Apologetics: Lesson Three (Who)
Blind guides and personal responsibility
Date: 9/8/2005 8:15:35 AM ( 18 y ) ... viewed 1668 times
Jesus said, "Woe to you, blind guides..." to the religious leaders of his day, the Pharisees (Matthew 23:16). He described them as wolves in sheep's clothing (Mt. 7:15), a problem that quickly arose in the early church (Acts 20:29). How is it that the Pharisees did not recognize their own Messiah, the people were confused about him (John 7), the disciples misunderstood him (Acts 1:6), and even his own cousin was unsure about him (Luke 7:20)?
Jesus gave the answer in Luke 24:27: "And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself." The Bible describes as "noble" those who search the scriptures for themselves (Acts 17:11), even when the speaker is the apostle Paul!
Some would say that the Bible is just allegory, a collection of moral lessons, but I would challenge such people to explain this: why did Jesus and Paul use those scriptures to prove real events about real people? Why was there "vigorous debate" about them (Acts 18:28)? Why were the NT letters which referred to the OT scriptures as proofs of Jesus' deity circulated among the believers?
The Bible is meant to be studied. It contains different genre, such as poetry, history, prophecy, and even allegory, but it also contains instruction and warning. The Bible student must learn to recognize genre as part of the context of a given passage to avoid misinterpretation.
But one thing is clear: each individual is responsible for his/her Bible study. Not the pastor, the evangelist, the deacon, or anyone else but you. We will all stand alone to face judgment; there will be no appeals to being misled by others. Failure to take personal responsibility for one's own study of the scriptures is why so many Christians fall prey to those wolves, who may be in the pulpit, on the bookshelf, or (shudder) on TV.
Trust must be earned. If Paul could be held up to scrutiny, then so can everyone else. Don't be intimidated by credentials or peer pressure, boldly challenge anyone who says they speak for God. BUT--- You can only do that if you yourself know the scriptures! There's nothing more disgusting than to watch a newbie get in the face of a seasoned veteran, and nothing more insulting that hearing rank unbelievers misquote the scriptures. You shouldn't get your news from the state-controlled media, and you shouldn't get your spiritual training from pagans or infant Christians.
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