In the 1920’s-30’s my grandfather was a share cropper. He plowed with his mules Dick and Jane. When they did not gee and haw, he would hit one in the soft of the nose with his fist. Now he had their attention. One time it back fired, the mule dropped his head and Grandaddy caught him in the forehead. Two of his knuckles were shoved up in his hand.
Some to use the same approach when talking with folks about their short comings! This writing was inspired by a pet peeve of mine! Our approach to people when we see faults. One of the greatest services we can perform for God is to encourage one another in our relationship with Him. Notice I used the word “encourage” not “judge” one another!
Hermeneutics – “the branch of knowledge that deals with interpretation, especially of the Bible or literary texts.” Some Bible scholars believe the scripture is taught by command, example and necessary inference. Some continue to use this form of interpretation but it’s not talked about as much today. Apologetics is reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.
Have you ever considered that some of your interpretations, beliefs, doctrine or tenants could be wrong? On FB, a posting said: “A discussion is much better than a debate. A debate is about who’s right and a discussion is about what’s right.” I totally agree with the statement. We need more discussions!
The reason for this article is that a friend called because she is being condemned to hell because she does not attend church on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. She is there every Sunday morning. No person has the right to pass judgement on someone else as far as their salvation. We need to make sure we are practicing every part of the Bible. The reference used was Hebrews 10:24-25 - “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” The word “forsake” in Greek carries the thought of abandoning or deserting totally. This seems to take on the meaning of no church attendance.
Many take specific passages out of the scriptures and give them more importance than others or misapply them. Too often we use these favorite verses to judge others. Here are a few verses that imply certain things but we don’t seem to practice them:
Matthew 6:16-17 – Both of these verses begin with the phrase: “When you fast”. This does not sound like a command but it certainly sounds like a necessary inference that we are to fast. There are about seventy verses in the Bible that refer to fasting, both publicly and privately with guidelines set. Acts has several references to praying and fasting together. Do you fast? Are you following the intent of Christ’s teachings?
James 5:14 “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” I’ve only known of this happening once. Are we falling short of God’s wishes by not following this practice?
James 5:16 “therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Confessing our sins to each other-– I’m not aware of this practice being a part of many people’s life, it’s not for me.
The Rising Tide by Jeff Shaara is written about World War II. In one passage he writes about a German general who is reflecting about the war. Mr. Shaara writes: “Who is right, after all? We do not weigh the value of our cause; we simply fight to preserve it.”
We should make sure that we weigh the value of our beliefs and don’t just fight for them cause we want to be right!
The Rising Tide – Jeff Shaara – 2006 – Ballantine Books
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