taking scripture out of context
So catholics tended to learn the bible as a story, where one got the lesson from Jesus, rather than an emphasis on quoting Paul out of context, which is usually what we hear in sermons by the preachers on the protestant stations on the TV
yet the cherry picking of verses often leads to someone cherry picking one verse out of context and then backing it up with another verse out of context.
I remember years back having a preacher use the verse "the sabbath is made for man not man for the sabbath" as an excuse to say everyone needs to obey the rules of the sabbath, which is made for all men.
when actually, in context, Jesus was saying the opposite: The sabbath was made as a day of rest for men in a society where work was 24/7, not a day when rules and regulations made it impossible for men to get any time for recreation.
Today's bible reading in my software bible is an example.
The quotation: 2 Cor 7:5-7
the meditation (I think the daily meditation is spurgeon but I'm not sure) was on 2 cor 7.
God comforts the downcast.
And who comforteth like Him? Go to some poor, melancholy, distressed child of God; tell him sweet promises, and whisper in his ear choice words of comfort; he is like the deaf adder, he listens not to the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely. He is drinking gall and wormwood, and comfort him as you may, it will be only a note or two of mournful resignation that you will get from him; you will bring forth no psalms of praise, no hallelujahs, no joyful sonnets. But let God come to His child, let Him lift up his countenance, and the mourner's eyes glisten with hope.
Wonderful thought and wonderful exposition, saying that men cannot comfort us, but that God will comfort us in our sorrows. So rely on him alone.
But the full reading is exactly opposite:
For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn-conflicts on the outside, fears within. 6 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7 and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.
(from New International Version)
what's the difference?
In the first one, it says God is our comfort; in the second one it points out that God comforted Paul by using Titus and the other Christians.
The first is a comfort, but does not put responsibility on us, the second does.
No works emphasized, only grace. Say a prayer and go your way, folks...
Hmm....wasn't James a bit sarcastic at this type of christian?