Friday, January 20, 2012

Finding what you're looking for!

One of these days I"m going to have to go into my blog bio and change or add something to my "Favorite Movie" list. I really enjoy The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and have watched it multiple times. At least a couple times a year I will watch all three over a slow weekend, and I am always amazed that I like it more each time. The truth is, it took about three viewings for me to fully understand all the names, places, and plot twists. I'm not good at remembering all the names in movies or books with a lot of characters. The Lord of the Rings is classic, and for me, it's up there in my top five all time favorite movies.
Did you know that there is a huge amount of information out there just about the mistakes in all three movies? If you Google search Lord of the Rings movie mistakes, you can read and watch more material than would be in a fourth movie. According to those who researched it, and care, in The Fellowship of the Rings there are 263 mistakes, in The Two Towers there are 257 mistakes, and in the Return of the King there are 225 mistakes. Most of them have to do with inconsistencies of small things as the movie changed scenes or camera angles, and many of them are extremely picky and insignificant. The one thing they all have in common is that if you didn't know to look for them - you'd never see them.
When I think about that, I can't help but wonder if we'd see the things in the Word of God differently if we didn't know what to look for. I have mentioned several times that the first casualty of biblical interpretation is objectivity, because we carry everything we've been taught into our interpretation of scripture. We don't have open hearts and minds when we read it, because we've already been told what we should learn from it.
If we could erase all the preconceived conclusions, doctrinal divisiveness, and proof-texting of verses, and somehow turn our hearts to blank slates again - would we understand it differently? Would we read about church leaders as simply spiritual shepherds and servants, who are mature enough in the Lord to mentor others, in stead of seeing Church Office holders in an organizational chart of Elders - then Deacons - then just members? If we didn't know that Matthew 28:19 & 20 was The Great Commission, which it is never called by anyone in the Bible, would we continue to infer that Jesus was talking to every Christian rather than his apostles? If we didn't know that Eph.5:19 and Col.3:16 were proof-texts for singing without instrumental music, would we just be encouraged by verses that give us a tool for lifting one another up, and has nothing to do with a "formal worship service"? If we hadn't been taught about, and had so many battles about baptism, and if it hadn't been transliterated from Greek to English by the Church of England scholars who feared "rocking the doctrinal boat", as opposed to really being translated as "immersion" or "burial," would we still think of it as only a physical act we perform to receive the forgiveness of sins? It might not change our conclusions, but it might change our understanding of "taking up our cross" to think of being "immersed in Christ". It's not just a ritual, but a description of totality. We're in all the way!
These are just a few examples of things that we need to look at with fresh - more objective - eyes if we care about really understanding God's plan. Again, it's not about changing conclusions, though we shouldn't be afraid of that either, but about being honest, open, and humble enough to learn and grow.
And just for the record, I haven't found any mistakes in it - only interpreter errors.

No comments: