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As I read many of the posts here at AAG, I wonder why there is so much confusion thrown into Christianity.

We all have a Bible...and many of the Bibles we have are identical. Why can't we believe what the Bibles all say. Why must we depend on the writings of another human to tell us what the Bible is saying? Are we too lazy to read?

I notice various posters actually posting the words of a book or article when we have the true Word of God right before us. These authors are putting to paper their thoughts that might not be God's thoughts. Why deliberately become confused? Many of the articles written by man are written in words I, personally, don't understand and they scream at me "look how smart I am with the words I use". To quote a teacher of mine "that is ignorance gone to seed!"

All these big words that are used to say a simple thing is very tiring for me...and if it's tiring for me, it's tiring for others as well.

Wouldn't we get further if we write of what is actually in the Bible instead of what we think is in the Bible? Wouldn't that develop more knowledge, more understanding, more faith in the written Word? I'm not referring to responding in our own words, but responding with words written by a mere human explaining what God is talking about when many of these writers don't actually know but are writing what they think.

We look at what is in the Bible with finite minds and can't figure out why we aren't on the same page., why we can't get on the same page. I believe in our humanistic minds we can't understand why God operates the way He does so we have to put a different edge to it to understand. By doing that, we change the meaning of what God wants us to know.

OKay, I'm done venting. Responses are welcome (don't use cuss words, please!)

 

Blessings,

Rita

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Rita

When it comes to the Bible, one question above all comes to mind - am I actually interpreting this correctly?

The books of the Bible are so rich but don't always tally up exactly all the time (how many people were at Jesus's tomb at the time he appeared is one example - each account is slightly different in terms of numbers and names) Also, why would I apply a 21st century interpretation to a 4000 year old text? There are many factors to consider and should be considered when interpreting texts (at least in my view)

I often quote others when responding because I respect the fact they have spent much more time studying the text and the issues and I find their insights useful, particularly on the tougher texts (Leviticus for example)

At the end of the day though, I agree with Galileo:

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use

Darth, 

I think the biggest issue that I have is the confusion that comes with their writing. A example is to read a commentary about what a verse means. Very few commentators write the same explanation. Therefore, when one looks for an answer, they come up with 3-4 answers. Which should one believe? Some commentators write answers that become doctrine without regard to whether they are responding in truth or not. I don't think God wants us to forego our gifts, but I do believe that He wants us to believe Him before we believe another human.

Also,

God gifts us with the interpretation of what His word says. What we need to do is care enough to ask Him what He means. He will always provide an answer to a legitimate question as long as we are ready for that answer.

I think the fact that you find 3 or 4 different answers suggests it's not straight forward. I don't think its a case of choosing them or God, they're all reading the same scripture just taking different things from it. Who's to say they haven't thought and prayed about it before giving their commentary? Just because you (not you specifically, a general you) disagree with the interpretation doesn't mean the commentator hasn't consulted God.

You should always consult God through prayer as well. I've used a combination of the above when dealing with issues and it works for me :)

Hi Rita! I received your message in my inbox. Your question caught my attention. Several things come into my mind:

 

First, I sympathize with your confusion. I also find myself in such situation. For me now, I learn to distinguish real confusion from diversity of opinion. I see beauty in diversity. A particular verse can be explained in different ways using different terms due to differences in background and other factors provided that the real meaning of the text is not altered but clarified. 

 

Second, about your question "Why can't we all believe what the Bible say?" To me, I think, there are various factors that influence the way people see the Bible. People have different minds, have different experiences, have different spiritual status, etc. These differences I think affect the way people read the Bible. As for myself, our attitude to these differences should be one of patience and forbearance provided that we agree that the Bible is God's special revelation. Not many these days even among Christians still believe the authority of the Bible. Those treasured attributes of the Bible won by Reformation such as sufficiency, inerrancy, inspiration, clarity, and necessity are no longer adhered today by many. This too affects the way people interprets the Bible. My attitude in this case is one of firmness and no compromise.

