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Out of Context?

Discussion in 'Bible Verses' started by Rik Brooks, May 2, 2016.

  1. Rik Brooks

    Rik Brooks Non-denominational with strong Baptist leanings. Supporter

    United States
    Look, I just love Priscilla Shirer to pieces. I love the role that she played in War Room and how well she played it. I love her book ferVent. I respect that she has a Master's degree in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. I respect her school and degree and her father is an amazing minister but Lordy...

    If I ain't mistaken the lady keeps taking scripture out of context and it breaks my heart.

    Maybe I'm wrong though. Maybe I'm too strict. So I turn to y'all.

    Here's an example that we can use for discussion. Priscilla is saying that we should put away the past and that Christ is giving us a NEW life that we should embrace. I have no problem with that.

    but one of the verses that she uses to exemplify her point is Isaiah 43:18

    Do not remember the former things nor consider the things of old.

    Well, that SOUNDS right but that's not the context of the verse.

    My question is, can I take this verse the way she says I can or is it out of context? I know that she is right about the message but it seems to me that this is not the right verse.

    Or am I just being a stickler?

    The Seeker
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Quid est Veritas?

    Quid est Veritas? In Memoriam to CS Lewis

    Scripture can be read in four ways according to Scholasticism and traditional theology.
    Literal, metaphorical, anagogical, allegorical. (More correct terminology would be literal, anagogical, tropological, typological)

    A good example to use would be Jonah. Literally a story about a prophet, typologically prefiguring Christ in His tomb sacrificed to calm the storms of sin (in the whale's belly), morally/metaphorically about listening to and following the commands of God and anagogically the old man dying and being reborn as a New Man of God. Anagogy is the tricky one as it is gaining spiritual truths from events, a visible event referencing an invisible spiritual statement.

    Some add a historical-critical approach where you read the verses in the sense of what its contemporary audience expected or thought it would mean.

    Its sometimes difficult to get right, but there is nothing wrong in my opinion in using Scripture in any of these ways. You just need to be able to figure out which sense the preacher is using and don't think one meaning excludes the rest.

    I think her verse was completely appropriate.
  3. Rik Brooks

    Rik Brooks Non-denominational with strong Baptist leanings. Supporter

    United States

    Now I can relax and enjoy the rest of her very well written book.
  4. AspieforGod

    AspieforGod My Brother is Jesus!

    United Kingdom
    I say well done for stopping to think and ask is this verse in context that's not something all of us do unfortunately.

    I think as long as you or whoever is reading something with a possible red flag uses discernment to find out the proper context of a particular passage, which is ALWAYS to be found in the book it's in, and has that in mind they can allow a little room for teachers to pick and mix in a general topic or theme. As long as it doesn't stray too far off course and if it does the teacher should be notified of their misuse and gently corrected so as not to lead others astray who have not developed discernment yet.

    Definately worth keeping an eye on the attitude of strictness though we don't want to wander into the folly of the Pharisees where it doesn't matter how ridiculous something seems it must be followed to the letter.

    Thank you for posting! God bless you and Shalom.

  5. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Your spiritual discernment is CORRECT. She does just that.

    I couldn't answer your question at first because you didn't give any information how she 'interpreted' Isaiah 43:18. I had to go searching for it. It would be better in the future if you included what someone said about it. The internet reference only showed the verse, not what was said about the verse.

    Fervent: Prayer Strategy for Your Past

    “One of the qualities that makes the gospel so real & so great is that it doesn’t eliminate our past but just so thoroughly deals with it. God forgives it. He changes it. He transforms all that mess into his huge mountain of grace that only takes us higher and closer to Him. So now instead of being a reason for endless shame, guilt & regret, our past is a reason for endless worship & free-flowing testimony. And for continual, grateful, heartfelt prayer. ” — Fervent by Priscilla Shirer

    "The thing about our past is that with each new day, another day passes. And as sinners living in a fallen world, the odds are pretty good that we will continue to make decisions we aren't always proud of; decisions we might regret. Heartfelt, fervent prayer is how we can start each day with a clean slate.

    Lam 3:22-23 says, "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Isn't God so incredibly gracious & loving toward us? We will never deserve His love, but He so generously pours it out onto us anyway. There is no greater love."

    "Are you ready to pray fervently & create a prayer strategy for your past? To get started, here are some scriptures you might consider adding to your prayer strategy for your past. If you're following along in the book you can find these scriptures, plus more, on pages 102-103."

    *Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:18-19 (ESV)

    *Sing praises to the Lord, O you His saints & give thanks to His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, & His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. Ps 30:4-5 (ESV)

    *My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Cor 12:9 (ESV)
    *Jesus Christ is the same yesterday & today & forever. Hebrews 13:8 (ESV)

    "Go ahead and grab your Heartfelt Prayers Journal and craft your prayer strategy for your PAST. Remember, if you don't have a journal, you can download this Prayer Journal that I created specifically for this study and use it throughout the series!"

    As we prayerfully examine what she wrote, we can see that she did indeed quote not only this passage out of context & 'inserting' a new meaning, making a pretext (this is called eisogesis not exegesis), but four others & some of them say nothing about prayer or focuses on someone's past so they can pray about it.

    You will also notice something that is typical of those who practice eisogesis (taking isolated verses out of their context, from the meaning they were intented for & mixing them with other isolated verses out of their contexts & coming up with a pretext that is self-generated & foreign to the original meanings & contexts.

