A lady recently called a radio talk show and said a particular Bible verse "had haunted" her for 17 years. How sad! Because of a negative situation in her relationships she was condemning herself to hell, based on what this verse said. What the specific verse was I do not remember, and it really doesn't matter. The point is she was in bondage to incorrect religious teaching.
I, too, was tripped up over verses for much of my life. They became strongholds by preventing me from growing spiritually and causing much confusion. In all honesty, I wonder how this might be the case for many other Christians. Strongholds are teachings or unresolved issues that become engrained in a person's subconscious to the point where spiritual progress is very difficult.
How many verses are taken out of context? How many people base doctrines on one single verse? This is very dangerous, theologically. It can cause much spiritual damage. Instead of Scripture helping people it is a hindrance. Don't allow your spiritual growth to be put on hold because a few verses are giving you problems.
How can this be prevented? First of all, ALWAYS study verses in their immediate context. Then take the cultural setting and the whole, entire scope of Scripture. NEVER base a teaching on only one verse, especially if it concerns your eternal destiny.
Second, know your position in Christ. This caller thought that she was not going to be saved because of a situation she was experiencing. Since when is our salvation based on whether or not a person has problems? If that were true, none of us would make it. That is like trying to earn your salvation.
Third, please don't spend years of your life being hung up on a particular verse or teaching that is producing negative results or confusion. The Bible was never meant to make people feel frustrated or condemned.
Do whatever needs to be done to clarify specific verses of Scripture. Examine the context. Learn the meaning in the original language. Cross reference the verse by finding other verses or passages that shed light and insight on the meaning of the verse that is giving you problems. Consult Bible commentaries. Talk to pastors and other knowledgeable Bible scholars. There is no reason for anyone to go 17 years, or even one year, being held back in his or her thinking because of one or more verses.
When I properly examined several verses that were giving me problems and learned their correct interpretation I began to experience freedom. I was liberated from the bondage of incorrect religious and church teaching. It is hoped that this caller will experience the same, and that you will to, if you are in bondage to incorrect thinking.
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