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Carnal Use of Scripture By Carnal-Minded Christians

There are many in the church community today that live in carnal weakness and seek carnal escapes, while operating each day with a highminded view of their own form of spirituality. Sadly, they have bought into the type of Christianity that massages the truth into an image that allows for weaknesses, excuses uncleanness, and applauds human ingenuity. This form of Christianity cloaks its humanistic ways and words with a spattering of Bible verses to appear loving, forgiving, and thankful to God. They thread their talk and social-posts with a Bible verse and a Christian phrase to give their posture a look of faith and Christian love. They have developed their own brand of Christianity using bits of Scripture to offset their ignorance, immaturity, and indifference to truth. They cover their lack with a favored verse while diminishing true holiness, and then present it as Christianity. They favor their own brand of truth and prefer the Jesus that was formed by their own desires. They aggressively ward off any word that confronts them; preachers of holiness are deemed archaic, pastors of righteousness become pharisaic, and maturity in Christ becomes religious. Today’s brand of American Christianity is in love with ministry that avoids the cross; it loves preaching leadership and vision that honors self; they call for revival which means an increase in church attendance and more financial support.
So sad! 

Below are ten examples of statements or phrases employed by today’s Christian Community that are misusing Scripture, thus diminishing the word of God. Should you be a believer who has fallen into this trap, please call upon the Lord to empower you with His love for holiness and His righteousness, and to stir your faith to believe God rightly.

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  1. Don’t Judge:
The truly spiritual pastor or preacher will never preach or teach, “Don’t Judge”. The mature Christian will never say, “Don’t Judge Me.” This little phrase or a variation of it is employed to ward off any attempt to infuse holiness into a person’s life, or to bring them to surrender to Christ and become one with God. The “Don’t Judge” formula is the carnal-minded Christians’ formula to maintain their sinful desires and keep their fleshly ways intact, while presenting themselves as spiritually-minded. The devil gloats among such Christians.
 
The Bible makes it clear that those who have God’s Holy Spirit are the only ones able to judge rightly, yet today’s carnal-minded Christian community picks out a piece of Scripture and uses it to defer, deter, and deflect the work of the cross. The Holy Spirit always leads a person to know the cross in his or her life. He exposes weaknesses so that a person will come into His strength and rely of His word, yet modern-day Christianity works against the cross and says, “We’re Not To Judge.”  Such Foolishness!  
 
Regardless of this foolishness and their attempts to alter the need to be holy as God is holy, truth does not change, holiness does not bend, and faith remains steadfast. The “Don’t Judge” mantra only has power over anyone who remains concerned with the opinion of mere man. This mantra is thrown up in the same way a Catholic quickly defaults to their own mantra: “I’m Catholic.” This is a shield they use to also deter and defer any attempt to convey truth to them. The user of “Don’t Judge” uses this same rhetoric as their shield to ward off truth and deter holiness. When you hear someone use this phrase, then you must know there is either ignorance or immaturity present, or just simple defiance.
 
The Christian is called to judge rightly and be righteous in judgment. The believer judges without partiality and will be just in all things and all scenarios. As a believer gains the mind of Christ, then there will be a very-present decisiveness. Confidence in Christ leads you to be a decisive person. Every decision is a judgment; let it be righteous judgment.
  1. Be The Light:
When Christians want to avoid being offensive while they associate with unbelievers or the disobedient backslider, then they use this phrase. They claim to “Be The Light” and they say that they are looking for an opportunity to share, while they are actually withdrawing into the security of self-concern. They want to be the light, but they do not shine in such a way that darkness flees. These are powerless Christians. The Holy Spirit is not pleased with their presumptuousness. They assume to be the light, yet hide the very word that pierces souls and causes division. Their idea of being the light is just refraining from using swear words, don’t drink too much, don’t smoke, pray before you eat, and have a nice smile so everyone knows that you’re not grumpy. This sort of “Be the Light” witnessing can be gained by taking a Positive Mental Attitude class. It is Shameful. This is the same sort of witnessing that goes no further than a bumper sticker, a T-Shirt, or a house's welcome mat that says, “For Me And My House Shall Serve The LORD.” Yet, the witness is in fear of being offensive or deemed impolite. Their desperate, self-righteous desire is to be seen and known as a polite Christian. They do not want to live in the light that offends darkness: The light that shines forth, darkness flees, and light makes no apology.
  1. God Knows My Heart:
The carnal Christian has learned to draw upon this verse like an old Western gunfighter; it is used to excuse their bad behavior, poor judgment, immoral pattern, or worldly activities. Any confrontation, or even a squeeze upon their conscience from the Holy Spirit, is met with, “Well, God knows my heart.” This is a profane application of this verse, which was spoken by the Lord to the prophet Samuel when searching and electing the Lord’s king for Israel. 
 
