Q. Reading various questions on your website I am reminded of a something I’ve wondered about for some time. When I became a Christian 7 years ago I went through a period of great dismay when I realized how much controversy there was in the church. God loving, sincere and selfless Christians had different teachings and beliefs on spiritual gifts, how to be baptized, prophecy today etc. Each of them could point convincingly to scripture to support their view. My question is this – Why is this so? When God gave us His word He knew there would be misunderstandings. Why do you think God left some teachings in His word open to misinterpretation?
A. I don’t believe He did. I believe that man’s sin contaminated mind causes him to take things out of context and twist God’s Word to fit his own preconceived notions. God is not the author of confusion. His word only teaches one position on Christian doctrine. Whenever there’s a contradiction between God’s word and man’s opinion, the problem always lies with man.
That’s why Paul told the Bereans not to believe him but to study the Scriptures to see if they confirmed what he was telling them (Acts 17:11). It’s also why James told us to pray for wisdom about Spiritual things. (James 1:5) We should listen willingly to our teachers but shouldn’t take anything anyone tells us at face value. Instead we should study and pray for understanding before coming to a conclusion.
By the way, that goes for everything I say, too. I include Bible references in my studies to make it easier for people to check me out and come to their own conclusions.