A while ago I posted some thoughts about the “great delusion” referred to in 2 Thessalonians 2.
That reference relates to God’s future response to those who lack a love of the truth, a condition that will lead them to fall for the lies of the man of lawlessness (commonly known as The Antichrist).
Within that post I mentioned two cases of where that reference to “great delusion” had been adopted to illustrate contemporary events; with the suggestion that the God-sent great delusion had already been, or is currently being, fulfilled.
I tried to point out that those two examples were using scripture to support beliefs that the actual context of scripture didn’t support.
Similarly, my friend Steve recently posted an article on his blog, addressing the way that biblical instructions to pray for our leaders (for a very specific reason) had been subverted, and used in regard to praying for leaders for other purposes – that are different, and arguably contrary, to the reason given by Paul
I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
I recommend a visit to Steve’s blog and read what he has to say.
Recently I’ve been seeing another example of scripture being used questionably:
2 Thess 3.
“The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat” .
That statement is mostly used as a text opposing welfare aid – assuming that the “unwilling to work” are those in poverty who are relying on government help.
Little if any thought is given to applying it to the idle rich. Those who don’t work because of family wealth, or those who take phenomenal payments for comparatively little work.
It seems that believers and Christian leaders can so easily fall into the trap of using scripture to prove a point, or to promote an agenda, that scripture does not actually sanction.
Is that something that should concern us?
Or is it okay to use scripture as a tool to justify behaviours, beliefs and political dogmas that aren’t being addressed in the verses that are referenced?
How confident do we need to be that quoted verses are saying what we are being led to believe that they say?