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Monday, February 13, 2012

Human reasoning vs. the Bible

I'm sure we've all heard that we should take what the Bible says on a subject and not resort to human reasoning, but that's easier said than done. Often, it's hard to sort out what is just a "good story" or what is actually in the Bible. Just because something makes sense and sounds good doesn't mean it is Biblically supported. If the Bible talks about the subject then we need to first look at what the Bible says while putting aside our own preconceptions and the "good stories" we've heard. That's not to say that they aren't necessarily true - but when we read the Bible we shouldn't be doing so with the purpose of making our beliefs work. If we do that, we can take texts completely out of context and twist them to say whatever we want.
Here are some examples of human reasoning (or "good stories") versus what the Bible actually says on the subject.
  1. The 10 Commandments - Human reasoning says, "They were written on stone so God must have meant for them to last forever," "God spoke them with His voice, so we should pay attention to what God has deemed important," "They are God's perfect, royal, eternal law - they existed before the world was made and will continue to exist in heaven." While these all seem like good arguments and they make sense (for the most part), there are some problems with them. I haven't found a single text in the Bible to prove these assertions. On the contrary, when we look at the Bible DOES tell us about the 10 Commandments, we get a completely different picture. Over and over again, they were called the words of the old covenant or the tables of the covenant, and the new covenant has replaced the old covenant.
  2. The Law - Human reasoning says, "God divided up the old covenant laws into moral, ceremonial, and civil. Only the moral laws carry over" - in otherwords, "Only the 10 Commandments carry over." The Bible, however, doesn't separate them. It is "the law" - not "the laws". And it intermittantly uses "Moses' law" and "the Lord's law" when talking about the law (one great example is Luke 2:22-24 & 39). Contrary to popular belief, the 10 Commandments aren't "The Law of the Lord" and the "rest" of the law considered "the Law of Moses." That is human reasoning and not what the Bible teaches.
  3. The Sabbath - Human reasoning says, "The Sabbath was instituted at Creation. Adam and Eve kept the Sabbath. The patriarchs kept the Sabbath." The Bible tells us otherwise. The Bible doesn't mention the Sabbath until the time of Moses. Multiple verses put the giving of the Sabbath at Sinai - not creation. Yes, the Sabbath was given to the Israelites as a reminder that God was their Creator, but it was also given as a reminder that God delivered them from Egypt. There is no Biblical record of anyone before Moses' time keeping the Sabbath.
  4. Wine - Human reasoning says, "Wine is bad - God couldn't possibly have endorsed drinking wine. All positive mentions of 'wine' in the Bible must refer to grape juice." This is a prime example of humans reading things into the text. I've had someone ask me - "You couldn't POSSIBLY think Jesus actually turned water into alcoholic wine?!?!?" Well, yes, actually I do. The Bible tells us it was wine, and it tells us that the custom was to bring out the best stuff first and save the poorer quality for later when the guests were too drunk to notice.
These are just a few examples (and since I've written on these subjects before, I'm not including the texts here, but I would be happy to provide them if you want). If we are Christian like we claim to be then the Bible should be our authority. We need to make sure that our beliefs line up with what the Bible says, and not try to force the Bible to match our beliefs.
http://www.facebook.com/#!/note.php?note_id=197312573614179 - Biblical references here

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