I Was Just Thinking About – ABSTRACTIONS.
An old saying about preaching is: “A Text taken out of its Context is a Pretext.” For some it doesn’t matter a great deal – if one can make it fit and apply it – do it! The downside is that there is a loss of a definitive and practical meaning to that which is being shared. The word “abstraction” is itself a fluid word with possible meanings that include: “absence of mind; preoccupation; and – the process of formulating generalized ideas or concepts by extracting common qualities from specific examples.”
When it comes to the understanding and the practice of the Christian Religion, simplicity is far more desirable than any flailing attempt toward intellectualism and/or being erudite. In 1960, the United States Navy came up with the K.I.S.S. acronym – Keep It Simple Stupid – as a design principle. The basic meaning is: “Most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore, simplicity should be a key goal - complexity should always be avoided.”
I suspect this is the principle employed by the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 1:18-21, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. It is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate. Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.” These words stated by Paul are anchored to The Word of the Lord in Isaiah 29:13-14, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught. Therefore, once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”
The Lord is conveying through His Prophet and Apostle an imperative – don’t play around with that which pertains to God or His word. Eternity hangs in the balance for those who proclaim as well as for those who hear. To those who pretend at being true servants of the Lord but insist on doing ministry “their way” rather than “God’s Way” there is this word in Isaiah 29:16, “You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it: You did not make me? Can the pot say to the potter: You know nothing?”
Prayerfully – consider these things with me.