The third “C Word” I’d like to share is kind of a double whammy….2 C Words together. They are CONTEXT and CONDEMNATION. When quotes and scriptures are taken out of context to prove a point or paint a picture a certain way, it will often bring condemnation.
Take the quote that is on the home page of the website Sound Doctrine created to make me look evil, like I am actually proud of using Christian radio to take advantage of other Christians.
“I found that advertising on Christian radio was the ultimate bonanza…I found the Christian radio audience to be trusting and even gullible.”
Athena Dean 1996
Of course if you read it in context in my book, Consumed by Success, you find that I am describing what God was convicting me of that was wrong back in 1992, and clearly see that I was repenting for using God and my brothers and sisters for my own personal gain.
But is that what you assume when you read the quote by itself?
Of course not.
So what is the definition of the word context?
1. the parts of a written or spoken statement that precede or follow a specific word or passage, usually influencing its meaning or effect: You have misinterpreted my remark because you took it out of context.
Another example of taking things out of context is when pastors want to prove a point and go to the Bible to find every scripture that uses the word they are looking for. They then use all those scriptures to prove their point. This was and still is common practice at Sound Doctrine and is used in a very destructive way which misrepresents the heart of God. We were in no way taught to be Bereans. We were taught to believe the leaders as they used the Scripture to prove their point.
This practice is explained clearly in the definitive work The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by David Johnson and Jeff Van Vonderen:
In a spiritually abusive system, Scripture is employed to prove or to bolster the agenda of the person using it. This is called “proof-texting.” Proof-texting occurs when someone has a point he wants to prove. So he finds a verse to do so, even if it means stretching or ignoring the original issue about which the verse was written or the context in which the verse is found.
Because this is the method the leaders use, it is the method the followers learn to use. Consequently, there is little if any opportunity to become capable of “rightly dividing the word of truth.”
A more complete description can be found at http://www.biblestudy.org:
A PROOFTEXT is a verse or short passage from the Bible used by someone as part of his proof for a doctrinal belief he wishes to substantiate to others. However, since verses and passages may rely extensively on the context in which they appear for correct interpretation, pulling these out of their context and having them stand alone in a “proof” can, at times, be very misleading. In addition, a set of such proof-texts can completely ignore other passages which, if added to the mix, might well lead to an entirely different conclusion.
Someone who relies strongly only on a list of proof-texts in order to make a doctrinal argument may have a very weak case for his argument. Noting that a religious teacher relies heavily just on proof-texting is viewed in theological circles as a very negative evaluation. Doctrinal beliefs based strictly on proof texts can lead people to believing, and even whole churches to teaching, something which is not Biblically correct.
Definition of Christian Terms – BibleStudy.Org
I guess it really all boils down to word games. That’s what is very evident that the leadership of Sound Doctrine is expert at. And they use those tactics in dealing with authors at WinePress. A perfect example of this is when Heather (Paulsen) Patenaude requested that they remove her name and success story from their website in part due to the pending lawsuit.
In reality, I had not, and still have not, filed the lawsuit, but had my attorney attempt to reason with them first. So as of that date, Mr. Fraser had received 2 letters from my attorney regarding a lawsuit and was clearly aware that it was my plan should they be unwilling to meet the demand letter. His response to Heather’s request included this statement:
WinePress is not currently involved in any lawsuit nor are we aware that one has been filed.
When I saw that I thought to myself….Wow, that reminds me of the word games Clinton played in the Monica Lewinsky scandal!
To read the entire post with documentation of the word games and condemnation crafted by Mr. Fraser please visit this link: http://www.emotionalpurity.blogspot.com/2012/02/021712-winepress-publishers.html
I could fill a book with other examples of word games I’ve heard over the last 12 years and been the brunt of over the last few months. Suffice it to say, I have experienced the “C Words” in abundance and am being sanctified in the process.
I dare say I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything…but some may call me crazy for that statement! :)