There are a number of verses in the Bible that link together cause and outcomes.
For example Psalm 37 vs 4: Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

On my degree course I studied different kinds of logic.

Propositional logic, is that branch of logic that describes ways of combining or altering statements or propositions to form more complicated statements or propositions.

For example:

Paris is the capital of France and Paris has a population of over two million.
Therefore, Paris has a population of over two million.

An important part of understanding and using logic is concerned with its validity, completeness and consistency.

Paris is the capital of France and Paris has a population of over two million.
Therefore, the population of Paris is French.

This statement is not valid as it is not consistent or complete – just one foreigner in the population renders it untrue.

When writing logic expressions there are some modifiers mathematicians and computer scientists use to qualify a statement – a backwards E ∃ or upside-down A ∀ which mean some or all.

The order of statements used may be significant and reversing or negating a statement may or may not work.  see (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_logic_symbols)

Bringing this back to preaching.

Is it OK to take several verses and chain them together or taking the inverse (negation) to define new rules and outcomes?

Many times I have heard scriptures combined to imply a new truth based on other truths.

For example: If I am ill, it could be due to sin in my life.
(This is a logically valid statement).

  • Does it mean that all sin leads to illness?
  • Does it mean that all illness is caused by sin?
  • Does it mean that because I am Healthy, there is no sin in my life?
  • Does being healthy mean you are blessed by God?
  • Does being ill mean you are not blessed by God?

Where am I going with this?

Two examples:
In a talk I recently watched on YouTube, the speaker took the behaviour of not loving someone and applied reverse logic to declare that it meant you hated them.

This was based on words of Jesus which used the word hate, however it was not used in the way we would use the word today*.  It was hyperbole as in “camels going through the eye of a needle”.

In this talk it was used to challenge people about their commitment to church attendance!

I also saw a video blog on Facebook where a well-known american “apostle” chained a number of statements together to support the (homophobic) point he was making.
He failed to qualify his statements/scriptures (which where used out of context). I suspect he was attempting to justify his homophobia.

Concluding questions

When you string together statements to make your point, ask yourself some simple questions first.

  • Does it always apply?
  • Does it apply universally?
  • Are there exceptions?
  • Is the opposite actually the opposite?

 

*explained here