Summary: The pure live life based on this sound doctrine: If God made it, it is good. If God approves it, it is good. If God recommends it, it is good. If God commands it, it is good. This means that even in this fallen world so corrupted by sin the vast majority of reality is still pure.
A sophisticated social leader was expecting a large group of
friends at her home one evening. Knowing her husbands habit of
using guests towels indiscriminately when he came home from the
office, she put a note on the ones she put out for the occasion. It
read, "If you use one of these towels, I'll slay you in cold blood."
Even the most insensitive husband would get the message loud and
clear. The problem was that she got busy and forgot to remove the
note before the guests arrived. At the end of the evening she found,
to her shock, that the note was still there, and not one towel had
been touched. Here was a message that called for interpretation. A
discerning guest should have known that in this context the note was
a warning to the husband and not to the guests. They should have
felt free to use the towel without fear.
Life is full of messages that have to be interpreted wisely or they
make no sense, or they lead to consequences not intended. It is like
when Mrs. Grand instructed her old servant, "Now Maggie, for the
first half hour you stand at the drawing room door and call all the
guests names as they arrive." "Thank you very much ma'am," she
replied, "It's what I've been wanting to do to some of your friends
for the last 10 years." Maggie was getting a message that was quite
different from the one Mrs. Grand was sending.
Sometimes messages are deliberately made difficult to interpret.
Like the man who said to another, "I have two and a half dozen
children." The man was amazed, but the father explained it so that
it was not that amazing. "I have 2, and then a half dozen more,
which is 6 plus 2 making 8. I have 8 children, or as I said, 2 and a
half dozen." Without explanation the words carry a different
At other times people read into a message more than the speaker
intends to say. The disciples did this with Jesus. In John 21 Jesus
said, "If I want John to remain alive until I return that is my
business and not yours. You just follow me and don't worry about
John." The rumor spread among the disciples that John would not
die, but Jesus did not say that at all. John had to write and put a
halt to this misinterpretation, and tell people that Jesus did not say
that he would not die, but only that if it was His will that was His
business and not theirs. Even the Apostles could interpret the words
of Jesus in a way that did not convey His true message. This means
that correct interpretation is absolutely vital to the understanding of
truth. The Bible does not mean whatever you or I feel it means. It
means only what the author intended to convey when he was
inspired to write it.
It is true that people get many different impressions as they read
the same words, and there can be a variety of perspectives, but the
bottom line is that only the message the author intended to convey is
valid. The reason this is important is because without this principle
the Bible can be used to support all kinds of nonsense that
contradicts what it clearly means to convey.
We have come to Titus 1:15 which is an ideal example of how
important it is to know what Paul intended, and not just let any
interpretation be acceptable. Paul makes a startling claim when he
says, "To the pure all things are pure." This verse can be used to
justify every form of evil and folly known to man. It has been used
to justify polygamy, stealing, and even murder. Is that what Paul is
saying? There is nothing impure to the pure, and so all evil becomes
Sirhan, the assassin of Robert Kennedy, read Madam Blavatsky,
the founder of theosophy. She taught that every man has the right
to interpret truth in his own way regardless of what others think.
The New Age religion teaches this to children. If something seems
right for them, than it is right for them, even if it is contrary to the
value system of their parents or society. If it's right for you, than it
is right. Sirhan concluded that he was doing the will of God when
he murdered someone he felt should be eliminated, for it seemed
right to him.
Do you think for a moment that this was the message Paul was
trying to convey, and that he was teaching that everything was right
and pure to certain people? Was he saying that they can do
anything the Bible forbids if they just have the right spirit? You can