Beware of Distorting Scripture

2 Peter 3:14-18:

“Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

I see the Church today distorting the Scriptures a lot in order to fit their beliefs.

Some Christians claim that drinking alcohol is unBiblical when the Bible says alcohol is just fine as long as we don’t get drunk. They also claim that some natural remedies are satanic despite research showing their amazing healing and preventive abilities.  Not to mention the fact that these remedies were used in the Bible.

Some Christians claim dancing is unBiblical, yet, David danced for joy in the Lord (2 Samuel 6:14).

Many Christians believe that babies are born “sinful,” yet, God calls them blessings (Psalm 127:3).  Infants and young children even have a special knowledge of Who God is according to Matthew 25:11. Also, James 4:17 states, “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” This can only apply to older children and adults who truly understand sin. “Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it” (Deuteronomy 1:39). God clearly says children do not know right from wrong.  Still, Christians will fire off a few verses out of the Book of Romans to say we are born “evil.”  If that were true, young children, who lack impulse control due to immature brain development, would be horrible little people committing awful acts based on their fleshly impulses.  Yes, I believe that due to satan and sin being in the world that we will all eventually sin and will need to come to Jesus for His amazing grace and forgiveness, but babies and young children do nothing that is purposely malicious or against God.

And then there are the Christian pro-spankers who adamantly claim that spanking/hitting children is absolutely Biblical. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard them say, “Well, I read my Bible” as they cite all of the “rod verses” from Proverbs that seem to promote spanking/hitting children at me.  Yet a deeper look at the “rod verses” shows that they mean to discipline (teach, guide, correct) with authority and God’s Word instead of spank/hit.

And THAT’S the problem!  As the introductory verses of this post teach, it is the untaught and the unstable who tend to distort Scriptures. Some do it unintentionally (the untaught) while others do it intentionally because they’re unwilling to let go of their beliefs (the unstable). I’ve been guilty of blindly taking Church doctrine as Biblical Truth because of not knowing better.

The Bible, while alive and active, is not meant to be read without looking at the historical context, cultural context, and the meanings of the original languages in which the Scriptures were written. And some Bible versions such as the New American Standard Bible (NASB) and the English Standard Version (ESV) are more accurate than the modern watered down versions such as the The Message, the New Living Translation (NLT), and even the New International Version (NIV) because church doctrine has ended up getting in these modern versions. Some parts of the Bible are meant to be taken literally while others are not. We shouldn’t be satisfied with just going with whatever the Church says it means based on the particular denomination that fits with our beliefs.  As Samuel Martin often says, we must be very careful of “tip of the iceberg theology” as it distorts Scripture…The very thing 2 Peter 3:14-18 tells us not to do.

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