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The Bible – Part 3

I suppose church leaders want to establish the Bible as some kind of formula to help mitigate against the neurosis, confusion, selfishness, fraudulence and naivety. "Just follow the Word", they say; sounds plausible at first - but it’s not as effective as some people think.  There’s a need to know God and His Word for yourself.  But even hearing a revelation won’t always make it automatically active in your life – it needs to be applied by faith.  Its one thing to know a Biblical truth in your head and another to know it in your heart.  Even if you agree with the Bible when it says you should or should not do a certain thing; that knowledge is unlikely to equip you with the heart-felt belief, attitude, desires, motives and patterns of thinking, that are needed to act according to that knowledge.

Quite often we find gullible, desperate and confused people flocking to churches in need of some kind of rescue.  These people just believe everything their pastor tells them is true.  Then they try and act spiritual – not wanting others to discover their charade.  I believe this is what Jesus meant when He contrasted sheep and goats and that His sheep would hear His voice.  Jesus often spoke in parables, saying, “He who has ears to hear – let him hear.”  It not good enough to “hear” a revelation of scripture – you also have to “know” it for yourself.

We often assume that parables are “binary” – either you understand them or you don’t.  But it’s likely they can be understood on various different levels.  For instance, “The leaven of the Pharisee”, means different things to different Christians and churches: according to how religious and law-oriented they are – they’ll always apply that term to Christians they deem to be more overtly and unnecessarily law-oriented than they are.  Some will say, “We’re not the leaven of the Pharisee”, when in fact they are.

I believe that people, who did not play a role in writing the Bible, can also hear from God – just as well as any of the disciples.  Many of the Bible’s authors were not perfect – King David committed adultery, Jonah refused to prophesy when God commanded him to do so.  Simon Peter would often fail to understand the spiritual things that Jesus told him.  I believe there are some fantastic Christian teaching materials available by modern authors.  Then again, there are some poor ones.  But you’ll only get out of it, and apply to your life, what you are able to understand and put into action yourself.

I think that Christian teaching is evolving – just look at the grace message – its been centuries since we had a revelation of righteousness like that which Joseph Prince has given.  It’s likely that different Christian teaching is applicable to certain people at a certain stage in their spiritual development.  Just like the different levels of teaching material that you used in school when learning to read – you move on to the next level when you’re ready for it.  It wasn’t that the “Blue Book” was less right than the “Red Book” – they’re just different levels for different people at different times.  I believe there’s often something to learn from all your experiences – even if it’s to just reinforce the need to never think that way again.


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