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02 October 2008

Making God in Our Image

I was flipping through TV channels last night and caught a little bit of a show on a Christian network. I was intrigued by what the host said. It was something like this: "Many people don't reject Jesus Christ. Instead, they reject the things that we have tied Him to."

The example he gave was of a politically conservative man in the workplace. Conservative political views are fine, but the negative issue comes when someone begins to define his Christianity by his political opinions rather than the other way around.

Does our relationship with Christ define our worldview, or does our worldview define our relationship with Christ? Do we read the Word of God through special lenses so that it fits neatly into our preconceived ideas, or do we use the Word as the lens through which we view everything?

Introspection is difficult here. None of us wants to believe that we read the Word with predetermined bias. But what if we read something that seems different from what we already believe, or think to be true? There are two basic options: 1) dismiss it and say that you're going to accept what you already believe on "faith," or 2) study -- dig in -- to find out what more the Word says and change your understanding to meet it.


Preston N said...

AMEN! All that needs to be said. Very well put.

Leroy said...

Let's say we study and find that one of our preconceived ideas isn't correct. HOW do we reconcile something we've been taught all our lives is "right" or "wrong" when the biblical truth states otherwise or was taken out of context (not for malicious reasons, just 'happened' that way; maybe a misunderstanding)?

Prayer of course. Also having godly people to talk to and discuss such things with has been helpful to me.

Preston N said...

"HOW do we reconcile something we've been taught all our lives is "right" or "wrong" when the biblical truth states otherwise or was taken out of context"

I've always used a simple hermeneutic that goes something like this. In order for a doctrine to be true it must be:

- True to Scripture
- True to Life
- True to Reason

Wesley had a similar format whereby he stated Doctrine must be True to Scripture, Ture to Experience, True to rationality and True to Tradition. I have used this method of biblical interpretation for about the past 5 years and so far it has been extremely helpful in my walk. Most fall into trouble with "True to Scripture", many fail or ignore what the whole of scripture states and simply "proof text" their idea or concept. In otherwords, instead of allowing scripture to form our doctrine, many will form a doctrine and then go and try to find verses that support their position (aka proof texting). This is not an individual who is seeking truth - but are looking to be right in their own mind. The key is harmonizing together those scriptures that seem to contradict one another - but yet actually in harmony with one another. As you said Leroy context is so critical here. I would also add that prayer and the Holy Spirit are also key to developing Truth within our lives.

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