Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What You Think

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Proverbs 23:7

After all these years people still argue over beliefs, of Luther and Tyndale, for examples. Do we ever settle our interpretations? Is there no resolution? I'll have to say no. Evidence, in this case scripture, is not the deciding factor. Each person has a belief that they bring to an argument. When they read a particular Bible verse they seem to interpret it according to their belief.

I knew a young woman who was very troubled over this verse: for it is better to marry than to burn. (1 Timothy 7:9) Her reaction was that those who do not marry, who indulge in passion outside marriage, are going to hell. A very traditional view among many. In her case she felt she was being threatened with hell for her behavior.

She had a choice, she felt--repent of her behavior or go to hell. After all that is a reasonable assumption from the verse, what could be plainer? And a lot of religions will back it up. They love to threaten you with hell. So she rejected the Bible. That was her choice. How could the God of the Bible be so severe? Did He not understand human behavior?

A closer look at the statement is very revealing. Paul knew both human nature and the will of God. Here is what he says in this verse. If you can't contain your passion, it is better to get married than to burn with passion. Simple as that. How can you do the will of God if you are distracted and hot, with passion? Hell is not mentioned. Paul never mentions hell, we are conditioned to think of burning with the idea of hell.

Religion can really damage people's lives and warp their understanding of the Word of God.

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