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EXEGESIS, EISEGESIS & NARCIGESIS

When a pastor teaches the congregation, they are meant to use exegesis.

A basic definition of ‘exegesis‘ is a, ‘Critical explanation or interpretation of a text, esp. of scripture.’1

This is the correct way to handle scripture. However, eisegesis was a very popular method used by pastors to approach the scriptures.

A basic definition of ‘eisegesis‘ is a, ‘personal interpretation of a text (especially of the Bible) using your own ideas.’2

This is an incorrect way to handle scriptures.

A basic definition of ‘narcissism‘ is ‘Extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration’.3

When you combine a narcisistic pastor using eisegetical methods you get Furt- a pastor who reads themselves into biblical passages. For example, they are to be a King David conquering giants. They are a Moses, leading the people. They are Solomon bringing the glory of God through their wisdom and expansion of the House of God. This is now becoming known as ‘narcigesis‘. No pastor should use the bible to exalt themselves.

ALL SCRIPTURE POINTS TO JESUS

Jesus said,

“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!” John 5:39

By reading ourselves into the text, we replace Christ with ourselves. To do this is to be antiChrist-like. John MacArthur says,

“The spirit of Antichrist has always been in the world. It has manifested itself both in open opposition to Christ and in subtle attempts to replace Christ.”4

The term Antichrist is explained in Vines Expository Dictionary,

Antichrist: can mean either “against Christ” or “instead of Christ,” or perhaps, combining the two, “one who, assuming the guise of Christ, opposes Christ” (Westcott). The word is found only in John’s epistles”

This is what makes pastors, teachers or leaders who practice narcigesis dangerous. If pastors  are reading themselves or their audience into the biblical text, they are reinforcing the belief that scriptures point to themselves, “instead of Christ”. We have seen Phil Pringle also replace God the Father with himself and Jesus with money. See articles:

C3 Giving Sermon Transcript: Just Another Manic Sunday

“Let Me Just Talk To You Out Of A Scripture” – Pringle’s Use of John 3:16

To quote Pringle from the articles:

When it says ‘God so loved the world’, we need to put ourselves in there and say, ‘I so love the world, that I will give the only begotten son’. And for us to actually achieve that, to spread the Word of God around the world; to plant churches, make disciples, empower saints, build bible colleges- all of it is done through your giving.”

And again:

“We will so love the world that we will give sacrificially”.

In other words, his narcigetical interpretation of the text is, “For I so loved the world that I gave my finances sacrificially.” He would not be that bold to say something so obviously wrong. However, that is what Pringle was essentially saying.

Scriptures say,

“… This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.” 1 John 2:22

John 3:16 is a fantastic verse that teaches that the Father sent his Son so that we may believe in Him to have eternal life. Pringle denied this passage to speak alone on eternal life given to us by the Father and Son. He denied people access to the gospel. He denied people access to the Way of Salvation through the Father and Son. Instead he pointed a different direction to his congregation – self and money.

This is a good example why narcigesis is dangerous. Unfortunately, Executive Pastor Mark Kelsey took it one step further.

IF ONLY THIS WAS APRIL 1ST…

On the 1st of June 2011, Mark Kelsey spoke at the C3 Church Sydney Leaders Meeting.

“… And then Isaiah 61 sees Jesus walk into the temple. And goes, ‘Oo! Could be my day!’ He sees the scroll handed to the son of God. He sees him unfold it. He’s going, ‘Isaiah sixty one. Isaiah sixty – sixty one! One! One!”

And He, Jesus starts to read it. And He said, “Today this scripture’s fulfilled in your hearings.” Suddenly that scripture was fulfilled. You see, even Jesus found his identity in the word of God. Even Jesus- He didn’t go, “I’m the Messiah by the way. Did I tell you that? I am the Messiah.” He didn’t say that. He went to the scripture, found Himself in the word of God.

Where are you in the word of God? Where are you in it? Where are you in the word of God? Because THAT is what gets God on you. It’s not about knowing scripture, it’s about finding yourself IN the scripture. There’s the difference!” - Mark Kelsey, C3 Church Sydney Leaders Meeting June 1 2011, 19:19, http://vimeo.com/24594951, Uploaded Thu June 02, 2011.

At 10:49, Mark Kelsey says to C3 leaders about Christians in their bible studies (Connect Groups),

“They wont be impressed by what you know. They’ll be impressed by what’s on your life. That’s what touches people. That’s what feeds people. That’s what brings revival.” - Mark Kelsey, C3 Church Sydney Leaders Meeting June 1 2011, 19:19, http://vimeo.com/24594951, Uploaded Thu June 02, 2011.

WHY KELSEY SHOULDN’T USE MARKEGESIS

Remember what Jesus said?

“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!” John 5:39

Mark Kelsey above teaches C3 leaders that “it’s not about knowing scripture” but wants them to apply scripture in a way that makes other Christians ” impressed by what’s on [their] life”. He is using the scriptures for selfish gain. This directly opposes the declaration of Christ and should not be how any Christian minister should teach.

Finally, Mark tells the C3 leaders that other Christians “wont be impressed by what you know” and how “what’s on your life. That’s what touches people. That’s what feeds people. That’s what brings revival.” Really Mark? Are we God? Are you speaking from experience?

1. Who touches people’s lives IS the Spirit of God.

2. Who feeds people IS the Word of God.

3. Who brings revival IS God when we exalt Him by preaching repentance through the gospel.

4. And we are NOT Jesus who IS the Word of God.

IN CLOSING

What was just reinforced in the minds of C3 leaders was narcigesis: putting confidence in the flesh; throwing out the Word of God and BECOMING the Word of God (“It’s not about knowing scripture, it’s about finding yourself IN the scripture”). This is very troubling.

This is the very EXACT THING that Pastor Matt Chandler spoke against at Steve Furtick’s ‘Code Orange Revival’. This was the sermon that annoyed Steve Furtick which he afterwards sensored. Possibly due to critics, he uncensored Chandlers sermon. Read our articles about this here:

Phil Pringle Endorsing Problematic Steve Furtick for Presence Conference 2012

Chandlers sermon is well worth the watch:

In essence – the scriptures NEVER point to fallen, sinful creatures. They point mankind to God, Jesus Christ – the fulness of God in bodily form. We are in Jesus but we are not Jesus. We are made in His image but we are not God.

If you feel lead to pray for Mark Kelsey and the C3 movement, please do so.

______________________________

[1] Oxford American Large Print Dictionary, Oxford University Press, pg. 434.
[2] Wordnet, Princeton University, http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=eisegesis, (Accessed 28/02/2012).
[3] Wordnet, Princeton University, http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=narcissistic, (Accessed 28/02/2012).
[4] John MacArthur, Grace To You, Marks of a True Believer, http://www.gty.org/resources/study-guides/40-5145/Marks-of-a-True-Believer, (Accessed 28/02/2012).