Thursday, April 14, 2011
When Will I Get It Right?
When I comes to understanding God's will, as it's recording in the Bible, everything depends on interpretation - the way you choose to see it. Unfortunately, very few people ever read God's Word with completely objective eyes. Most of us had a great deal of "prerequisite" ground work done to our brains, long before we started reading just for ourselves. And, depending on what kind of ground work it was, you may see or interpret scripture completely different from many others - even whole huge populations of people. (PB = Pragraph Break) If you believe it's a book of laws, rules, and binding patterns, you read it that way - looking for new laws, rules, and patterns that you might have missed, and to reinforce the ones you've always known were there. If you were taught that Christians have an official and formal worship, you will interpret many verses of scripture to be referring to that event, and you will have a basic assumption that there must be acts or prescribed rituals that must take place and must conform to what God expects. Because you started out with those basic assumptions, which you were raised to accept, you will interpret lots of scriptures to be referring to that formal worship rather than just Christian interaction in general. (PB) Others read the same passages and see God simply wanting his people to be together and support each other in their commitment to have a deeper relationship with Jesus. One person sees principles of love building, and other sees binding patterns that can not and must not be changed or omitted if one is to be doctrinally correct, which to many, is the same things as being saved. (PB) It sure does seem that everything depends on interpretation. What if I pick the wrong one? Since I have changed or modified my interpretations many times through the years, how many other, or more, changes do I need to make to get it right? With so many different interpretive approaches to understanding God's Word, which one is right? Are any of them completely right? (PB) Maybe everything doesn't depend on interpretation. Could it be that more than anything else God just wants people to seek him as best they can, with what they have, and with all their heart? No, everything doesn't depend on interpretation. Everything depends on the grace of God.