Enough with the Eisegesis

Eisegesis- the process of interpreting (1)

Gentle Reader,

I couldn’t sleep on Saturday night. Chris was snoring. Like a freight train. I kicked him. Nudged him. Smacked him.

Nothing.

I finally got out of bed at 1:30 a.m. and moved to the guest room, but by then I was just awake. I knew there was no way that I’d be drifting off soon. So I did some perusing. Checked out a few sites I hit from time to time. Sites whose authors I don’t agree with. I like to see what they’re talking about. There’s value in examining other perspectives.

I found a few places quite covered in dust from a recent controversy stirred by this piece at Focus on the Family. Many are “upset” because Dr. Hinton’s answer wasn’t “balanced.” He hasn’t “researched” the issue. He doesn’t “know” what he’s talking about. Apparently FoF is not allowing comments on the entry, and that’s really got people fired up. More than a few negative reviews have appeared on FoF’s Facebook page due to this.

I don’t know why FoF isn’t allowing comments, but I’m guessing it’s because they want to avoid a senseless internet battle. Some of those who are angry are calling for FoF to make their position on vaccines clear. They did. You can read it here.

None of this surprised or bothered me. I’ve read more than enough articles, posts and comments in recent months to know that there’s a significant minority out there who believe you obviously can’t be a true Christian or a good doctor if you are on the side of vaccine effectiveness and safety. That I can shrug off.

What did bother me was a comment I saw in which the author attempted to use Mark 2:17 as evidence for Jesus being against vaccines. It was quoted without context and the author failed to use the whole verse. The part that was used:

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.”

One can’t actually derive some stance on vaccines through those words alone. It gets worse when the entire verse is considered:

When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Worse yet when the context is considered:

Then He went out again by the sea; and all the multitude came to Him, and He taught them. As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.

Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”

When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” – Mark 2:13-17 (NKJV)

Nothing, nothing, nothing, NOTHING  to do with vaccines. Or medicine, for that matter.

This is just one example. People are using Scripture right and left to prop up what they already think and believe.

I’m so tired of eisegesis. I’m sick of people reading into the text. I’m ready to tear my hair out over the rampant misuse of Scripture. I want to scream as I watch people bludgeon others with incorrect interpretations, faulty applications and cherry-picking.

We are to let the words of God as activated by the Spirit of God shape us. We do not shape them. We do not bend them to our wills.

It’s wrong.

Enough already.

Grace and peace along the way.

Five Minute Friday: Tomorrow

When I stand before Your throneDressed

Gentle Reader,

I really look forward to Thursday evenings. Face-to-face connection is vital, of course, but God does something cool on the internet. He draws all kinds of people together on the Twitters for some real sharing and lots of laughter. On days like today, when I’ve been confined to my house because my body hates me and is falling apart, I am so grateful for the #FMFParty. If I sit just so, the dizziness settles a little and I can enjoy the chat.

Kate. My people.

We contemplate: tomorrow.

Go.

My mom has suffered with chronic migraines for as long as I’ve known her (almost 31 years). My brother has had 4 foot surgeries, back surgery and a hernia repair. My dad has pain in his hands. My hubby’s got high blood pressure. I have Chronic Fatigue…scratch that, Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease (whatever that grand re-name means). And the possibility of growing another tumor.

A coworker suffers with Fibromyalgia. I’m part of a Facebook group just for women with chronic illness. A friend at church has an eye problem. Another friend lives with MS. Another with constant stomach trouble.

That’s just the physical stuff.

Suffering is everywhere. Personally, I think that illness will only become more widespread as the clock winds down and we move toward the end. (No, I don’t know when that will be. Nobody does. But I do know that we are one day closer today than we were yesterday). The earth and all its inhabitants groan under the curse. Our bodies cannot hold up under the weight of it.

So I look forward to tomorrow. I look forward to this, a passage I turn to time and time again:

I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. – Revelation 21:3-7 (NKJV)

No more pounding heads, aching feet, swollen hands. No more strain on the heart. No more loss of sight, nerves on fire. No more crushing fatigue. No more tumors, no more fevers, no more stomach trouble. No more stress, no more worry, no more bottles of pills, no more chemotherapy, no more surgeries.

No more sickness.

Tomorrow.

Stop.

Grace and peace along the way.

Wolves in Shepherd’s Clothing: Serpent Seed

-...inwardly they are ravenous wolves.- (1)

Gentle Reader,

The topic of this post is disgusting. It’s abhorrent. We’ll spend as little time on it as possible.

Shepherd’s Chapel teaches “Serpent seed.” The sin in Eden that led to the Fall and Curse was not just cut-and-dried disobedience. It was not just eating the fruit. Eve had sex with Satan and the result was Cain. (Adam may also have had sex with Satan; some statements seem to affirm this).

Thus the descendants of Cain are literally the offspring of Satan.

Bizarrely, it is taught that Abel was Cain’s twin, but Abel’s father was Adam. This means that they were somehow maternal non-identical twins. Try as I might, I can find no evidence of such a pregnancy happening anywhere ever. I can’t find a single thing that states a woman got pregnant by one man and then got pregnant by another man and had two babies at the same time. Even if such a case does exist, however, this DID NOT happen in Eden. There is nothing in the text that could lead to such a conclusion.

Consider this: Genesis 3:6 makes it clear that Adam was with Eve when the poop hit the fan. Sooooo….Adam watched his wife have sex with Satan? Then he (might have) had sex with Satan? Then Adam and Eve had sex? All within minutes? Further, if “eating the fruit” actually means having sex, and Adam and Eve were allowed to eat the fruit of all the other trees in Eden, then who else were they having sex with? (Probably the other people that God made on day 6 since Adam and Eve were made on day 8, according to Shepherd’s Chapel. But we’ll get to that later). What about the Tree of Life in Revelation 22, from which Jesus grants His people permission to eat (Revelation 2:7)? Is Jesus really saying that we’re all going to have sex with Him?

How utterly vile.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to exegete “Serpent seed” from Scripture. It’s not there. One has to already believe the teaching and then twist passages to make it work. Not only that, but the logical conclusions of the teaching are just flat evil.

Indeed, Shepherd’s Chapel does some intense and convoluted manipulation of the Bible. The Kenites (descendants of Cain) somehow survived the Flood, magically became the 10 tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and were the ones who crucified Jesus. I’m not even going to attempt to explain that because it’s so patently false.

Here’s the big, fat, waving, red, neon racism card: These “obvious” offspring of Satan, these descendants of Cain down to today, are Jewish people. Or, according to Shepherd’s Chapel, those who claim to be Jewish, because real Jewish people are British and American. (I’m not making this up). Those who live in Israel today are actually Kenites. They must be “exposed.”

But you don’t have to be Jewish to be a Kenite! The beautiful thing about the “Serpent seed” doctrine for Shepherd’s Chapel is that it’s flexible. Anyone who doesn’t agree with them is, obviously, a child of Satan.

Read Genesis 3. Just read it. Adam and Eve ate fruit they were told not eat. That is their sin. That is why their relationship with God was changed, why they were cast out of Eden, why Jesus came.

Read Genesis 4. Just read it. Adam and Eve had sex, with each other, within the legitimate bounds of the marital relationship, and had a baby. Cain. They repeated the process and had another baby. Abel.

End of story.

Again I wonder if I should close this series out right here. How anyone could believe that Shepherd’s Chapel has the corner on the truth-market is baffling. This cult does not teach the Gospel. You are not going to find salvation among them.

Grace and peace along the way.