I have Christian friends who are staunch, conservative Republicans. When they read their Bible, they see God as a conservative Republican. They cannot comprehend how anyone who follows Jesus could be or think like a Democrat. Their views are found and substantiated in the Bible.
I have other Christian friends who are staunch, liberal Democrats. When they read their Bible, they see God as a liberal Democrat. They cannot comprehend how anyone who follows Jesus could be or think like a Republican. Their views are also found and substantiated in the Bible.
Unfortunately, both these groups read their Bible through the filter of their preconceived notion of politics, focusing on those verses that confirm their views, while glossing over or skipping those passages that confront their predetermined and intractable ideals.
This doesn’t just happen with politics, either. If we are not careful, this is always how we read the Bible, giving great prominence to those sections we agree with, while dismissing those that challenge our theological expectations and spiritual status quo.
We need to — we must — take off the blinders and cast aside our filters, instead reading the Bible with an open mind, focusing precisely on the parts that don’t align with our preconceived notions and preferences, which are anathemas, and that cause us confusion or even anger.
It is in truly considering all that the Bible has to say that we will have a chance for real understanding and spiritual growth.
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.