I think most Bible-believing Christians espouse the supreme authority of Scripture in their lives and the world. But, “the devil is in the details” as the cliche goes. Our doctrinal statements on this topic are usually just fine. Where we err is in daily practice. There are subtle ways we functionally abandon Scripture’s authority. I’ll explore a number of these over the course of the next several weeks.
Way #1: Appealing to selective texts while ignoring others
Perhaps the most well-known movement that seems to function this way is the “Health, Wealth, and Prosperity Gospel” (HWPG). Join together some verses about God blessing the land with some verses talking about being a child of the King and there you have it: health, wealth, and prosperity. This only works, of course, if you avoid talking about passages that discuss taking up our cross to follow Jesus, or passages that talk about suffering with Christ so we can reign with him, or passages that talk about the privilege of suffering with Christ.
When we see the Scriptures saying something we really like, it’s difficult to avoid running with that without paying much attention to what Scripture may be saying to moderate it. Of course, one of the best preventive measures to take to curb this temptation is to systematically read large chunks of Scripture.