Understanding the Bible

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 2, 2022 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Samuel Clemens stated, “Most people are disturbed by the parts of the Bible they don’t understand. I find the most disturbing thing are the parts I do understand.”

The Bible is not some cryptic text that takes decades of scholarship to understand. It was written in simple, plain language so that an “uneducated” audience could hear it and understand its message. A child can understand the basic message in Scripture, despite the depth of Scripture being inexhaustible. But a common trend I am seeing today are scholars, some of whom proclaim to be Christian, actively trying to make the Bible not understandable because the plain reading directly contradicts all the scholarship of their age and culture. And I will call this intentional. Why? Because the passage in discussion is directly in conflict to the world’s teachings.

I have had people actually try to cite 2 Peter 3:16, in which Peter does admit that some of Paul’s teachings are hard to understand as justification to claim that “some parts of the Bible are hard to understand, therefore Genesis is hard to understand.” Really? That passage actually doesn’t do what he thinks it does. The context of that passage not only puts Paul’s writing in the Scripture category, but the “difficulty to understand” part is specifically connected with those who seek to distort the teachings. The Bible is hard for the natural mind to understand, because they are spiritually discerned.

So while I am not trying to make a blanket statement here, if people think that “day” is not clear in Genesis 1, when it is even clearer in Exodus 20:11, is that because the text is not clear or because the reader simply doesn’t want to believe the text? The word “day” is never debated in any other passage, only Genesis 1. Why is that? The answer is very simple: Because we have an academic world that teaches the earth is millions of years old and this notion is held as tightly as Jezebel held the teaching of Baal. I truly consider “millions of years” to be one of the big idols of our nation. And because it is given precedence over the directly revealed, divine revelation of Scripture, that certainly puts it in the idolatrous position.

Martin Luther said that if we proclaim the truth of Scripture EXCEPT in the area where the battle is taking place, then we are merely professors of Christ, not confessors of Christ. Professors of Christ in this context are in extreme danger of being in the Matthew 7:21-23 category, professing the faith but never having known Christ. Only confessors of Christ – those who stand for Christ no matter what the world says – are getting in. It’s not enough to just say, “I believe in Jesus.” That is not going to cut it. You can state all the doctrines and proclaim the Gospel all you want, but if you cave on the very topics that the world is attacking, then all those proclamations have no weight and no power. For the last 200 years, origins has been on the front lines on the attack on Scripture. The Christian duty is to defend Scripture against such attacks, not to surrender Scripture to accommodate such teachings. We must be vigilant at all times and be alert for the cheap counterfeits of faith being offered that lets you get along with the world and still proclaim a faith that actually doesn’t match the one the Bible teaches.

To cover this, the unbelieving yet professing believer doesn’t admit that he simply doesn’t believe the text. He makes the argument that the Bible wasn’t clear. That the text was for ancient, primitive people, that we modernists have moved on from. This argumentation unintentionally does several things. The person who makes these claims is actually proclaiming illiteracy. If they do not understand what “day” means and they really mean that, why on earth should we believe they actually understand anything else like “science” or “salvation”? If you have a hard time understanding addition and subtraction, how are you going to convince someone you understand calculus?

With this charge is an accusation that God does not know how to communicate with his own people what he meant to say. Einstein is attributed to saying that if we can’t explain something simply, we don’t know the material well enough. If God did indeed create over millions of years, He had the ability to communicate that to an unscientifically minded audience. Take notice that all these supporters of Deep Time cannot do it either. They cannot explain it themselves. It’s too nuanced, too technical to explain it simply. The fact remains that Deep Time CANNOT be understood until it is accepted first. That’s why elementary books and science shows all get the indoctrination done first so it is already accepted before going into the details. But this whole charge is that man is smarter and more advanced than God. Such hubris. So why are CHRISTIANS supporting this? I get the world doing this. I get sinful people doing this. This is why Eve ate of the tree: to be better than God. But the Christian?

My recommendation to the Christian struggling with “understanding the Bible” is to empty your library. EMPTY it. Get rid of all the books. Forget all the theologians. Get rid of your education. Start all over. That’s part of what being “born again” actually entails. Even Yoda echoed this truth: “You must unlearn what you have learned.” Start over. Start with the Bible. Understand it as the Word of God speaking directly. If you need it hear aloud, read it aloud. Pray that God reveal what he means to you. After all, the Author is still around. Only upon accepting the Bible as the Word of God are you to start looking at any other book. There are things you may not understand, and that will happen. We are finite beings. But when you come to an area of not understanding, take the mindset of the father of the demon-possessed boy: “I believe, help my unbelief.”

Make this your prayer: “Father, I know this is your word. I do not understand it, but I accept it as your word and I will believe it, even though I don’t understand it.” NEVER let this be your attitude: “Our modern science and academics must be true, therefore the Bible needs to be adjusted to meet it.” The Bible is the first, final, and ultimate authority of the believer. We go to it first, we check our studies with it, and we let it trump any and every other voice out there. Beware, only those who believe and obey are getting in. And how can you believe and obey what God says when you change the message to make it more comforting to you? Here is a good, general test to see if your “interpretation” is correct or not: Does the world teach the same idea or the opposite? If the world is teaching it, you can be certain that God is not part of it. Believe the Bible; believe God. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and please do everything in your power to stop leaning on your own understanding.

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