    Even Lamentations 3:22,23 is quoted out of context & very badly. The whole first part of the chapter is about the very difficult trials & tribulations of Jeremiah THAT GOD TOLD HIM WOULD HAPPEN & HE WOULD NEED TO ENDURE! Context is so very important when interpreting verses--especially those pulled out of context.

    What does Hebrews 13:8 have to do with our pasts & coming up with a prayer strategy to deal with our pasts? It has nothing to do with it. Let's look at Hebrews 13:7-9 & the immediate context of it.

    Heb 13:7-9 Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life & imitate their faith. 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday & today & forever. Do NOT be carried away by ALL KINDS OF STRANGE TEACHINGS, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace &not by foods of no value to those devoted to them.

    In the context of this verse, we see it is talking about a variety of things, starting in verse 1 of the chapter, talking about continuing in love, showing hospitality, visiting those in prison, holding up marriage as honorable & the marriage bed as to be undefiled & keeping our lives free from the love of money as Jesus will never leave nor forsake us.

    Then in the immediate context, we are remember our spiritual leaders, considering the outcome of their way of living & imitate their faith. In the same way we are to REMEMBER Jesus Christ, who is the same always as the omnipresent Lord. He won't leave or forsake us, so we can confidently say He is our helper. Then the next verse WARNS us of NOT BEING CARRIED AWAY by all kinds of 'strange' teachings.

    That warning is very applicable HERE in her quoting this verse out of context. It is a strange teaching & the word used here is referring back to an Old Testament (OT) example. Remember the OT warning & example when Aaron's two sons, Nadab & Abihu offered 'strange fire' with the wrongly prescribed incense contrary to God's commands to prepare the incense for fire in a very specific way, in order to be holy to the LORD & treat God as holy.

    Leviticus 10:1-7 Now Nadab & Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer & put fire in it & laid incense on it & offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the LORD & consumed them & they died before the LORD. Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified in them (treated as holy, separate) & before all the people I will be glorified.’” And Aaron held his peace.

    4And Moses called Mishael & Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron & said to them, “Come near; carry your brothers away from the front of the sanctuary & out of the camp.” So they came near & carried them in their coats out of the camp, as Moses had said. And Moses said to Aaron & to Eleazar & Ithamar his sons, “Do not let the hair of your heads hang loose & do not tear your clothes, lest you die & wrath come upon all the congregation; but let your brothers, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning that the LORD has kindled. And do not go outside the entrance of the tent of meeting, lest you die, for the anointing oil of the LORD is upon you.” And they did according to the word of Moses.

    This is very serious before the living God!

    2 Cor 12:9 is pulled out of context as well, isolating just one verse. When put into context of 2 Cor 12:5-10, a radically DIFFERENT MEANING is shown than what she implies. Here Paul was given a thorn in the flesh, A MESSENGER FROM SATAN, to torment me, to keep me from being conceited about the suprassing revelations he received when going to paradise in the third heavens.

    He asked three times to take it away in prayer. Then God said prayer wouldn't work in this situation, only God's grace would be sufficient for him, to endure these very distressing torments. Let you think these werent' difficult to endure, the word literally means, 'hit with the fists.' It was like being struck by fists over & over again, in a spiritual sense. She definitely took this way out of context, because God said prayer wouldn't work in this case. Paul would have to endure it as long as God was allowing it.

    Do to time sake, I will end with the passage you mentioned, Isaiah 48:18,19 (she puts in verse 19). Context: Read the whole chapter of Isaiah 43 & see how vss 18,19 fit in with the meaning of the chapter.

    God is appealing to the nation of Israel, first as their Creator & then as their Redeemer. He commands them not to fear repeatedly, since He has chosen them & called them. Why? Because the Assyrian & Babylonian captivities are going to occur in the future but eventually Babylon will fall. God challenges any of the nations to show they predicted these things beforehand. God has chosen Israel as His witness to tell the world God did & predicted all these things.

    vs 13 Before the day was (even existed, came into being), I AM. And there is none that can deliver out of My hand: I will work & who shall prevent (hinder) it? I sure love this verse about the living God! Sorry, got sidetracked.

    Then the context reassures Israel that God will again restore them to the land & vss 18,19 is referring to this new time, in the future after the captivities & the new is referring when there will be a new way for Israel, coming back into the land once more.

    Here is what one commentator stated about this:

    "Israel is just as indestructible as God's Word and Covenant are. Whoever can annihilate Israel can do more than Satan and all the powers of hell have been able to do in ages past. What is true of Israel, however, is equally true of the Church. Against it, too, the flames have raged and the waters have boiled but, according to His promise, the Lord Jesus has always been with her." (Bultema)

    Just as God delivered Israel from Egypt, just as God would deliver them from the captivity to Assyria & Babylon, so God would continue to deliver them & bring them back to the land once again. Despite what they may face in the return to the land, God would be with them & watching over them. The wild beasts would HONOR the LORD & they would be protected.

    As another commentator has said, this also points to the time of Christ's redemption & kingdom, far surpassing all these other ones. Then the end of the chapter returns to the present situation of Israel & God's weariness of their sinning. God wants to aquit them & forgive them. Yet they keep sinning so they will need to live under the curses (as stated in Deut 28--the blessings & the curses).

    That is the context of these verses. One might try & make an application from this, to people's present situations. But it is pulled out of its context & to whom it is actually referring.
    Here are many others concerned about her doing the exact same thing & not recommending her due to her treatment of the Scriptures.