Strebloo – to wrench or pervert

18 06 2008

Have you noticed the increase in warning labels over the years? Some of them are a bit ridiculous. But others, especially in relation to inherently dangerous things, are vital. Think of a chain saw. The first thing you’ll see upon opening the box is a warning label (probably in bold red letters) that says something like, “Stop! Read the owners manual and all warnings before operating.” It makes sense to read the warnings first. When you think about it, that’s pretty good advice for Bible study as well.

With all the confusion and false teachings out there one would do well to begin by reading the warnings found in the Bible. After all, errors and misrepresentations have been around since Jesus’ day.

You may remember the touching scene after Christ’s resurrection where Jesus told Peter to feed His sheep (a metaphor for followers). After that Jesus spoke about Peter’s death and how it would glorify God. Peter then asked what plans the Lord had for John. Jesus answered, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me” (John 21:22). In other words, Jesus told Peter to stay focused on his own responsibilities and not worry about John.

Somehow Jesus’ words got turned around and people began teaching that John would remain alive until the Second Coming.  

The same thing often happens today and not only to the words of Jesus. One interesting passage written by the Apostle Peter warns of those who were perverting the words of Paul. Peter knew Paul’s teachings well enough to realize that they were being twisted and misinterpreted. In 2 Peter 3:16 he refers to those who do so as unlearned and unstable because they “wrest” (Greek strebloo – to wrench or pervert) the scriptures.

That passage also stands as a reminder that Peter and Paul were in agreement about Jesus and His great work of redemption.

Be warned, there are still those who would pervert the gospel. They turn Paul’s words against Peter’s and even the Lord’s. Skillfully they stack and shuffle scriptures until they “prove” their unorthodox views. It’s so dire these days that one can even find those who teach that the Christian church and Christian gospel did not even begin with Christ but with one of the apostles. Amazing.

Make no mistake, the Bible teaches that Peter and Paul willingly gave their lives proclaiming the singular message of Christ crucified, risen, and coming again.        

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