However, current evangelical and orthodox doctrine ends up distorting the message and meaning of so many passages of scripture. The main reason for this is that current evangelical doctrine, and to a degree orthodox doctrine, focuses on a legal constitutional view of scripture. This makes it a law book and an instruction manual for all faith and practice. Doing this, actually voids the teaching of Jesus about the use of scripture, and leads away from the plan that will bring about supernatural transformation. As a result, we have many distortions of the scripture enshrined in evangelical doctrine.
This is the first blog post, in a series of the same name, that will serve as a guide and index for those to follow. I will briefly enumerate the distortions in this first post. Here is a list some of the verses that are distorted:
1. Hebrews 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
2. Hebrews 13:17 " Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you."
3. 1Co 14:40 " Let all things be done decently and in order."
4. 1Co 14:33 "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints."
The above verses are used to distort the use of authority within assemblies, and bring about a kind of cultic obedience, elevating leadership way above anything that God intended. This is always the case with the legal constitutional view of scripture. It is problematic because it is used to control people in fairly abusive ways to allow the leaders to achieve their goals and keep people in subjection, in many cases, to their every whim. It brings about a kind of devotion that elevates men and women to the position that should only be held by God.
The truth of the matter is that all of the scripture was written to specific situations, and various different occasions. It is impossible to completely know the circumstances of the occasions, and therefore, it is impossible to know exactly what was intended in more than the way in which the literary and historical context allow. Yet, in the above passages of scripture, I hear pastors and leaders quoting them as though they are a hard fast principle that can be applied to every situation and that is just not so.
In fact, the common use of these scriptures in current evangelical doctrine brings about an unhealthy, authoritarian system that keeps individuals in bondage to their various assemblies, and prevents the atmosphere and teaching that leads to the transformation that I mention above in this post. It relegates the transformation process to a self reformation process that continually heightens guilt and fear.
Jesus said to the first century believers that "they would know the truth (Jesus), and the truth would set them free." Why are so many assemblies today putting people into religious and psychological servitude? Only the gospel, properly understood and proclaimed, will begin to overturn this sorry situation. I can no longer in good conscience remain silent. I am exposing the demon of religion in one of its worst manifestations. Stay tuned as this series will look at each of the scripture passages above, and show how they should be used.