Category: Thoughts


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The Christian is to walk singularly,not after the world’s guise, Rom. 12:2. We are commanded
not to be conformed to this world, that is, not to accommodate ourselves to the corrupt
customs of the world. The Christian must not be of such a complying nature as to cut the coat of
his profession according to the fashion of the times, or the humor of the company he falls into;
like that courtier, who being asked how he could keep his preferment in such changing times,
which one while had a prince for Popery,another while against Popery, answered, he was
e salice, non ex quercu ortus—he was not a stubborn oak, but bending osier, that could yield
to the wind. No, the Christian must stand fixed to his principles, and not change his habit; but
freely show what countryman he is by his holy constancy in the truth.

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The Christian is to proclaim and prosecute an irreconcilable war against his bosom sins; those sins which have lain nearest his heart, must now be trampled under his feet. So David, ‘I have kept myself from my iniquity.’ Now what courage and resolution does this require? You think Abraham was tried to purpose, when called to take his ‘son, his son Isaac, his only son whom he loved,’ Gen. 22:2, and offer him up with his own hands, and no other; yet what was that to this? Soul, take thy lust, thy only lust, which is the child of thy dearest love, thy Isaac, the sin which has caused the most joy and laughter, from which thou hast promised thyself the greatest return of pleasure or profit; as ever thou lookest to see my face with comfort, lay hands on it and offer it up: pour out the blood of it before me; run the sacrificing knife of mortification into the very heart of it; and this freely, joyfully, for it is no pleasing sacrifice that is offered with a countenance cast down —and all this now, before thou hast one embrace more from it. Truly this is a hard chapter, flesh and blood cannot bear this saying; our lust will not lie so patiently on the altar, as Isaac, or as a ‘Lamb that is brought to the slaughter which was dumb,’ but will roar and shriek; yea, even shake and rend the heart with its hideous outcries.

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A cowardly spirit is beneath the lowest duty of a Christian, ‘be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest’—What? stand in battle against those warlike nations? No, but that thou mayest ‘observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee,’ Joshua 1:7. It requires more prowess and greatness of spirit to obey God faithfully, than to command an army of men; to be a Christian than a captain. What seems less, than for a Christian to pray? yet this cannot be performed aright without a princely spirit: as Jacob is said to behave himself like a prince, when he did but pray; for which he came out of the field God’s banneret. Indeed if you call that prayer, which a carnal person performs, nothing is more poor and dastard-like. Such an one is as great a stranger to this enterprise, as the craven soldier to the exploits of a valiant chieftain. The Christian in prayer comes up close to God, with a humble boldness of faith, and takes hold of him, wrestles with him; yea, will not let him go with­out a blessing, and all this in the face of his own sins, and divine justice, which let fly upon him from the fiery mouth of the law; while the other’s boldness in prayer is but the child, either of ignorance in his mind, or hardness in his heart; whereby not feeling his sins, and not knowing his danger, he rushes upon duty with a blind confidence, which soon quails when conscience awakes, and gives him the alarm, that his sins are upon him, as the Philistines on Samson: alas, then in a fright the poor-spirited wretch throws down his weapon, flies the presence of God with guilty Adam, and dares not look him in the face. Indeed there is no duty in the Christian’s whole course of walking with God, or acting for God but is lined with many difficulties, which shoot like enemies through the hedges at him, while he is marching towards heaven: so that he is put to dispute every inch of ground as he goes. They are only a few noble-spirited souls, who dare take heaven by force, that are fit for this calling

Amen and Amen

The Will of God

In Christian theology, God is described as omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent; a notion which some people, Christians and non-Christians alike, believe implies that not only has God always known what choices individuals will make tomorrow, but has actually determined those choices. That is, they believe, by virtue of his foreknowledge he knows what will influence individual choices, and by virtue of his omnipotence he controls those factors. This becomes especially important for the doctrines relating to salvation and predestination.

 

He knows me all day everyday all i do think feel watch taste.Our Father in Heaven sees all.

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I choose to make the choice daily about how i will react to work and family and just life in general.My Lord does not make me do anything.Its the free will that i have over my emotions and my fears.I can choose to always question and wonder or i can walk in knowledge and truth.The broad road is so simple to follow and the narrow path can be and will be difficult once you choose to live for Him.And He is not the puppetmaster and i the slave.He is my King and i love Him because He first loved me. And His grace daily is what sustains me to go day after day.

