One of our problems with honest Biblical interpretation is that we want our Bible to specifically address every issue. We want it to give simple, pat answers to all our complicated questions. When it does not, we twist and bend certain passages to give us our desired result. We tend to manipulate the Word of God to suit our own interpretation. We will not accept the Bible’s limitations.
The truth is, the Bible does not explicitly supply us with easy solutions to all our problems. It is not so much an answer book as it is a study guide. For this reason it is dishonest to make certain passages say things never intended. The Bible is God’s inspired Word on many issues and it gives us direction and guidelines for all issues, but a specific conclusion on so many matters is ours to discover.
In no way does this minimize the authority of Holy Scripture. In reality it allows the Bible to point to something greater. If the Bible had told us everything, there would have been no need for the Holy Spirit. Jesus told the disciples before His departure that He had much more to tell them, but they were not ready to grasp it. He announced the coming of the Holy Spirit who would lead them into all truth. Here, then, is our clue for approaching today’s complex issues. Our Lord has not left us without a Leader. We must seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Of course, a question arises. How do we know our understanding is of the Spirit? For one thing, it will be consistent with the scriptures. It will reflect the spirit of Jesus as He dealt with the issues of His day. There will be no malice or jealousy in the way we discuss our opinion. We will be open to what others have to say on the matter. We will be firm in where we search for truth, but not dogmatic in our decisions. We will leave room for the Holy Spirit to correct our mistakes and redirect our thoughts.
A closed mind on any issue cannot enjoy the fruit of the Spirit. We are not sufficient within ourselves to have all the answers. We do not own the scriptures and neither do we own the Holy Spirit. We must allow them the freedom to speak to us whenever and however they choose.
There is a wonderful peace in permitting the Holy Spirit to control our lives, even our interpretation of scripture. Love is a marvelous tool for learning. It equips our mind and emotions to discern truth and error without agitation.