 

The third thing is about dependence on the writings of other people. If it is laziness that prevents us to appreciate the Bible, then I think rebuke is proper. However, if it is the spirits of humility and patience that prompts a person to do this, it is commendable. Someone says that each human heart treasures a kingdom within us in which the reigning ruler is "self". If that is true, to listen to someone else is an exercise in the virtue of humility. We know how difficult it is to listen to somebody else and each of us treasures the superiority of our own ideas above others. And If I may add, I also believe that Christianity did not just spring up out of nowhere for the sake of the present. Christianity is a history of how God works through time. The Spirit of God speaks to us as well as to others. He worked in the past and still working in the present. And that is why I find sharing the words of other authors for the sake not of display of academic superiority but of Christian edification is proper.

 

Fourth, you may be right that there are those who write their thoughts that might not be God's thoughts. That is always a danger. We do not have exhaustive knowledge. As long as we are here on earth, all our ideas are tentative and subject for further growth. Of course, as God's image, our aim is to try the best we can to reflect His thoughts faithfully in our thoughts.

 

I am tempted to add more but I think I have to stop here. Thank you for this post! :-)

 

 

Ruel,

My patience of man's opinions stop when it goes against what the Word says, and these are the types of books that I refer to. I guess I didn't make myself very clear but then I didn't want to write an entire volume for you to have to read through. I am looking for God's truth and can't seem to find it in many of the books written today. I guess that is why I am so critical of what people are writing about God these days. 

I believe everything written in the Bible and know there is a reason for it being put in God's Word. On the other hand, when reading a book written today, I only believe until I find something written that I know isn't true. That is when I stop reading. I don't want my mind cluttered up with untruths or half truths.

I do know that as I read the Bible, God, through the Holy Spirit, helps me to understand it. Sometimes it is immediate. Other times, I have to wait until I am ready to receive it. However, the answer is always forthcoming.

Part of my attitude is the great thirst that I have for understanding what the Bible says. I'm striving to understand and along comes a book that throws me way off course. 

I just wonder why we don't listen to God FIRST.

Blessings, Ruel.

Rita

Good thoughts how about some good responses eh? Rita, have you ever asked yourself (or others) why are there over 800 main stream churches in America? This does include non-denominational churches (I belong to one) or the 1200 (give or take) cults. Within certain churches there are divisions creating what I call "sub-churches" because they still identify themselves with a common name. Let me illustrate. I come from a Mennonite culture/faith. In the early 1970's I discovered to my surprise there are over 40 ( that is 4-0 ) different Mennonite churches. Why? Did you know that over 95% of church divisions are over personality clashes rather than doctrinal? By the way I have witnessed 3-4 divisions in bothe Mennonite church and in the church I am in now. In my library I have between 35-40 Bibles and I would say 90% of them (approximately) are different translations. These include ASV, NASV, RSV, Amplified, Greek/Hebrew linear, GW, Message, GN, KVJ,NKJV, NIV, JW Bible, Book of Mormon, Reader's Digest Condensed Bible, etc. each one says something a bit differently than what the KJV (one I grew up with) says. I have heard hundreds of preachers who spoke on the same subject (more or less) and learned that most of them have their own views, beliefs, translations etc. Do you know ehy Martin Luther (Lutherans), Menno Simmons (Mennonites) Thomas & Alexander Campbell (churches of Christ) and other "founders" started their particular group?" There are those who do not believe in hell but only in heaven, there are those who believe in "faith only", others teach the importance Baptisim plays in ones life, There are those who believe only 144,000 will get to heaven the rest of us will live in heaven on earth...so it continues. Oh yes, how many say they are right and you (and I) are wrong? Why? If I believe in something and am proven wrong I pray God will give me the wisdom & strength to change. see Acts 18:24-28. To answer your question further (from the BIBLE i.e.NASV) read 1 Timothy 4:1-5; 2Timothy 3.

Skypilot

Hi Sister Rita,

Excellent forum.

You've had some interesting comments from Darth, Ruel, and Edward so far.

