Today, I want to continue a conversation that started over on Mike Duran’s fine blog, on his post “That’s Just YOUR Interpretation!” He’s actually responding to yet another blog in his post. Technology facilitates deep conversations that cross space and time. Sometimes even with people who don’t know you’ve addressed them. Isn’t it grand?
I don’t really have a quibble with what Mike said, but in the comments a discussion started about how there is safety in numbers when it comes to biblical interpretation.
“So while any one individual’s interpretation may be wrong, it would be an arrogant person to in effect say based on my interpretation, the majority of Christians now and throughout history are deluded and wrong. Based simply on the laws of probability, the chances of that are infinitesimal.”
Rick Copple is a fine thinker, and I respect him. This post is not intended to argue the point of whether or not the bulk of core, classic Christian doctrines are still good guides for us today.
I’d rather say that his comment was a jumping off point. A catalyst that triggered the question:
As a Christian, where should I go to learn about God? Where should I go for truth? Who do I turn to for help with day to day decisions?
Pretty sure that 80%-90% of people who call themselves Christians would look at me like I’m an idiot and say,
“You go to church! Duh!”
If You Get Your Truth from Church, Who is Really Your God?
“Oh, wait!” My imaginary 80-90% of Christians would quickly back-pedal. “I get my truth from the Bible, of course!”
Really? You just open up your Bible every day and read it and it all makes sense to you, and you find out everything you need to know about God, life, the universe and everything?
“Well, no, of course not. It’s not like I have a degree in bible study or something. I learn about the Bible from my pastor, and I read books by Christian theologians. I’ve read Augustine and Tozer and Chan, Chesterton and Sturgeon and White. I even dabbled in Wigglesworth and Lake and Kuhlman, but don’t worry — some friends warned me about those guys and I don’t take them too seriously. I do the best I can, but it’s not like God has an opinion on everything that happens in my life. And even if He did, it’s not like I can just ask Him and get an answer.”
That’s about the best answer you’d get from a huge portion of Christians, that’s probably considered an exemplary Christian. Someone who desires God, who wants to know more about Him.
And they’re still only saying they trust some other person to explain the Bible to them.
How many people do you know who would look you in the eye and say they’ve had an encounter with the Living God? [tweetthis url=”http://clicktotweet.com/1fc3X”]
Great! I’d like to think my Christian friends would say that, too.
Now, how many would tell you that He speaks to them and guides them in daily decisions?
How many Christians who are not pastors would claim to have an intimate familiarity with the Bible and say they have some “revelation” about what some of it means?
Look at all the Sheeple
Okay, fine. Jesus told Peter, “Feed my sheep.” Yes.
I love my pastors. I’m thankful for the Bible teachers I have learned from. I am abundantly grateful and delighted that we have access to the writings of Christian thinkers through the ages. I love many of these men whom I have never met so much that I’ve given them nicknames and consider them friends. Friends I already know and just won’t see in person until Heaven.
But we aren’t supposed to live on milk forever, we should grow up and eat the meat of the Word for ourselves (Hebrews 5).
As Christians, we shouldn’t be forever sipping grass smoothies provided by our under-shepherds! [tweetthis url=”http://clicktotweet.com/2_eVl”]
When you drive by the farms and ranches of your State (wherever you live), what are those fluffy grayish white creatures in the pastures? You know, the ones who are grazing on the grass of the field?
Is it just me, or don’t healthy sheep feed themselves? [tweetthis url=”http://clicktotweet.com/fLecv” size=”ttsm”]
Stay tuned… not done with this question yet.
Your comments may influence my next post, so don’t hesitate to join in!