In our world, there are lots of people who consider themselves the only appropriate people to talk about the Bible, because they have studied at the university of theology and/or philosophy. The clergy with their priests and pastors in a variety of denominations all try to convince those coming into their church, that their church is the only true one.
Though we can find lots of denominations in Christendom, of which there are many where the clergy are not exactly behaving like Christ Jesus instructed. In Why there are so many denominations in Christendom we tried to give a short answer to a question many times posed. What is striking about many denominations in Christianity (or better: in Christendom) is that often not much attention is paid to the biblical texts. It is as if the Bible is only a small faits divers within religion.
The absence or minimisation of biblical content means that by paying more attention to human doctrines, more conflicts have also arisen, leading to splits in groups and thus to the emergence of multiple denominations.
So the question may be asked, why is it that the clergy of these denominations do not resort to the Book of Books, which can indeed give them the best information and teachings?
At the question:
If the Bible tells us not to lean upon our own understanding, are preachers, and Bible professors, leaning upon the theirs’?
We think that is the whole problem in Christendom, people leaning upon their own understanding, following more the philosophical and theoretical theologian writings of human beings instead of going by what is written black on white in the Holy Scriptures.
D. Paul Walker, An Elder with many years in the faith, writes
Many reject the teaching of the Bible based on their own faulty belief such as that something is impossible when the Bible says there is nothing impossible for God.
According to Theodore Tsistinas
the understanding of the bible is plain to those who read it with the purpose of not challenging it. That’s why the language has been changed from time to time because people wanted their own opinion to be expressed. The entire bible is the history of the people of God from the Jews to the Christians. There is one god spoken of in the bible. Its people and their personal interpretation that has challenge the understanding spoken very clearly in scripture. But then stupid is what stupid does and the mass of humanity would rather listen to the opinions of men rather that the wisdom of God.
Michael Ballai writes
There’s a certain amount of, hopefully, Biblical understanding that a student of the Bible can readily bring to a given text of scripture or how the Bible explains an appropriate worldview. I know stuff after more than three decades that are bedrock to the Bible and I have no intention of putting my personal two cents in on what God says.I revisit passages regularly and seek to consider them afresh each time because I know there is more in there than I have seen previously. People who are lazy simply deprive themselves of the depth of treasure.God is perfectly ok with how an individual preacher chooses to explain something in their own style as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the message.A preacher is called to cut it straight. It lines up with God’s understanding. The reason we do it is to tell it according to the way God sees it. And that is how God wants to sanctify us in getting us to line up our understanding with Him.
Scott Bissell sees one of the difficulties in what we think is a major issue in many churches, namely when they quote half a verse, or as we would add, take just part of a verse and use it out of context. In case people would check more what is taught at their church with was is written in the Bible, more people would grow closer to a unity of Bible-reading people.We may not forget that the attitude to the Bible is of paramount importance.Robert Hoge reacts to this by writing
Scripture is subject to endless interpretation, some of which is purely tendentious. I recently got a comment from someone who was gushing over the Bible as the greatest collection of symbolism in the world, or something to that effect. My own principle when reading and teaching the Bible comes out of a book I read long ago but no longer own:“When the literal meaning makes sense, seek no other meaning.”Not only does this save a lot of effort, it also ensures that we don’t add or take away anything. Rev. 22:18–19 says,“18 I warn every one who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book,19 and if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”For all I’m concerned, these last words of the Bible apply to the whole of the Bible, not just to its last book, Revelation.
That warning may make it very difficult to teachers of the Word of God, preachers and/or pastors, having them to be very careful what they say and how they say it. They always should control if their teaching is in accordance with the teaching of the Bible.For those who read the Scriptures, there is the danger that they got into the trap of their church to which they belong and that they cannot do away of their own indoctrinations or doctrines of their own church. They are so used to think in the same way as their church teaches that it has become very difficult to read the words like they are written in the Bible. For example when there is written in the bible about Jesus “the son of God“, many read “god the son“, which is something totally different from what there is written and from what God said on several occasions when He declared Jesus to be His only begotten beloved son.According Michael Abernathy
most people approach the Scripture with a certain bias. Before they even open their Bible, they have creeds and denominational positions that they force upon a text. On the other hand, most of the preachers I know spend a great deal of time searching the Scripture and praying for God’s enlightenment. Yes, they use their minds to help them understand what God has written. But anyone who says they don’t do that is either lying or deluded.
Matthew Heady likes to extend the above question and asks
Does not everyone, including the questioner “lean” on others? Why restrict the question to just preachers and professors?What the biblical teaching refers to is not facts and conclusions which are known to or drawn from the minds of humans. The biblical teaching refers to how a person is actually informed about the Triune God of the Bible.
Here in his answer already gives a big sign of how he himself fell for the human doctrinal teaching, because in the Bible there is no such information on a Trinity, though there is a clear teaching we may have no other gods than the Divine Creator God, Who is a Singular eternal (= having no birth + no death) all-knowing Spirit Being Who is the Almighty God above all gods.Heady continues
There is nothing a sinful human being with a corrupt (and limited) understanding and reason of all things may do. There is not any thought, word, or action, that will allow a person to recognize the Triune God, they may only realize that a god is, but not the Triune God.
People when willing to give their full attention to the Words of the Bible, shall come to see clear and understand that there is no such thing to worship as a three-headed god. There may be many gods in the world but people should only keep to that Only One True God God of gods of the Bible, Jehovah, Who is the God of Israel.
It is this knowledge of God, revealed in His Word, the Holy Scriptures, that is what a person must “lean” on. Not the thought and practices of humans. They will get us nowhere. Our minds come into play after we are gifted by faith in Christ and are then able to properly understand and explain to others Biblical teaching and practices.
writes Matthew Heady.
Continues with: Should church members question preachers about the doctrine that is not in the Holy Bible?
Confrontation by people telling lies to force others to avoid the targetted groups
Daring to speak in multicultural environment
Many opportunities given by God
Christian denominations as pots in the desert
Having to learn and benefit from other Christian denominations
Hitler and Christianity: Some Trends in Interpretation
- A world with or without religion
- Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
- People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
- Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
- Approachers of ideas around gods, philosophers and theologians
- Digging in words, theories and artefacts
- Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
- Protestant denominations of the Low Countries and Abraham Kuyper
- Counterfeit Gospels
- Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26
- Religious people and painful absence of spring of living water
- Denominationalism exists because?
- Why the church keeps losing it’s grounds.
- Why there are so many denominations in Christendom
- Tri-union gods and Pagan, Christian, Muslim and Jewish views on the Creator God
- Reading to grow and to become wise concerning the most important thing in life 1 Times of reading
- Literalist and non-literalist views
- From Bibles and other religious writings and those who witness for Jehovah
- Exceptionalism and Restricting Laws
- 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritualy
- Pastoral discipline and dissent from papal teaching
- Not true or True Catholicism and True Islam
- Good or bad preacher
- Many churches
- Religion and believers #7 Independent and organised form of existence of a religion
- Looking for a biblically sound church
- In all circumstances preaching Christ
- You Are The Truth
- The Most Appropriate teacher and Scoffers in our contemporary age
- From those preaching the Gospel and Baptism in Jesus name
- A Book to trust #1 Background book for debate
- Challenging claim 1 Whose word
- Divine revelation mediated by Moshe and other selected people
- Vital importance of reading and following the Kitvei Hakodesh
- Reading to grow and to become wise concerning the most important thing in life 1 Times of reading
- One of the most important Truths
- Bible Inspired Word of God
- Everything from the Bible is useful for humans
- Importance to read the Bible regularly and gain understanding
- Bible exceptional Book of books where nothing can be taken away or added
- Bible in the first place #1/3
- Where to learn the truth
- Lovers of God, seekers and lovers of truth
- Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
- By the closing down of the Association for Biblestudy
- Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
- Different wineskins
- Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
- The Bible: is it contradictory?
- Those willing to tarnish
- Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
- Those who call the Christadelphians a cult
- Christadelphians or Messianic Christians or Messianic Jews
- Jeshuaists, Carrying the name of Christ
- About Three-in-Ten U.S. Adults Are Now Religiously Unaffiliated
- When there is secrecy involved
- What is faith and is it the only thing required
- What Do We Mean by the Word Christian?
- Variations of Christianity
- Religious Population Is Growing
- The Problem with Christianity
- One Body
- TRUTH – I believe that God’s greatest disappointment in the Christian Church is our lack of solid unity
- Catechesis 101 | Church: Did Jesus intend one Church or many denominations?
- Which Church Would Jesus Choose?
- A Call for Unity
- This is Church Unity?
- Simple Difference
- About the different denominations
- Division Among Christians
- From One Religion To Another
- Christian denominations (sects)
- Denominations 2 We are divided on the question of authority
- Denominations 3 It seems there are some Catholics who feel free to discard the teachings of their Church when they conflict with their lifestyle.
- Denominations Part 3.
- Denominations part 4
- Denomination’s 5..Jehovah’s Witnesses.
- The Difference in Denominations
- Are Different Denominations Okay?
- Do Denominations Divide Us?
- Are denominational differences a blot on the church?
- Does Denominationalism Blind You to the Truth?
- Denominational ABC’s: Advantages, Burdens and Controls (Part One)
- Putting Denominational Disagreements in Perspective for the World and the Church
- Denominational Dialogue
- Denominations Losing Internal Influence
- Bethel, the BGC, and the Decline of Denominational Financial Support for Christian Higher Education
- We’re All Heretics Now
- Roger Olson on Denominations and Christian Unity
- Is religious faith madness?
- Declining Denominational Support for Evangelical Colleges?
- Charlottesville and storms
- thoughts on the death of the Church
- By What Authority? – A Non-Denominational Response
- Rethinking Scripture
- Please don’t call me a Christian
- Why My Family Is Changing Churches (and Denominations)
- Are Pastors Lying to You?
- There are many Trinities!
- Christianity vs. Catholicism
- Baptists, Catholics, and the Protestants
- Are you a “hypenated-Christian”?
- Embrace diversity by embracing tribalism. It’s okay to be different
- Being Religious Is Not The Way
- Can Christians now remain in the Methodist Church?