I've pondered your question over the years, and to be honest, I wonder why God even puts up with the human race sometimes.

Come to think of it...... He did get fed up back in Noah's day, and took out the whole kit-n-kaboodle (except for a remnant).

 

I agree with Darth about different camps basing their positions on Scripture, and still being at odds with each other. And the verses they cite seem to support each opposing faction. As you pointed out here on AAG, Rita, major case in point - Calvinism v.s. Arminism, and how about Christian baptism?

 

We like for God's Word to coincide with our individual interpretations. Just like a preacher likes to hear a lot of "amens", and see people smiling and nodding during a sermon. In fact, I believe some saints try to interpret a Biblical passage to their way of thinking to the point of "self fulfilling prophecy".

 

And Rita, LOL, that's good about not using "cuss words"please.

But, lookey here, I wonder how some straight-laced souls explain the fact that in the KJV Bible: the word "hell" is printed 54 times, and "damned/damnation or damnable - 15 times total. Are these classified as cuss words?

 

Maybe we should all adhere to Jesus' words in Matthew 18:3, " and said,"Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.".

I take that statement to say - keep it simple, stupid; and don't try to keep over-analyzing my Word. Play nice together, and get along, because when I come back....................

 

Thanks for the post, Rita.

 

Grace and Peace.

Hi Richard,

But, lookey here, I wonder how some straight-laced souls explain the fact that in the KJV Bible: the word "hell" is printed 54 times, and "damned/damnation or damnable - 15 times total. Are these classified as cuss words?

As I just reread this, I recall my 6 yr old grandson saying the word *hell* about 15 times in the course of 5 minutes until I threatened to beat him senseless if he didn't stop! Hope you read Autumn's reply at the bottom. It is very good.

 

Blessings, brother...

Rita

Richard,

First of all, thank you for your response.

My topic comes from the fact that in our small county we have a large number of victims of cancer.  (We have 2 nuclear sites within a short distance of us.) Many are dying of this dread disease and I am trying to learn how to pray for those who are being struck down with it. I have been doing a study of prayer and realized that most people that I come in contact with, don't believe that we need to speak to the mountain about this illness. They need to speak to the illness about it, but they are begging God, when the Bible says in two different places that "by His stripes we were healed." God also says He would have us prosperous and in good health. Jesus, as a man told us to "speak to the mountain" and told us to cast out illness. Disbelief in God's Word doesn't make the healing come to pass.

Paul reminds us in Romans 12, to renew our minds.

My pastor told me that we couldn't renew our minds...that the Holy Spirit had to do it for us. Richard, I just don't believe that. If we are studying God's Word, and we are understanding what is being taught, we should be able to renew our minds to come into thinking with our spirit, instead of having our minds drift towards the flesh.

And then they ask for prayer every week, sometimes for the same thing, over and over. True belief in God heals. Yet it appears that these two people don't believe that. I have known them for at least 25 years if not longer, and I have never heard either of them say that they felt good. That is discouraging for others all by itself.

This type of thinking doesn't occur only in my church, but others as well.

In essence, I am wondering how we can call ourselves Christians, and not believe the instructions that God gave us.

Regarding the *no cuss words, please* comment, it was meant to lighten up the topic. 

Another thought...God isn't into wrath at this time. His wrath will be displayed during the tribulation. However, He is blamed for every storm or weather upset that comes.

 

Many blessings, Richard...

Rita

Hello Rita

My name is Chris, and I am new to this site.  I did post a talk from Charles Wesley Naylor.  I had not heard of him before.  He was able to address idea's in a clear way that indicated he was submitted to Holy Ghost.  I understand what you wrote, and why.  If I caused you to be irritated, please forgive me.    

                                                                                                                 Chris

Chris,

I doubt I was irritated....because I probably didn't read it. I rarely read a post that is copied from another source, mainly because I want to hear from members of AAG and know how they themselves feel about a particular subject. Besides that, my irritation, most times, lasts for a short span of time.

Blessings, Chris, in the Name of Jesus...

Rita

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