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11/16/2002                                                                                       View Comments

Why do spirit-filled Christians interpret scripture differently?

Scripture is clear that one of the ministries of the Holy Spirit is to illumine the minds of Christians so they can understand Scripture (1 Corinthians 2:13-14). This being the case, why do spirit-filled Christians sometimes have different understandings as to what certain Bible verses mean?

In answering this question, one might liken the Holy Spirit to a radio station that is transmitting a perfect signal. Even though that radio signal is transmitted perfectly, there are all kinds of different quality radio receivers out there. Some have good reception; some have poor reception. Some have a good antennae; others have a broken antennae. Some have good batteries; others are low on energy. The point is, different radio receivers have varying degrees of success in receiving that perfect signal.

Christians are much the same way. The Holy Spirit's "signal" (that is, His illumination) is always perfect. But because of varying circumstances (perhaps sin, or not fully walking in the Spirit, or being overly concerned about the affairs of the world, or being blinded by Satan), Christians have varying degrees of success in properly receiving the Spirit's illumination.

The above article was copied from here

The reason I posted this article is because of the blatantly fallacious thinking demonstrated. I have been to numerous seminars and management training classes on communication. The one dynamic which is emphasized with overwhelming consensus from these lessons in communication is this: When the receiver does not understand the message, the sender is at fault.

For instance, when someone gives a speech, the speaker must take into consideration the audience to which he is speaking. He or she must tailor the subject, the vocabulary, any cliche's or allegories, so that the audience comprehends the speech. When dealing with day to day communication with employees, the responsibility for assuring that real and qualitative communication is happening falls on the shoulders of the manager. If I ask someone to perform a task, it is my job to make sure that whoever is receiving my instructions understands exactly what I intend. If what I issue is indistinct or unclear, I am then one who is at fault if the task fails. I must be sure that my words are understood before I can take someone to task for not successfully completing an assignment.

Communication is a difficult task, even when the backgrounds, language, culture and shared experiences of the people communicating are identical. When various differences are thrown into the mix, misunderstandings multiply. The good leader is aware of these hindrances to communication and strives to develop and continuously improve his or her own art of communication.

However, when it comes to GOD, the almighty perfect sovereign of the universe, at least in the religious person's mind, the responsibility never is attributed to resting on the shoulders of the sender. The receiver is always considered at fault if the instructions are misunderstood. GOD sends the messages directly into the hearts of his people by way of his HOLY SPIRIT anyway he wants, and if the receiver of the message doesn't "get it", or misunderstands, then that is the receiver's fault?

This logic is so ass-backwards that I find myself embarrassed for how so many of us fell for it for so long - me included.

If GOD is real and JESUS is GOD, then it falls to him to get his message understood. Since it is quite obvious that there is no unity in Christianity at all seeing as how every aspect of every major and minor doctrine has been argued about since the initial writing of the New Testament documents, then whatever message being sent is not divine, but man made, and a poor undeveloped attempt at communication, at that.

This is perhaps one of the major illogical and inconsistent aspects to Christianity that eventually dissolved my faith. I was involved with so many denominations filled with sincere true believers who differed so widely on so many issues that it became strikingly apparent to me that not one of them had any sort of divine guidance. Many were filled with religious zeal, including me, but as my theological moorings shifted from one flavor of Christianity to another, I began to realize that either GOD delights in the confusion of his saints, or there simply is no reality to any of this mystical holy ghost leading us into all truth mumbo jumbo.

If I give my three children instructions and they disagree amongst themselves on what it is I asked them to do, then who would you say screwed up?

3 comments:

abby said...

If you gave your three children instructions at the same time, then one or more of them weren't paying attention. But if you gave one the instructions, then gave the other two the instructions, they might have heard it differently. If you gave one the instructions, and asked him to repeat them to the other two (which is essentially what the Bible does), would he always repeat exactly what you said? Would the other two always understand exactly what he said or what you meant? Even if the Bible is infallible, your argument isn't. You really should come up with a better one.

seeker of truth said...

Abby, I believe that your thinking is fallible. It is up to the parent to clearly communicate instructions, not the children to relay them. Talk to them individually, write them a note, record it for them to playback, etc. You must take responsibility as a parent to make sure that you are understood, because, just like in that old game telephone, someone is bound to mess it up. Now why can't your god (your "father") see that reasoning?

Monk said...

abby,

You speak of oral instructions. The bible is WRITTEN DOWN. Anyone can falsely remember something they've HEARD, but when it's there in front of you...IN PRINT...it should be obvious, easily accessible, and unmistakeable. People have had the bible for centuries. That's more than enough time to figure out what it's trying to say, especially if we're speaking of instructions.

Face it, the bible is full of contradictions, it rambles, and it is maddeningly vague (except where it speaks of damnation...then it's abundantly clear).

You're comparing apples and oranges. YOU really should come up with a better one (argument, that is).