The $25,000 Give-Away Is Back!

Hi Fun Seekers,

A very good fun Friday to you, a very good fun Friday indeed.

Four years ago when I started this blog, I did something that’s never been done on the blogosphere before or since.

It’s called the $25,000 give-away.

Since this blog was just ranked in the top 10 out of all Christian blogs on the Web, we’re going to celebrate by relaunching that historic post.

So here it is again . . . read the original post below and be sure to click the link at the bottom for the instructions.

Last week, I was sitting around the blog station with our beloved Blog Manager, and I said:

“You know, I think we should begin sharing some of the wealth that this blog generates.”

And she said, “No, Frank, no more raises.”

I replied, “No, that’s not what I’m talking about. I mean sharing the wealth with the people who read this blog. I think we should begin giving them some really HUGE prizes.”

I then threw out some specific ideas I had about this, and she said, “Well, let me sleep on it overnight.”

She called me the next morning and said, “Okay, let’s do it. This Friday. We will have some new incentives for people to participate on the blog.”

So I am pleased and proud to tell you that for each and every one of you who posts an answer to the question for today, you will receive a magnificently huge prize.

Now as far as I know, nothing like this has ever been done in the history of the blogosphere. And you, yes you, can be part of the fun [cough].

Just listen to podcast, and you will be told (1) what the specific prizes are, and (2) the question of the day, which you will be asked to answer in the comments section. (Listen carefully though; it is reported that there are some [cough] subliminal messages throughout the podcast.)

So grab some friends, send them over to the blog, and click here to listen to the episode.

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Comments

  1. says

    We all find the path to God in different ways because we are each uniquely crafted by God. There are so many denominations because we are all so different, except in one thing. We each need God and He reaches us through his Word and through the church, however that is defined (by man).

  2. Allan McPherson says

    Great question! I think the ultimate answer is found in the Scriptures – God authored them, superintended them (2 Tim 3:16) and also guided those who wrote them (2 Peter 1:21).

    We interpret Scripture differently when we’re self-reliant on our knowledge, abilities, etc and not relying on God to interpret them to us. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to live with and in us “…to teach us all things…”(Jn14:26) and “…guide you into all truth.”(Jn 16:13).

    God simply wants us to rely on Him to understand His Word. It’s part of the intimate relationship He desires with us.

    Another aspect to God’s purpose in providing the Bible in such a way that many people interpret it differently reflects His creativity. We see this in the variety of genre, cultures and languages (to name a few) that we find in the Bible. Those things need to be recognised and interpreted acurately.

  3. Connie Douty says

    God’s revelation continues fresh daily in the written Word and man continues selfishly to desire the mind of God which he cannot have. So many translations are a selfish use of free will which God gives each of his created beings minus the selfishness. We cannot handle divine love nor the understanding that he gives by His Word. Man is selfish and is not willing to believe that God knows all and man does not. A child like faith without pride is required.To ask God for a pure heart opens one’s understanding.

  4. Todd says

    I believe the scriptures are only discerned by the help of the Holy Spirit, who resides within each individual believer, and therefore, within the community of believers. The Spirit interprets the Word of God to us through the inner man and through the church, when all parties of the Body of Christ are operational and fully functioning (as opposed to simply one person talking at the rest).

  5. david says

    The Bible contains both the Holy and the Profane. Community with Christ is the way to interpret which is which.

  6. Andrew Orman says

    Hi frank

    After reading other peoples answers to this question, it struck me that the Word of God should be interpreted with a child like heart. The word of God is so simply explain and interprets itself. Two ways, I think this is done is by approaching the word asking God to help you understand this and the other is too not approach it with our thinking. “I will write my word on their hearts”.

    Some times interpretation is missed because these things are overlookedand people over complicate resulting in a opinionated, self serving, warped confused understanding. Rather then a simple profound , building, love inspired message of Jesus.

    Bless ya mate.

  7. Sabrina says

    God is the Great I AM, our all sufficiency, so everyone will interpret Him based on their “relationship” or “non-relationship” with Him. I believe the purpose behind that move is so that people will be led to Jesus, seek Jesus Himself, who is The WORD, Way, Truth, Light, and Life; focus on Him and have an intimate relationship with Him, not go on one’s own understanding.

  8. James Burch says

    God is the full spectrum of variety and has included such an all encompassing tapestry of words, ideas, and events in the bible that there is literally something to draw every single soul to him. He told us the way is narrow and that we must die to self. He told us that His word does not return void. He said that he created vessels for honor and others for dishonor. We are all ultimately created for His purposes. He gave us all a choice, but told us choose life.