- Why are there so many splits in the Presbyterian Church? Here’s an Explanation
- Self Deception Part III – Wolves Among Us
- On the Intersection of Differences and Unity in the Body of Christ
- Throwing Away The Wrong Thing
- Christianize Christianity (6)
- Isolation of the Church
- My church History (Part 2)
- Is There Life After Leaving Church?
- If I Were Starting A Denomination From Scratch
- Nuanced beliefs
- Many Christians Are Known for What They Are Against…Unfortunately
- The Holy Struggle
- Brand Ambassador or Christ’s Ambassador?
- Can I attend an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship instead of a church while at college?
- What Does It Mean To Be Non-Denominational?
- Am I angry at Christianity?
- Letter to a Friend (2o3)
- How to Avoid Being a Lazy, Arrogant Christian
- After I was lost in sin, I was lost in church…
- Experiencing More of the Church
- I Am Not A Denomination – Episode #101
- Can you find your religious practices in the Bible?
- How Many Gods?
- Swiss Cheese Theology
- Unity (Ephesians 4:1-10)
- On belongingSo whose right?
- Warning! Get Out of Her – My People!
- The American Gospel
4 responses to “If the Bible tells us not to lean upon our own understanding, are preachers, and Bible professors, leaning upon the theirs’?”
Pingback: Should church members question preachers about the doctrine that is not in the Holy Bible? | From guestwriters
Pingback: The Symbol of the Faith – Sacramental Streams
Richard Davenport who has been a pastor in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod since 2012 and is currently serving as pastor of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Smith, AR. looks at the Christadelphians from his twisted view as a Trinitarian, probably considering all non-trinitarians belonging to a sect. He probably does not know the true meaning of a sect, because Christadelphians do not have any of the characteristics of a sect.
He says that we would have dredged up and repackaged some of the old Christological heresies of the early church, but the teaching we follow from the early church are no heresies but in line with the Torah teaching and Jesus’teaching. The church he mentions that set down in writing the statements of faith he knows (and we know as well) as the three ecumenical creeds are falsely called “the Apostles’ Creed” and are the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed, which were agreements made by those religious leaders who wanted to come in agreement with the Roman leaders (in particular with Constantine I, the Great) and were false teachings not following the Jewish Scriptures but mixing Greek and Roman philosophy and putting Jeshua ben Josef in line with Zeus (hence the name change to Jesus > Issou = Hail Zeus).
Strangely enough that pastor insinuates that we would have rejected what God says about Himself in Scripture, but it are we who keep to the words of the Almighty God Who declared Jesus to be His beloved son (= not Him God). So it are not we who have separated ourselves from Him and from His people (the Jews who believe only in One Singular God, the God of Abraham Who is not a Trinity.). He also insinuates that we would have given in to our own idolatry in setting our own interpretations over and against the time-honoured and Biblically-abundant doctrine, which is not a doctrine of the Trinity and everything that arises from that doctrine. We by only worshipping Jehovah God and not having pictures or graven images of Him have no idols like many Catholics and certain protestants, who have a God the Father, god the son and a God the Holy Ghost really have three gods.
It is good that he ends with “Let the world hear what God claims you as His own. Confess His salvation. ” That is what we hope and pray for all the time, because it is the Bible which explains everything. We only can hope and pray that more people shall come to read the Bible and shall come to see what is really written in there. Nowhere shall they find anything that points to such a three-headed god as the one Trinitarians are worshipping. Nowhere in the Bible shall people find the word, Trinity. But they shall(if they want to listen to what God says in the Scriptures) find that the God Who is no liar says that Jesus is His beloved son and that Jesus who did not sin says himself that he is a son of man sent by God to tell about Him and His Plan with the world. Those coming to read the Bible then also shall find that Jesus was not able to do anything without his heavenly Father, the Only True God Who is One (and not two or three).
Christadelphians do believe in that son of David who put his own will aside to do the will of his God (when Jesus would be God then asking that God would not do Jesus will but would do His Will, was an act of deceit pretending to be something other than what it was). Christadelphians also do believe Jesus really died and believe the words of the Bible that God as an eternal Spirit Being can not die.
Even though our movement only received its name in the second half of the 19th century, we would not consider ourselves to be a relatively new movement, especially since we are simply a continuation of the faith of the 15th and 16th century Brethren and of the Ana-Baptists and Baptists of continental Europe.
For Christadelphians Christ Jesus is the Way to come to God and not one or another church, like many Trinitarian churches want people to believe. Strangely enough, this pastor claims that Christ, cleanses people with his own blood, that people may be pure and holy to stand before His Father and ours, but at the same time he forgets that God as a Spirit Being has no blood and that Jesus showed his wounds saying that he is no spirit like his heavenly Father is a spirit.
We sincerely hope people shall be willing to compare our teachings and this pastor his teaching with what is written in the Bible and shall come to see who is the closest to what is written in that Sacred Book and following those words instead of the many words of human beings pressing on their human doctrines instead of letting people go by the Biblical doctrines.
Pingback: Ways to Approach Difficult Bible Passages | Stepping Toes