Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

Honest People, Different Opinions

2/7/12

I don't care what opinion one holds about the Bible and its teachings, including whether the book is from God or not, another honest individual will hold an opposite view. No amount of vitriol and denunciation by self proclaimed purists can convince me these diametrically opposed understandings exist simply because some interpreters are evil and deliberately seek to distort the truth. Instead of admitting that there is not one, given biblical understanding which any sane soul must recognize, too many blindly insist that their understanding is not only correct but even obviously and undeniably so. Thus, to reinforce that contention, these expositors are obliged to appear apoplectic whenever anyone disputes their interpretation, labeling the disagreement a sham, a sin, and an affront to God.

Orthodoxy's insistence that right knowledge is a prelude to God's love and acceptance, as a procedural or ritualistic salvation implies, means that such harsh and unreasonable reactions to unorthodox opinions is not only inevitable but even God ordained. By extension, anger over opposing opinions then becomes a sign of godliness. Anyone can see where that leads us religiously and culturally.

We often hear the idea that we need to observe and honor the lessons of history. Well, the lesson of the history of Bible interpretation is that people always disagree and do so in a very fearful and belligerent way, displaying none of the attributes we might expect from emulators of Christ. Additionally, that history reveals countless minor and numerous major shifts in understanding. There is no way to demonstrate a seamless, consistent biblical interpretation across the history of the orthodox church. Therefore, the lesson of history is that biblical interpretation is evolving and never static. That lesson provides no justification for demanding current day compliance with any interpretation of the Bible and should eliminate forever the idea that church sanctioned knowledge is the way to receive God's seal of approval.

 

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