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It is time for the Warriors of our Lord to stand and fight.There are forces of Darkness that rule the invisible yet we can know truth from lies by keeping our eyes on Christ that all our Sins are on and we get a free ticket to Heaven in speaking as a bonus; by trust and Faith in that.Its not what we can do but what He and only He has done already It Is Finished

near-death-experience-1What we get in return is Freedom

“freedom from coercion or restraint” that prevents acting as one wills

freedom to determine one’s own “decisions or plans

freedom “to live as [one] ought to live,” a freedom that requires a transformation whereby a person acquires a righteous, holy, healthy, etc. “state of mind or character.

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The Bible testifies to the need for acquired freedom because no one “is free for obedience and faith till he is freed from sin’s dominion.” People possess natural freedom but their “voluntary choices” serving sin until they acquire freedom from “sin’s dominion.

Jesus told his hearers that they needed to be made “free indeed” (John 8:36). “Free indeed [ontós]” means “truly free” or “really free,” Being made “free indeed” means freedom from “bondage to sin.” This acquired freedom is “freedom to serve the Lord.”

Being “free indeed” (i.e., true freedom) comes by “God’s changing our nature” to free us from being “slaves to sin.” and endowing us with “the freedom to choose to be righteous

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Man, as a consequence of original sin,is totally depraved,destitute of free will, that all works, even  though directed towards the good, is nothing more than a fruit of his corrupted will, and in the eyes of God, in reality, mortal sins.
Man can be saved by faith alone.Our faith in Christ makes his merits our possession, envelops us in the garb of righteousness, covering our guilt and sinfulness.“

 

 

Be a sinner and sin on bravely, but have stronger faith and rejoice in Christ, who is the victor of sin, death, and the world. Do not for a moment imagine that this life is the abiding place of justice: sin must be committed. To you it ought to be sufficient that you acknowledge the Lamb that takes way the sins of the world, the sin cannot tear you away from him,even though you commit adultery a hundred times a day and commit as many murders.”

Enders, “Briefwechsel,” III, 208

 

I am a Soldier

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“I am a soldier, a  warrior, of the army of my God. The Lord Jesus Christ is my Commanding Officer. The Holy Bible is my code of conduct. Faith, Prayer and the Word are my weapons of warfare.

“I have been taught by the Holy Spirit, trained by experience, tried by adversity, and tested by fire.

“I am a volunteer in this army, and I am enlisted for eternity. I will either retire in this army at the Rapture or die in this Army; but I will not get out, sell out, be talked out. I am faithful, capable, and dependable.

“If my God needs me, I am there.

“I am a soldier, a  warrior. I am not a baby. I do not need to be pampered, petted, primed up, pumped up, picked up, or pepped up.

“I am a soldier, a  warrior. No one has to call me, remind me, write me, visit me, entice me, or lure me.

“I am a soldier, a  warrior. I am not a wimp. I am in place, saluting my King, obeying His orders, praising His name, and building His Kingdom!

“I am a soldier, a  warrior. No one has to send me flowers, gifts, food, cards, candy, or give me handouts. I do not need to be cuddled, cradled, cared for, or catered to.

“I am committed. I cannot have my feelings hurt bad enough to turn me around. I cannot be discouraged enough to turn me aside. I cannot lose enough to cause me to quit.

“When Jesus called me into this army, I had nothing. If I end with nothing, I will still come out even. I will win. My God will supply all my needs. I am more than a conqueror. I will always triumph. I can do all things through Christ.

“I am a soldier, a prayer warrior. Devils cannot defeat me. People cannot disillusion me. Weather cannot weary me. Sickness cannot stop me. Battles cannot beat me. Money cannot buy me. Governments cannot silence me and hell cannot handle me.

“I am a soldier, a  warrior. Even death cannot destroy me. For when my Commander calls me from this battlefield, He will promote me to a captain and then bring me back to rule this world with Him.

“I am a soldier, a  warrior, in the army, and I’m marching, claiming victory. I will not give up. I will not turn around.

“I am a soldier, a  warrior, marching Heaven-bound. Here I stand! Will you stand with me?”

What happens when we breathe our final breath? The Bible teaches what will occur.

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First our immaterial soul and spirit will be separated from our physical body. Second, we will immediately receive the judgment that will determine our eternal destiny. Those who have trusted in Christ’s payment on the cross for our sins will enter into eternal life in the presence of God. 2 Corinthians 5:8 states, “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” There will be no delay in a state of unconsciousness many call “soul sleep.” We will immediately be in God’s presence.