  9. says

    Thought-provoking question. it seems that mankind has a knack of messing up everything created by God from his creation to his inspired words. Perhaps God is not-so subliminally screaming, “AAAAAAAAAH!”

    Is the 2009 Porsche still brand new? ;)

  10. Greg says

    Hi Frank,

    The scriptures were never given to men for the purpose of interpretation.

    The scriptures were recorded by men who spoke FROM God – who were borne along (moved and impelled) by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 20-21)

    We have 33,000 denominations, or ‘monuments to men’ because of men’s feeble attempt to crystallize the words of a living, vibrant, all powerful, all knowing God into a philosophical, plausible framework to live by. God cannot be ‘packaged’.

  11. says

    Why would God allow his Word to be interpreted multiple ways by even the smartest minds?
    The best quote that comes to my mind:
    “In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis (or, dubiis) libertas, in utrisque (or, omnibus) caritas.”
    “IN ESSENTIALS UNITY, IN NON-ESSENTIALS LIBERTY, IN ALL THINGS CHARITY.” The authorship of this quote has recently been traced to RUPERTUS MELDENIUS (not St. Augustin).

    I believe it’s because of God’s own creativity in creating such unique and differing human beings. Blessings from South Africa, Frank!

  12. Jennie says

    Frank, I want the 25 000 USD plus the white porsche with red leather seats, thank you.

    “The sum of Thy Word is Truth”, and “All Truth is in Jesus”. The scriptures point us to the Ever-living Person Jesus, Who is God’s ultimate answer to mankind. On route of finding Him (in His beautiful simplicity) we look to the outward things, ritual, appearance, soulish aids, deeds – in short: all things man can supply. Sometime, by the grace of God, our eyes and hearts are opened to the exhilirating extreme joy of the Truth: Jesus only.

    Why did God allow the Bible to be written in such a way to allow many interpretations? Answer: He did not! He did not cause that just as He did not cause the fall of man. The cause of all the interpretations is mixing. Like mixed wine or spirits, there is a mixing of error with Truth. There are a clinging to outward things, there are additions to Christ as our all in all, there are man-made gates and requirements, there are false spirits mixed in. These things cause divisions. But we know that in the fullness of time, God will bring together in One, all things in Christ, even in Him. Christ is purity, holiness, unmixed.

  13. Craig says

    I take rest in knowing that I don’t have to figure out what is the true interpretation. God is good at imitating
    Himself and he’s alive in me. The enemy would convince us otherwise but that leads to self pursuit and the thought that we can obtain something. We have victory because of what Christ did and faith in Him will be enough because He’s always good and He’s always kind.

  14. Elle says

    Two thoughts: Biblical interpretation should drive us toward community with one another to interpret the scriptures. The community hermenutic. Other than Christs ministry, death and resurection, everything else in my theology is (if you will) held like sand, with open humble hands. Hands that are willing to be shifted, challeneged and maybe even discarded through the community hermenutic. We often times ruin the gift of the community informing our theology because we take our bibles, alone, and search through the scriptures for ourselves. Instead of unrolling the “scrolls” together pondering with one another and the Holy Spirit “what could this mean”

  15. says

    Archimedes wanted “a place to stand, and then he would move the earth with his lever…”

    For me to attempt an answer to this question, I would need to get to a “place” where I may “regard” God and “all of His creation”, to “contemplate” the “grand purpose” “behind” this “Bible-thingy”, “one” of God’s “infinite”, “grand moves”…

    I’m gonna need a “bit” more “time” to “answer” this one… : )

    “Werner, do want me to push you on your swing in My Tree”

    “Yes please, Jesus…weeeeeeee!”

    “What was Frank’s question again, Jesus?”

    “I can’t remember, Werner… I remember stuff about a Porsche though”

    “Jesus, let’s sing “Do you suffer from long-term memory loss… I don’t remember?”

    “Yes, Werner, let’s”

  16. Revien says

    An amazing question that provokes prayerful thinking! God is perfect! His Word, the Living Word is perfect, and Jesus’ words are spirit and life and He has the words of life (John 6). Man, on the other hand, is not perfect, we have many instructions in the Word on how to interpret the Word of truth – it is not, for example, to be for our own interpretation. So I believe that it is man who has the error – it is man who twists Scripture for his own gain to give it meaning that God never intended. Man uses the Sword of the Spirit not to rightly divide the Word, but to take a verse out of context and then use it as a weapon to justify the latest wind of doctrine. To conclude then, God has one Church, one body with Christ as the Head, the members of this body should be one as He is One, united in the anointing that flows from the Head.

