We often think we need to be applicably qualified to understand or do something. This mindset is brought about by the world we live in. Most job vacancies have a list of prerequisites which mostly include some certificate of qualification? We teach our children that they need to obtain a good education in order to find a good job one day?
No wonder that we often believe that we also need some qualification to understand or teach the Scriptures? We often think and even believe that we cannot differ in interpretation from a renowned Biblical scholar or theologian as he/she is much better qualified to comment on the Scriptures than we are.
Qualifications are essential in certain vocations or professions: we would hardly want insufficiently schooled people building bridges or performing brain surgery? But fortunately this requisite is not applicable to understanding Scripture. One may wish to argue what is good for other vocations and professions is good for religion too, but this is not what the Bible says about God and the Scriptures.
Mat 18:1-4 At that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying, Who is the greater in the kingdom of Heaven? And Jesus called a little child to Him and set him in their midst, and said, Truly I say to you, Unless you are converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven. Therefore whoever shall humble himself like this little child, this one is the greater in the kingdom of Heaven.
Mat 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank You, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the sophisticated and cunning, and revealed them to babes.
Mat 11:27 All things are delivered to Me by My Father. And no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son will reveal Him.
Jas 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and with no reproach, and it shall be given to him.
When studying Scripture and taking cognizance of the commentaries and interpretations of Biblical scholars and theologians we may often be astounded at the disparities contained in their individual works, let alone each other, when compared to the Bible as a whole.
I believe the problem lies in the human need for individuality and recognition. Needing to be different and wanting to be reckoned, we often tend to differ just for the sake of differing. But with Scripture these basic needs can be taken so much further. In trying to stand out among the crowd and have their names chronicled in the passages of religious history and Heaven, men have gone to great lengths.
They have created creeds, doctrines, denominational directives, commentaries, interpretations and written guidelines on practices from prayer to praise and worship. Unfortunately most of these works contain varying amounts of truth mixed with varying amounts of falicy and even, sometimes, blatant untruths.
If only these works were harmless but, unfortunately, given their sphere of application, they are deadlier than the deadliest of poisons known to man in as much as they may be misleading! And as we proceed with our study we shall note that deceptions around us and our faith abound.
Even more unfortunate is the fact that many works are reactionary, written in reaction to some statement or work by someone of differing persuasion. This does not mean that the Faith is fluid and open to any persuasion. There are fundamental principles of the Faith that are universal but there are ancillary practices which are open to variance as long as they do not undermine the fundamental principles.
These differences often lead to verbal and written attacks unbecoming of Christians, because they are judgmental rather than corrective, causing division rather than unification. They also serve as a weapon in the hands of unbelievers: if you are divided as to the tenants of Christianity how on earth can you expect someone to accept your beliefs; which version should he/she choose?
Jas 3:14-18 But if you have bitter jealousy and strife in your hearts, do not glory and lie against the truth. This is not the wisdom coming down from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife are, there is confusion and every foul deed. But the wisdom that is from above is first truly pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Consequently we shall not refer to our faith as Christianity, because this term is so wide and misconstrued in so many instances, as to have become factually and literally perverted.
At The Reed we don’t intend to create any new denomination, nor do we intend to discredit any denomination, scholar or theologian, but we do wish to create an environment for Believers to seek the Truth at their own pace and with their own resources: their Bible, a sound mind and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
May your visit to this site be a blessing to you and may you return frequently.