Wisdom of Interpretation
As many of us may know, the Bible Scriptures are known to be written either in metaphor or figurative. There are later versions that are translated more literally but still need a learned person to interpret them for confirmation of our own understanding or what we have heard from others. We go to church to hear the word of God is being preached as well as how the teachers share their knowledge during Bible studies or Sunday school. During Bible studies or Sunday school, the listeners have the freedom to ask questions, while unlike in preaching, the preacher cannot be stopped to ask anything. In preaching we just seat and listen and if we wait until the service is finished. In some instances, the likeness of asking and getting an answer is gone and sometimes the Pastor cannot be approached anymore for many reasons.
Without any Bible studies and Sunday school in a congregation, we can feel that our spiritual growth is being hindered and that gives us some reasons to question and doubt that the knowledge and understanding of the word we heard from the preacher could be the tenet of the church organization. Before we make commitments to join any religious group, we must first know their doctrine, beliefs, and if their position corresponds to what you are expecting from them to deliver. There are many denominations in Christian religion, where some of them do not even believe what is written in the Bible. We are aware that mostly the Christian religion is focus mainly to Jesus Christ the Son of God and widely accepted in the Christian world.
The Father cannot be a father without a child and a child will not exist without a father. We should not be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth to make it more right and acceptable to many if not all. If there is doubt hanging on our mind our faith can be easily weakened. One legitimate reason for members not to stay in a congregation and jump from one church to another is the instability of the teachings. Accountability of members’ spiritual growth and Money become part of the relationship between the leaders and the members. There are some Preachers that are good on entertaining the congregation that they make time to fellowship with the members and in return makes the members feel blessed. Sometimes the hearers are too overwhelmed that their soul brings laughter, clap until their hands until they turn red and some even jump with joy and satisfaction, very entertained that give the preacher the accomplishment of the week. However, there are times that when we get home after everything, we started to have questions ask ourselves what we have learned from the preaching. We realized, Nothing! What we heard were the same things over and over, week after week almost every service are the same for many years of attending a service- the way to salvation.
This is true without salvation our belief might not be as strong as what we have now and our hope will not even exist. Is it really necessary to hear a thousand times about salvation to be saved? Does attending every service will give you more assurance of salvation? The most important thing to remember is we are not there for head counts, giving tithes or to socialize; we are there for our spiritual growth. If no one will be responsible for our spiritual well being, then we are in the wrong place. Place of worship takes care of their sheep and the Pastor is accountable for our spiritual growth. If the church is just creating ministries and delegating the leadership to the members, then it might lead to blind leading the blind, kind of seeking the truth. The relationship between the Pastors and the members will only be developed when they meet regularly in Bible studies, Sunday school, ministry meeting and many other ways to know each other.
The reason why many walk away from big churches is the lack of friendly relationship of the leaders to their members. Personal friendship is hard to find now. Pastors are finding no time to visit a sick member, distancing from marital problems and other family matters involving members, fundraising left and right, sending children to a revival events at the expense of the members. The bottom line is when it comes to financial needs, it will be the member’s pocket, spiritual gatherings the same burden. Some churches even ask the members to give money to a visiting Pastor that they personally invited. Are all of these about money that the money donated to the church stays in the church and cannot be broken? The money that is in the member’s pocket can! Their salary comes from donation and its okay! Their bonuses are also okay!! Some expenses are also okay!!! As long as it favors them it’s okay!!!
The church world has not changed since I can remember. It is the church leadership whose interest is not the spiritual growth of the members but the survival of the church administration. Members want their church membership to grow and to have a healthy relationship with each other but the leaders sometimes think differently, perhaps thinking first of their financial security before anything else. When Jesus was doing his ministerial work, he walked and talked about his Father, our God’s message to us that the kingdom at hand. Jesus did not receive compensation, used any luxury car or jet to reach people from flat lands to mountain side. He died for us so we can live. Is there any Pastor nowadays that will take a bullet for their members? Actually there are Pastors that hire bodyguards for themselves and I will not be surprised if their car is also bulletproof.
In a big or mega congregation, the leaders don’t know you, me, us. They mingle more with people of their level and forget the ordinary members that when they pass by, they pass by as if they saw nothing. Leaders take advantage of the excitement of new members, especially the new converts who at the time feel the welcoming heart of the church people. These new members are overwhelmed but later on will realize that everything was just hypocrisy. As we go through this Christian journey, one by one we notice many things that need to be improved. Suggestions will be raised but sometimes, response maybe not good and could be “there is no perfect church.” You can bring the concern to the governing bodies but it stops there was no regular member can make a change especially when it involves finances of the church.
I will not be surprised that when time comes, 99% of churchgoers would accept that we are the church and not the building. Though it makes a difference, the leadership will disagree to the changes, except when the church organizational board has power or control on hiring and firing preachers. Why do Preachers use salvation in preaching most of the time? Are we not saved after our conversion? Will it save us more if we keep on hearing salvation being preached? In more than 10 years of hearing salvation, does it change our position compared those who have less years? The reason probably because salvation comes bundled with fear. The fear to be unsaved when we sinned, but we must remember that once we are saved, we are saved and it cannot be undone. Salvation freed us from the bondage of sin but also free us from fear of going to hell. Our flesh is designed to sin and die but not the spirit which God’s ownership.
True interpretation of church comes alive after the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and that is when the New Testament kicks in. We are aware that a testament is not in force while the testator is still alive. In the matter of Jesus Christ, He died once and it is undisputable, but His legacy is written as his will. We are the church; our body is the church and known as the Body of Christ and being the church we should follow the teachings left by Jesus Christ to the Apostles, who then continued the legacy of Jesus Christ until the time when revelation came into play. From the temple of God, to church as the Body of Christ and now it’s the kingdom of God. Life began from God and we will give back our spirit and start with reformed body and renewed Spirit. If we are not aware, we must not be shaken that after learning the true interpretation of church is us, it could have ended our knowledge that the church age has ended many years ago. Do not let disappointment put us down, the church doctrine has been twisted and abused. The grace given to the church age has ended and as usual human continues to disregard to live a righteous living, church leaders continue to ignore to correct the error they made.
Now comes the kingdom that Jesus Christ announced during His ministry here on earth. We heard the word; we are instructed to follow the rule of God. God established our own kingdom, our own domain and when we mismanaged, we are accountable to it. We are the king of our kingdom and pastor of our own domain. The Holy Spirit who will guide us in our journey will help our path straight. There will be no more bending or twisting of the word because it is easier to apply our daily living. That is called Love as the greatest of all law in the government of God. If we apply true love in every situation and somebody interprets it wrong then the problem is not ours to carry. Love of God is good and God’s rule of love is very good. Idolizing or worshipping outside God’s rule of Love violates the goodness of God. God’s rule is perfect, His wholeness and fullness cannot be measured. All throughout the world the government of God will be the joy by everyone that practices it.
It is time to move on and preach and teach the love of God and let other know that the kingdom you are enjoying is also the same kingdom they can enjoy.
There are three ways to find out on our own about the truth of what we heard before and what we observed that is happening today and what will be the end results. Interpret, translate and examine, then the application into our lives.
Evangelist Gloria A Vitug - Editor
Edited: April 16,2020