Troublesome Topic: Question the Bible But Do It the Right Way

Lesson 7 of 10

Our culture has taught us to question everything. That is not a bad thing IF the questioning is followed by careful study done with the right attitudes. However, what we see today is often a quick reflex mechanism that says, “I don’t like that so it must be wrong.”

This reaction happens quite often with things found in the Law, in the life of Solomon, regarding the roles of men and women, and probably other things too. If you are one who has questioned these things, I want to ask you the following questions: Have you studied the issue in depth, or did you make up your mind quickly? How did you study the issue? Did you go to the Bible itself, or did you read what others were saying about it on the internet?

Be very careful about information you find on the internet. As you probably already know, one can find any perspective on any topic on the internet. Much of what is out there about the Bible is short, reactionary criticisms written by people who have not studied the topic carefully in the Bible itself. Many of the things I have seen on the internet along this line (but I don’t spend lots of time looking for it), or things I have heard people mention, have been quick reactions that pick single statements which on the surface admittedly look bad.

When it comes to the internet it is very important that you evaluate your sources carefully. Find sources you can trust and ask yourself why you are trusting them.

We dare not assume that just because something does not sound right to us, it must be wrong.

 I recommend that you study everything that God’s word says about a topic that causes you concern. Do not follow our culture’s tendency to go with 30 second sound bites or tweets limited to 140 (or 280) characters. The truth about complex issues will not come to you in such abbreviated forms.

Don’t trust people who seem to have an agenda, because they are liable to leave out information that does not help their cause. This is true of critics and also of Christians who are pushing their viewpoint without giving the reader the full picture. Look for sources that deal with everything, including the good, the bad and the ugly. But look for people who deal with those things honestly and openly.

I also think it is important to try to understand things first from an ancient Jewish perspective. Don’t start by asking what a passage means to you. Start by asking, “What did this mean to the people back then?” After that you can ask, “How does this apply to me?” That is necessary because our culture is very far removed from theirs. The words of the Bible were spoken and written in a specific context, for a specific reason, yet having power and impact for many contexts and situations.

If you study things carefully as I have described above, you will find that there are often good answers for the things you originally doubted or criticized. You end up saying, “Wow, look at that! God knew what He was doing after all!”

The next lesson is Just Because You Can’t Understand Something Does Not Make it wrong