Bible “study”?

September 10, 2014 at 5:28 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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While there are some scriptures that are difficult to interpret, the number of verses that are difficult is not as high as most Christians make it. We can definitively understand the majority of the text found in scripture if we use the proper hermeneutic, the proper history, and (most of all) the proper context. If we do this, the majority of verses found in the Bible are understandable. And, why not? If they weren’t what kind of life could a Christian live? It makes no sense for God to give His people a revelation that they can’t understand!

Here are four of the main reasons why I believe many Christians don’t intepret scriptures correctly:

1) They don’t know how. The church/churches they’ve attended throughout their Christian lives have never taken the time to teach them how to rightly understand the scriptures. They were never taught how to STUDY scripture. They have heard bits and pieces of the scriptures and can give the “Jesus” answers, but they can’t do more than that. In churches and Sunday schools every weekend, there are people who have been going to church for 5/10/15/20 years who are still struggling with the milk of the Word and have never graduated to the meat. They can even answer the softball questions that just a couple generations ago could have been answered by the children. Why? The nice way of looking at it is that the church doesn’t hold the studying of scriptures in high regard anymore because it’s “busy”. It’s more about being “missional” or about “community” instead of about making disciples. (Yes, that’s the nice way…) The not so nice way to look at this is that the pastors want to keep their sheep stupid. If the sheep mature and they learn how to rightly understand the scriptures, then the pastor’s “vision” and agenda might be questioned. His fundraising endeavor might be seen for what it is instead of a “work of God”. His high salary, mansion, private jet, and other luxuries might be seen for what they are – unnecessary excesses. (See? That was the nice way!)

2) It’s work. Yep, you read that right. It is work to take the time to read the original languages, define the words, read the context, look up the history of the passage, and all the other things that are required for us to rightly understand the scriptures. And, that’s too much of a hassle for the hustle and bustle of the modern church. There are too many events, too many “worship experiences”, too many “community life” things, too many youth parties, and too many other things going on in our lives for us to set aside time to actually study scripture. Besides, it’s sooooo much easier for a church to spend a HUGE chunk of change on premade, shallow, easy-to-digest course material that’s endorsed by their denomination than it is to have someone stand up in front with just a Bible and open up the scriptures to bring out the amazing depth found in God’s Word.

3) It will cause the church to lose people. If the pastor, elders, and deacons focused on teaching the sheep, it would cause many of the attendees to leave because studying scripture is not as entertaining as laser lights, rock music, smoke, and sermons that sound more like stand up routines. And, if the people aren’t entertained, they’ll leave. Not only will church attendance go down, so will church giving. And that just can’t happen. It’s more important to meet an agenda (i.e., “vision”) even if it means compromising the truth of scripture…

4) It will cause them to change their views, relationships, or lifestyles. This may be the biggie. If you study scripture using the proper context, hermeneutic, culture, history, languages, etc…then it WILL change your understanding of Christ, God, man, salvation, and everything else the Bible touches on. It will take the things that you think you know and show you that you’re not quite right (or extremely wrong). And there’s the rub. Everyone want’s to be seen as holy and righteous, but they don’t want to let go of the doctrines, ideas, and thoughts that they already love. Even if they’re unscriptural. Why? Because man has the amazing ability to convince himself that what he believes is the standard; that what he lives out is what’s right. Why would he let that go? Why would he allow something to challenge those beliefs that make him feel good?…

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