All Christians consider themselves like the Bereans, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.” (Act 17:11-12). However, many Christians aren’t all that open-minded like the Bereans but quite set in their beliefs, and use the Scriptures to proof-text those beliefs. But the Bereans didn’t search the Scriptures to prove Paul wrong, they eagerly heard him and searched the Scriptures “whether those things were so.” They gave Paul the benefit of the doubt and considered that he could be right and therefore gave him a fair hearing. Being like the Bereans is about being sincerely open-minded and objective in the study of the Scriptures for the truth.
My beliefs have largely been fluid over the decades that I’ve been a Christian because of my dogged pursuit of the truth. I came to Christ in a Pentecostal church in 1990, then read Kenneth Hagin books and became a Charismatic for several years, then read John MacArthur books and became a Calvinist for several years, then eventually stopped reading Christian books altogether but only the Bible which has led me to my current beliefs. My experience has been that I was led astray when I trusted popular ministers to teach me about God and salvation. But since the truth came from Jesus Christ, I listen to Him and His apostles: “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (Jhn 1:17); “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jhn 8:32); “And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?” (Jhn 8:46); “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (Jhn 14:6); “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice” (Jhn 18:37); “the truth is in Jesus” (Eph 4:21).
Becoming right in our beliefs begins with an honest and humble assessment of ourselves that we could be wrong not just about some things but about a lot of things. I went through that and still go through it to a certain extent. If we’re seeking the truth, then we’ll have no problem with questioning our current beliefs sincerely and objectively. But I’ve come to learn that many Christians aren’t willing to do this. Rather, they’re convinced that their current beliefs are right and will go to great lengths in defending them.
The goal of studying the Scriptures is to correctly understand the message intended to be conveyed by the Author. The Scriptures are simply a channel through which God communicates His message to us. It’s not about my interpretation or your interpretation but about apprehending the intended message, then living our lives accordingly.
The biggest hindrance to correctly understanding the Scriptures and apprehending the intended message is false assumptions. Assumptions are ideas that we consider to be true but might not be. They’re essential for building upon to further our understanding and reach correct conclusions. However, when our beginning assumptions are false, our understanding is hindered and we can rarely reach correct conclusions—false assumptions blind and imprison us. For example: if you believe (as I used to) that humans are non-physical beings living inside physical bodies that continue living disembodied after death either in heaven or hell, then that false assumption will blind you from understanding many teachings in Scripture about life, death, and salvation. Until you’re willing to lay aside that assumption and approach the Scriptures objectively, you’ll remain imprisoned.
My understanding of the Scriptures began to thrive once I stripped away assumptions from my thinking that I wasn’t entirely sure were correct, then approached the Scriptures as objectively as possible. It was only after I was convinced that any particular assumption was correct that I embraced it and used it to help me understand the Scriptures further. It’s like a snowball effect; the more we correctly understand, the more we’re able to correctly understand.
False assumptions, primarily assumptions about the nature of God and man—that God is a Trinity of Persons and that man is an eternal non-physical being whose destiny is either heaven or eternal torture in fire—prevents the most brilliant from ever understanding the Scriptures and attaining the truth. Many scholars and theologians are far smarter and more educated than I am but the false assumptions they embrace about God and man skews and tarnishes their understanding so that much of what they teach is wrong. Christians recognize that even the most brilliant scientists embrace the foolish philosophy of evolution under the pretense of science. And a similar dynamic is true with theologians. They’ve been indoctrinated with a philosophical system disguised as theology, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit” (Col 2:8). They’re trained and committed to defend their system with illogical and foolish arguments. They garnish their philosophy with a lot of big words, scholarship, and eloquence to make it sound official and authoritative, “they speak great swelling words of vanity” (2Pe 2:18). They make it sound like they’re saying a lot while saying a whole lot of nothing!
I’ve been scolded for considering myself right while multitudes of brilliant and educated scholars and theologians over many hundreds of years are wrong. But the difference between me and them is that I’m willing to lay aside my biases and think outside the box while they’re imprisoned within a box of false assumptions they’re unwilling to question. They’ll say that some things aren’t open for discussion or debate which only proves they’re not open-minded like the Bereans. And since they’re not open-minded, then sadly they’ll stay deceived. They implicate themselves as more loyal to their theological system than to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. A wrong view of God, a wrong view of the Son of God, and a wrong view of man can only result in a wrong view of salvation and adversely affect almost everything they teach. For that reason, I don’t read books or commentaries from theologians anymore. I only read the Bible.
You should read my writings on this website for three main reasons. First, Christ has gifted me to understand and teach the Scriptures. I have no greater passion than to study and write about the Scriptures and can spend hours and hours doing it. Correctly understanding the Scriptures is more than an academic and intellectual endeavor but takes being gifted by Jesus Christ. I can’t tell you how many times God has given me the understanding of certain passages of Scripture in answer to prayer. It’s not necessarily that I’m smart enough to figure things out but that God has gifted me and guides me.
Second, my motive is for Jesus Christ to be glorified and not myself. I strive to not care what anyone thinks about me good or bad, but care greatly about what people think about Him. Therefore, I’m not trying to get any recognition or a large following of people. I’m not in the ministry and I’m not trying to gain or maintain any financial support. I just want to help others in their walk with God by learning the truth and living their lives by it. It’s because of this mindset that I can approach my audience with boldness to say things the way I believe they truly are—I’m not trying to please anyone.
The third reason you should read my writings on this website is that I approach the Scriptures as objectively as possible by only bringing with me the assumptions that I’m convinced are correct. I think outside the box. Successful people in any area of life aren’t afraid of failure. For example, famous basketball players contend that if fear of failure kept them from attempting to make the winning shot, they would never make the winning shot. Adopting that same principle to the study of the Scriptures, I’m not afraid to attempt the winning shot and miss sometimes. I’m willing to be wrong at times so that I can finally get it right.
My studies and writings are focused mainly on the subjects of God, man, salvation, and Christian living. Many other subjects are certainly worthy of attention but for the time being at least, God has me concentrating on these. I could spread myself out by studying other subjects but I wouldn’t be as effective and learned in these primary subjects.
I use the King James Version of the Bible primarily because I believe in the relative accuracy of the manuscript tradition from which it’s translated as compared with the Alexandrian tradition underlying most modern Bible versions. Also, since the KJV is in the public domain, it can be quoted from freely with no thought of legal repercussions. We should be able to use God’s holy words without anyone telling us how much of it we can and can’t use. Many people suffered greatly and gave their lives for the Scriptures yet publishing companies today stipulate that we must use less than 500 verses and not let it account for more than 25% of the total text. Is business more important than souls?
One last point is that I don’t claim to be a great writer. My writings are all about the content and message. I want to first understand correctly what the Scriptures are saying (thus the title of my website), then communicate this understanding to bless my audience. My prayer is that my writings will bless and help your walk with God through our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.