Let me share personally about my journey with the Bible.
One of the things I value about my faith heritage is the significance placed upon the Bible. I remember fondly being known as a people with a "high view of scripture".
I have never lost that, and it continues to serve me well.
An example from the text that describes my commitment to the text is found in the book of Acts, where it says: "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." (17:11)
From an early age this "nobility" of the Bereans was nurtured in me by my church. To this day, I want to receive with eagerness messages declared to be from God, but I want to examine the Scriptures to see if it is true. Iím not bragging when I say this is in me. In fact, I can take no credit for it, as I have my church heritage to thank! They taught me to not accept what I was taught without checking it out in the Bible for myself.
I am glad to tell you that most of the things that I have been taught by good and godly people I have confirmed for myself. And as you would expect, a few things that I have been taught (by equally good and godly people, by the way), I have found to not align with scripture at all.
It is important to note that I do not do this evaluation in isolation. I do it in community with as many people as I can find who are willing, and who care about faithfulness to scripture (after all, it says "the Bereans", not "a Berean").
I want to be the kind of person that Jesus described as a "teacher of the Law who has [also] been instructed about the Kingdom of Heaven." He says these people are "like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old." (Matthew 13:52) That is who I want to be in regard to scripture.
Too many people (again, good and godly people) are stuck on one of two sides of Jesus on this. On the one side are those blindly committed to how they have always read scripture, promoting their agenda of avoiding anything new, and falsely calling this stubbornness faithfulness to scripture. On the other side are those overly eager for changes that suit their own taste, promoting their agenda of change for change sake, while falsely using the cover of some new interpretation of scripture. The former are called legalists, the latter activists. Each hangs on to only half of the nobility of the Bereans (which is not noble at all), and read only half of what Jesus exalts as good (which is not good at all).
Listen, church. If you want to be faithful to scripture - to GOD no less - then you will be a life long learner of HOW to read scripture. Then you will be able to discern what old interpretations and applications are "old treasures" and what new discoveries and applications are "new treasures".
Remember that our last teaching in this series will be a Q & A, so send in those questions!
Questions? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to addresse it in this series.