I have realized that arguing about the Bible/Church teachings is just a waste of timeDoes it really matter if the Bible says we cannot work on the Sabbath but that Jesus does exactly that? Does it matter if Jesus died on a Thursday or a Friday? Does it matter we take time to enjoy fellowship and also take time for private worship with God?
Does it matter if the Church teaches/practices infant baptism, or adult baptism? Does it matter if they practice a communal cup during Holy Communion or little tiny glasses of wine/grape juice? Does it matter if they consider these things mainly symbolic, or if they place a much higher emphasis on them?
And no, I'm not looking for an answer to any of these questions. To me, the answers do not really matter. You can believe what you want. I'll believe what I want.
And yes, I realize it is a bit odd for me to be saying this. I am one of the "I'm right, you're wrong, so suck it!" types of people quite often when it comes to the Bible. I love pulling out verses to say "Ha! You have it all wrong you idiot!" to someone else. And I hate when someone else manages to do that to me. But, that's just because I'm human and I know what the Bible says to me. And, like most humans, if it says that to me, well then, shouldn't it be saying the same thing to everyone else?
And I admittedly have preconceived beliefs on the importance of Baptism and Holy Communion, and often feel that yup, my way (my Church's way) is right. Yours isn't. Sorry. And of course, these two are found in the Bible, therefore again, I'm right and why do you all just not see this?
The Bible/Church Does NOT Say the Same Thing to EveryoneFor the past year or so, I have been attending church very regularly, and also been attending Bible Study quite often. When the Pastor gives a sermon, what I hear from the sermon and from the Scripture readings is not always the same as the person in the pew behind me. This is the same with Bible Study. One of the two Bible Studies I attend, we have very open discussions, going around to each woman, asking her what she gets from the text. And it isn't always the same. Most often, there are differences - at least minor ones - in our interpretations.
Why? Because we read the Bible as it pertains to our lives. We hear what the Pastor says as it pertains to our personal situations and experiences.
And I don't think this is wrong. In fact, I think it is what God intended.
This doesn't necessarily mean the Bible is open to interpretation. I do believe there is one meaning to the Bible as a whole. And, I have a very strong opinion on what that meaning is. But how we absorb these things, and what we hold importance to, is going to differ.
Yes, some of the text is non-arguable in my opinion. God created everything. God came to earth as Christ Jesus to live an earthly existence, and to die, and to rise again. But the Bible is not intended to be a how-to manual. It's not a rule book. It's a guide. It's meant to light our path - but whether that path is lit with lamps, or candles, or street lights... does it really matter? As long as we're all on a path to God... all following the path lit by Him... does it really matter?
Does it really matter if you're right and I'm wrong? Or I'm right and you're wrong?
If we have prayed for understanding, and read the Scripture, and prayed on what we read, and truly opened our hearts to the Holy Spirit to guide us... rather than blindly following what our church or preacher tells us we must believe... are any of us truly wrong?