The Bible and legalism

Evangelicals like to say that the Bible is the word of God. Is there an ulterior  motive for this? There could be.

Catholics have no problem casting doubt on Biblical veracity. They are happy to say that the writers of the Old and New Testaments wrote things as they understood them. The Evangelicals are more likely to say that the Bible was not just inspired but was verbally dictated. The problem with this is that when the New Testament quotes the Old Testament the wording changes, and sometimes the meaning. This is to be expected if a person is working from memory but not if the Holy Spirit dictated both.

So why do evangelical teachers emphasize that the Bible is the word of God? For the same reason the Roman Church does not – Power.  The Latin Orthodox church has an interest in keeping power in the Pope and the church.  Evangelicals do not have a Pope they have a book. Having a book is better than having a Pope because the book can not be corrupted in the same way that the Popes were. The problem with having a book is that it encourages Pharisee-ism.  With a book, power transfers from the Church to the interpreter of the book. That is the ulterior motive all bible teachers have.  

So how are we to know and do the will of God?

We could rely on a Pope except Popes are, at best, humans and subject to sin and at worst they are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

We could follow the Charismatic Christians and rely on the Holy Spirit directly except it is difficult to tell the difference between the Holy Spirit and mental illness.

We could go on treating the Bible like the Pharisees threated their scripture. Except our book is very old. Languages change, the meaning of some of the original words has been lost. Despite our best efforts our insight into the cultural context is  shaky and most of us read and understand it in translation.  At least the Pharisees spoke Hebrew and were interpreting words written by Moses who did get them directly from The Almighty. 

I don’t have an answer but until I get one I’ve decided to live by this. 

Sometimes I listen for the Holy Spirit. I know it may just be me being crazy but I figure I should at least give God a chance.

Sometimes I take a “Pope’s” word for something.  That is I trust a Christian teacher to be right about a subject.

Most times my money is still on the Bible. Yeah it leaves a lot open to interpretation but I think that was deliberate to keep us from being legalistic.  

Trying to discover the will of God is part of the reward. I believe God wants us to think and think deeply about how to govern our behavior and like all things God wants for us it is good for us.

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