This is to help with the numbers of things we may easily misunderstand and plain get wrong when reading the Scriptures. Each section is of relevance and importance to all (ourselves and OTHERS we tell).
A. Assumptions. We've made a rule in our household which quite simply says: "Never ever ASSUME!" This started when we were trying to work out what relatives were thinking about particular situations - and we were just guessing! Which is ASSUMING!!
This is also MOST IMPORTANT concerning the Word of God. It's SO EASY to assume. Let me give you a (deliberately somewhat extreme) example. Question: Did God create only Adam and Eve - or others as well? Answer: WE DONT KNOW!! And why NOT? - because the Bible doesn't tell us one way or the other!!! So we cannot ASSUME that only Adam and Eve were created. Personally I think there were just the two, but the PRINCIPLE here is most important: I must NOT assume something that God has simply NOT told me!!
And please NOTE that the BIG problem is when we assume something we're NOT told, then ACT UPON IT as if it's true!! That's BAD - yet many do it! Less extreme examples of assuming would be that there are just 3 Wise Men (no, 3 gifts: we're NOT told how many Wise Men). How many gifts? We're not told that either: just 3 are mentioned - but we may not assume that was all.
Now this is MOST IMPORTANT: Want to know what this is all about? - in His Word God SIMPLY does NOT feel under any obligation to tell you EVERYTHING. He tells us just what we need to know. And THAT is enough! For example, you DON'T need to know everything to grow - just need to know enough, and to ACT UPON WHAT YOU KNOW!!
B. Judgment Calls About God. What about making judgment calls concerning God and killing in the Old Testament. Like instructing his people to kill every man, woman and child after vanquishing an enemy. We dare to PRESUME that we understand the mind of God, His reasons and reasoning, and that we can QUERY if what He did was "RIGHT"? What dreadful rebellion is this against a perfect and HOLY God who instructs us to be Holy like HE is holy - which we're NOT - yet we think we can query Him, PRESUMING that we know better than He does!
C. Out of Context. In Reaching Higher we've already looked HERE at how John 3:16 (in subsection Step Two - B) which tells us how to get saved. And countless MILLIONS of people have been taught the serious ASSUMPTION that this is the whole story of salvation in the Bible!! IT'S NOT!! Far from it. This is taking two verses out of the CONTEXT of the WHOLE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT - with dreadful results!!
Such assumptions are far too often made by IGNORANCE of the Word of God, jumping onto wonderful-sounding and relatively easy-to-do verses like the John ones, and thus condemning piles and piles of those they teach to hell, when they're expecting heaven instead! MAN, is that ever DREADFUL...
D. Misconstruing what's really said. A good example of this is: LUKE 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.
Over and over the large church group I mention quotes, "Give and it will be given to you," and they mean, "give money and you'll receive money," (they want you to give money to the church). But do you see "money" mentioned anywhere in the verse? NO! And even if we do give MONEY to God, which is fine, does it promise that you'll be certain, as they say, to get MONEY back? NO! Give "ANYTHING" and God will repay you with "ANYTHING."
Can we use the last part about 'equal measures' to prove that money will get money? NO. It's simply saying that God will NOT short-change you - you'll receive an EQUALITY to what you gave! And of course the very concept of giving IN ORDER TO RECEIVE is utterly self-centered, and that church doesn't seem to 'get' any of that, so their basic understanding of the New Testameant message is dreadfully flawed. In this verse God is simply setting forth HIS GRACE and GOODNESS:
"You're NOT going to lose out by giving, you know," He's assuring us, "I'm not ever going to be in your debt. You will be fully 'repaid' in some way, okay!" Isn't He and amazingly fantabulous God!!!
- BM (with his Lady)