More Musings about Applicability of the Old Testament, Via One Man’s Testimony About Jeremiah 29:11

I don’t have a link for this. I was watching Christian show “700 Club” about a week ago. There was a testimony by a guy on there who said he grew up with his family taking him to church and presenting an image of God as a violent jerk who predestines for you to suffer and have misery.

As this guy grew older, he had some tough times. I don’t recall his exact life story – I think he became a hard core drug addict, robbed little old ladies, was in a gang, and so on. I don’t remember the specifics.

I also don’t recall the exact context of how he heard Jeremiah 29:11 for the first time – I think he said he was invited to church by a friend, and the preacher quoted Jer 29.11 from the pulpit.

This guy had never heard Jer 29:11 before, but this verse really clicked for him.

He said for the first time in his life, he said he understood God’s character better: that the God he had been taught (probably in Calvinist or Reformed churches) is not the God of the Bible.

That is, when bad things happened to him in his life, he realized that those bad things were not God’s plan for him or his life (which is what he had been taught at a previous church in boyhood).

Here is Jeremiah 29:11:

  • 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Reading or hearing that verse for the first time revoluntionized that guy’s life. It shifted his whole paradigm of who God is and gave him a sense of hope for the future. He became a Christian.

I am bringing this up because I keep seeing Christians online yell and scream that Old Testament verses are not, in their opinions, meant for Christians today – a view that does not completely make sense to me.

If they don’t get cranky about it, some of these Christians mock and ridicule Christians who use such Old Testament promises for themselves today. And these are usually the Christians who claim to be “sola scriptura.”

Assuming God exists: who is to say that God does not harken a certain Old Testament verse written specifically for Joe- Bob- the- Jew back in the year 3,245 B.C. for a Christian reading that verse today? I believe some Christians call this a “Rhema” word?

Just because a verse was written in first context for Edna the Hittite back in 4,893 BC does not necessarily mean that God does not think it cannot or does not apply it to a Christian today who is going through a particular circumstance.

It’s strange how hyper sola scripturaists continue to limit the Bible and its applicability; they make half the Bible null and void for anyone who is a Christian today.

Hyper Sola Scripturists, biblicists, whatever term they should be nailed with, tend to think that the Holy Spirit does not do miraculous works today (such as healings), and they think that the Old Testament is only for ancient Jews. Which leaves them with what, a weak, Deist God who refuses to intervene directly in his creation today and half a Bible that is dead, largely irrelevant, and moot?

I find it fascinating that a man who was lost said it took hearing Jeremiah 29.11 to turn his life around today, in 2015 or 2014, or whenever this pivotal point happened.

Some Christians will argue that Jer 29.11 (which is in the Old Testament) applies only to ancient Jews in their particular historical context of the time and not to Gentile believers today, but a man today, in or around 2015, found healing in that very verse. So, is Jeremiah 29:11 really only for ancient Jews when God (if he exists) is using it to reach Gentiles in 2015?

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October 6, 2015  Update.

And I just saw this in my Twitter feed, via Crosswalk:

(Link): Stop Taking Jeremiah 29:11 Out of Context!

See? Christians are still debating if Jer 29.11 is applicable for Christians today or not. I can guarantee you that in several months time, there will either be a Christian on TV or in a blog post arguing the opposite of this Cross walk page – that Jer 29.11 is in fact applicable for believers today.

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Related posts:

(Link):  Does God’s Plan to Do You No Harm, Prosper You, And Give You Hope and A Future Involve You Dying In a Fiery Plane Crash? Regarding Jeremiah 29:11

(Link):  Gallup: Record Low 24% Believe Bible Is Literal Word of God (May 2017)

(Link):  Unanswered Prayer and Diversity of Doctrine and Interpretation (podcasts)

(Link): Christians Who Take the Bible Literally Cannot Agree On Much of Anything 

(Link): Christians Once Again Trying to Explain Who The Bible’s Promises Are For – TGC Article

Does God’s Plan to Do You No Harm, Prosper You, And Give You Hope and A Future Involve You Dying In a Fiery Plane Crash? Regarding Jeremiah 29:11 and Its Application

Does God’s Plan to Do You No Harm, Prosper You, And Give You Hope and A Future Involve You Dying In a Fiery Plane Crash? Regarding Jeremiah 29:11

I tweeted this a moment ago:

That being Twitter, I could not fully express what I was trying to get at, not in Twitter’s 140 character limit.

I saw a news story about a well known preacher who died in a plane crash the other day, and that prompted me to think about these things.

This is something I wonder about. I sometimes wonder how much, if at all, Old Testament principles or verses can or do apply to Christians today. I also wonder, given that so many Christians like to quote Jer 29.11,

  • 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I am open to either side of this debate.

I’ve heard (camp 1) Christians argue that the OT is not for Christians today, and other Christians (camp 2) say no, the OT is for today, too, or at least parts of it are. But I think I fall more a little more into camp 2 than camp 1 (at least currently. I may change my mind in the future).

It makes no sense to me Christians who argue that OT is not applicable for Christians today, that all its promises and morals and rules solely fall to Israel of 5,000 years ago.

Yes, I realize that the dietary portion of the Law is done and over, since God showed Peter a vision of a blanket of pork chops and ham sandwiches in the New Testament and said, “Eat, Peter.” The sacrifice of Jesus Christ made the necessity of sheep, goat, and bull sacrifices null and void, obviously.

~But that’s about it. I don’t see how or why all the other OT promises and principles become null and void, like stealing remains a sin, God says in the OT he will stand by a believer, etc.

See also (Link):  Christians Who Can’t Agree on Who The Old Testament Is For and When or If It Applies

However. The Prosperity Gospel heretics on TBN and other religious networks regularly quote Jer 29:11 at Christian viewers, as though it’s a promise God makes to every last person watching, and that it’s a promise intended for every point in life, no matter what.

But what if you are a Christian who develops cancer, gets into a car wreck and dies, your spouse leaves you, or you’re past 35 and wanting to get married but still find yourself single, or, what if you get laid off from your job and have a hard time financially?

Are we supposed to assume that it’s God’s plan of hope, joy, and prosperity to inflict a Christian with cancer, or to allow their marriage to dissolve, or to keep them single indefinitely against their wishes?

How is getting cancer, dying in a fiery plane crash, and so on, a “plan of hope” or a future of any kind?

I can tell you right now that your average Calvinist idiot (I really detest Calvinism and find most of its adherents rude or condescending) will respond “God is sovereign” and “God still gets the glory in all these negative situations,” and your average, non-Calvinists will trot out cliches such as Romans 8:28, or another one (about suffering making you stronger or “more Christ-like”) but no, sorry, those responses do not fly.

There is nothing glorious about someone being laid off from the job, being single when they want marriage, becoming paralyzed from a horse fall, dying in a fiery plane crash, or getting mugged by a robber.

At this stage in my life, I quite frankly don’t give a hoot about “God’s glory” or adding to it.

I was at a blog some time ago where there was a post by a woman like me who explained she was still a virgin past 40 and wanting to get married. And the doofus Christian guy who owned the blog, who excuses fornication, blurted out that, “Well, if you are still abstaining sexually that is wonderful, as it goes to God’s glory.” No, buddy, women like me don’t want “God’s glory” or to contribute to it, we want a spouse and we want to get laid.

Anyway… I do wonder how or why Christians continue to drag that bit from Jeremiah out when it’s obvious that not all Christians have futures at all (they die young), nor do they have hope or prosperity.

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BTW update in this post:

Dude ( John Morgan ) Who Stalked Me Online Has Set His Blog to Private – Yet Again

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October 6, 2015  Update.

And I just saw this in my Twitter feed, via Crosswalk:

(Link): Stop Taking Jeremiah 29:11 Out of Context!

See? Christians are still debating if Jer 29.11 is applicable for Christians today or not. I can guarantee you that in several months time, there will either be a Christian on TV or in a blog post arguing the opposite of this Cross walk page – that Jer 29.11 is in fact applicable for believers today.

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Related post:

(Link): More Musings about Applicability of the Old Testament, Via One Man’s Testimony About Jeremiah 29:11

(Link): Christians Who Take the Bible Literally Cannot Agree On Much of Anything 

(Link): Christians Once Again Trying to Explain Who The Bible’s Promises Are For – TGC Article