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Christian Camouflage

camouflageFalse apostles and false prophets don’t make it easy for you to spot them.

Like wild animals – whose colors and physical features blend in with their natural surroundings – they try to conform to their Christian environments. Their No. 1 method of blending in with Christians is to quote from the Bible.

If they quoted from the Koran or the Book of Mormon, then they’d be easy to detect. But they’re much trickier than that. They quote Bible verses to back up their non-biblical teachings. This practice is what I call “Christian camouflage.”

But even though they try to hide behind the Bible, they can still be found out. The key is to see if they are quoting the Bible correctly. And you don’t have to be a pastor or Bible scholar to do that. You just have to learn a few basic rules of Bible interpretation.

The first rule is simple to grasp if you can just remember a childhood nursery rhyme.

Mary Had a Little Lamb

To know if a Bible verse has been quoted correctly, you must look at the verse in context. What do I mean by “in context”?

Think of the line from a nursery rhyme: “Mary had a little lamb.” What does it mean?

Well, if you know the rest of the rhyme, then you know it means that a girl named Mary owned a young sheep.

But if you don’t know the rest of the rhyme — and you just read the line by itself — then you might think it’s about a woman named Mary who ate a lamb chop for dinner. Or if you’re a Christian, you might interpret it another way — you might think it’s a symbolic statement about Mary, the mother of God, who gave birth to Jesus, the “lamb” of God.

But these other interpretations are ruled out by the rest of the rhyme, which reveals that the lamb was a real lamb and it followed Mary around wherever she went. The other lines provide the context that helps interpret the first line.

In the same way, one Bible verse quoted in isolation of the surrounding verses can often be understood in different ways.  To get at its correct meaning, it must be read in context of the surrounding verses and chapters. The importance of context in biblical interpretation is expressed in the saying, “Context is king.”

‘Foolish’ Interpretations

Now, instead of a nursery rhyme, let’s apply the context rule to a line from Scripture: “There is no God.”

If that’s the only part of the Bible someone read, then they might think it teaches that God doesn’t exist. But if they read the full verse, Psalm 14:1 – which says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” – then they would see that it teaches the exact opposite of the first interpretation. It teaches that only a fool would deny God’s existence. The context helps provide the correct interpretation.

Yet none of today’s “apostles” or “prophets” would deny God’s existence. So let’s apply the context rule to a verse they do often quote out of context – Psalm 105:15. They say this verse forbids Christians from criticizing so-called prophets.

“Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.”

Yet, by reading the entire Psalm – not just verse 15 – it becomes clear that it’s about God’s protection of the nation of Israel, including its prophets. The people of Israel are the “anointed ones” referred to in the verse. It’s a warning to the nations that they’d better not attack Israel. It’s not a warning against criticizing any self-declared prophet.

So remember: Whenever a “Christian” teacher quotes Bible verses, always check to see if they’re quoting them in context.

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9 Responses to “Christian Camouflage”

  1. Stacey Says:

    You are speaking what is on my mind, I have experienced first hand the idea that somehow the Pastor has some special anointing from God, that he cannot be held accountable because whatever he does is ordained by God. Hogwash!  Yes the leadership of the church is worthy of double honor, but we are to honor all, not just the leadership. Pastor’s should have the respect of those they serve, as should teachers and leaders, but they are not beyond accountability. The idea that because someone has been given authority to stand behind a pulpit and speak for God, does not mean that they always do. The only way to know a counterfeit from the authentic is to study God’s word yourself. And then expect that when you try to hold those counterfeits accountable that you will likely suffer for it.

    Thanks for your timely insight

    Stacey

  2. Robert Winkler Burke Says:

    Regarding sight and the prophetic:


    Lower Case “s” seers
    By Robert Winkler Burke
    Of inthatdayteachings.com
    Copyright 4/7/10



    In modern Christianity,
    Few seers see another,
    Why? Why? Why? Why?
    It would their pride much bother!

    So, they remain proud seers,
    Lower case “s,”
    While capital “S” Seers,
    They ignore best.

