Wednesday, December 17, 2014

And They Call it Bible Study

Well, isn't gathering a bunch of scriptures together--sometimes over a period of years--Bible study? Many people have done this, some founders of denominations. But the problem is the selection of scriptures--keeping the ones that seem to support your viewpoint (formed before the study began), and ignoring the scriptures that seem to go against your opinion.

This primitive practice has resulted in all kinds of freaky denominations, even freaky religions. So I don't call this Bible study at all. I call it "opinion reinforcement". One of the benefits of opinion reinforcement is that you never have to change your mind.

I believe that we are born with well established beliefs, or at least a predisposition towards them. They are latent, but there nonetheless. What can we do about this? Do I have some magic formula to avoid opinion study, rather than Bible study? Yes, it is called a concordance, a complete one.

While gospel songsters sing about "Dust on the Bible", I propose another song. "Dust on the Concordance". You could even have one (and this one is terrible)--"Dust on the Brain!"

For the combination of a complete concordance (free online), and the use of your brain can be so powerful and transforming, that at first you won't believe it. Your friends will hardly know you. Your church may wish they did not know you.

Looking at every scripture that contains a word or phrase is the beginning of real Bible study. Online, you can even compare a number of translations. Shockarama!

Soon you may alter your opinion-based beliefs. You might even buy a Septuagint and see how God's Word reads in Greek. Jesus quoted from this translation.

Try to prove that what you believe is wrong. Often, it is. But truth will give you a better understanding, however painful it may be at first.

One caution concerning this method of study. It can leave you feeling that you are standing alone. It definitely will destroy your faith in many denominations. Are you willing to pay the price?

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