We need to weigh up what the Bible appears to be saying, against our own experience and the experience of others.
There is a school of thought among Christians, that says that we need to use wisdom when we read the Bible. That we need to weigh up what the Bible appears to be saying, against our own experience and the experience of others. This school of thought says that when these experiences do not seem to match what the Bible says, it is helpful to seek the opinions of people, past and present, who have done their best to explain these apparent contradictions. This viewpoint has serious issues with Christians who claim that the Bible should be taken literally. But which viewpoint is correct? I realise that this is a contentious issue and so to begin to resolve it, we need to take a step back and look at this objectively. Do you want to be the sort of Christian who enthusiastically accepts what the Bible says, believing that God will do what He said He would do? Or do you want to be the be sort of Christian who is constantly finding reasons why the amazing things which God has promised don’t really mean what it looks like they mean. Or in other words that God’s Word can rarely be taken at face value, because that only leads to disappointment?
You need to receive what God has promised with simplicity.
So which sort of Christian do you want to be? The sort who, with simplicity and child-like faith, believes God; or the sort that – to put it bluntly – doubts nearly everything that He has said, viewing it as some kind of riddle to be deciphered? I realise that I have probably offended some people, but sometimes people need a kick in order to wake them up. Anyway, now you’re awake, let me give you some Bible verses to meditate on. Mark 10:15 in The Message translation says, “Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in“. Whilst part of the meaning of this verse is about Heaven, it also refers to receiving the benefits of the Kingdom of God, here on Earth. You need to receive all of God’s promised benefits with simplicity, not seek ways to show why it probably doesn’t exactly mean what it says. Here’s another verse to think about: Matthew 15:6 in the New International version, “You nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition“. Isn’t that exactly what the church has done with it’s man-made traditions and its own interpretations of what God really meant? Why are the Christians who want to accept what God has said at face value, considered to be the heretics? Its like Muslims referring to Christians as infidels – totally twisted logic!
This form of wisdom does not come from God.
At the beginning of this post, I referred to a wisdom that says that we should use experience and opinion to interpret what God actually meant. However this form of wisdom does not come from God. James 3:15 in The Voice translation leaves no doubt as to it’s origins, “The wisdom of this world should never be mistaken for heavenly wisdom; it originates below in the earthly realms, with the demons”. If you want more evidence that the origin of this so-called wisdom is demonic, I will give it to you. Look at Genesis 3:1 in the Complete Jewish Bible, “Did God really say, ‘You are not to eat from any tree in the garden’?” By saying for example, “Did God really say / Did God really mean, by Jesus’ stripes we were healed? Surely He must have meant we could be healed, or we might be healed, or maybe it means spiritual healing….“, you are repeating the words of Satan. The devil used that tactic with Eve and it worked. Today, he is still using the same tactic to make us doubt the Word of God, and it’s still working. Isn’t it time to put offense over what I’ve said to one side and wise up to what the devil is doing?
The Bible is supposed to guide us, not confuse us.
Do you really believe that the Bible is supposed to be a riddle? Do you really believe that God says one thing, but actually means something quite different? I mean seriously, do you honestly believe that we are supposed to be in the dark about pretty much everything, never really understanding why God does things? Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path“. The Bible is supposed to guide us, not confuse us. Stop questioning everything the Bible says, put experience and others’ opinions to one side and just believe it – that’s what faith is all about. I will conclude with the words of the apostle Peter in 2 Peter 3:16, where he refers to people who have tried to change the meaning of things written in both Paul’s letters and in other parts of scripture. “There are parts of his letters that are hard to understand, and some people give a wrong meaning to them. These people are ignorant and weak in faith. They also give wrong meanings to the other Scriptures” (Easy to Read Version). Peter is pretty blunt in what he says and we need to take him seriously.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
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