There is a local legal firm’s particular TV ad that is representative of the dangers that can be caused when certain words, phrases or sentences are taken out of their context. In this ad, which I’m sure many of you have seen, the lawyer in it is basically announcing that his firm treats all their clients the same regardless of who they are or where they come from. Part of his discourse is: “I don’t care if you’re from the North side, the South side, the East side, or the West side.” The problem with his choice of wording lies in the fact that to many who see and hear the ad, these three words stand out in their mind: “I Don’t care.” Therefore, they may wind up telling others that this law firm does not care about their clients, all because they chose to take three words out of the entire ad’s context.
Many people are like that when it concerns the Bible. As I mentioned yesterday, when bible verses are taken out of their context, oftentimes they too will appear to be contradictory. Of course, many are intent on isolating certain bible verses for their own convenience. An old preacher friend of mine used to say that the story in the gospel of John about Jesus making wine was the favorite of all the winos in town.
I Haven’t seen a “primetime” TV program in years but I do remember one particular hilarious “Frasier” rerun I did see. His radio station had made a new rule that he was to do commercial ads during his show. He said he would not do it for it was below his standards. His manager said that if he didn’t, they would pull him off the air. He quickly went on the air to protest, saying something like: “Those who know me, know that I am not a man who runs away from a good fight, etc.” Unfortunately they turned him off before he got through and the only thing his listeners heard was: “Those who know me, know that I am not a man.”
I’ve caught many ministers make the mistake of isolating certain bible passages. That can do a lot of harm or if not create confusion among their listeners. That is one reason God’s ministers must keep in mind and take for themselves, this instruction Paul charged Timothy with: Do 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 2:15) Many will persist in isolating bible verses, but if we want to know the truth, we need to do more than just a spot reading and study of the Bible. After all, we want to know the whole truth.
Memory Verse for the week: (1 Peter 5:7) Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.