Exegesis That Starts Wars & Stops Biblical Fidelity

So, I've been on quite a hiatus from blogging over the last few weeks. It all started when the motherboard on my laptop had a meltdown. Well, now I've got the computer back and it's working okay. I've had a number of things happen in my life over the last month, some great and some, well, not so great. I'll save those things for another post perhaps. Anyway...

Last night, just before going to bed, I landed on the local Christian TV station. There were two ladies speaking about2 Cor. 3.13-6. In those verses, Paul is comparing the obstinate hearts and minds of certain Hebrew (Jewish) people in his day to that of his Hebrew forebearers. To quote, the verses say this: "We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away."

Neither of the hosts read the four verse in their entirety but they did spend about 5 minutes expounding on them. In the course of four minutes, I swear to you that I have never heard such terrible exegesis. On the one hand, it was the type of interpretation that leads people to hate, hurt, start and start fights. On the other hand, it was the type of reading that makes people who actually take the Bible seriously, want to get as far away from these kinds of so-called "Christians" as possible. Here's what happend in those four minutes:

1. The lady who was speaking the most said, "I want you to know that in my heart-of-hearts, I think Jesus is coming back soon. And I also want you to know that every offering or gift that you send in to this program, it is lifting the veils from people's faces. I have a sense of urgency in my heart that Christ is coming back and we want to see as many veils lifted as soon as possible."

(Comments: Do you see what just happened here? This lady totally took the verse out of context and then used it to exploit people for money! She used language cloaked in fear and urgency to try to pull people's heart strings...and wallet strings.)

2. The lady proceeded to talk and said this: "Now, you know, I don't really want to get too deep into this but one of the reasons I feel like the world is going to end soon, that Jesus is coming back soon, is because of Islam. And here's the thing, in these verses, we read about a veil. Now, who is it that wear's veils today? It's the Muslim people."

(Comments: I must admit, I didn't see this coming. She blindsided me with this. She just went from guilt-tripping viewers into giving to pitting Christianity against Islam. So, at this point, she has doubly (or triply) misconstrued this passage and what it is really all about. This is the kind of exegesis that starts wars mind you! The poor lady's logic is just so flawed and terrible.)

3. Now, the other lady who has been sitting there listening the whole time, she finally speaks. On the verge of tears, she says something like, "Oh, that just gives me chills, I've never thought of that, you're right. That's so, true."

(Comments: This fictitious emotionalism is another way to make money. Moreover, it shows you just how stupid these so-called "Christians" who are supposed to love God with their minds, really can be. She totally just bought into this crap. Now, un-thinking Christians who are watching will probably do the same.)

4. The lady who had been speaking the majority of the time chimes in again. She is motivated by the woman's tears and continues to make non-existent connections between the veil in 2 Cor. and Islam. She proceeds to tell a story about a Christian family who was "Pentecostal-to-the-bone". Yet, somewhere along the way, in this hard-core Pentecostal family, one of the daughters converted to Islam. She went on and on about how it hurt the family so bad and that she had never seen anyone so sad. She wondered and wondered how it happened. She couldn't stomach the thought now of this girl (who she knew) being covered with the veil that would bring the end of the world to fruition.

(Comments: Again, it's another heart-string story that is just retarded. It may well be true but it has nothing to do with what Paul is talking about. Furthermore, it was a way for her to segue back into a plea for money: "Please, if you want to see the veil (not spiritual but physical) removed from women like these (contributing to terrorism), contribute to our show. Sow your seed and send your financial gift.")

5. Finally, the lady goes all nationalistic on us (quite what Paul may have actually been railing against in 2 Cor., to some degree) with this: "Just like this young girl, Islam has invaded America, God's territory. We need to stop it. You can help us do that by giving to this show which is sending out broadcast signals all over the world to help remove those veils."

(Comments: So, this whole thing was an apocalpytic-economic scheme which kind of reminds me of how pyramid schemes work--they don't! Anyway, I got sick to my stomach and had a hard time sleeping. I'm grieved that this is what the Western Church is coming to. When will we ever stop being so humanistic, prejudiced and ignorant? When?)


  1. I really try not to engage in seminal language but man, oh man what a basic hermeneutic class could do to save Chrsitians from such devestating ploys. I am disgusted also and the problem is this happens all the time brother all the time. Face your Giants like David, receive a Double portion like Elisha, Come out of your Desert experience like Israel, Have Grapes to big to carry like Joshua. A guy name Jamal Bryant said that Delilah gave Sampson oral sex (though he forgot that Sampson laid his head on her lap) when she laid his head and that is why she let him cut her hair (man on the black side this is the normal use of scripture dude). I remember Jakes preaching in Jeremiah and when it came to the "potter's house" he turned as if this was some prophetic word about his sucessful church and everybody applauded! Wow!

  2. Lionel, you're spot on with your comments man. You're also right that Jakes is bad about this...consistently. With him, too, there has even been a sharper shift into using the biblcial narratives to pop-psychologize things. That's why he was a guest on Dr. Phil, I guess. Anyway, you're surely right that a basic hermeneutics class would be good...that is, depending on where one took that class (which is also sad). Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. When will we ever stop being so humanistic, prejudiced and ignorant? When?

    When Jesus comes back, probably, though I fear not sooner.

  4. I recommend switching to a better station. Like one with just static.

    Congrats on the renewed computer.

    Chuck Grantham

  5. Shaylin,
    I was nervous there for a second. I was hoping you didn't begin another sentence with, "I just feel, in my heart-of-hearts, that Jesus is indeed coming back soon."

    I may have to disagree with you a bit though. I think your view is quite too fatalistic. I think we could all do much better, if we simply put forth the effort.

  6. Ha! Chuck, that's great. I will (for the sake of my own reputation :) ) say once again, though, that I merely stumbled upon this show by accident. You know what would be great? If the whole change to digital tv caught these stations off-guard and they weren't ready and just got shut down. Probably, though, that's too much wishful thinking!

    And boy, I hope the computer stays well for a while.

  7. Huh, and here I am encouraging Christian women to cover their heads. I guess I must be a puppet of Islam. What is the address, I need to send a check to this "ministry".

  8. Arthur, that's hilarious. I'm not sure about the ministry, I didn't really watch it long enough to pay attention. And I hope by "check" you don't mean that you're going to send in a check (aka "ministry seed").