Second, the soul in heaven is made perfect in holiness and our old sin nature is eradicated. Hebrews 12:23 mentions “the spirits of righteous men made perfect.” The spirits of the saints are in heaven and they have been made perfect. The struggle with sin that Paul described and all Christians fight comes to an end forever when we, after death, enter our glorified state.

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Those who reject this gift, will receive what they have chosen, eternity separated from God in Hell. Hebrews 9:27 states, “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” There is no second chance and there is no cycle of reincarnation. Our eternal destiny is determined by the decision we make for Christ here on earth.

Many assume that after receiving Christ all that remains is a joyful entrance into heaven. Scripture teaches that Jesus will reward us according to how we lived our life on earth. He taught this principle in the parable of the talents in Luke 19. Each servant was entrusted to administer the talents the master gave him. Upon the return of the master, each servant had to give an account for his stewardship. The wise servants were rewarded doubly while the wicked servant was removed.

The lesson for the Christian is that each of us will give an account for our time here on earth. This is not the same as being judged on our salvation status. Christ’s death on the cross allows all who believe to enter God’s kingdom. We will be judged on our works done since the time of our salvation. This judgment of believers is called the Bema Seat judgment. This event is described in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15:

For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work, which he has built upon it, remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.

Paul states that Christ is our foundation. Our works are the building on this foundation. The materials of gold, silver, and precious stones refer to works done with pure motives for the glory of God. The works of wood, hay, and straw are works done with the wrong motives to glorify self.

At the Bema Seat, our works will be tested with divine fire. Those works that were done for the glory of God will endure the flames and will be our reward. Some will regretfully see all their works on earth burned up before their eyes and enter heaven with little or no reward.

The unbeliever will be judged and sentenced to hell. At the end of the age, he faces the Great White Throne judgment. Here, all the unrighteous dead from the beginning of time are judged based on their rejection of the Savior. They are then thrown into the lake of fire for eternity. Revelation 20:11-15 says:

And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and the books were opened; . . . and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. . . . And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

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Knowing that as Christians we will one day give an account for our lives, we should live as wise stewards over what God has given us. Knowing the fate of the unsaved should fill us with boldness to share Christ unashamedly, with urgency to all. Knowing what lies beyond the grave should motivate us to live life on earth with a mission.

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Why Would God Allow Evil

 

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It was the issue of evil that initially led the renowned author and scholar C. S. Lewis into atheism. However, upon further reflection, Lewis began to see that if there is no God, then there is no such thing as evil either.”Evil can only be known and measured against a standard of good. Apart from God and the morality that flows from Him there is no standard – and therefore no evil either,” he explained. “But we know in our hearts – it’s inescapable – that evil is real.”

“For example, when we hear about someone being raped or murdered we don’t just think, ‘I’d prefer that people wouldn’t do such things.’ No, we say, ‘that was wrong’ – especially if the crime was against somebody we knew. But when we say such things we’re betraying the fact that we know there is a higher standard – one that goes beyond people’s preferences of even society’s self-imposed laws,”

 “This innate knowledge of morality standards points to the existence of a Moral Lawgiver.”

What initially seemed to be an argument against God turns out to be evidence for him, he stated. “When C. S. Lewis realized this, it was an important step toward his trajectory-altering decision to trust and follow Christ.”

“So while Christians struggle with a very real problem of evil it is, I think, much preferable to the atheistic denial of evil (and, similarly, to the Eastern pantheistic belief that everything that happens is part of God, leading to the deification of evil.),”

The question of pain and suffering is probably a harder argument to answer, he said. “Why would God allow those?”The question is not one Christians can give an answer to that will satisfy everyone or “make us all feel good about,”.

First point : the world is as Jesus predicted

Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble;” it’s good to know that we follow a Savior who really gets it – who sees this fallen world for what it is, and who (contrary to many other religious leaders) tells us the truth about it.

Second point : evil was not created or caused by God

The Bible is clear: God is not the author of evil. But he did create us as real human beings with the ability to love and follow him … or not. Unfortunately we chose the “not,” and brought sin and evil into the picture.

Third point : the cause behind most suffering is human

While it doesn’t remove the pain, it can be important to remind people who are tempted to shake their fists at God for the suffering in the world that the vast majority of human pain has been inflicted directly or indirectly by other humans.

