Monday, February 14, 2011

One Interpretation of the Bible

Here is an article from The Gospel Way, in essence the article says that there is only one true way to interpret scripture. And that we on earth, can fully interpret it's meaning. It is a common point of view. The Jehovah witnesses that come to my door from time to time say the same thing. But I respectfully submit that although there is only one truth, we on earth do not have the means to know what it is. The article maintains that we must be able to know the truth because of Galatians 1:8,9

A person is accursed if he preaches doctrine different from the true meaning of Jesus' gospel. So the idea that people can preach and practice things that contradict the gospel, yet still please God, just simply is not so!

Hosea 4:6

God said His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.

and Romans 2:6-10.

At the judgment, those who have not obeyed the truth will receive indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish. So knowing and obeying truth leads to eternal life, but failure to know and obey truth leads to eternal punishment.

Galations 1:8,9 Connie's Interpretation
What is the true meaning of Jesus' Gospel. The true meaning of Jesus' Gospel is that He came, He died for our sins and He rose again. If we ask for forgiveness and believe then we are saved. I agree that anyone preaching against this truth is accursed. But if you extend the true meaning of Jesus' Gospel to the fact that women are not to speak in church (just picking out something that is quite controversial), I would say that neither side of the issue is against the true meaning of Jesus' Gospel.

Hosea 4:6 Connie's Interpretation
I always have to pause before looking at an Old Testament Scripture. I have to pause to remember that these people are not saved by faith. They are trying to follow the rules written in God's Holy Law, knowing that every transgression needs to be addressed with appropriate offerings. They need to understand the Law to such a degree that they know when they break it. Because breaking it by mistake does not excuse them. Pre-Christ, people are indeed destroyed by lack of knowledge. But let us say that this is applied to Christians, the interesting part of the verse is not in the article, the whole of Hosea 4:6 is:

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.

They are not destroyed just for the lack of knowledge but because they have rejected it. If you reject knowledge of God then you are destroyed, as Israel was over and over again. But again, this does not apply to Christians because we are saved by faith not by knowledge.

Romans 2:6-10 Connie's Interpretation
I think this verse is included because it shows God turning His Holy face away from a group of people. Here is the Romans 2:5-10

But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

I just want to point out the one word that I have bolded in the above scripture. You must reject the truth and be self-seeking and follow evil. For me this means that you must do more than disobey the truth you must actively reject it.

Here is the one paragraph I disagree with the most:

God Is the Author, Not of Confusion, but of Peace - 1 Corinthians 14:33.

Is the existence of many conflicting doctrines a source of confusion? Of course. Yet if proper Bible interpretation leads to all these contradictions, then who would be to blame for the confusion? God would!

But the Scripture says we should not blame God for the existence of confusion. He is the source of peace. So God is not responsible for conflicting Bible interpretations. He never wanted it this way.

It necessarily follows that God's word has a true and correct meaning. Since the Bible does not contradict itself, then when we interpret it correctly, we will not contradict one another. Conflicting explanations are not correct, not true. And since contradictory views are not from God, they must be from men. But in religion, doctrines from men make our service to God vain (Matt. 15:9).

[See also John 17:17; Psa. 119:128,137-144,151,160; 19:7-11; James 1:25.]

My belief is that the fault lies with no one, but if you must find a reason for so many seeming contradictions it might be that the human mind is incapable of following the logic of God. This is in the bible so many times that I am not going to look up references. But the one reference that occurs to me is the one where God says to Job: “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand." (Job 38:4).

God is certainly not the author of our confusion. To me, our lack of knowledge just indicate that we cannot comprehend God fully because we are not Him. There will never be complete knowledge and certainty about the meanings of the Bible. This does not mean that we stop searching and it does not mean that there is not one truth, it just means that we are not always able to discern that one truth. It means that no matter how long and how diligently we seek to understand the bible, God's truths are not for us to understand on this earth. Maybe it will be different in heaven, maybe not.

But for sure we should continue to seek His truth. I for one have been on a quest to seek His truth in my heart. Change my behaviours, change my views, change my insecurities at His urging and His timing. This has been a year of unprecedented growth but very little Bible Study. I am preparing my heart in order to receive God's will and follow it as best as possible. I am praying to see if God's will for my future is to attend Bible College at my age. I am hoping that it is His will because I love God's word and I want to spend as much time as I can studying it.