Context, context, context!

A while ago I sent a good friend an excerpt from my book, Nathan and Abba. It’s called the Church chapter and it is quite a long chapter. In the Church chapter there is a reference to something that happened earlier in the book. My friend didn’t like or didn’t understand a certain part of the latter chapter because it was quite off the wall and if you didn’t know what happened in a previous chapter you would probably draw the same conclusion. If you didn’t know what happened in the previous chapter and just drew your conclusion from the latter chapter would you be representing me or misrepresenting me?

This is what’s wrong with the way we approach God’s Word. We are told to start reading somewhere near the end of the book, the Gospels, which doesn’t give a true depiction of what God wants his Children to know, or understand. Shouldn’t any book be read from the front cover to the back cover? How can you understand a movie if you come into the theater half way through it? You don’t know the plot, who the good guy is, who the bad guy is and so on. What’s even worse is when you latch on to something near the end of the book that you believe to be true, but have nothing from the front of the book to back it up. This process is known as taking something out of context. That is what happens when we base our beliefs in Scriptures at the end of the bible which alludes to something from the front of the book. If we omit what was already understood from the front of the book concerning a Scripture near the back of the book and we run with it, or try to make a doctrine out of it, we begin the process of misrepresenting God. It’s really that simple.

Go to the front of the Bible and read it through carefully and prayerfully. You don’t need anyone to teach you. God himself will teach you, Jesus said God would teach us all things.