How church leaders, congregations, and individuals interpret the Word of God is of great importance. A co-worker of mine a few months ago boasted that his pastor, "Puts together his sermons during Monday Night Football." I asked, "Is that a good thing?" Clearly my co-worker thought this was cool and I didn't get too far in explaining why that was anything but cool! Another pastor in our area is changing from a biblical model of ministry to the seeker-variety based on a partial verse in Isaiah 42:9, "Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare . . . " (emphasis mine). You guessed it, the "new things" apparently mean God is instructing the elders to change to a new seeker, purpose-driven church model. I've read that passage before and I never have seen this as instruction to change church ministry. Am I missing something? This kind of stuff also happens in a lot of small groups in evangelical churches. Instead of having a gifted teacher lead a systematic approach to Bible study each person reads verses "that are particularly meaningful" to them. "What does that mean to you" has often replaced "what says the Lord" when it comes to interpretation.
In tonight's post, John MacArthur helps us from the Truth Proclaimed blog with some basic direction for all of us when it comes to interpretation or hermeneutics. If we would stop trying to apply the Scriptures to our lives in our own way, we just might see Christ more often. Jesus said in a post-resurrection appearance to His disciples in Luke 24:44, " . . . everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Christ is clearly saying every part of Scripture bears witness to Him. Why do we so easily attempt to twist it to bear witness to us?