I was talking to my wife (and maybe my daughter-in-law) about how we Christians come to believe what we believe.
Most of us will say that we hold certain doctrines dear because we learned them from the Bible. I’ve come to realize that’s not usually true.
Now wait a minute before you dismiss this. Think. Be honest with yourself.
Were you just reading along in your Bible and suddenly believed in, oh, let’s say, the rapture (insert any doctrine you wish)?
More likely, you were taught the doctrine of the rapture, and then given verses to “prove” it.
That’s not the same as believing something because you learned it from the Bible.
Can you see how the very process described above might close your mind to the truth?
Might it even cause you to label the truth as “heresy?”
If we “know” we are sure what scripture teaches, why would we entertain a different idea?
That’s exactly what happened with things like slavery, burning “witches,” and so
Could the “church” be using scripture to suppress the very truth the Bible teaches?
(This is rhetorical, since we have a history of it happening again and again.)
I’m not saying throw out all your doctrines (although, you might be better off without many of them).
Just think about how you’ve come to believe what you believe.
Once that hurdle is jumped, it’s a bit easier to take the next step and re-think how we approach the Bible in the first place*.
Anyway, just think about it. It won’t hurt too much. Well, maybe it will.
(*For more on re-thinking how we approach the Bible, read
the article by Bert Gary and I in the Spring issue of PTM: http://ptm.org/free1yrPT.asp.
Of course, also read “Velvet Elvis,” “He Loves Me,” “The Naked Gospel,” “Jesus Unplugged,” “A New Kind of
Christianity,” “The Shack,” “Revelation Revolution,” “Blue Like Jazz,” and “What Does The Bible Really
Say About Hell,” just to name a few.)