    Capital “S” Seers,
    See global cognitive psychopathy,
    Small “s” part-blind seers,
    Lead the blind into ditches they don’t see!

    The world loves,
    Its small “s” seers that get along,
    The world kills,
    Its capital “S” Seers that don’t belong.

    For the word of God is powerful,
    And can be used to lord over others,
    Little “s” blind seers lord their sight,
    To lord over the word-of-God-lords of others.

    Capital “S” Seers,
    See all this and weep,
    Sheep are confused,
    But hearts know truth’s keep!

    Hearts all mostly know,
    Capital “S” Seers speak truth,
    But small hearts demand,
    Small “s” seers provide: blinding vermouth.

  3. FriendofMuslims Says:

    Good Website Holly
    Cannot resist commenting on “Mary had a little lamb…” – oddly enough (so I am informed) the “Mary” of this ditty was Mary Queen of Scots and her “little lamb” her docile prime minister (and so through all the verses). Nursery rhymes were a way to get round political censorship of those repressive days. “Baa baa black sheep…” as another example was a not-so-veiled side swipe at the excessive wool tax. So things are not always what they seem…. Context, as you say, is vital!

  4. johnnyringo Says:

    And then when you add it to the new testament you get the full word of God and it all becomes clear who his people are. And until you make a full study of Romans 8 you won’t get the full picture of who His children are.

  5. Leah Says:

    When I was in college, the pastor at our church would often begin reading a verse that started out, “Therefore…”
    He would stop, say, “Wait, what is the ‘therefore’ there for?”  Then back up and read what came before the ‘Therefore’ to put it all in context.
    Taught me a great lesson about putting things in context and perspective.

  6. Ruitje Says:

    Good advise. It’s true that in the charismatic world they just pick the verses they like and do not read the context. And some of those prophets and apostles use prophecy in the Old Testament that was mend for Israel for themselves. Like Isaiah 61 about the Anointed. Jesus is the Anointed one in Isaiah 61, He says that in Luke 4 that He is the promised Anointed one. Isaiah is not about us, but about Jesus. I have seen so many people abuse that part of the bible to claim that they are anointed christians.

  7. johnnyringo Says:

    Yes they change it to suit their wants and needs, and as the bible tells us there are those who have changed the grace of our Lord into wantoness. The bible also tells us to ture away from those who do such;1Ti 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

  8. Barbara Says:

    Even though some so called Prophets speak, as appears, without God’s annointing there are others who walk with God and hear His voice.
    If you listen carefully you will find the real speakers of God. They often are not listened to as people like their ears tickled, like to hear great things that they and others in the Church will do, like to be flattered and inflated with hot air.
    There are indeed many people of God who truly hear from Him but their voice is stilled because man has his own agenda.
    I will man says.
    But there are indeed many of God’s people who truly know Him not what He can do for them but for who He is. Make way for the true ones of God as they are coming indeed are with us now, you will surely know them as time grows nearer to the end.
    God will not leave His people without direction. Do not speak against those you do not as yet understand. These are dangerous times and very exciting times. God is not one to ignore He is the Almighty,Creater God.Trust Him and only Him

  9. Etienne Says:

    Stacey. I would not have known what you are talking about april 15th, but as I write now I understand everything you said to the fullest. That’s a double amen to everything you said. Read the book Shepherds, hirelings and dictators of Pastor Tavares Robinson. Pray before you read and God will give you answers and tools do follow Him and not a man.
    br. E from Amsterdam
    April 15th, 2010 at 7:17 am

    You are speaking what is on my mind, I have experienced first hand the idea that somehow the Pastor has some special anointing from God, that he cannot be held accountable because whatever he does is ordained by God. Hogwash!  Yes the leadership of the church is worthy of double honor, but we are to honor all, not just the leadership. Pastor’s should have the respect of those they serve, as should teachers and leaders, but they are not beyond accountability. The idea that because someone has been given authority to stand behind a pulpit and speak for God, does not mean that they always do. The only way to know a counterfeit from the authentic is to study God’s word yourself. And then expect that when you try to hold those counterfeits accountable that you will likely suffer for it.
    Thanks for your timely insight
    Stacey

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