Filtered Interpretation of the Silence of Scripture
• Deuteronomy 4:2 “Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.” (NIV)
• Proverbs 30:6 “Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” (NIV)
• Revelations 22: 18-20 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” (NIV)
We all have our own filters that over shadow what we believe. These filters influence our personal opinions and interpretation of life and of scripture. I have learned that I am personally responsible for understanding God and growing a personal relationship with Him. Today, I seek my own personal understanding of scripture and understand the fallacy of blindly believing everything taught in church.
I have learned that anytime, I put my conclusions to scripture, concerning issues that are not addressed in the context, I am trying to say that I know more than God does.
A few examples of this in the religious world are:
• One independent congregation withdrawing from another independent congregation due to a difference of belief or understanding of scripture.
• Condemning others for their understanding of scripture when it does not agree with our personal interpretation.
• Claiming scriptural authority against something that is not addressed in scripture or is not condemned in scripture.
• Insisting that the silence of scripture, concerning any topic, is an automatic law of forbiddance by God.
• Condemning others for their personal expression of passion and praise during their worship and love to God.
• Use of guilt tactics: Comparing bananas to papaya justification tactics to create guilt in people that see silence differently with the use of the analogy of parents giving $5.00 to a child to go to the store and purchase milk. Claiming that the parents silence to not forbid using the left over change to buy bread is authority forbidding all other purchases.
I cannot personally speak for any of the bible writers concerning any topic that they did not address. I cannot personally speak for you either. I cannot put my words and opinions into bible writers mind or mouth. I cannot put my words and opinions into other people as to what they would personally do in any given hypothetical situation. All I can do is answer any hypothetical question or concern from my own opinion. This is not flip-flopping on questions or issues. To do so is nothing less than being a modern-day Pharisee by binding rules and regulations that God never issued.
You cannot personally speak for any of the bible writers concerning any topic that they did not address. You cannot personally speak for me either. You cannot put your words and opinions into bible writers mind or mouth. You cannot put your words and opinions into other people as to what they would personally do in any given hypothetical situation. To do so is nothing less than being a modern-day Pharisee by binding rules and regulations that God never issued.
I personally know the results of judgmentally bias people that call themselves Christian and who think their interpretation of scripture is the only correct understanding. My dad was one of these people. He was a preacher and the meanest religious hypocrite I have ever known. He was extremely abusive to his family (physically, emotionally, verbally, religiously, and sexually.) He had me, as a child, believing that God was looking for away to send me to hell. So when I was 17, I rebelled from all forms of religious belief; becoming an atheist for the better part of 32 years.
However, my years of personal bible study have taught me differently. I learned of grace and a loving God. I learned that God was not looking for away to send me directly to hell as a friend of mine says.
In the last 10 years or so, I learned of a compassionate God. I learned from all my years of personal bible studies of scripture that not everything taught by people concerning religion, salvation, and God were true. I learned over time and personal study that even honest people make mistakes due to the human filters and preconceived opinions taught to them by others or formed from their own personal filtered interpretations.
I believe that God does not make it hard for us to understand His will or to understand scripture. No, I do not accept any longer the organized religious written and unwritten creeds concerning God and salvation taught in Christendom.
To me it is personal. I believe that spirituality is the sum of my own understanding and relationship towards God, as I understand Him. I learned this from reading the bible for my own understanding.
Today I only want to help others grow in their personal walk with God. It is not my place, or desire, to bind my filtered interpreted opinions on others. Nor is it my desire to create or feed off people’s fear of hell by isolating them from the truth, which I find simple to see and understand. I do not believe that the New Testament is a prim-a-fascia law book of rules and regulations.
What I do believe is that our job is to help reconcile people back to God and help them understand and follow the simplicity of compassionate living as outlined in scripture.
Interpreting things as prohibited that God did not command or forbid is adding to the scriptures. The bible is clear that when we do this we commit sin.
Perhaps the silence of scripture just means silence because God has no opinion of the issue and it is time we stop finding fault with others because they understand and view things not addressed by scripture differently then we do.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010