Friday, January 12, 2018

The Misunderstood Bible

The Bible is probably the most misunderstood, misinterpreted, and misrepresented collection of books and letters ever published. The problem is not with the Author, but with the reader. Scripture is interpreted through filters of reason and human manipulation. The Bible is looked at as a treasurer chest of riches that bypass man's spirit to fulfill the desires of the flesh. Isaiah saw the danger of ignoring the intent of the Holy Scrolls by "teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." (Is. 29:13) From generation to generation man has continued to dilute the Word through human interpretations. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their manipulations of the Word. These spiritual leaders changed the intent of God's Word to serve their own agendas. Jesus stated that they "made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition." (Matthew 15:6) Jesus likened His generation to the blind leading the blind. (Matthew 15:14)

Today we continue to distance ourselves from the intent of God's Word. Never have I seen such a manipulation of the written Word. Some of the teachings that have evolved over the years have amounted to nothing more than fake doctrines. Seasonal interpretations are teachings that only last for a certain period of time, and then give way to new doctrines that feed the hopes and expectations of Christians. As the progression of teachings continues to illuminate Believers, uneasiness looms until the doctrines prove to be true. When one experiences a hesitation in expecting the reality of a teaching, it should immediately signal that something is wrong. God's Word will never bring confusion or uncertainty. When one's spirit is restless, something is wrong. Let me give an example; if a teaching urges one to give financially in order to reap monetary benefits, it should cause a caution light to go off in the Believer. The question should be asked as to what Jesus really taught on the subject of money. Did His life promote financial abundance? Instead of listing all the questionable doctrines that have swirled around Christians, let me challenge all Believers to lay aside their preconceived and predetermined teachings and read the Gospels as if for the "first time." The foundation of the Gospels is the Grace of God which is evidenced by the giving of His Son. Through Jesus' substitutionary sacrifice, the "whosoevers" of the world can experience the forgiveness of sin. Through Jesus' death on Calvary, His resurrection, and ascension, every individual who accepts Him becomes part of family of God. There can be no challenge to that doctrine. Every other teaching and instruction must be examined through unbiased study of the Word.

I am sure many teachings that the Believer has received will pass the Biblical test. It is reassuring to know the life we have built through the Word will stand every challenge and test that we will face. But, if we have built our faith on false teachings, there will be evidences to validate our errors. Some may say it is dangerous to examine our faith through reevaluating Scripture. I believe that the real danger is failing to recognize if there are flaws in our accepted teachings. I believe there are some very difficult and challenging times ahead and, if our lives are not in line with the rightful intent of the Word, we will suffer from our instability. Our faith is not measured by our emotional responses, but by our stability. Just because we don't feel God's presence does not mean He is not very close.

It is time to reintroduce ourselves to the Gospels. It is time to once again walk with Jesus through the powerful Gospels, and as we do, we will see things we missed or reaffirm what we have believed.

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