Reader Post | By Latless Susan
Context is King!
The mantra most invoked on the Bible school and seminary campus I attended between 2003 – 2005 was “Context is King!”. This applies from the most basic recognition to not take passages out of context to knowing that if a character invokes a specific passage, it never stands alone. Wise hearers’ will place it in its larger original context, one with which, ideally, they are already be familiar, and if not, then will seek out the truth of the underlying meaning.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6, see also, in context, Job 36:12) is one application of the failure to heed the crucial fact: Context is King.
Understand the Words! (Context is King)
We all suffer from interpretative challenges when dealing with translations of translations coupled with centuries of redactions by those of various mindsets sometimes of highly competing philosophies about God (theologies). I learned that God intercedes and guides us toward materials and / or understandings that help us unravel the mystery we confront if our hearts are right, intentions pure.
One of the many banes of my experience as a seminary instructor to those following typically mainstream Christian theologies is how many will hold on tenaciously to a perspective no matter how many ways one tries to expand the thinking stream. Case in point is terminology.
Example: The word “occult” in the popular American English vernacular is assumed by many to always hold an evil or dark-ward connotation or intent. Such thinking is a genuine hindrance to reading texts so as to get behind them as to authors’ root premises / intentions.
Occult means hidden. Think occult blood test that a medical professional may conduct on stool.
Some ancient texts, in languages other than English, utilize the word occult in place of secret or hidden. We want not to demonize a word so as to miss the larger point(s).
I encourage us all that when trying to explain to others deeper significances of certain passages of ancient texts, that we, at the least, be more specific about what we are trying to explain, either by clarifying at the outset more precisely or by consistently making the distinction throughout our presentations. For example, it’s important to repeatedly use qualified terms like “dark occult” versus “occult” when teaching or writing specifically about the practices of the Godless.
Occult = Hidden = Secret: All terms that may also be properly used in reference to the Creator of All, the That, Which and Whom is beyond all things (outside our matrices / dimensions / realities / speculations / implications) and The One who seeks that extreme evil NOT prevail as the balance necessary for life to thrive is diminished and thwarted. [NOTE: In our dualistic frame / matrix, good does not exists without evil (no upside if no downside), so all evil will never be completely banished in our existences. Anyone suggesting otherwise is misguided. Moreover, it requires us all to ask what is the purpose behind our lives and particular experiences. If we trust God, there must be a higher order purpose.
If the Creator is neither good nor evil, but rather inclusive of an integrated intelligence composed of both and, then the One True Creator of All is beyond any concept known by any created being (human or non), no matter what sphere in which they operate, no matter what intention they hold. God’s ways are higher than our ways. God’s wisdom is of a type none can fully grasp while operating in this reality. [AI can’t get it as it’s a product of creation, not of the Creator.]
It should give all God-ward minded added confidence to ever remember that God will not be mocked.
Invoking God while making self-deprecatory or generationally degrading oaths to attain some benefit or admission to a fellowship will never stand. [If you’re among those awakening to the ensnarements and traps you were seduced into, submerged under, remember: There is always a way out. Even if no one else about you may be trusted or told. God hears the cry of the heart. It may take time, even years and years, but if your genuine desire is to come out from under the dark-spells, you will guided on the way. Listen carefully, seek wisdom and discernment.]
I suggest it is a false concern to succumb to worry about “big brother” watching. All have always been watched by God. Seek to live God’s way. Toss concerns about dark-minded interlopers. Luke 8:17 “For there is nothing hidden (secret of dark-occult) that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” [Read in context Luke 8:1-18, then read again, for as many times as necessary to get it. We know when we know.]
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29) In context, what does this mean? Can it mean more than one thing? Can it mean its opposite? How many meanings can we abstract? Where do we land on our analysis? How did we arrive at that conclusion? What are the consequences if we are correct? If incorrect? Can we weight them? Which path will we choose?
Parables are an occult teaching methodology, one among very very very many. And like any method can be God-full or dark-ward. Let us mind our Ps and Qs when teaching (revealing to) others about the secret things of God. We must be humble, truthful so far as we can understand the truth at the time.
Growing / learning implies ongoing paradigm shifts. Will we spiral up or spiral down? Teachers, most of all, must be willing to admit when they were either wrong or have come to a new understanding, even if one must fall away (perhaps flee) from a given fellowship in the process. We will alone each account for ourselves before God. Teachers are held to a higher standard (James 3:1, please read in context, preceding and following).
Thank you for tuning in.
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