Taking “A” Truth and Trying to Make it “The” Truth
(Ver 1.1) Today I want to do a Bible lesson on a subject concerning mistakes that people make while trying to interpret and understand the Bible. There are many possible mistakes that people make and this is just one of them that I have seen. It has very deep roots and is very prevalent in the church. There are probably no Christians today that have not been guilty of cooperating with this mistake to some extent. Today’s subject surrounds truths. Truth and knowing the truth is absolutely essential to mature spiritually. However, too many Christians take one truth and exalt it to be the only truth found in the Bible.
This is just another prime example of error in action. While private Bible interpretation is probably the number one problem with most Bible teaching, this one is probably number two on my list. I’ve seen people do this so many times across the board in every denomination. So what does it mean to take a truth and make it the truth? It basically involves jumping to the wrong conclusions. This action does not make that truth, untrue by itself. Most of the time a truth that you know is actually true. But that truth is not the complete truth on the subject.
For example, I have heard ministers say something like “Nowhere in the Bible does it say blah, blah, blah…”. Right at that point I know that is probably does not represent the truth. No one except God knows the entire Bible and what it all means. Therefore, a statement of “Nowhere, does the Bible say” should be viewed with great skepticism. In order to make this type of claim, a persons would have to understand Hebrew and Greek completely. Then they would have to understand the selection of words associated together to convey a meaning completely. This would also require understanding of figurative speaking, slang speaking, symbolic speaking and many other forms of communications used in the Bible. That is an enormous task for humans.
Some other people want to take a well known Bible fact and attempt to say it is this way and no other way. The mistake is made that they ignore all other viewpoints on the subject in favor of the one they like the best. To be fair to most, I would say the problem is rooted in the fact that they just haven’t seen or even become aware that other views exist. I believe this is because they are so focused on the one thing that they do know they are not looking to find anything that could contradict or confirm it. It doesn’t discount what they know as being in error, unless they say that every other point of view is wrong and only we are right. This is predominantly the root of every denominational war throughout the centuries. We are right and everyone else is wrong. I’ve got bad news for you, only God is right and everyone else is at the least a little bit wrong. The sooner we learn that, the sooner we will all grow up and mature and become the children of God that He desires.
I once heard this challenge put into an analogy of climbing a mountain. Studying the Bible is like climbing the highest mountain in the world. It is a huge challenge and very few if any have reached the top. However, we are all climbing the same mountain to find the truth. But we all have different views off of the mountain based upon our perspectives. If you are on the north side of the mountain you have one view, the south side a different view, the east side a different view, the west side as yet another view. Everyone is trying to say only our view is correct and yours must be in error because I don’t see it that way. People, we are all climbing the same mountain, understand and know there are different ways to view the same thing. Our viewpoints are based upon what we have seen in the Bible and the things that we haven’t seen is probably just because we are not on that part of the mountain. Of course I am speaking in very figurative terms in this discussion. But I hope that you understand the meaning. I use to really like to go on vacation to Colorado and I would always try to pick a high mountain to climb. Sometimes I would take a flag to leave on top of the mountain. This was just a sign that we made it. I hope you are climbing this Bible mountain and will learn this climbing lesson.
I use this example, but I don’t name names of who said it. If you know who said it, please ask him to forgive me. But, I will use this illustration as a prime example of exalting one truth at the exclusion of all other truth. I heard a well known Bible teacher say “the church is the body of Christ and not the bride”. He said, search the scripture and you won’t find anything that says Christians are the bride of Christ. What a statement of ignorance and arrogance. I’ve already written a Bible lesson series explaining how the church became the body of Christ so I won’t attempt to repeat that lesson here. What we have though is an example of someone taking one truth and trying to make it the entire, complete and only truth about the church.
You see I don’t have a problem with the church being the body of Christ, I can see all of scriptures that tells us that is what we are. I am in total agreement with the first part of his claim of truth. But, I asked God another question and that is, how did the church become the body of Christ? He then showed me the answers that explained it in the Bible quite literally and explicitly. If you have not read or studied how the church can be the Body and the Bride simultaneously I would suggest the you go and read that lesson by clicking “HERE“.
So most people who make this common mistake of taking a truth and trying to make it the truth, probably have not asked enough questions. They simply read a Bible verse and jump on that band wagon and think they found out something that no one else knows. Sometimes that can be true, but most of the time, it only means that we have discovered a part of the truth and we still need to dig further down to learn more. God’s Word is in ever increasing depths of complexity. Many times we discover something very simple on the surface and do not realize that there is more to it underneath the surface. We can call this the iceberg analogy. What we can see above the water is usually attached to so much more that we cannot see below the surface of the water. Don’t be a Titanic Christian and not understand this principle or we can easily sink like they did by seeing it too late. This is a very important concept to grasp in understanding the Bible.
So taking a truth and attempting to make it the truth is based upon an accumulation of other errors and mistakes people make of which could be one or more of the following:
- No desire to learn all of the Truth
- Jumping to Conclusions
- Making Wrong Assumptions
- Not asking the right Questions
- Insufficient Knowledge. Not knowing enough of the facts (or all of the facts if that is possible)
- Not having sufficient understanding of the subject
What we all need to realize is that there is more than one truth in the Bible. Each truth will fit together, balance and work in conjunction with all the other truths of the Bible. We should all begin by admitting we don’t know all the truth and continue to search to find and learn more truth. We should all be striving to understand as much as we can about everything that God says in the Bible. We should all strive diligently to correctly divide the Word of Truth. We should also all give others who make mistakes some extended effort of forgiveness and grace. This includes me if you don’t agree with what I teach. Perhaps you know something that I don’t and if you would share it kindly instead of calling me names or criticizing me, I could learn from you. Jesus while hanging on the cross said Father forgive them for they know not what they do. People today are the same as they were back then and they still do a lot of stupid things out of ignorane and think they are so right in doing them.
Thank you for reading and studying the Bible with me. I hope and pray that this short lesson gave you some food for thought. Please share it with a friend. God Bless you all.
Posted on February 11, 2010, in Bible Interpretation, Keys to Understanding and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, God, Interpretation, Religion, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.