Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

the Key to Orthodoxy



Rarely in the course of Christian teaching do you hear someone suggest that we need to study the entire Bible before we draw any conclusions about it and its message. No, preachers routinely grab isolated verses here and there, string them together, and offer those as incontrovertible proof of this or that doctrinal point. Orthodox Christianity lives and dies based on its ability to cite a few selected scriptures to prove its position beyond all questioning.

Orthodoxy is ill prepared to deal with the entire scriptures. First of all, the Bible is a 2000 page text. Dealing with that much content would take a long time. If, as the church contends, an individual's eternal destiny hangs in the balance, a prolonged study is inadvisable. Better to get right to the perceived bottom line, namely what must I do to escape Hell. Therein lies the rub, though. How does the hearer know the real conclusion of the matter without reading and studying all of the Bible first. He is simply invited/forced to shortcut the process by accepting the preacher/church's bottom line as valid.

For the most part, the church knows from long experience that not many hearers will expend the effort to evaluate all the Bible themselves and establish a personal conclusion about its message. In addition, even those who do attempt a personal study will be inevitably biased by religious traditions, which permeate every aspect of our western culture. As I have noted before, that religious tradition was formed long ago before almost anyone outside the institutional church, the Roman Catholic church at the time, had access to the Bible. Thus, these traditional doctrines were formulated and inculcated in the public mind without any possible opposing opinion.

When church members reach the point where they demand that the church address all of the Bible in making its doctrinal pronouncements, then the church will cease to exist in its current form. That would be a tragedy to some, but in the long run it would mark the beginning of wisdom in actually discerning the message of God.