I began this morning, before opening my Bible, asking God to help me read His word objectively, freed from any preconceived interpretations planted in my mind over the years.
What conclusions, interpretations, applications, what doctrines would I come up with if I had a miraculous Damascus Road conversion/experience with Christ and then was whisked away into the wilderness for a few years with no teacher to instruct me other than the Holy Spirit and the Bible? At the end of that time would I hold the same beliefs that I do today? For example, would I have found or discovered on my own the doctrine of the Trinity?
I can’t help but wonder what beliefs (doctrines) I hold that are wrong? I bet there are a few. From the moment of my conversion (and possibly even before) I have been indoctrinated.
So many influences have affected how I read and understand my Bible. For example: I live in North America. My church upbringing has always been Evangelical. I am a middle-class white male. I have a college degree. I’ve always lived on the West Coast, always been part of the Charismatic stream of Christianity. I live in an ever increasing secular culture.
How have all these affected or colored my beliefs?
Coffee is made by filtering hot water through ground coffee beans. Different beans will give you a different flavor. My Bible has been filtered through my unique context much like water through coffee beans.
We complain that the coffee is too weak or too strong. In regards to how I read my Bible, I want my coffee as weak as I can get it.
Is it possible to pour only hot water?
Does anyone have a cup of hot water?
I want my coffee to be as weak as possible but I don’t think it’s possible. Oh well… I’ll do the best I can.