  17. says

    If you think that you can study the nature of life by studying the arrangement of leaves on a tree you will come up with as many interpretations of “life” as the trees that you will run into. Life can only be interpreted by those partaking of it, not those studying it. And the true participant of life will never try and explain it beyond those attributes that are shared by all its participants. The various “interpretations” of Scripture, in my mind, are mostly manifestations of dealing with the outside of things rather than their essence.

  18. Pete Carroll says

    Hi, well I believe that there are many versions of the Bible because we are so varied and God knows we need to have His word presented in ways that are relevant to our own personality. I believe, that the comments above here that speak of the Holy Spirit applying the word are correct too, the only correct interpretation is the one that God gives!

  19. Joshua Little says

    Why would God allow his Word to be interpreted multiple ways by even the smartest minds?

    I think the question boils down to why God’s revelation isn’t more conducive to systematization and easy explanation, which has to do with the very reason Augustine first rejected the Scripture as plebeian and poor quality: it’s incarnate. No high-brow transcendence that one might have found in the Emersons or Thoreaus of his day – it’s common language, just as Jesus came as a common man, who was also God.

    Since 2 Tim 3:16 says that all scripture is breathed by God and profitable for teaching, correction and training in righteousness, it seems as though God wants us to do the right thing whether or not we have a coherent, systematic picture of the outcome. Rather, God’s picture is the one that makes sense of all the diversity.

  20. Dylan Y. says

    I personally do not believe that God gave His Word so that everyone can interpret it in their own way, but that He gave His Son so that we can receive Holy Spirit through faith in Christ and Holy Spirit allows us to see the Word through the lens of Jesus.

  21. Connie says

    The answer is simple. God is bigger and greater than absolutely anyone can ask or imagine. Now we all see in a mirror dimly. None of us will fully understand all that is written until we stand face to face.

  22. David Bartholomew says

    God (being God) knew the piece of work mankind would become. He knew that each of us would be all up in ourselves and would think that we alone understand what God is like.

    Therefore, in order to reach so many of us with the scriptures that would be written about himself, he used a myriad of authors with varying attitudes and viewpoints who would all write about him in such different ways. That way as many as possible could all find some verse, passage, or concept in scripture to obsess about in order to have faith in God through Christ.

    1 Corinthians 9:22

  23. Mary Anne says

    The church was not meant to be divided into groups according to interpretation. The church is meant to be one body…..the bride of Christ. We have failed to recognize Christ in “us.” The Kingdom of God is in us. We are to be one building.

  24. Tracy Schlotterback says

    Great question and a really fun way to get us to ponder it. I think that each one of us who are true believers in Jesus Christ have a little piece of the puzzle and if we put all of our puzzle pieces together, we could have a better understanding of God’s infinite love and plan for His kids. However, I am unsure if/when this “puzzle party” will take place. Someone above quoted 1 Corinthians 1:10 which speaks of having no division among the believers. Perhaps since it was the First Century Church that practiced “The Way” the correct way, maybe it won’t be until the time of Christ’s Final Church (whenever that may be) before we are united again as One True Body of Christ – understanding God’s Word in unity. I wrote a post recently at about all born-again believers in Jesus Christ being part of the same family called “Can We All Just Get Along?” which speaks to this very topic.
    Blessings,
    Tracy

  25. Marc Hardy says

    I would say the Lord desired for us to experience and express His vastness and richness. I think His desire has been, and always will be, that we would be united in the beauty of the Life the whole of Scripture bears witness to. That we would divide over which portion of Christ is best reflects our fallenness but all the Lord ever desired was for us to explore who He is and find our life in Him, not our interpretations of Him.

  26. Dichondra thornton says

    Even with all of our intelligence and spirituallity we are still “seeing through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known.” I don’ t think “then” has happened yet – not totally. Our Father is waiting on our complete return to him, as Adam & Eve were in commune with Him before the fall – the New Heaven/New Earth, thus the Bible was allowed to be written in the way it was.

  27. Matthew Allen says

    To me I see that there are two different parts to this question. There are the things that people disagree upon where both parties can be right and then there are disagreements where where person is wrong and the other person is right (but this one does have the possibility of both people being wrong).

