Christians have seen divisions only too often these days. Unfortunately, all these divisions could be prevented if Christians could only approach the Bible with the proper perspective. Let us now look at how we should approach the Bible so that we will not diverge from the truthful path.
Do you ever give thought to your perspective, or frame of mind, when you read the Scriptures? What are you trying to get out of it? Only too often do people examine it full of biases and preconceived notions. If you have made up your mind about your beliefs, you will attempt to justify them in the Bible- not looking for what the Bible truly says.
Many approach the Scriptures without proper respect for authority, and it is this fundamental problem which has led to the many divisions in the church. They will make comments such as, “well, the Bible never says not to do this,” or, “surely God does not mind if we do this.” Such statements, and the ideas behind them, show a significant disrespect for Bible authority.
Paul says in Romans 14:23:
whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
This verse demonstrates the need for the right perspective when reading the Scriptures. Notice that the verse does not say, “whatsoever is not of sin is faith,” but, “whatsoever is not of faith is of sin.” People ask where the Bible says to not do something; the question, as shown by Romans 14:23, is inherently flawed, and cannot be answered. Instead, we should ask, “what does the Bible say to do?” We must look to the Bible to see what God has said we should do, and not as most people do, trying to determine what the Bible says what you cannot do and thus what you can get away with. The Scriptures have given us all the information we need to know about how to live as God wants us to live and how to get to Heaven: the Bible is not a guide of what you cannot do and thus do the opposite to be saved.
Paul also says in 2 Corinthians 13:5:
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you– unless indeed you fail the test?
We must continually examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith, and part of determining our status with God is to examine our perspectives toward His Word. We must strive to read the text objectively, respecting the Bible’s authority as the guide to live, not as the guide to proscriptions. We can see the outcome when people begin to lose their objectivity and proper perspective on authority: false teachings on issues such as marriage, divorce, and remarriage, institutionalism, instrumental music, and many others. These errors exist due to people’s lack of objectivity, feeling passionate about the plight of those who are divorced or to institutions, and/or due to the wrong perspective on authority, when people do not want to ask what the Bible says to do, but where the Bible says where we cannot use instruments. Only if we remain steadfast in the faith, using proper objectivity and perspective, will we continue to be fully pleasing in the sight of our Lord.