Sometimes people will dismiss
the Bible, or Christianity saying you know, Christians
can’t even agree among themselves what the Bible means.
So, when someone is asking about that,
the first thing I want to try to hone in on,
is if there’s really an issue or
if this is just a smokescreen?
It’s like ah Christians can’t agree on that.
And the words of Mark Twain come to mind.
Mark Twain says
“It’s not the parts of the Bible
I don’t understand that bother me.
It’s the part of the Bible I do understand that bother me”.
And so for the person who’s saying ah, people can’t agree.
I say, I want to follow up and say, tell me what exactly
you’re talking about.
Tell me the issue,
I want to try to hone in on a specific issue
because in my mind,
I’m wondering is the real issue,
the rebellious human heart that’s
resisting the authority of Scripture
and the reality of the God
who is there that we’re all accountable to?
So, someone is not wanting to face the reality that
hey, I’m a sinner condemned by God.
Is it a way of fleeing from him?
I’ll also mention, that we really shouldn’t be surprised
if non-Christians have radically
different interpretations of the Bible.
If we’re watching a secular TV program and there’s some
religious expert from a prestigious university
who then very knowledgeably gets up there,
sounds so erudite and says, well we know
that Jesus really wasn’t born of a virgin.
You know, we shouldn’t be surprised because
that person often by definition
does not believe in the miraculous.
So their starting presupposition is that
nothing miraculous can happen.
Therefore, anything in the Bible reported as miraculous
is false so, we’re not surprised that their
conclusion is the same as their presupposition right?
It’s not a surprise that non-believers, especially
those who are skeptical and antagonistic to Christianity,
would arrive at different conclusions.
But there are genuine questions about interpretation.
So, Christians, non-Christians can have genuine questions.
Not just be smokescreens and
we need to give genuine answers to those.
And when we’re thinking about that,
one of the things I like to think about, especially for
Christians is to remind them what Jesus taught us
about God our heavenly Father.
And Jesus taught us that God is a loving father.
So, God is not trying to hide the meaning
of the text from you.
He’s not trying to confuse you or mislead you.
Jesus taught us that God our heavenly Father,
when we ask him for bread, he doesn’t give us a stone.
And when we ask him for fish, he doesn’t give us a snake.
And so, when we come to him and ask him,
God help me with this text, I want to understand
and believe rightly and follow you.
We can expect him to lovingly guide us
and bring people into our lives.
Or at least give us a sense of, of peace
in waiting for him to answer that.
We also acknowledge that in Peter ,
Peter says that some of Paul’s letters,
some of the things Paul writes in his letters
are hard to understand.
So, we would be misrepresenting the Bible
to just to claim that oh it’s all easy to understand.
Even the authors of Scripture acknowledge that
there’s some difficulties.
Now, notice Peter doesn’t say it’s impossible to
understand but he says somethings are hard to understand.
And so that’s a reminder too, that as Christians
we devote so much excellence and hard work
to whether it’s getting the bushes and grass
in our yard looking good or doing a good job at
work or making a perfect roast or pie.
We do all these things with diligence and excellence.
Why do we think that we shouldn’t have diligence
and excellence in studying the Scriptures.
Somehow we think we’re just going to glance at the page
and suddenly it will make sense to us.
So, if someone is having questions, it’s a call to study,
it’s a call to prayer.
It’s a call to discovery of things that we didn’t know before.
It’s a journey, it’s a journey that ends up
in a place of deeper fellowship and deeper understanding,
where we are then equipped to answer
questions that others may have.
We also recognize that,
Christians can disagree about secondary or tertiary matters
and that’s okay.
In Romans , Paul talks about Christians disagreeing
about certain days and their significance.
And he says let each person be convinced in their own mind.
Alright, there’s a place for Christians to disagree
about secondary or tertiary matters.
And yet if you take Christians, first take Christians
who submit themselves to the word of God
as finally authoritative.
Submit themselves to the Word of God as flawless.
So, the Word of God is authoritative and it’s without error.
What you’ll find is amazing agreement on
the fundamentals of the faith.
Amazing agreement on who God is,
what salvation is,
what it means to follow him.
What does he desire of his people,
in these different areas of life,
in marriage, in sexuality, and money?
These are because there’s a submission to the Word of God.
And there’s a presence of the Holy Spirit
opening the hearts and minds
then to believe and obey.
So, sometimes people can over state
the amount of disagreement that Christians actually have
especially about the fundamental matters of the faith.
– [Narrator] Thanks for watching Honest Answers.
You can submit your questions by email, Twitter,
or in the comments section below.
And don’t forget to subscribe
to find out the answer to next Wednesday’s question.