You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘I Heard The Misuse Of Scripture On Christmas Day. It’s Old Familiar Message Play.’ category.

I heard it again on Christmas day. Laurie and I were watching Anne of Green Gables with Laurie’s dad’s widow. We hadn’t seen the film for at least twenty-five years, and we enjoyed it thoroughly. All of us were wiping tears from our eyes throughout the movie. I have become an old softie, it seems.

At one point in the film, Miss Stacey, Anne’s teacher, turned to Anne and said “Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth, Ann. You see it frightens them, so they put up walls to protect themselves from it…No matter what anyone accuses you of, in the end the truth will set you free.”

I thought it was interesting that this portion of a verse from the Gospels should be used here. I have heard it here and there recently in media. You may have noticed that these vague allusions to scriptural truth pop up often. Whenever we hear such one-line biblical verses, we should attempt to discover the context they are in. We miss great treasures of truth when we believe in semi-truthful or even totally untruthful uses by speakers who twist Scripture so they can plug a biblical verse into their message that fits the topic they’re addressing.

I don’t see it much these days but remember the t-shirts and signs that encouraged us to “Believe” and “Have Faith”? We are not told what to believe or have faith in, but somehow just believing and having faith in something or other is good. Faith in the cause? Believing in the goodness of humanity and that all will work out well?

Talk about falling into a well of disappointment. The truth of the matter is that faith and believing must have an object. One cannot believe in vagaries.

Anyway, I didn’t remember the context of the quote from the Gospels about truth setting us free, so I looked it up. It may not surprise you that the context of the quote changes the meaning altogether.

“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ They answered him, ‘We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” (John 8:31–33). 1

So, the truth setting us free has conditions attached to it. We must abide in His word, which means we will truly be His disciples.

Abiding in His word. How absolutely magnificent.

But His word, His truth, will set us free from what? It will free us from the dark, death-causing results of sin.

Laurie and I thought about our lives with Jesus as we studied it. We have found that abiding in His word has had multiple outcomes, not the least of which is the wonder of understanding His truth more deeply. It has brought us to understand the meaning of scriptural leadership, for example, and how different it is from what we have seen in churches. It has caused us to understand the greatness of His sovereignty, providence, and power. It has put into our hearts disinterest in some of our previous behaviors. It has also caused us to raise objections to proclamations based upon out-of-context Scriptures, always in love, but at times, forcefully.

“From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12).)

This violence is something like strongly pushing through a bunch of smothering blankets. It is the pressing against the fabric of culture and religion that claims to know the truth but misuses it.

If we were to read on in John 8, we will see that Jesus then questions the “Jews who had believed him” and those questions reveal that their belief in Him was razor thin. In fact, if we read to the end of the discourse, we will discover that those involved wanted to kill Him.

Rejection is sometimes the fate of many who simply tell the truth about the Lord and His truth. Often, people just cannot hear it. They are too steeped in tradition.

May the Lord continue to enlighten us in the true truth of His living word.

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (2016). Crossway Bibles.

Gif courtesy Bing images.

For more about the books

POSTS BY THE MONTH / YEAR

POSTS BY CATEGORIES AND TITLES

Follow me on Twitter