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Interpretations

February 2, 2009

Last night as I watched the Super Bowl there was a play that made me think about interpretations. Did you see Adrian Wilson run over the holder Mitch Berger? What did you think? Did you think he ran over the kicker on purpose or do you think he was off balance because of a block and ended up running into the holder?adrian_wilson

Let me just say we had a little disagreement as to Adrian Wilson’s intent. Some thought that he was running all out and simply didn’t care if he hit the holder while others felt it was not intentional, that his momentum and lack of balance carried him into the player.

I didn’t post this to get to the bottom of the issue. Without a direct statement from Wilson it won’t matter. Why won’t it matter, because none of us know. Each of us simply has our own interpretation. Let me tell you something else. Each of us believed we were right and no amount of explaining from the other side would change our mind.

That is the problem with interpretation when there is no direct statement. If Adrian Wilson came out and said I plowed that guy and loved doing it we wouldn’t need interpretation, to my knowledge he hasn’t.

People do this with the Bible. They interpret situations and intent and come up with there own idea and expectations. The problem is that without a direct explanation from the author we may or may not be right.

The reality in our debate about Adrian Wilson is both of us could be wrong. Mr. Wilson might explain the play in a totally different way.

Beware of binding your interpretation of the Bible on others. Beware of thinking that the Bible says it when the Bible really doesn’t, your interpretation of what the Bible says does.

Too much division in the church comes not from the Bible but from our interpretation of the Good Book.

What can we do? Start by asking is it a clear command or just in interpretation. Some people try to bind house churches on other. Never bind interpretation.

If we aren’t specifically instructed to have house churches remember that is just your interpretation. They may have met in the house because it was a command but what if they only met in a house because that was all they had or it worked best for the group.

Second, if no clear command exists you need to express your view as opinion. If someone disagrees they may be right. Remember that love is what is most important, not justifying interpretations.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

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