I grew up when Diff'rent Strokes was a popular television show. That's no big deal unless your last name is Willis. To this day I still hear those famous words popularized by Arnold: "Whatchu talkin bout Willis?" Usually they are uttered by someone looking at me as though I may have never heard it before. Yeah, right! Well this blog is what I (Willis) am talkin bout...my thoughts, observations & opinions. Enjoy...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The most misused Bible verse?

There are a bunch, but below are the top 6 in my experience. In no particular order...

1. 1 Thes. 5:22 (KJV): Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Misunderstood (thanks KJV) and misused as a trump card against anything thing we don't like!

2. Matt 7:1 (ESV): "Judge not, that you be not judged."

The favorite verse of the  wannabe "tolerant" among us.

3. John 8:7b (NIV): "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

A popular escape verse. Almost always works to avoid scrutiny by others. You better be flawless if you're going to criticize me!

4. Romans 14:13b (NIV): Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.

And it seems like almost anything can be a stumblimg block! I don't like = a stumbling block!

5. Matthew 18:20 (NIV): For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.

Don't sweat that miniscule attendance... as long as we have a couple, Jesus will be here!

6. Galatians 3:28 (NIV): There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Loved by egalitarians & feminists. Just don't try don't try applying this verse to restrooms!

Ok, I was going for 10, but that's enough for now. What verses did I miss?

Monday, November 09, 2009

Not Just Biblical Ignorance

We often bemoan the prevalence of biblical ignorance that abounds these days. And we are right to so because it is an undeniably real problem. However, I've noticed another issue that isn't directly cured by Bible knowlede per se. In my experience I come across frequent misuse and misapplication of various portions of Scripture. Just check a friends favorite bible verse and you might run into a perfect example of what I'm talkin bout. Here are two prominent examples...

1. Philippians 4:13: "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

This verse, at first glance & by itself, appears to affirm that we can do just about anything as long as we rely on Christ's strength. BUT, this verse is NOT saying that I can dunk from the foul line, score 1600 on the SAT, bench press 700 pounds and start at QB for Redskins one day! Yet, this verse is a favorite because it is snatched right out of context. Go back one verse before Philippians 4:13 and we quickly see Paul is not offering a PMA motivational verse, but is dealing with contentment in all circumstances. Here verse 12: "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

2. Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." This verse is making rounds as a new favorite verse thanks in part to Rick Warren's misuse of it. Any rookie Bible student understands that we need to discern who is talking to whom in this passage if we are to discover its truth. Much could be written on the misuse of this verse (go here for more), but suffice it to say that it's NOT talking to you directly promising you prosperity! God is talking to His OT people who are in exile & captivity, not to some guy to day who's trying to make it big!

So can we learn from the aforementioned verses? Do they matter to us? YES! But we must first must determine what they originally meant in context before we can seek accurate application to our lives.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Johnny Mac!

"When a man steps into the pulpit more interested in telling us about his week so that he can 'relate' to his people - he is not preaching the Word. When a man seeks to be funny behind the sacred desk rather than faithful with the text - he is not preaching the Word. When a man claims to have a 'word from the Lord' a part from the divine revelation of Scripture - he is deceived and is not preaching the Word. When a man designs his sermons to attract a target audience, appeal to the culture, and has as its primary goal a thirst to be relevent - he is not preaching the Word. When a man strives to change the world through politics, representing America as the new Israel, seeking to bring a societal morality through legislation, and honors the flag equally with the cross - he is not preaching the Word. When a man fails to tremble at God's Word privately before ever preaching it publicly - he is not preaching the Word. And when a man treats the pages of holy writ with a cavalier, seeker-friendly, watered down, cream of wheat irreverence - he is not preaching the Word."

- John MacArthur Jr.

Friday, November 06, 2009


I think it's time for me to read Paul's epistles to the Corinthian church again. There's certainly a lot of crazy stuff happening in that church and it helps me remember that church folks don't always act like Christians. Also makes you wonder why any congregation wouyld call themselves "Corinth Christian Church". Mark Driscoll did a sermon series on 1st Corinthians entitled "Christians Gone Wild" which provocatively makes the point that the early Corintians followers of Jesus had some serious "issues" as we like to say. I was talking with a friend recently about the topic of frustration I stated how I was very familiar with with it in the context of church. In some ways, if we're reaching new people, I guess frustsrtation might always be a factor of sorts. The hard part about frustration is when it involves long time believers and it usually does...