Archive for September 10th, 2009

A Common Error

September 10, 2009

It may be erroneous to take  personal, Biblical inspiration and make it a universal, public, application.

Sometimes God will use the scriptures to speak to our hearts in a very personal way during our devotional time.  A certain portion of scripture may suggest a solution, or bring meaning, or clarity to a particular situation, and time,  in our lives.  Many Christians have experienced this phenomenon, and I do not mean to downplay its role in an individual’s life.  However, scriptural interpretation follows certain rules.  One must ask what the meaning was in the original context, and then attempt to bring that message across the barriers of time and culture to apply a passage to today.

Devotional applications can completely skip the rules of hermeneutics.  This can be dangerous to the individual, but a complete catastrophe if they attempt to claim their inspiration publically and universally.  It is important when one is sensing a devotional application, that one compare what is being communicated with the clear meaning of the whole of scripture.  God will not tell us to do things through inspiration, that He has clearly told us not to do, in His Word.   Second, if we are going to share that inspiration, we should qualify our presentation with “God used this passage to speak to me…” or “to minister to me…”, or something like that; not “the Bible says…” or “this passage means…”.  This is important because individuals who are listening to you, may be able to see that what you are claiming the Bible says, is clearly not what the Bible  says.  Then you will either bring confusion, or be dismissed, as not knowing what you are talking about.

Over the years I have seen both lay people, and ministers, make this common error.  Please be careful in how you handle the Word of God.  A devotional inspiration can be a wonderful thing, but it is not necessarily intended to be universal, or public.