Tuesday, December 01, 2009

2 Peter 1:12-21

Today's passage ends like this: "First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God."

Boy is this true. It is so easy to read a scripture verse and interpret it to suit our own needs - to make it say what we want it to say. I don't think anyone really ever does this intentionally, however I do think we can all be guilty of coming to scripture with our own preconceived ideas, and, rather than being open to what the Spirit is telling us or seeing something new or for the first time, we just read it the way we want to. Really, whatever we believe about God, right or wrong, we can find at least one verse (and sometimes more) to support our theory.

For example, there are some in Christendom that believe that women ought not to be leaders in the church. These folks point to a verse in 1 Corinthians chapter 14 where Paul tells women not to speak in church. Some churches take this to mean that women literally should not speak in church - they don't serve at the altar, they do not read scripture, they are not leaders in any way (except usually Sunday School) and they certainly are not clergy. These folks do not take into account that women were in leadership in the church since the beginning - that Deborah was the first woman judge in Israel - (the book of Judges) that Paul, the same person to said women shouldn't speak in church had women in leadership in the churches he started - such as Lydia who he refers to as a Deacon, Priscilla who worked diligently with her husband, Aquilla. Clearly Paul didn't mean that women can't be church leaders. But, some have read scripture within their own worldview and have interprested it that way.

The same can be true about any point of theology. Our task is to read scripture as a whole - what other things must we take into account when we are making a theological claim? Are there other verses that say the same thing? Or the opposite? We must rely on the Holy Spirit to inspire our minds and hearts any time we are reading and studying scripture, so that we truly can have God's Word revealed TO us in a powerful way, and not just have our own ideologies confirmed.

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