01 May 2010

"Can Do"...?

A Big Can of Twisted Scripture

The Product Description from CBD reads:
What looks like a soft drink can is actually a unique gift presentation, and instead of popping the lid, just twist open for your Can Do bracelet! You Can Do all things through Christ... can logo is just for the graduate, complete with nutrition facts and catchy logo details. Bracelet of soft black leather and pewter-tonebar, with message Can Do, a reminder of God's power available to you.
Well, isn't that a delightful twist of Scripture for your graduating senior? I can only assume this is pulling out of context the well-known Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." But we seem to have run into a serious problem. This verse is hardly indicating that we "can do" anything we want to or, as the prosperity preachers like to say, anything we "dream" of doing. Rather, this verse is an encouragement to Christians in trial and persecution. Paul writes this letter to the church at Philippi while he is in prison awaiting trial (he tells us this earlier in Chapter 1). It is his determination and faithfulness to Christ in boldly proclaiming the Gospel that has landed him in jail. He is therefore encouraging the Philippians to be content in whatever circumstances God has placed before them, even the ones that test and try the spirit and the body. In context, Paul writes:
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Just because a Bible verse is catchy doesn't mean it should be plastered everywhere, especially if it is misleading and false in its use. Be discerning and be wise.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep it pithy (in other words, if your comment is long enough to be its own blog post, don't bother), pertinent (please don't go off-topic), and respectful (to the author, to the other readers, and to the subject of the post). If you can't do that, your comment will not be posted.

If you haven't already, please read the Comment Policy in its entirety.