Are American Pastors Using Bible Code?

codefolder  Today I stumbled across a short article (it’s actually more of an advertisement) for a video that explains how to use the Bible to make money (see article HERE).  This article claims that there’s a “Biblical Money Code” hidden in Scripture and all you need is the proper understanding of how to interpret the code in order to make lots and lots of cash.  I have seen things like this for years and usually react with a mix of disgust, sadness and laughter.  Folks like this spend countless hours looking for imaginary codes and making videos and books to sell to the gullible (knowing how to sell man-centered, self focused merchandise to gullible professing Christians is the real money-making formula, just ask the folks at Mardel’s) while completely missing the black ink pointing out their sin and the atonement offered by Christ.  It’s amazing how these money-code guys dig so deep into the Word while rarely noticing or mentioning Christ, the living Word.

Today’s article, however, made me realize something else.  These code-guys really aren’t all that different from the pastor down the street.  It’s pretty obvious to anyone with an ounce of discernment that the code guys are missing the point and selling false teaching.  But I am convinced that the vast majority of American evangelical pastors are doing the same thing, they’re just better at it so people don’t catch on as quick.  The code-guys read the plainly stated Biblical text but then interpret it as having clues and methods so you can make money for yourself and bring your dreams to fruition.  Many local pastors read the plainly written passages and interpret it as being all about you and how you were created to fulfill your purpose, and your purpose can be found in the dreams God has laid on your heart.  Both methods take Scripture (so as to claim the teaching carries biblical authority) and turn the Scripture into a “message from God” as to how you can get all the things you want whether it be money, a better career, health or improved family life.   There are no real substantive differences in the two methods of teaching other than the local neighborhood guy is a little smoother and a little less obvious.  In the end, Scripture isn’t about Christ, it’s about you.  And the focus of your day isn’t “Thy will be done” but instead “Thy will help me get my will done”.

Jeremiah 17:9 says that our hearts are deceitfully wicked and can’t be trusted, but the modern message teaches that our desires are actually God-given oracles revealing His will for us.  The focus is no longer on God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, but on us.  Is your pastor a Bible-code guy?  Has he bought into the purpose-driven model of Bible interpretation and Church methodology?  Are most sermons focused on what you should go do so things will be better for you?  Some folks have sat under this kind of teaching so long they don’t even know what else a sermon could possibly sound like!  If this is you, maybe it’s time to take a good long look at Scripture to see if your pastor’s teachings and methods match up with God’s Word.  When you hear a sermon, go home afterward and read the text in its full context and see if it’s really saying what the pastor taught.  Look at a good commentary to see how some of the great classic teachers understood the passage (the Matthew Henry Commentary is a very good & affordable one).  Spend some serious time in prayer and ask God to open your eyes to these things.  Maybe pick up a copy of Mark Dever’s book What is a Heathy Church.  You laugh at the Bible-code guys, right?  I certainly hope so.  It might be time to turn a discerning eye to other teachers and see how they match up with God’s Word.  I’m not suggesting a witch hunt, just a screening so as to see if you are taking in solid spiritual food.  Don’t be misled by a camouflaged code-guy while laughing at the obvious ones!

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