Monday, January 18, 2010

Proving Colossians - Scriptures are not meant for "Private Interpretation" or to be read out of Context

On one of my YT video threads, I had just a Book, Chapter and verse to review. I'm not criticizing him for leaving the scripture. It's a wonderful verse but it, in kind, is an example of 'scripture mining' and reading them out of context. In this blog entry, I attempt to bring this scripture to life as it was left on my comment thread as still born.

Take Col 2:8 for example; let me give you a full and complete background for it.

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." Col 2:8

Who: Paul is writing. To whom? The Church in Colossae, or the Colossians.
Why? Or what problems were they facing in that early church?

The warning was written to the saints or members of the church as Colossians and in this verse, he counsels them to avoid the traditions of their day; from the article, "Unearthing Ancient Colossae in Southern Turkey: theology and archaeology in dialogue." by Michael Tanner, we learn,

"Some Colossian Christians had become very attracted to the ascetical and religious practices of local folk religions. The exact nature of these practices is uncertain though it is clear that they contained a mixture of pagan elements and Jewish ascetical practices, combined with the worship of local and foreign deities."
(ie, Roman or Greek Gods... Zeus, Jupiter, etc...)

Let's apply this apples to apples comparison to our day;

What Paul warned the the Colossian Church about could very well equate to our celebration of Christmas and Easter. Now I like both Christmas and Easter but not for the reasons we see them portrayed.

Christmas = Family and Presents ... or it is a time to reflect on Jesus Christ; his birth, life and resurrection.

Easter = A bunny who hides eggs for the world to find?
or we take time out to reflect on Christ's suffering for our sins, his death, and resurrection on the 3rd day.
Or we celebrate this to the "Letter of the Law" like Orthodox Christians do and reject it altogether... but I see no harm in having special days of the year to reflect on the life of Christ...

In addition:
The thinkers who lived in Colossae were into philosophy, science, astronomy and all manner of intellectual thinking. Paul wrote this letter to the church in order to help them fortify against the ideas that were espoused by those men of the City which did not support God as being the supreme being.
They thought they knew of themselves and their wisdom of the cosmos trumped the understanding of God's people and his prophet, Peter... or the 12 Apostles, as well.

Such "Theorists" of Evolution, "Big Bang" and other non-creationist ideas prevail in our world today compare to the "great thinkers" in Colossae and is an "Apples to Apples comparison."

However, the more powerful the "telescope," the more support through evidence proves that the universe is "Galaxies without End" and denotes the hand of a "Great Creator" vs a big bang.

Scriptures are not meant for private interpretation. They are not just words you can apply as a "Blanket CoverAll" over things that disagree with your assessment of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I invite you to read scriptures in context. As I've said before, they are not just words to interpret. It was written for the church and canonized in scripture. Canonization does not mean blanket cover over all themes based on the understanding of the "reader." You were neither alive during their day nor are you a member of Paul's congregation. The Church of Jesus Christ of "Latter-day Saints" claims to be a modern counterpart to the early church & of the same organization. Just because your understanding of the gospel differs from Latter-day Prophets does not mean that we are not a modern extension of the early church.

I could do the same thing for you about Galatians 1:6-9... just about any other with proper preparation and study into the "context." What happens when people actually read the scriptures in the proper context, is they lean towards accepting the "True Gospel of Jesus Christ." as it is taught by modern prophets because those folks quickly realize that understanding prophecy is beyond them and an accurate understanding of the scriptures were best held by the prophets who wrote them. Those people yearn for the understanding of the prophets and imagine what it was like to sit down at Peter's feet to learn doctrine... and then they question to themselves, "Could those guys [Mormons] really have a prophet or not? But as long as you rely on your own understanding, which is limited to the understanding of men, it's a never ending cycle of "I know better because this verse says this..." or "My pastor says this..." never putting your own credentials or the credentials of others in check.

But if you interpret them privately or accept the private interpretations of your pastors and colleagues, they are just words that are hoped to befuddle or debunk the LDS church given without power or precedent. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church on the face of the earth that claims revelation from God through his prophets. I testify that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of the Lord and the prophet of the restoration. That Thomas S. Monson is a prophet and the current steward in Zion. I know that I learn the Gospel at the foot of prophets and I testify that priesthood authority is held by those men as well as myself, being an Elder in this church... the same sort of Elder found mentioned of in James 5:14

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

No comments: