Thursday, June 07, 2007

Get firmly grounded

On Tuesday night we were at Tim and Nelliyan's (friends at church who work at YWAM) place to hang out and play a round of Settlers of Catan

It was good fun! Haven't played this game in ages... Tim introduced us to the Cities and Knights expansion version, solid man! Really have to stay alert in this game... so many elements and dynamics to think about, keeps you on your toes!

Next gaming session we'll introduce them to our favourite: Citadels (woohoo!!!)

After the game, we chatted for a bit. I mentioned that I thought the guest preacher who came to our church on Sunday was really dynamic! He's from South Africa and is one of those excited preachers who jump around on the stage--quite entertaining to observe him too.

He preached on the text from Judges Chapter 14--the story of Samson and the lion. He used this passage to talk about how Samson overcame his lion and how he eventually found 'sweetness' in his struggle (because when he returned to the place where he killed the lion, he found a beehive in the lion's carcass).

Overall it sounded okay... I thought this was quite a different way of interpreting this text because when I first learnt this story in Sunday School, the focus was on how Samson disobeyed his parents to get a Philistine wife, and that he actually ate honey from a carcass which was a detestable thing to do according to Jewish laws. So I was quite blown away at first at the way this preacher presented this story.

However, Tim and Nelliyan were actually not fully comfortable with this preaching. Tim calls it "Little Bo Peep" preaching. Because basically a preacher takes a certain scripture and then expands on it so much that he draws out interpretations and conclusions which are out of context from the full picture.

It just reminded me how important it is to test any teaching against God's word, and also how important it is to have a firm grounding in the scriptures. There are so many different teachings out there... a lot of it is probably good... but there is always a danger that you may get swayed by certain fluffy preaching unless you are firmly grounded.

I think it is still good to get different perspectives and views... but in the end you need to see how it fits into the original scriptural context, as well as how it applies to my own life.

I always want to take the best out of anything, so I'll end by saying something positive about the preacher: Even though his teaching may have gone out of context in some parts of the text (he could have used a different passage that was more relevant actually), it was a very good message about overcoming our lions. It really touched the heart of a lot of people who were going through struggles and were able to release it to God during the ministry time.

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