The Twistys

January 11, 2016

Comfortably Misquoting Scripture


It’s a hot year, politically speaking. There are countless opinions as to what Republicans have to do to win the presidency. There are not as many for the Democrats, but there is certainly plenty of speculation on that side as well. It’s an interesting time, to say the least. We have a Republican candidate named “Trump” and a democratic candidate running as an open Socialist.

Among politicians, media personalities, professorial types and your general public figure, quoting the Bible, either as a punchline, a catch phrase, or a kind of support structure for self-promotion has become fairly common. But so rarely is it quoted or spoken of in context, with the correct subject and object, encompassing the true meaning of the teaching. This should not stand. It isn’t acceptable. It perverts the Word of God for personal gain. It is either careless, or wicked. Either way, these folks are comfortably misquoting Scripture and it needs a checks and balances. That’s what we intend to do here.

On January 7th, according to an article by Joseph Spector of the Ithaca Journal, Governor Cuomo of New York announced his plan to create a competition between local government entities. His intention is to award 20 million dollars to the group that creates the best plan for cutting costs and streamlining services to reduce property taxes.

In his announcement, intending to punctuate his gallant effort, he made this comment:


Why does government have to be a bureaucratic, slow, wasteful, inefficient piece? Where does it say that? In the Old Testament or the New Testament, can you find, ‘Government must be a hindrance to the private sector?’ No,

Well Mr. Cuomo, it doesn’t say that…exactly. But The Lord did say something awfully similar. In fact, He said that very thing in a whole lot more detail.

In the eighth chapter of 1st Samuel, when Samuel (the last judge of Israel) had grown old, and his corrupt children sat as judges over the people, it is said:

Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, and said unto him, ‘Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.

But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord.

And the Lord said unto Samuel, ‘Hearken unto the voice of the People in all that they say unto thee; for they have not rejected thee, they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.

According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.

Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.

And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.

And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.

And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.

And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.

And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.

And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.

And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.

He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.

And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.

Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;

That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.

And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of the Lord.

And the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king.’ And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city. – 1st Samuel 8:4-22

Man simply wasn’t capable of self-governance. Either because he didn’t want to or wasn’t capable. And neither, apparently, are we. But more to the point, God did indeed say, in so many words, exactly what Governor Cuomo said the Bible doesn’t say. God did say “the government (the king) will be a hindrance to the People”. He said the king will burden the private sector, he will take their sons and daughters, their crops, their labors, their laborers, etc. And kings and governments throughout time have done these very things.

But the truth was that the people of that day decided on their king – it was their choice! They were given the king their behavior had earned. And in this United States government of ours, as standing apart from kingdoms of the past, we too choose our kings. Or we earn them, as it were. We get the king we deserve as a nation. But Republican or Democrat, the government will always do as God said it would in 1st Samuel 8, at least until we earn the right to a better one.

I’m not sure how much Bible Mr. Cuomo, or his speech writer, knows. But apparently they missed that part. Is this a massive false statement? Does it have vast implications? Is it akin to a terrorist attack? No. But it gives us the spirit of the day. It shows a carelessness for what is said. It shows a presumption by the speaker and/or the writer that the Bible DOES NOT say this thing, because well, that would be absurd!! It can’t say that, so we’re safe in saying it doesn’t say that!! Therefore, there is no need to see if it says it or not, because we absolutely KNOW that’s “not in the Old or New Testaments” because that would be stupid, or something. And yet there it is.

Much like the example so generously given by Governor Cuomo in his speech on the seventh, politicians, journalists, television and radio personalities, television shows, films, professors, anyone else with a self-serving motive are awfully fond of using Scripture to back up their position when it suits them.

The trouble is that they rarely cite it correctly. It sounds wonderful for a Christian to hear The Bible quoted. It gives us spontaneous hope that someone might just be genuine; a man or woman of faith; better yet, someone we can trust. But it has become all too common to use Scripture as another form of self-marketing to secure votes, dollars or ratings.

This is unacceptable. It demands a response. It isn’t right that God’s Word be treated with such irreverence. These people treat it as if they’re quoting Plato or Moby Dick. This ought not be so. But it should come as no surprise.

In an appendix on “The Serpent of Genesis 3” (Appendix 19) in The Companion Bible, the great life’s work of E.W. Bullinger, he makes this well founded supposition regarding the behavior and embodiment of the wicked one. Bullinger asserts that the serpent was a serpent in behavior only, and was indeed an angel of light in appearance, i.e. the son of perdition. When speaking of the wholesale idea of people believing the serpent of Genesis 3 to be an actual serpent, he has this to say:

Never was satan’s wisdom so craftily used as when he secured universal acceptance of this traditional belief: for it has succeeded in fixing the attention of mankind on the letter and the means, thus blinding the eyes to the solemn fact that the Fall of man had to do solely with the Word of God, and is centered in the sin believing Satan’s lie instead of God’s truth. 

The temptation of ” the first man Adam” began with the question “Hath God said ?” The temptation of “the second man, the Lord from heaven” began with the similar question “If thou be the Son of God”, when the voice of the Father had scarcely died away, which said “This is My beloved Son”. 

[Excerpt truncated here to stay on point. I urge all of you to read the entire appendix at the link above]

It is not without significance that the first Ministerial words of “the second Man” were “It is written”, three times repeated; and that His last Ministerial words contained a similar threefold reference to the written Word of God (John 17:8,14,17). 

BullingerBWThe former temptation succeeded because the Word of God was three times misrepresented ; the latter temptation was successfully defeated because the same Word was faithfully repeated. 

The history of Genesis 3 is intended to teach us the fact that satan’s sphere of activities is in the religious sphere, and not the spheres of crime or immorality; that his battlefield is not the sins arising from human depravity, but the unbelief of the human heart. We are not to look for Satan’s activities today in the newspaper press, or the police courts ; but in the pulpit, and in professors’ chairs. Wherever the Word of God is called in question, there we see the trail of “that old serpent, which is the devil, and satan”. This is why anything against the true interests of the Word of God (as being such) finds a ready admission into the newspapers of the world, and is treated as “general literature”. This is why anything in favour of its inspiration and Divine origin and its spiritual truth is rigidly excluded as being “controversial”. 

This why satan is quite content that the letter of Scripture should be accepted in Genesis 3, as he himself accepted the letter of Psalm 91:11. He himself could say “It is written” (Matthew 4:6) so long as the letter of what is “written” could be put instead of the truth that is conveyed by it; and so long as it is misquoted or misapplied. 

This is his object in perpetuating the traditions of the “snake” and the “apple”, because it ministers to the acceptance of his lie, the hiding of God’s truth, the support of tradition, the jeers of the infidel, the opposition of the critics, and the stumbling of the weak in faith.

The purpose of this website; this blog, or whatever you want to call it, is to ensure that the Word of God is not twisted; is not confused; is not manipulated to selfish and devilish ends. In that vein, we will endeavor to expose and correct those who use His Word carelessly and/or wickedly. I call them the “Twistys”.

It is high time we as Christians make a stand for The Lord that has been so very good to us. Else what good are we to Him? More to come.

In Pursuit of Truth,

Joe Christian

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About the Author

Joe Christian
Joe Christian is a student of God's Word. He has no formal education, but has spent the better part of 20 years studying The Bible by following subject and object, and studying the original languages of the Scriptures. You can too.



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