 

Fourth point : we live in a fallen world

There is also suffering due to what some call “natural evil” – pain that results from events and disasters that are not caused by humans. The Bible shows, however, that these are the result of the curse we live under due to human sin – see Genesis 3 and Romans 8.

Fifth point : God will finally judge evil

Some people criticize God (or those who believe in him), saying, “A good God would eradicate evil.” My question for those folks is, “Okay, are you ready to be eradicated, since you – like me – are to some degree evil?” Seriously, I’m glad that, although God will judge and wipe out evil, he’s chosen not to yet, out of patience for us and for our friends (2 Pet. 3:9).

Sixth point : God suffered too

It’s easy to forget that the Holy God of the universe chose, out of love, to humble himself, become one of us, and ultimately to suffer in ways none of us every will (or ever could imagine) in order to purchase our redemption (Phil. 2). As a result, He can not only forgive our sins and freely give us salvation, but also sympathize with all we’re going through (Heb. 4:14-16).

Seventh point : God can bring good out of bad

Though this truth is often bantered about in ways that are insensitive to the person who is suffering, it is still true that while bad things happen to God’s people, he promises that he’ll bring good – sooner or later – out of everything we experience (Rom. 8:28).

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One of the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin was that the earth itself was cursed (Gen. 3:17-19). So nothing in the world works the way it’s supposed to. Because of the Fall, our world is full of injustice; nature rebels against us with surprising ferocity; even good relationships are capable of inflicting intense pain; and the specter of death hangs over us daily.

Our world is so broken that the Bible describes all of creation as longing for the day when God will restore things (Rom. 8:19-23).

Rev. 21-22 gives us a glimpse at what the world will look like when that happens. It’s interesting that the picture in many respects resembles the scene in Genesis – before sin entered the world. Notice, for example, the removal of the curse; the earth’s abundant provision; the presence Tree of Life; and the absence of sin and death (Rev. 21:1-4, 27; 22:1-3).

Some see the imagery in Revelation as purely symbolic. Others interpret it literally. Either way, the point seems to be that what we lost in the Fall will one day be fully restored by God in the new creation.

Why would God want us to have this picture? Well, for one thing, it reminds us how far we’ve fallen (we’ll look at second reason next time). We’re so used to what the world looks like now that we forget it didn’t have to be this way. If sin hadn’t entered the world, there would be no pain, no suffering, no death. In that sense, Rev. 21-22 gives us a picture of what might have been.

The Tragedy of Forgetting

That image ought to heighten our dissatisfaction with the world we live in. Life was supposed to be so much more than this. Too often we forget that though. As a result, we embrace things in this world as if they had the power to truly satisfy us. We think – if we could just buy a nicer home, get another promotion, or find a new spouse – then we’d be happy. The problem is the things we’re setting our hope for happiness on are broken; they can’t bear the weight.

Instead of obsessing over what we can get from this fallen world now, we ought to set our hearts on what life will be like when God transforms this world. But too often we don’t. As C.S. Lewis put it, “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” We settle for so little, because we forget the world wasn’t supposed be like this.

Living in a fallen world is a tragedy…not recognizing we live in a fallen world is an even greater one.

Worship in Music

 

 

 

  It has been my experience that there are usually a few people in a worship band who really shouldn’t be there. Yet I’ve also found out it’s hard to tell people “No” when they believe God is calling them to sing or play an instrument. They may not have any musical ability, but they love to worship God — isn’t that good enough?
Besides the Scripture that exhorts us to play skillfully before the Lord (see Psalm 33:3), there is another reason to set limits on who can participate on the worship band: Some people are actually endangering themselves by insisting they belong on stage. Of course, filling the band with greatly talented people who have no heart for God is probably even more dangerous. But that is not my focus here.

Called or Appointed?

Those who assume a position in the worship band without really being called by God could be setting themselves up for a fierce attack from the enemy. I have seen many such musicians fall under that attack, and at times even lose their families. Playing in the worship band is not just a fun thing to do on Sundays. It is a serious assault on the devil himself. Unless you are appointed by God for that position of battle, you may not have the grace to survive.

Seek God earnestly before accepting an invitation to be a part of the worship team! Even if it is a leader who asks you, don’t be impulsive — seek God first. You may even be called to be a singer or musician used for worship, yet be way ahead of God’s timing.

I was a professional musician for twenty-five years before I began to play in a worship band, and I was still about five years ahead of God. I unintentionally hurt a lot of people. Everyone thought it would be great to have a professional musician in the band, and I thought I was going to be a big help, too. Nevertheless, within three years the band had fallen apart and most of the musicians hated me. My talent was often confused with anointing and my character was not able to handle the position my talent put me in.

Eventually I learned that talent and gifting are very different. Talent is a natural ability to do something well if you work at it. Gifting is supernatural. It requires all your talent to be placed in God’s hands, for the benefit of His kingdom and not your own self-promotion.

In many churches playing in the worship band is the only job that seems to have no spiritual requirements tied to it.

Check Your Motives

Before you take the job of musician or singer in a worship band, you need to examine the motives of your heart. Here are some questions to ask yourself or others who are trying to get in the band:

  • Do you think it would be fun to be on stage?
  • Are you just trying to “help out” and meet a need?
  • Are you trying to recapture your youth, when you used to sing or play an instrument?
  • Are you just learning to play, and hoping to get some experience or free lessons?
  • Do you feel you could worship God better from the stage than from the congregation?
  • Are you unconsciously trying to gain a good reputation or impress people by playing in the band?
  • Is your motivation to draw attention to yourself or to the Lord?

Although there are many more questions to ask yourself before entering the public worship arena, there really is only one that counts: Are you in the worship band or choir as an act of obedience to God? Everyone is called to praise God and sing to His Holy name, but not everyone is called to be in the worship band.

Everyone is called to intercede and to battle with the powers of darkness, but not everyone is called to take a Davidic position and war on his or her instrument.

Some motives sound spiritual, but are not. It may seem noble to focus on the congregation and what will make them happy, but if you do so you are worshipping them and not God. The call of a worship musician or singer is to minister to God, not the people. If the presence of God is our focus, He will come and bless the congregation a lot more than anything you can do!

This may sound harsh, but we are coming into a time when it will be extremely hazardous to play around with worship. A church would be better off with just one called and equipped musician, than a band full of people with good intentions but no calling.

In many churches playing in the worship band is the only job that seems to have no spiritual requirements tied to it. If the spiritual life of the pastor is in question, he’s a goner. If the elders are not in right standing with God, they will be removed. Yet, if a person owns a guitar, it’s no problem getting a job playing in the worship band.

Worship or Entertainment?

The most difficult thing to determine about one’s own heart is, Am I really concerned about reaching my Savior with this praise, or am I just trying to entertain these needy people? Once the idea of entertaining gets loose in the church, people can sometimes feel there is no anointing just because they are not pleased with the quality of the music. They’ve had a hard week at work and need a little relief from the pressures of life, so they look forward to the idea of sitting back and being entertained on Sunday.

This leads to watching worship instead of participating. I don’t think it is wrong to enjoy watching someone worship God. But if you as a singer or musician feel you have to live up to your own reputation as a great worshiper, you’ve just crossed a dangerous line—from worship to entertainment.

The body of Christ is in need of real Holy Spirit experiences, so we can tell the difference between anointing and entertainment. Those experiences will come more often when someone is called, gifted and anointed to be a leader or player in the worship band.

Chosen by God

Either you are chosen by God to have a position on the worship team or you are not. Even if you are chosen, you may have family obligations or other responsibilities that signal it is not yet God’s time for you to start.

If you have a heart for the musicians but don’t sense a call to be one, maybe your role should be intercession. Perhaps your interest is meant to stimulate prayer for them rather than a position on the stage for you.

If you feel you are supposed to be in the band but someone else has your place, go to God and ask Him to bring discernment and wisdom. It has been my experience that God will make a way for you to be there if it is truly His will. Be careful not to pray against that person, even if you believe they are being insensitive to what God is wanting to do. Be sure of this: The Lord wants the right people in the right places more than you do.

What if the Lord makes it clear that He has chosen someone else instead of you? The Bible is filled with examples of people with examples of people faced with this very situation: God chose Abel’s offering instead of Cain’s Isaac instead of Ishmael, Jacob instead of Esau, and Joseph instead of his brothers. Nothing is a greater test of our character. Either we will rise up in jealousy and jeopardize our own calling, or we will rejoice with our brother or sister over God’s choice and blessing.

Jonathan is a good example of someone who had the right response to God’s choice of someone else. Although it would have been easy to feel threatened by the prophecy that David would be the next king instead of him, Jonathan instead committed himself to doing everything he could to make David successful. He rejoiced in telling his friend David, You will be king over Israel and I will be next to you.” (I Samuel 23:17). Those who humble themselves under God’s almighty hand will be exalted in due time (see I Peter 5:6). He has a wonderful role for you to fill in His body, a role fashioned especially for you. As you seek Him, He will show you what it is.