    In the first part it comes down to the nature of God. God is a whole lot more complicated then any one person. And because of that it is impossible for one person to fully understand what God is like. I like to say that any truth about God exists in tension. The example that i like to use is that God is merciful and just. Often when mercy is given what someone justly deserves cannot be given and vice versa. And often when we have our personal understanding of God we favour one over the other. Neither of those sides are wrong they are just incomplete. Denominations interpret things in different ways that may not be wrong from each other they are just incomplete.

    But at the same time i am not sure that i want to exonerate all activities that go on in all churches. There are some practices that have just been passed down as tradition that have slowly over time verged from their original intentions. Tradition can be a source of conflict that can create divisions within denominations. Now tradition is not necessarily a bad thing but when tradition is blindly accepted even when it has deviated from its biblical routes becomes a problem.

    These are just my thoughts on why there are so many denominations

  28. says

    1 Corinthians 1:10 says that there be no divisions among you. Why then are there denominations. 1 Corinthians 11:19 says that there must be divisions among you that those who are genuine may be manifest among you. This isn’t to “cover more ground” but point to the “one ground”, the ground of oneness, not division.

  29. says

    I’m not sure, but if you’ll raise it to $33,000 I’ll offer a dollar to each denomination that responds. To make bookkeeping simple, I’ll keep the rest. :)

    Seriously, this is where each get to “prove” that we have God figured out, right? Um, 1…2…3…not it!

    I guess there is potentially about 7 billion interpretations of any revelation that comes from God right now on earth since we each have the opportunity to relate to God. I imagine the institutionalizing of our interpretations as ways to separate people into categories was more man’s idea than God’s. I have a hard time picturing the Trinity communing together, dreaming of the day that we would find 33,000 ways to divide over a simple command to love.

  30. Holger Drechsler says

    A lot of interpretation of the scripture comes from the tree of good and evil (the fallen human nature) and not from the tree of life (Jesus Christ). Also a problem is, what you frank write in one of your Books. It is as we see and work with the bible. One verse from this letter and on verse of an other letter, put it together and we have a new teaching.

  31. says

    I believe the Bible is just fine the way it is written. I think the problem comes when men read the Bible independent of God and His people.

    In the tabernacle of Moses, the golden lamp stand stood directly across from the table of shew bread in the same room as the altar of incense. To me this is a clear picture of the fact that God’s revelation discerned in fellowship with God’s people will lead us all to a greater place of intimacy with the Lord. Things might be different if we approached the Bible from that perspective.

    Thanks for a fun Friday Frank!

  32. Elizabeth Carlson says

    Why did God choose to allow the Bible to be written this way? Such a good question. First, I trust God is much smarter than me and knows what He’s doing. I would say that His allowing this is the most loving thing He could do. Second, perhaps He desires that we seek Him alone and He knows that our questions will turn us either toward Him or away from Him. Third, perhaps He knows too that we need conflict, we need to sharpen one another… the conflict that arises (hopefully healthy) is a very good thing for us as human beings. You cannot have a good story without conflict. You cannot grow as a person without conflict. It keeps us humble if we allow it. It gives us all kinds of choices to make, which will reveal our hearts, and our character. Which may in turn solidify within us the truth of our need for a Savior… Which could then cause us to either turn toward God or away from Him. Finally Fourth, God is after our hearts and our faith in Him alone. In His perfect wisdom He allows things to distill our hearts either toward Him alone, or toward all the other things we could chase after. If my faith is in my doctrine, then my heart needs further distilling.

  33. Aaron says

    I believe the Bible has a singular interpretation. When the scriptures are broken down and taken out of context is when misinterpretation begins to grow. In order for the true, singular interpretation to show itself, one must view the Bible as a whole. Due to the nature of the chapter/verse sectioning of the Bible, it drives Christians to seek God and wisdom in order to gain the best insight into the scriptures.

    I hope this makes sense.

  34. Pam says

    Great pondering! I suppose it’s becasue God’s desire is to always make Himself known and this diversity He allows shows us Him…His paradigm which is; Himself. Since He is fully love, multi faceted and resplendent with glory, three persons in one and His Word alive and active, and thats just a start. I think it is no wonder that those who are His, see Him in the different aspects in which their limited ability to fully grasp Him yet also be in relationship with Him allows. His children carry similar characteristics of multifacetedness though admittedly at times lacking or mere shadows. However all will have Characteristics of Him and so this diverse body of Christ and various translations of the Word reflects Him. Thankfully the Holy Spirit is given to all in Christ and so understanding and relationship is possible. Thats my best guess :)

  35. Greg Gordon says

    Interesting Question, there are many different views on the interpretation and value of scriptures. Wether each word is inspired 100% or not I don’t think really matters. There are many books that are not in the new testament that the early church used that we do not use anymore. Also the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth so there can be more revelation given but it always builds upon what has already been established and does not contract it. Also there is a simplicity to the Gospel so its when we try and figure out everything 100% that we get into divisions and problems. Jesus Christ and Him crucified and His second coming is enough to agree upon if we put our trust and salvation in these things.

