I’ve heard many new terms over the last year – here is a couple you may not have heard explained, but may have heard in pulpits:
Eisegesis – an interpretation of a text that confirms someone’s existing presuppositions. EG: God will bless me with many riches while I’m alive because “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:19). Yet in context, Paul starts the paragraph explaining that he is to be content in anything that he currently has. Just because God has many riches (and I don’t dispute that) does not mean that they will all be given to you.
Narcigesis – Short for narcissistic eisegesis which is when a pastor reads his own ideas into the text with a primary focus on the self, rather than God.
I propose a new one:
Niceigesis – (Nice-ee-jeesiss) – Only teaching, preaching or quoting the positive messages of the bible, like ‘we are blessed’, ‘we are loved’ etc. I’ve not got a problem with this, but can we have the WHOLE counsel of God please?
I heard a sermon in which we were taught the power of words. Sure, we can encourage, build up – we are told to according to scripture. Here are the main points:
1. Words of wisdom. We are to be wise in what we say.
2. Words of encouragement. Like I mentioned above.
3. Words of creative power. Positive, new-age style confession based loosely on Romans 10:9-10.
Those were the points. Can I ask, remove the creative power – we ARE NOT gods and we DO NOT have creative power ourselves. This is a slippery slope to a very dangerous and heretical doctrine.
Instead, where are the words of WARNING? An incredible amount of the scripture contains warnings, but these are often glossed over in order to get to the positive bits. Paul, in his writings, often encouraged and rebuked. Jesus often encouraged and rebuked. Never forget he spoke to one of His disciples, ‘Get behind me, satan!’.
We need a return to the teaching of the whole word of God, not just the nice bits. If we continue down the road of just preaching and teaching positive messages, there are going to be a lot of surprised, sleeping Christians roughly woken up when trouble and persecution comes, and even more when Jesus returns.
It should be the case that we get this notion out of our silly heads that Jesus coming back is just going to be wonderful. It will be both wonderful and terrible. He will return with a sword in His mouth (Rev 19:15), and with Judgement.
Essay on Positive Confession: http://www.gotquestions.org/positive-confession.html
Difference between Exegesis (good) and Eisegesis (bad): http://www.gotquestions.org/exegesis-eisegesis.html
Teach the Whole Counsel of God: “For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.” Acts 20:27
Primer on what to look out for on Narcigesis: http://herescope.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/narcigesis.html