Many times teachers in the church leave out important details in passages in the bible. They connect verses from different passages that create a different narrative. It is easy to take a small verse and add your own context when you are teaching the gospel. Also it is easy to put a small verse on a projector for everyone to see. What is convenient isn’t always right.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NASB) is the best example to use for this post:
“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'”
This verse is the most predominate verse for the prosperity gospel. People think that that this verse is talking about all of creation. Also they think you will have a life that will be materially blessed. The pastor can use this verse and bend it to their own narrative. This verse is lacking details. When you read something with pronouns you have to ask yourself “Who is ‘you?'” “You” is referring to a reprisal of a time of judgement of Israel. Huh.
If you read a verse that needs more context you have to quote more verses. Pronouns that are not clearly defined need to be defined. Don’t define it by your own biases. Let the bible do it. Prosperity gospel is a by product of not showing the details of a biblical passage. It is destructive and leads people astray. The worst thing you can do is use the bible incorrectly to manipulate people.
Lacking details makes it very easy to use Scripture Hopping by linking small verses together. In church you have a topic that has multiple verses attached to it. It is like a river. One flows into another and creates the current that the preacher wants you to see. If individually the verses doesn’t highlight your point don’t use it. This is done many times in ignorance and laziness.
This is a big issue in the church. Be on guard by reading the whole passage when a teacher gives you a verse. If it alone has nothing to do with the topic disregard it. Do it to not be manipulated. I’m not telling you to disregard the truth in the bible. I’m telling you to disregard the false connection the teacher is guiding you toward. Also please read my older post, Scripture Hopping, to add more context to this important issue.