October 18, 2016


Proverbs 18:1,2

"Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
he breaks out against all sound judgment.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing his opinion."

This is the isolationist, egomaniac, self-absorbed, narcissistic, self-serving, my opinion-is-always-right kind of person.... that God calls "a fool." This is the person who talks AT you, never WITH you. "My mind is made up, don't confuse me with the facts." "Just listen to me." Such are very troubled people, and troublesome to others and community. They seek always to dominate and must have the last word. They cannot be bothered to build consensus. It's my way or no way. Christians who traffic in truth, the Holy Bible, often err in elevating their extra-Biblical opinions to the status of truth, not even realizing they are doing so. "I'm a Christian, I have a Bible, therefore whatever I say is right." Well, maybe, if supported by a proper understanding of Scripture. And when even the most learned of Bible students can prove to be very wrong in their interpretations, I think we Christians at times can entertain some very erroneous opinions. I've known truly genuine scholars of Scripture (good conservative men) eventually admit they were wrong on a given interpretation, or two, or three. Even little me has had to eat crow on too many occasions. But too often we insist we're absolutely right because....... ah...... I have a Bible and therefore must hold the right viewpoint. Ah, maybe... I hope so.... if such a person really and truly has the right grasp on what God says. But, hermeneutics is a very exacting science which means I must STUDY to show myself approved, a workman that needs not to be ashamed. And, how many of us really STUDY God's Word. I'm not talking here about the obvious fundamentals of THE FAITH (upon these we cannot waffle). Rather, we're in the area of OPINION and the disputables Paul talks about in Romans 14. This has to do with OPINION and general Bible interpretation. Unfortunately, too many of us have a knowledge of God's Word based primarily on a simple devotional reading (and they can be a blessing) or bumper sticker slogans (and they can ring a bell or two) that click at the moment whether they reflect the whole counsel of God's Word or not. If the Bible is not primary in my life, if I do not mediate therein day and night (Psalm 1:2), if I can't say with the Psalmist "O, how love I Your law! It is my meditation all the day" (Psalm 119:97).... then very possibly I may well not be the authority I think I am. And, I am in danger of being the "my opinion-is-always-right" kind of fool set forth in the PROVERB listed above. A PRAYER: "Dear God, humble me, quiet me and make me know I don't necessarily have all the answers to everyone's problems, let alone the problems of this crazy mixed up world."

-       dick d. christen