“Well that’s your interpretation”. A phrase often heard when discussing religion. Especially Christianity and the bible. I can’t count the times I have heard someone say that. I need to tell the those who subscribe to this model that it’s absolutely false. People, even Christians, don’t like dogma. We want so much to believe that our viewpoint is valid. Our choices are legitimate, and that even God understands (condones) our choices. Adam and Eve chose to believe that what God said was open to interpretation.
When I speak of dogma I refer to the bible. The word of God is not open to personal interpretation. On the surface that may sound mean-spirited and closed-minded. I agree it is close minded. However, it is not mean-spirited. God inspired the authors of the bible to write the words and meaning He wanted to convey. While we may have trouble understanding the meaning we don’t get to shape scripture to fit our paradigm. I’m sure there are parts of the word I just get plain wrong. My intentions are pure, but I lack the perspective needed to get it right.
The prophet Jeremiah said “Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear”: Jer. 5:21
Jesus told us “Whoever has ears, let them hear”. Matt. 11:15
Some misunderstand the word, and some refuse to understand it. I a post I wrote some time ago I quoted C.S. Lewis when he spoke of Jesus as Lord, Lunatic,or Liar. Jesus is the son of God, or He is not. The bible is true or it is not. God doesn’t leave us that option. You can’t be a little pregnant. You are either alive or dead.
These boundaries don’t hinder us. They set us free. Boundaries keep us safe. Parents impose them on children to keep them from harm. The fall of man was about boundaries. Again, Adam and Eve chose to believe that what God said was open to interpretation . Look what happened to them.
So what do we do? First we pray. Pray God opens our eyes to the truth of His word. Next, we study. In 2013 we have more resources than ever to help us corroborate scripture. Be willing to change your viewpoint when Gods word doesn’t agree. That one’s not easily done, and is where most people fail. The last thing I’ll add is that when you find truth you shouldn’t have an open mind for the lie. I understand being close minded is unpopular at best, but the truth won’t change for us. We must be willing to change for it.