Coveting, Stockstill, and 2Sam.24:24 Tuesday, May 6 2008 

BLESSED BE THE CREATOR AND FATHER OF CHRIST JESUS WHO GIVES US UNDERSTANDING!     

 

See my earlier post entitled LARRY STOCKSTILL’S “PROOF TEXTING fallacy before reading this post and consult academic works concerning this method of dishonesty. I won’t go into the details of biblical interpretation/hermeneutics. Why? Because YOU the Christian should take the iniative to research and sharpen your reading skills and how to accurately handle God’s Word.

 

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     Let’s move on…. Larry Stockstill is quoted in his 20/20 Brochure under the first section entitled “Over and Above” Giving:

 

Capital stewardship campaigns rely on church members making gifts “over and above” their current levels of giving. The best path to increased giving is the spiritual path, where you set your heart on things above. Financial priorities then take shape from spiritual priorities.

One phrase for defining this kind of giving is lifestyle stewardship, a term used to describe a level of giving that affects one’s living. The challenge of lifestyle stewardship is to find ways, boldly and prayerfully, to let your giving touch your living!

King David declared, “I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing” (2 Sam. 24:24 niv). David understood that the gift that touches the heart of God must first touch the heart of the giver. This is the spirit of lifestyle stewardship: If your gift is for your God, then it must have value and meaning to you.”

 

     As you can see, Larry Stockstill starts off introducing his “Capital stewardship campaign” with giving more than you’re currently giving. He rightly defines “Capital” with “Financial“.  The command to “LET YOUR GIVING TOUCH YOUR LIVING!” is very popular within the Word of Faith and Prosperity Gospel Movements. On the larger level(Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Eddiel Long, Fred Price) Televangelist will use their own words and programs. On the smaller level(Larry Stockstill), the words merely get copied and pasted onto different websites (with pictures of families hugging, smiling), here are a few examples that should sound familiar(click on the links and read their plagiarism:

     As you can see the words are the same, Larry Stockstill simply put a new label on it and called it his “20/20 Vision”. That makes him a plagiarist! The dishonesty begins when he isolates The Holy Scripture from it’s context! He singles out 2Sam.24:24 from it’s whole and uses David’s act of atoning for his grave sin with “This is the spirit of lifestyle stewardship“.

 

     Yet let’s look at the whole context and see what the original author was recording. Did the original biblical author intend for all believers to give “over and beyond” during capital campaigns OR did the original author simply record how David atoned for sin?

 

     This incident concerning David’s burnt offering occurs directly after his warring with the Philistines.  Also, the occasion is recorded not just in 2Sam. Chapter 24 but also in 1Chron. Chapter 21. Here’s the breakdown:

 

  1. David became prideful and wanted to count the remant of his army(2Sam.24:2) which was instigated by Satan(1Chron.21:1)
  2. David’s General Joab attempt to dissuade David from this SIN (1Chron.21:3; 2Sam.24:3) but “…the King’s word prevailed over Joab and against the commanders of the army(2Sam.24:4)
  3. This SIN was so abhorrent to Joab that he “…did not number Levi and Benjamin(NASB)….”.
  4. God became angry with David’s SIN(1Chron.21:7)
  5. David’s heart immediately convicts him of this SIN and causes him to verbally REPENT (2Sam.24:10; 1Chron. 21:8)
  6. God gives David (3) choices of PUNISHMENT (1Chron.21:9-13; 2Sam.24:11-14)
  7. David chose “…three days of the SWORD of the LORD, even PESTILENCE in the land, and the angel of the LORD DESTROYING throughout all the territory of Israel(NASB).”(1Chron.21:14; 2Sam.24:15)
  8. David cries out and intercedes on his army’s behalf, “Behold it is I who have SINNED, and it is I who have DONE WRONG; but these sheep, what have they done?(NASB; 2Sam.24:17; 1Chron. 21:17)
  9. David verbally REPENTED and INTERCEDED. He also showed OUTWARD REPENTANCE by him and The Elders covering themselves “…with SACKCLOTH…FELL ON THEIR FACES”(1Chron.21:19).
  10. God sent the Prophet Gad again to instruct David to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings and to build an altar to The LORD(2Sam.24:18:-21; 1Chron.21:18-22)
  11. WHY, TWO REASONS: A.) “…that the plague may be restrained from the people.(NASB; 1Chron.21:22; 2Sam.24:21). B.) David was “TERRIFIED” to go to Gibeon to sacrifice where “…THE TABERNACLE OF THE LORD” and the “ALTAR OF BURNT OFFERING”  was located, i.e., The established place to offer atonement/sacrifces/ burnt offernings.
  12. We all know that the WAGES of SIN is DEATH(Rom.6:23) and the cost of atoning for sin ONCE AND FOR ALL was the crucifixion of Christ! Indeed how strong is David’s statement, “…I will not offer burnt offerings to The LORD my God which costs me nothing(NASB; 1Chron. 21:24;2Sam.24:24)”.
  13. ***MOST IMPORTANT*** “Thus The LORD was MOVED BY PRAYER for the land, and the plague was held back from Israel(V.25)”.

