Saturday, January 5, 2008

Fix that Scripture!!!! p1

What I am going to do from now on is a continual segment called "FIX THAT SCRIPTURE!!!" What's going to happen is when I come across a scripture that someone has preached upon incorrectly, I am going to point it out and fix it. I think at this point I am not going to give you the individuals' names because I am not sure if it is going to be of use (but that might change). The main point is to correct the teaching so that you can truly learn biblical exegesis (allowing the scripture to speak for itself). Sadly, in today's prophetical (read: hear it preached from someone else without doing any study for yourself to verify that what was said lines up with the Word) atmosphere a lot of individuals are taking the scriptures and making them say what they were not originally intended for. Sometimes the stretches are small, sometimes the stretches are as far as the east is from the west. Nevertheless, we have a duty to present the Gospel of our Lord without error. Before we get started, let's go over some ground rules:

1.) Scripture must be viewed in light of -

the context that it was written in

to whom it was written to

why the author wrote it {the meaning} (already understanding that it was the Lord who

directed it)

2.) Scripture must be interpreted by scripture.

Scripture never contradicts scripture, it is on us to search diligently to find out why

some things may seem that way and correct our understanding

Great, let's begin.

I just heard an emergent preacher speaking on the "Prodigal Son." [Luke 15:11-24 pull out your bible and read along or you can open up the link to the BLB verse] Now for years, I too believed the way he interpreted this particular scripture to be correct. However, I have since learned that it was wrong. In fact, the way that it was presented (and also by most folk that preach it) is very man-centered. Here is the way it was presented.

"The greedy son goes to his father and asks him for his inheritance. the father concedes as the young man hurries off to live his life without a care in the world. After some time has passed, all his money is gone and he is working a menial job where the pigs are eating better than he is. Sitting in his state of bewilderment, he has an epiphany. He realizes that his father still has plenty to eat and the servants are much better off than he is at that present point. In realizing his foolishness in wasting his inheritance and spurning his father, he resolves to go back home to ask for forgiveness (and food). Upon returning home, his father rushes out to meet him and because the son came back there is rejoicing because now all is well!" But it isn't.

You see, the problem with this retelling and flawed focus is that all of our eyes become fixed upon the son. In the man-friendly telling of this parable, everything revolves around the son instead of where the attention should be- his father. Had the father not shown mercy to the son, there would not have been a happy ending. Had the father refused to even hear him, his trip would have been in vain. After I first heard that the "father" was the focus of the story, I couldn't see it. Then I too had an epiphany. If we look at the scriptures in Luke 15 leading up to vs 11, we see Christ alluding to why He would eat with the unscrupulous folk. The pharisee were livid with Jesus for entreating the sinners and publicans. In their eyes, Jesus should have ignored them so as not to be bothered or contaminated by their presence. However, the exact opposite happens as Jesus begins the parables of the "lost sheep" and the "lost coin." Both of these were set ups for the "Prodigal Son" in that it was the owners of their lost things that were searching them out. The sheep didn't go looking for the Shepperd and the coin didn't look for its mistress. Likewise, it is the father looking to reconcile with the son that gives the story merit. It is through the desire, love and mercy of the father that the son was not punished further than what he had already dealt with. In fact, the son realized this as well when he vowed to repent before the father and acknowledge that the father had the full right to deny him son-ship. The son knew full and well that he did not even deserve to be a servant in his father's house. It is when we look at our own sinfulness in the light of the sovereignty of our LORD, that we can then understand that it is God through Christ Jesus that has searched for and brought us out of our rebellious ways. We must never forget the never-ending and immutable omnipotence of God. It is through HIS sheer pleasure alone that any of us have come to salvation. This is the same thing that Paul speaks of in Romans 9:15-16. For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. Furthermore, before folk jump up and cry about man "deciding" to come to Christ, Jesus himself says in John 6:44, "No man can come to me, except the FATHER which hath sent me draw him..."

The preacher that I heard made the error in placing "the return" on the son when in fact "the return" rested squarely on the shoulders of the father. How magnificently that parlays into our finite understanding. By focusing on the son in this parable he effectively went contrary to scripture and lessened the supremacy of the Father in our eyes. Friends, our Father in heaven reigns supreme and we must not allow any thought otherwise to enter our minds. Likewise, we should exalt HIS Holy Word high above our vain imaginations. We must continue to strive for Sola Scriptura because a proper understanding of the nature of God rests on it!


Anonymous said...


I like this series! I'll refer my readers to it!

I'm having a discussion on tongues and I'd like to hear your thoughts brother!


Chermone said...

Thank you Philly! I appreciate the fact that you would recognize what I am saying as truth by the Spirit of our Lord. I am grateful that you would bring others here, it let's me know that more people believe in the sanctity of scripture even more than I realized.

Melanie said...

Preach Bro. Chermone! I appreciate any writer, preacher or teacher who brings the focus on the main character of any narrative in Scripture, God. The corruption we see today in the so-called churches is because of man-centeredness. Thank you for your faithfulness to truth!

Chermone said...

Thank you Melanie, I appreciate your encouragement to the faithfulness of scripture!

Robert said...

Good Post Chermone,

I haven't thought about this parable and how it fits into the narrative in a while, thanks for keeping the focus on whom it belongs...God!

Soli Deo Gloria!


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