This series has briefly discussed everything from an ignorance-centered hermeneutic, to a pride-centered hermeneutic, to a law-centered hermeneutic (Remember, Hermeneutic means “theory about how we should interpret”). And finally, we talked about the Bible-centered hermeneutic. Which, we found, happens to also be a Jesus Christ-centered hermeneutic. This is obviously what the Lord intended. For 1500 years after Jesus most could not even read. Having secret codes hidden in a series of 66 books would be unjust even of our righteous God. This isn’t complicated, but man, with his pride-fulness and checklist mentality has corrupted this beautiful source of information and diminished a relationship with God into an inconsistent practice of law. How does one change, and is it necessary and possible to do so?
In Redigging the Wells: Seeking Undenominational Christianity, Monroe Hawley says, “Those of us committed to it must first correct our own thinking and practice, and then, when we have grasped the non-sectarian plea, go and demonstrate to others that it is both possible and desirable to be just Christians (216).” Scripture teaches that it is possible to change one’s eyes from a shadow and towards reality (2 Cor. 3:16-17). Lynn Anderson says in Navigating the Winds of Change, “Open-to-change people know that sometimes the pathway to truth and reality leads through disagreements; sometimes, even through mild conflict (223).” The discussion should be a continual process. Humans are imperfect not only morally, but intellectually as well. This isn’t a surprise to our all-knowing God. And it most certainly isn’t a surprise to His grace! Since humans are imperfect, this also means that congregations (and Christian movements) will also be imperfect because they are made of humans. Which means that theories of interpretations will indeed be imperfect. But that same grace still applies! However, sitting on one’s hands and willfully immersing oneself in imperfection is uncalled for and a despicable abuse of grace. It is spitting in the face of our Father! Progress, restoration, and renewal all imply change. Change does not necessarily mean “bad.” Change can, with the right heart and mind, be a beautiful and bold sign of a Christian’s faith in his loving, wise, and merciful Creator. – Jesse