It is a travesty to use this verse in this way; this word was spoken by the Lord to a man of deep faith, proven faithfulness, and a righteous life of sound judgment. Now, carnal-minded Christians excuse themselves from a holy life by presumptuously declaring that God remains pleased with them because they mean well. No place in Scripture can this be found in any godly life. The Lord God never praises a person for trying, good-intentions, or meaning well.  
 
Today, if a true preacher, pastor, or mature believer confronts any worldly issue with the truth, whether a thought or a deed that is contrary to Christ, then they are deemed harsh and unloving; then the “Don’t Judge” mantra is also drawn to provide an authoritative stance. Thus, in saying “Don’t Judge,” they have just broken their own standard, but their highmindedness prevents them from seeing things from the point of truth.
 
With modern-day Christianity, a foul-mouthed, unbelieving actor or singer can go to church, make a song with Christian lyrics, or be involved in some wholesome movie, and miraculously they become a Christian in the eyes of today’s church. Yet, if the saint tells the foolish Christian that there is no fruit of repentance to validate their claim, it is met with “Don’t Judge” and “Only God Knows Their Heart.” So sickening! This mantra is not just a shield, it is a weapon of choice to secure themselves as righteous.
 
Great error is being allowed in church today under the guise of “Don’t Judge” and “Be The light” and “God Knows My Heart.”  Scripture is being ignored and verses are being surgically dissected, pulling out only the part desired. In addition, the selected portion of the verse is then applied as a balm to soothe their conscience from the Holy Spirit’s piercing point. 
  1. For God So Loved The World:
The Bible reveals that God’s love moved Him to extend mercy to a lost, belligerent people born in iniquity and wrath. Yet, the Lord’s love never diminished His holiness, nor did it ever excuse the need to be holy. However, modern-minded Christians now use this truth to excuse themselves from being a true witness by saying, “Just Love Them”. These are the “Coincide Christians” who use this phrase in order to excuse themselves from having to suffer as an offense for living and speaking truth. These Christians coincide through concessions. They associate with the vulgar, attend parties that are threaded with revelry, and tolerate acts offensive to Christ, and they do so by telling themselves that you’re to just love them. This brand of Christianity is void of Christ’s love, while saturated with self-love. They use this one alongside, “We’re Not To Judge” and “Be The Light” so that they can escape the awkward rejection and isolation that follows confrontation.
 
This theological stand does not rest in a sound biblical understanding of love. The Bible reveals the love of God, and tolerating willful sin among Christians is not love; permitting doctrinal error without correction is not love; allowing coarse and crude jokes among the saints is not love, and certainly going to the lost without a word of witness is not love.
  1. You Have To Become All Things To Save Some:
The apostle Paul said to the church in Corinth, “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Cor. 9:19–22 NKJV).
 
Paul became a servant though he was an apostle and came under law when there were those in bondage to the law. Paul did so in order to have a voice in their life and to present the Gospel. Yet today, Christians take this word to justify worldliness, revelry, and loose standards of holiness. They do not become more restrained, but cast-off restraint, and call it “becoming all things to save some.” These Christians ignore anything to do with Law, walk contrary to holiness unto the Lord, yet claim this verse to justify their behavior. Appalling!   
 
This verse is completely removed from the Holy Spirit’s intent. Fleshly-minded Christians satisfy self and use Scripture to present themselves spiritual. They love calling every artist and actor who references God a Christian, so they can feel better about their own brand. Their idea of witnessing falls short of the Spirit-filled life; they are an offense to the Lord and their witness is not true.
  1. When I’m Weak, Then He Is Strong:
So many Christians live in the bondage of the flesh and do not understand the power of Christ’s endless life. They seem to think that God’s power is for later use, rather than daily living. When they are weak, they say, He is strong, but they do not live in that power. Rather, they declare themselves weak, and then wait for it to pass or for something to happen that relieves them of their current pain or problem. Then they say God brought them through, but they never found freedom nor did they experience His power to overcome. They actually relish in their weaknesses and applaud each other’s attempts to get-through and to get-by.

