Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Don't Blame Me -- It's Jesus' Fault -- He Taught Me to Do It!

"...it is written..." --- Jesus in Matthew 4:1-11

Why do I do it? How did I get into such an awful habit? It has actually become an addiction in my life over the years! It is what "anonymous" of W. VA referred to as "spouting off Bible verses." See comments on my post of April 5, 2008. I'm not sure if "anonymous" is male or female or something in between. As mentioned in reply at that time, it sure takes a lot of guts to make your statement and then refuse to identify yourself!

Anyway, about this addiction -- it was immediately after Jesus came into my life and did a major make-over from top to bottom -- inside and out! And so, as I began to read and study the Scriptures, portions began to be etched in my memory. I noted that Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would come and teach me -- He would guide me into the truth and show me things to come. (See John 14 - 16 on that).

I also observed that Jesus was a "Bible verse spouter" on many occasions starting with an encounter with someone out in the middle of nowhere. Oh, I almost forgot -- unfortunately there are persons within the ranks of what claims to be Christianity (theologians, seminary professors, pastors and laity) who don't believe that Satan and demons actually are real and literally exist! So just whom was Jesus talking to out there in that waste land?

Jesus' most lengthy time of "spouting Bible verses" took place when He was talking with Cleopas and a companion. He engaged in conversation with them after His resurrection from the dead. At one point He gives them a mild rebuke and then starts "spouting:"

Then He said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?" And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. --- Luke 24:25-27

How long do you suppose the "spouting of Bible verses" continued on that occasion as a couple of pairs of eyes were suddenly opened and the realization set in that Jesus was no longer in the grave, but very much alive!

There were a lot of other "spouters" of Bible verses also -- Matthew did it -- Paul and Peter -- in fact, there was quite a gang who did it. Some of those fellows in the Old Testament did not start their statements with, "It is my opinion or I think..." but a "Thus says the Lord..." An interesting way of "spouting off," is it not?

So it's Jesus' fault plus the example set by a number of others that I do it too. I find myself doing a lot of it in my sermons and teaching!

Now then, what can be done about this addiction to "spout off Bible verses?" For starters, how about a BVSA (Bible Verse Spouters Anonymous)? Hey, they have such groups for alcoholics, gamblers and people who eat too much, so why not such an organization for those of us who are addicted to "spouting off Bible verses?"

To show there are no hard feelings about this, I nominate "anonymous" of W. VA to get this thing up and running. Maybe over time our culture will be purged of all tendencies to "spout off Bible verses" and "anonymous" of W. VA will no longer have to go through trials and tribulations of such a practice on the part of persons such as I!

So the next time you hear someone "spouting off Bible verses" just remember it is not likely his or her fault -- the blame has to be placed on Jesus, Who showed us how it is done!

To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Indeed their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot give heed. Behold, the word of the LORD is a reproach to them; they have no delight in it. --- Jeremiah 6:10

No comments: