Monday, November 02, 2015

Yes, We Can Be Objective

It is common to hear in many critical circles that people read the Bible through a lens of subjectivity depending on where one was born, where one lives, what kind of governmental system one is subject to, and many other factors.

We all have things that affect how we read and interpret Scripture, but it is a fallacy to say that one cannot be objective in the way they approach and read God's Word. Our lens is just that; a lens. We see things through it, but some of the things we see are plain for everyone to see. The better question is can you accept what God has said in the Bible?

The problem with critics of this truth is they want us to believe that we are incapable of understanding Scripture unless they help us to interpret it "correctly" which usually means to see it through their lens. Isn't that a biased way of approaching Scripture in itself? By this reasoning, there is no way to know anything in the world objectively--Nonsense! And that is where the postmodern movement has directed us. I think we are very intelligent people who can come to a valid conclusion of what Scripture is saying whether we are prosperous Americans or poor Asians, or whether we are in a male dominated society or whether our society is dominated by feminists. It is possible to remove a presupposition and to analyze what we are reading in order to come to a basic conclusion. What we need is honest study and to dig into the Word to examine what it says.

I believe the bigger issue is an overcontextualization in saying that since this writing was for a Hebrew audience, it has nothing to say to us in 21st century America. I've heard it said that since Paul's letter was for a Roman church, for example, it was only for the Roman church. The problem with this is that Paul himself said that he taught every church the same thing.

I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children. Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I urge you to imitate me. For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church. -- 1 Corinthians 4:14-17 (ESV)

We have been given the Bible to understand God's will which includes some instruction, some direction, some prescription, and some description (this will be a future post).

Some things are just plain to see. Truth is universal and absolute. Because truth is absolute and universal, it is possible for one to read God's Word and find the truth. When you find it, it should change the way you think and how you react to the world around you.

God has given us ears to hear and eyes to see. We should be well equipped to use them as He has seen fit to give them to us. Let us be humble in our approach to Scripture. Let us be honest when it says something that doesn't fit what our itching ears want to hear.

May our God of wisdom and understanding allow you to find His truth. (He will. He always does.)