Freedom. Truth. Marriage.

My thoughts on these things. Feel free to leave feedback.

Reading the Bible through another person’s glasses.

In a post here, people were talking about a church with Calvinist sounding beliefs trying to join a local Baptist association. Without getting into detail explanation, basically a church that believed certain things about what the Bible said was trying to join a club that didn’t agree with that church. I posted a comment that I thought I would share here:

I think the bigger issue is that believers are aligning to a doctrine and allowing that to be the lens in which they view the Bible – the Living Word of God. I grew up in a church that had a hermeneutic that did just that. If you read the Bible through their glasses you’d see how what they said was true, but you’d have to dismiss, ignore, or excuse away other scripture. I think people do the same thing when they choose to adopt Calvinism, Arminianism, Wesleyan,  et. al.

Let me remind everyone that Calvin, Wesley, Stone, Campbell etc. are men. They are men who wrote an opinion of what they believed and found verses that agreed with such a belief. This is the essence of these doctrines – they are opinions!

Instead of allowing a doctrine or belief to shape how we read the Bible, we need to be reading the Bible with the mindset of the whole picture, letting the Holy Spirit guide us to proper interpretation.

The Bible doesn’t contradict itself. You can’t have free will or election exclusively; worship with instruments or a cappella exclusively; ‘once saved always saved’ with ‘one transgression and you’re condemned’. The Bible has verses that support all of these opposing views. This means that not one of them is exclusively correct. There’s a middle ground, explanation, or interpretation that will allow all these views to agree. We need to seek that agreement.

Whether or not one adopts Calvinism/Reformation theology or any other doctrine as their personal doctrine is one thing. Letting that doctrine read the Bible to them and close them off to anything the Scriptures may be saying outside of their preferred doctrine is another.

Imagine taking off the doctrine glasses, and reading the Bible with as little presumptions as possible.  I did this 17 years ago and it was the best thing I ever did for my spiritual growth.                                                                                        pts-bible-glasses-photo


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