Apply, rinse, apply, repeat

A good, smart Bible-boy and gentleman, Chris Wooldridge and I are having a discussion. We are discussing the responsibility of a pastor to his congregation when it comes to his teaching ministry. Chris is of the mind that applications are always called for because the Bible is always applicable. My point of view is that not every passage has to, needs to, have an application. My point is sometimes all that is needed is the meaning of the passage. I argue that information is application to a certain extent bc people learn how to read the Bible through the minister’s style.

So, he challenged me to find a passage of scripture where it obviously has no direct application for a pastor to apply.

It’s funny bc just the other day one came to mind….and…it’s gone.

Here it is:


The story of the flood. It has no direct application to us. Can we learn from it? Yes. Does it have any mandate upon us as a story? No. It has no application for us, nor does it need to.

or this:


Only a boy named David; only a little sling…  This story is an historical event that cannot be repeated. It has a beginning and an end. It has things for us to understand and believe (this is my application), but not to repeat or apply. By apply I mean: God wants you to be like David when the odds are against you… This kind of application is a moralizing of the text and is not always what the text calls for.

There are passages of scripture that call for us to live out our faith by trusting God and doing what he says. It is from those passages that we find our imperatives.  But there are some passages that are merely informative. God is not going to all you or I to slay a giant or build an ark and I am crying out to pastor’s everywhere, Relax!!  Sometimes all you have to do is tell us what the passage is about and that’s ok.