 

     So, by looking at the whole story we see that David understood the graveness of his SIN and REPENTED and INTERCEDED for the land by offering burnt offerings on Araunah’s Threshing floor because David was too TERRIFIED to travel to The LORD’S House in Gibeon due to THE SWORD of the angel of The LORD(1Chron. 21:30).

     Larry Stockstill should recognize that he too commits the sin of David, i.e., constantly counting his people with pride.  The numbers are constantly being counted and reported from his G-12 programs to his own chain of churches in the greater Baton Rouge area.

     Next, we will exa.mine each of his directives in the 20/20 Vision program. You will be appalled that the basis for these requests is the EISEGESIS of 2Sam. 24:24. Directives such as the following:

 

  1. Stressed out? who cares get a “…PART TIME JOB….”
  2. Stressed out, who cares postpone your “VACATION
  3. Continue the burden of payments equal to a college education
  4. Hand over heirlooms
  5. A savings account worth “$80,000. “, hand it over!!

     All of this from 2Sam.24:24?! Imagine how stressful it is to finally put your child through college and now have to continue! How stressful it is to work one job and yet have to get another job! To use deceit in bible verses to COVET  is a sin!

 

     Notice what Paul told the Ephesian ELDERS/OVERSEERS on how not to COVET your congregations belongings in Acts 20:17-35:

33 “I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. 34 “You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. 35 “In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, `It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “

 

     You often hear Televangelist quote this to their congregations, yet we see by reading THE WHOLE CONTEXT that this statement applies to the “OVERSEERS/ELDERS” of the church. It’s interesting to note that the word for WEAK in verse-35 is the Greek#770 (ASTHENEO) is actually a verb and not an adjective. It means something that is becoming weakened.  Depending on the context it could mean a person becoming weak by disease (Acts 9:37; 19:12) or  as in Acts 20:17-35 those who are financially weakened by wolves who are devouring their monies. Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance defines ASTHENEO as :

 

“…to be feeble in any sense; either by disease, oppression.”

 

 

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Larry Stockstill’s Prooftexting Fallacy Tuesday, May 6 2008 

     PROOFTEXTING:

     One of the tools Prosperity Televangelist abuse to covet believers valuables is Scripture itself.   They will constantly use the “proof text” method when interpreting Scripture.  For example,  televangelist will start with their own desires and then seek verses that appear to support their authority. A believer should instead research what Scripture says about a particular topic and adjust their lives to its authority and not force Scripture to submit to our authority. An decent method of interpreting Scripture is the Inductive Bible Study method. This method seeks to understand the biblical author’s instended meaning versus a preconceived plan to justify a desire. There are several good books in the Christian academic field.  Please do not skip this section as I want you to sharpen your skills and become a Christian reader with integrity and not follow eisegesis of these televangelists.

 

     The first  quote is from Grant R. Osborne’s(Ph.D, Univ. of Aberdeen) Hermeneutical Spiral(Pg.19, Chapter-1, Context):

 

“The first stage in serious bible study is to consider the larger context within which a passage is found. Unless we can grasp the whole before attempting to dissect the parts, interpretation is doomed from the start. Statements simply have no meaning apart from their context. If I say, ‘Give it all you got,’ you would rightly query, ‘What do you mean by IT?’ and ‘How do I rightly do so?’ Without a situation to give the command content, it becomes meaningless. In Scripture the context provides the situation behind the text”.

 

     The second quote is from Kay Arthur’s “How To Study Your Bible:

 

“(Pg.61, The Search for meaning) When you know God’s Word thoroughly, you will not accept a teaching simply because someone has used one or two isolated verses to support that teaching.”

“(Pg.64) When we ascribe meaning to a passage that the author did not intend, then we are assuming an authority equivalent to that of the author. And the author of all Scripture is really God”.

 

     In other words, if we remove or ignore certain verses while reading Scripture that do not favor our preconceived ideas, we have corrupted the Word of God.  As a result, the Christian will hear many interpretations over one verse. Why? because the whole was ignore!

 

     Now read the article on how Larry Stockstill employs the “proof texting” fallacy to engage his capital campaign or more properly his “20/20 Vision” plan. If you scroll to the bottom you will see “MAKING AN OVER AND ABOVE GIFT TO GOD” brochure link.   See the next article on Larry’s use of 2Sam. 24:24