What you get out of it is not what you put into it!

That is a deception from the evil one.

Specifically this time I refer to the Bible. People will read the Bible from their own perspective. They remember verses that support their theological framework, and will even distort the Bible to make it say what they want it to say.

Right now there is a significant awareness of racism in the world, rooted in recent events in the USA relating to what is called police brutality.

Now it is clearly true that a follower of Jesus cannot be bigoted, prejudiced or hold attitudes of superiority based on race. If I have to give the evidence from the Bible then you would not be convinced by it anyway!

A dear pastor I know, who is always on the straight and narrow, has recently been preaching about racism. He is passionate about it, so passionate he is interpreting stories as anti-racist, even though they are not. I did correct him gently at one point, but the response was untypically defensive and so I have withdrawn for now.

God wrote the Bible as a way to talk to us. If we read into the Bible what we emotionally need we are hearing our own voice and not that of The Spirit!

In the example I gave, the Bible is clearly against racism, but not every story is focussed on that issue. Exercise caution when you are really passionate about something.

Do I know what I am talking about? Doing doctoral studies I presented a paper about which I was exuberant on a matter of translation. The professor cautioned that passion creates a blind spot, and discernment gets lost in that spot. And just to be clear, I did that twice with two different professors, so I stood duly chastised and now I breathe in humility each time I speak about the Bible, giving, I pray, precedence to revelation and discernment over human reason.

Let God speak to you through the Bible – don’t tell God what The Almighty must say!