The true believer yields to the strength found in the Holy Spirit and does not magnify weaknesses but overcomes them. The Christian must learn to overcome as Christ overcame. The Holy Spirit is “present-power” for the believer, to be lived out, not just referenced. The powerful presence of Christ is found in the cross, where Christ carried out the will of God. This is the pattern for every Christian, that is, not my will Father but Your will be done, as Jesus said so must the believer.  
  1. I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me:
While a prisoner of Rome, Paul wrote to the church in Philippi to encourage them. Paul called upon this giving church body to press on with complete resolve amid adversity. Today, this verse is often used in jest or in an attempt to flippantly encourage someone when facing a hard-time of some sort. While teaching at a Bible college, I heard students and teachers say this verse with a chuckle when tackling tests and finishing papers, or even among the teachers who were burdened with grading them. In church, there are many pastors who also reference this verse when dealing with people in their congregation, or they state it to those who need to be encouraged. However, sadly, there is no Spirit-Filled resolve. The modern Christian does not possess the resolve of Paul, nor his power, because the Spirit-Filled life has been reduced to speaking in tongues or quoting some theological point, not to be edified but to give proof that they have the Holy Spirit. This is an offense to the Lord.
  1. The Lord Has Good Thoughts Toward You:
This verse from the prophet Jeremiah is enormously employed by so many to soothe everyone and anyone whenever trouble or trial surfaces in the Christian’s life. They perceive trouble or worry over some potential event or problem, and then, this verse is stated or written in a card to bring relief. When events are developing that cause any anxiety or if a relationship didn’t work out, this verse from Jeremiah is given forth. Perhaps the Christian is overwhelmed with indecision, then you will hear this verse. This is the modern-day believer’s “Go-To” soothing verse.
 
Amazingly, no one truly knows the context of the verse, nor the events and circumstances that moved the Holy Spirit to speak forth the word through Jeremiah. They have little knowledge of the Lord’s judgment upon Israel's disobedience or the actual application of this word, but it works to soothe a person’s fret. This verse, like the others, is the Scriptural pill to remedy the soul’s ills, but there is no actual faith present when employed. All is said in order to make a person feel better. 
  1. The Truth Will Set You Free:
This verse is used by the saved and the unsaved; it is often used as a joke among the Christian community whenever someone appears to be hiding something or is in some sort of lie.  Many laughingly say, “And the truth will set you free,” implying the need to "come clean." The very statement the Lord Jesus used to guide the church is referenced only as a quip. More so, it is always taken out of context. Jesus said this: “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32–32 NKJV). Freedom is the result of knowing truth, which is preceded with “Abide in Me” and being His “disciples indeed”. Let us reference the whole truth and learn the life that is in Christ.
  1. We’re All God’s Children:

The ignorant and immature Christian community likes to consider humanity as the children of God or the people of God. This conveys the message that everyone is under the banner of God's love and the phrase removes the stinger of conviction. However, the Lord has made it clear that mankind is cut-off from the holiness of God; humanity cannot come into the presence of God, nor can any human being ever please God; they are not His children nor His people. Hence, Christ Jesus made clear that one must be “born-again.” As Nicodemus didn’t understand, not having the Holy Spirit, therefore, no human being can understand the things of God without the Holy Spirit. Only the Spirit of God knows the things of God (1 Cor. 2:11).  

The church must begin teaching and preaching the full word of God once again. In other words, the church needs revival to the truth and start running from the foolish pastors, teachers, and preachers who minister in error. These men and women are in the natural, spewing their natural inclinations and the thoughts formulated from their own minds. Today, much of Christianity has made Jesus into an image that is more palatable for their own taste. Lord help us!

Final Comment: 
Consider the words of your mouth and the verses you may use in your conversations, or the jokes you laugh at, post, or share with others, as well as your decisions and actions. Consider the Holy Spirit’s word to the saints, spoken by the apostle Paul to the Ephesians that are posted below. Consider the portions I underlined; ask yourself: Are you taking the word of the Lord in vain or using His word flippantly? Are the words of your mouth truly giving the Lord honor and glory? Remember saint, holiness is your new life in Christ, the true believer lives it and loves it! Amen.

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Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.  And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them…Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise (Ephesians 5:1–11; 14–15 NKJV).

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 Amen.

May 02, 2018 

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Copyright © 2018 Dr. Gary H. Cote, All rights reserved.


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