) more corrupt than her sister[b] in her lust and in her whoring, which was worse than that of her sister. 12She lusted after the Assyrians, governors and commanders, warriors clothed in full armor, horsemen riding on horses,(V) all of them desirable young men. 13And I saw that she was defiled; they both took the same way. 14But she carried her whoring further. She saw men(W) portrayed on the wall, the(X) images of(Y) the Chaldeans portrayed in vermilion, 15wearing belts on their waists, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them having the appearance of officers, a likeness of Babylonians whose native land was Chaldea. 16When she saw them, she lusted after them and(Z) sent messengers to them(AA) in Chaldea. 17And the Babylonians came to her(AB) into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoring lust. And after she was defiled by them,(AC) she turned from them in disgust. 18When she carried on her whoring so openly and flaunted her nakedness, I turned in disgust from her, as I had turned in disgust from her sister. 19Yet she increased her whoring,(AD) remembering the days of her youth, when she played the whore in the land of Egypt 20and lusted after her paramours there, whose members were like those of donkeys, and whose issue was like that of horses. 21Thus you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when the Egyptians handled your bosom and pressed[c] your young breasts.”

22Therefore, O Oholibah, thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I will stir up against you your lovers(AE) from whom you turned in disgust,(AF) and I will bring them against you from every side: 23the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans,(AG) Pekod and Shoa and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them,(AH) desirable young men, governors and commanders all of them, officers and men of renown, all of them riding on horses. 24And they shall come against you from the north[d] with chariots and wagons and a host of peoples.(AI) They shall set themselves against you on every side with buckler, shield, and helmet; and(AJ) I will commit the judgment to them, and(AK) they shall judge you according to their judgments. 25And I will direct my jealousy against you,(AL) that they may deal with you in fury. They shall cut off your nose and your ears, and your survivors shall fall by the sword.(AM) They shall seize your sons and your daughters, and your survivors shall be devoured by fire. 26(AN) They shall also strip you of your clothes and take away your beautiful jewels. 27(AO) Thus I will put an end to your lewdness and(AP) your whoring begun in the land of Egypt, so that you shall not lift up your eyes to them or remember Egypt anymore.

28“For thus says the Lord GOD:(AQ) Behold, I will deliver you into the hands of those whom you hate,(AR) into the hands of those from whom you turned in disgust, 29and(AS) they shall deal with you in hatred and take away all the fruit of your labor(AT) and leave you naked and bare, and(AU) the nakedness of your whoring shall be uncovered. Your lewdness and your whoring 30have brought this upon you, because(AV) you played the whore with the nations and defiled yourself with their idols. 31You have gone the way of your sister;(AW) therefore I will give(AX) her cup into your hand. 32Thus says the Lord GOD:

“You shall drink your sister’s cup
that is deep and large;
you shall be laughed at and held in derision,
for it contains much;
33you will be filled with(AY) drunkenness and sorrow.(AZ) A cup of horror and desolation,
the cup of your sister Samaria;
34(BA) you shall drink it and drain it out,
and gnaw its shards,
and tear your breasts;

for I have spoken, declares the Lord GOD. 35Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because(BB) you have forgotten me and(BC) cast me behind your back, you yourself(BD) must bear the consequences of your lewdness and whoring.”

36The LORD said to me:(BE) “Son of man,(BF) will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Declare to them their abominations. 37For(BG) they have committed adultery,(BH) and blood is on their hands. With their idols they have committed adultery, and they have even(BI) offered up[e] to them for food the children whom they had borne to me. 38Moreover, this they have done to me:(BJ) they have defiled my sanctuary on the same day and(BK) profaned my Sabbaths. 39For when(BL) they had slaughtered their children in sacrifice to their idols, on the same day(BM) they came into my sanctuary to profane it. And behold,(BN) this is what they did in my house. 40They even sent for men to come from afar,(BO) to whom a messenger was sent; and behold, they came. For them you bathed yourself,(BP) painted your eyes,(BQ) and adorned yourself with ornaments. 41You sat on(BR) a stately couch, with a table spread before it(BS) on which you had placed my incense and(BT) my oil. 42The(BU) sound of a carefree multitude was with her; and with men of the common sort, drunkards[f] were brought from the wilderness; and they put(BV) bracelets on the hands of the women, and(BW) beautiful crowns on their heads.

43“Then I said of her who was worn out by adultery, Now they will continue to use her for a whore, even her![g] 44For they have gone in to her, as men go in to a prostitute. Thus they went in to Oholah and to Oholibah, lewd women! 45But righteous men(BX) shall pass judgment on them with the sentence of adulteresses, and with the sentence of women who shed blood, because they are adulteresses, and blood is on their hands.”

46For thus says the Lord GOD:(BY) “Bring up a vast host against them, and make them(BZ) an object of terror and(CA) a plunder. 47(CB) And the host shall stone them and cut them down with their swords.(CC) They shall kill their sons and their daughters, and(CD) burn up their houses. 48(CE) Thus will I put an end to lewdness in the land, that all women may take warning and not commit lewdness as you have done. 49And they shall return your lewdness upon you, and(CF) you shall bear the penalty for your sinful idolatry, and(CG) you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.”

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 23:3" href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2023&version=47#en-ESV-21011">Ezekiel 23:3 Hebrew nipples; also verses 8, 21
  2. Ezekiel 23:11" href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2023&version=47#en-ESV-21019">Ezekiel 23:11 Hebrew than she
  3. Ezekiel 23:21" href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2023&version=47#en-ESV-21029">Ezekiel 23:21 Vulgate, Syriac; Hebrew bosom for the sake of
  4. Ezekiel 23:24" href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2023&version=47#en-ESV-21032">Ezekiel 23:24 Septuagint; the meaning of the Hebrew word is unknown
  5. Ezekiel 23:37" href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2023&version=47#en-ESV-21045">Ezekiel 23:37 Or have even made pass through the fire
  6. Ezekiel 23:42" href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2023&version=47#en-ESV-21050">Ezekiel 23:42 Or Sabeans
  7. Ezekiel 23:43" href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2023&version=47#en-ESV-21051">Ezekiel 23:43 The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain
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It’s an interesting thing the internet. I love that we can share ideas, thoughts, and dialogue. I’m also a big fan of being able to use the internet and blogs in particular to share the love of Christ. Sometimes I wonder what an uniformed not-Christian might think if they read this:

John the Baptist didn’t whimper around about “praying for those in authority” like Rick Warren has, as cover for self-promotion and thinly veiled political ambition. John the Baptist rebuked King Herod for his adultery. Then again, he lost his head for it. There is no danger of Rick Warren losing his head for what he’s about to do. Three resounding cheers to Joseph Farah for publicly stating the obvious about Warren’s fawning sycophancy of Barack Obama. He begins his letter with this excellent sentence: [...]

I didn’t realize that President-elect Obama had committed adultery. I didn’t realize the USA advocated chopping off anyone’s head. I didn’t realize preachers were only called to pray for those with whom they agreed. I didn’t realize that Joseph Farah was a moral majority who had any authority over the daily schedule of Rick Warren. I didn’t realize it was against the law or Scripture for Rick Warren to have political ambition (not that I’m saying he does; who cares?) You know, the more these ADM’s write against certain folks, the more I find myself siding with certain folks. These people need to get real jobs.

You know, the author of this is correct. John the Baptizer didn’t whimper about about such things as ‘praying for those in authority.’ Why on earth would we want to do that? However, Paul did.

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time. 7And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles. 8I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. (1 Timothy 2:1-8)

Hmmm….who should we listen to…the one who doesn’t seem to know Scripture (or at least only remembers the parts they desire to remember) or the Scripture?

Sola Scriptura my ass. More like ‘Sola the Scripture I Wish to Remember’. Or Sola Joseph Farah. I wonder what will happen to us if we don’t pray for Pres-elect Obama? God have mercy!

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I keep reading this mantra from certain online prophets: Sola Scriptura. You know, I have read my Bible and I have yet to come across the phrase Sola Scriptura. Be that as it may. I will, for the sake of the argument, concede that Sola Scriptura carries some weight and therefore affirm its validity.

So I’m reading this load of crap over at AM. I was intrigued because over and over again the author, my friend, Pastor-Teacher Ken Silva keeps throwing out this phrase Sola Scriptura–8 times on the page if I counted correctly. Amazing, I thought. Here’s someone who is really living up to what they believe, practicing what they preach. Then I read a little more closely and was shocked at what I saw as the ‘essay’ developed. You might be shocked too at this startling revelation:

  • Dr. Walter Martin, The Cult of Liberalism circa 1985 (8 mentions)
  • Charles Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers, At the Master’s Feet, December 4 (1 mention)
  • great 60’s pop philosopher Bob Dylan (1 mention)
  • Washington Irving (1 mention ‘Rip Van Winkle’)
  • Rob Bell (37 mentions)
  • Jesus (14 mentions, mostly in quotes of other people)

Well, I found exactly three verses of Scripture in this post. I found 5 paragraphs from Wally Martin, 3 paragraphs from Chucky Spurgeon, and one quote from ‘the great’ Bob Dylan–the only worthwhile part of the post and, to be sure, an inclusion that Bob Dylan would surely be unhappy to acknowledge. No, Pastor-Teacher Silva, the times they are not a changin’. Why do you think Paul wrote that when he did? He was concerned about preachers even then.

OK. It appears that Pastor Silva does not actually practice what he preaches. He doesn’t believe in Sola Scriptura, a man made invention found nowhere in the Scripture.

Just a couple of questions for Pastor Silva as I wrap up this missive.

1. If in fact this is ’spiritual warfare’ as you described in the first several paragraphs of your, uh, ‘work’, then why on earth do you spend so much of the time you are supposed to be redeeming waging war against the flesh and blood? Our battle, Scripture says, is not against flesh and blood. So why are you so determined to ruin people’s lives, reputations, etc?  Is your God not big enough to handle is own church, his own body? You cannot continue claiming that Christ has called you to this work and that you are only doing what he told you when you do nothing even remotely resembling the work of Christ. He said, love one another. Even when James and John wanted to call down lightning Jesus refused to give them permission. You are no prophet sir, you are no martyr, and I seriously question whether or not you understand the Scripture you throw around like so much flak.

2. If “The Tip Of The Evangelical Iceberg Of Apostasy Has Been Visible For Many Years Now” then why do you end your ‘post’ by quoting that ‘the times they are a changing’? It seems to me it cannot be both. Are you saying things are getting better?

3. You say in your post, and I quote: “Every Minister Of The Gospel Of Christ Is Accountable To The Body Of Christ.” We have two problems here. First, ‘every minister’ means what? Seems to me that Scripture says we are all a ‘kingdom’ and a ‘priesthood.’ The modern idea of the localized minister is foreign to the Scripture you claim as your authority. I checked the NASB, NIV, ESV and the words ‘every minister’ never occur together (I also checked for ‘preacher,’ ‘worker,’ ‘workman,’ ‘approved,’ and ‘pastor’ in all three versions these words are virtually non-existent as to what you are claiming). In fact, it appears that the English word ‘minister’ appears twice, maybe three times in Romans (depending upon which translation you check) and that is all (Romans 13:4, 15:16, 27) I did find this:

Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. (Romans 14:4)

The word ‘accountable’ appears only one time (ESV, NASB, NIV) and has nothing to do whatsoever with your claims to congregational supervision. Pastor Silva, are you acquainted with the Scripture? Can you show me where in Scripture a localized church minister in any modern or ancient sense was ever held accountable to the congregation, to the Body of Christ beyond his own local congregation or even within his own local congregation? Was it that way for Moses? Was it that way for David? Was it that way for Joshua? Timothy? Titus?

The second problem we have is this: Who are you to make the call for accountability? Even if we agree that Rob Bell, for example, is accountable to the body of Christ at large (and we don’t), who are you to lead that charge? Are you saying you have more authority over Rob Bell than do his own elders? Are you saying that you have more Scriptural authority than his own congregation to which you do not belong and contribute nothing? Your quotation of 1 Timothy 4:2 gives you absolutely no authority to call him out at all. My God man. Even David, anointed of the Lord, would not lift his hand against Saul even though everyone knew that Saul was on his way out of the castle.

Pastor Silva, I don’t know what you are a pastor of, but I have serious doubts about the legitimacy your ‘ministry’ and I have even more serious questions about your motivation. And the fact that you do it so anonymously does not aid your cause. Maybe you should concern yourself with your local congregation a little more and with others a little less.

**UPDATE**

Sorry for this intrusion, I just noticed that there was a search limit applied when I conducted my searches of the words I noted above. I did a re-check of those words and found the following Scripture:

“Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:14-15).

Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our area of activity among you will greatly expand, 16so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in another man’s territory. 17But, “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord. 18For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends” (2 Corinthians 10:15-18).

I’m sorry for the misinformation above, but as you can see, there doesn’t seem to be any real danger caused by my mistake. jerry

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