 

Narcissistic Eisegesis Revisited

Narcissistic Eisegesis

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Eisegesis (from Greek εἰς “into” as opposed to exegesis from ἐξηγεῖσθαι “to lead out”) is the process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that it introduces one’s own presuppositions, agendas, and/or biases into and onto the text. The act is often used to “prove” a pre-held point of concern to the reader and to provide him or her with confirmation bias in accordance with his or her pre-held agenda. Eisegesis is best understood when contrasted with exegesis. While exegesis draws out the meaning from a text in accordance with the context and discover-able meaning of its author, eisegesis occurs when a reader imposes his or her interpretation into and onto the text. As a result, exegesis tends to be objective when employed effectively while eisegesis is regarded as highly subjective.

An individual who practices eisegesis is known as an eisegete, as someone who practices exegesis is known as an exegete. The term “eisegete” is often used in a mildly derogatory fashion.

Although the term exegesis is commonly heard in association with Biblical interpretations, the term is broadly used across literary disciplines.

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The Seeker-Friendly movement within Evangelicalism has led to a basic problem when it comes to the subject of Bible interpretation.
Here is a basic look at Bible interpretation over the 2000 years of church history. Even though this has been oversimplified I think it can help us understand what is happening today.

1. Orthodox – believes that the Bible is the word of God.
2. Liberal – believes that the Bible contains the word of God.
3. Neo-Orthodox – believes that the Bible becomes the word of God. (Seeker-Friendly, Emerging and Emergent)

The result of this Neo-Orthodox style of interpretation leads to Narcissistic Eisegesis:

Narcissistic Eisegesis (“Narcigesis”) = Forcing the Bible to mean something you already want it to mean by superimposing yourself into the meaning of the passage, rather than interpreting Scripture for what it means about God, and letting the Scripture simply speak for itself. The key pointers are sermons where the pronouns I, me and my are prominent. In other words you hear mostly horizontal man centered messages instead of vertical God-centered messages.

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Conversely, seeking to understand Scripture for what it reveals about God is known as Exegesis, and is also sometimes referred to as the “Literal” or “Grammatical-Historical” approach to interpreting Scripture. Example: The Narcissitic Eisegesis version of David and Goliath would be about you fighting your personal “giants” (i.e., problems, difficulties, setbacks, etc.). The Orthodox approach to interpreting David and Goliath would reveal, instead, an historical account of David’s faith and God supernaturally intervening in an impossible situation for his own glory.

“What is the difference between exegesis and eisegesis?”

Answer: Exegesis and eisegesis are two conflicting approaches in Bible study. Exegesis is the exposition or explanation of a text based on a careful, objective analysis. The word exegesis literally means “to lead out of.” That means that the interpreter is led to his conclusions by following the text.

The opposite approach to Scripture is eisegesis, which is the interpretation of a passage based on a subjective, non-analytical reading. The word eisegesis literally means “to lead into,” which means the interpreter injects his own ideas into the text, making it mean whatever he wants.

Obviously, only exegesis does justice to the text. Eisegesis is a mishandling of the text and often leads to a misinterpretation. Exegesis is concerned with discovering the true meaning of the text, respecting its grammar, syntax, and setting. Eisegesis is concerned only with making a point, even at the expense of the meaning of words.

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Second Timothy 2:15 commands us to use exegetical methods: “Present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” An honest student of the Bible will be an exegete, allowing the text to speak for itself. Eisegesis easily lends itself to error, as the would-be interpreter attempts to align the text with his own preconceived notions. Exegesis allows us to agree with the Bible; eisegesis seeks to force the Bible to agree with us.

The process of exegesis involves 1) observation: what does the passage say? 2) interpretation: what does the passage mean? 3) correlation: how does the passage relate to the rest of the Bible? and 4) application: how should this passage affect my life?

Eisegesis, on the other hand, involves 1) imagination: what idea do I want to present? 2) exploration: what Scripture passage seems to fit with my idea? and 3) application: what does my idea mean? Notice that, in eisegesis, there is no examination of the words of the text or their relationship to each other, no cross-referencing with related passages, and no real desire to understand the actual meaning. Scripture serves only as a prop to the interpreter’s idea.

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