As believers, we all share the task of trying to navigate God’s Word and come to some understanding of what it means and what God wants and expects from us. When we read the Bible regularly, it’s not uncommon to get the feeling that the Word is alive and speaking directly to us. That should not be a surprise since we have been blessed with the Holy Spirit, who helps us interpret and take inspiration from the Word.

With that said, we don’t always get things right, and we don’t always agree with one another about what we read. That’s why it is good to have discussions with other believers about the Bible and what it means. Through those discussions we might gain insight that we did not have before. We might come to a better understanding or begin to see things more clearly after getting another viewpoint.

At the end of the day, we all have our own relationship with God and we all eventually have to stand on our own faith and actions when it is time to meet God. So, I wouldn’t recommend just taking another person’s views and adopting them wholesale regardless of who that person is or how knowledgeable he or she might seem. However, sometimes our own hang-

ups and biases can block us from seeing what God wants us to see. Even if we don’t accept all of what others tell us, their insight might shake us free from the shackles we put on our own understanding and allow us to better see what God is trying to show us.

The next couple of blog entries will represent a discussion or a debate between myself and Pastor Pope. However, please understand that I do not have Pastor Pope’s knowledge or his calling, so these two entries are not meant to be considered equal in weight. I am simply a believer who reads but still has questions and is still trying to figure things out just as many others are. The desire is that this exercise will demonstrate how we all can develop our opinions and beliefs about what we read in the Bible, and how others, particularly those tasked with interpretation of and teaching the Word, can help us refine and sometimes correct our beliefs.

This week, we will post my initial argument. Next week, we will post Pastor Pope’s response.

Chris Lawyer
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