  36. Wes says

    A few thoughts.
    I think that different interpretations abound because we all read scripture through a lens of some type that colors our understanding. If you don’t think you have a lens, you’re just not aware that it’s there. That lens may be church tradition, personal experience, or simply dropping the people and themes of the Bible into our modern western world. I think that the more we learn to walk with Jesus and depend on the Holy Spirit for guidance (together with other believers doing the same), the more He will replace that lens with His own. A very immature person can learn an interpretation. True understanding comes with maturity by means of intimate relationship. True understanding also produces humility and a deep appreciation for our own limitations (as far as interpretation is concerned). With maturity, we stop being as concerned about being right about everything and start living lives driven by the simple things that matter most (about which few believers disagree).

    Why does God allow this? Tough question. Most Bible interpretation begins as a desire to know and describe what is true. To earnestly pursue truth is to pursue God. Maybe God has allowed us to pursue truth (rather than making one truth plain to all), that in pursuing it, we might encounter Him in a deep and personal way. A way that changes who we are and spreads to those we know.

  37. Lourdes Cadatal says

    100% of these denominations believe that there interpretation of the Bible is correct. God allowed this to show how limited our minds are. We can never have full understanding of God’s mind. Man’s wisdom will be shown to be foolishness to God.

  38. Guy Sperlazzo says

    I think there could be several answers. It could be that over thousands of years, any text could be interpreted differently through translation, use of slightly different words, and omitting pieces of the puzzle.

    It also could be that God gave us free will, the freedom to choose what to believe, and in learning to understand His word more clearly, we hopefully also can discern true teaching from some of those wackos in the world.

    Or maybe, as exampled in some duel prophecies from the Old Testament also relating to the New Testament, He was intending for the Holy Spirit to reveal certain interpretations to us at certain times to benefit our individual circumstances. But doing so also allowed us fallen humans to potentially create our own skewed interpretations.

    Maybe parts of all three.

  39. Daniel says

    It is necessary for the Bible to be interpreted in many different ways. If God planned to make his word reach the masses then it inevitably must be adaptable to various preferences and ways of knowing. Humans cannot know anything in a perfectly objective manner, there is no instance of it in history. We bring our personality and past to all of our thoughts, decisions, and interpretations. Just as the gospel writers emphasized different aspects of Jesus’s teachings, I believe we are allowed to emphasize different areas of the rest of the Lord’s teachings. There is room for a bit of play.

    Secondly, multiple interpretations are a method by which the Church can monitor herself. We bounce ideas off each other and we eventually eradicate those that do not propel us towards our creator. Which ideas those are not may not be immediately evident, but in the perpetual movement of history we are able to recognize our general course, despite its zigs and zags.

    God in his entirety is incomprehensible. Why should we expect that the entirety of his inspired word be completely grasped by one individual or group?

  40. says

    I think that the diversity of biblical interpretations in the body of Christ is permitted to remain so that we grasp the humility and deference that is necessary for unity. It forces us to examine which issues are open-handed and which ones are close-handed, and if we submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit, it not only inculcates grace but also mitigates self-righteousness. At the end of it all, this breadth of interpretation should cause us to stand in awe before the One for whom all of our interpretations are merely the fringes of His true glory. I suspect that when we all stand before the throne of God and behold the true beauty of Jesus Christ that we will be dumbfounded, gaping in sheer delight, declaring, “I never knew….”

  41. Deborah Cunningham says

    God wrote loosely for possibly two reasons. One, that our language and ability to perceive Him in His fullness is limited. Second, that by allowing the looseness, we project. The projection(assuming, filling in the gaps), is not to reveal to God our injuries, short sightednes and predispositions, but to manifest for ourselves that which needs transformation…the renewing of our minds.

  42. says

    God created us with free will. Therefore, we have the freedom along with responsibility through Christ the Son and with the power of the Holy Spirit to live the abundant life. Enough said.

  43. Lisa says

    I agree with the previous comment about man’s tendency to live by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God wants us to ask, seek and knock and to find that buried treasure, which is Christ. God’s eternal purpose is to reveal Christ and for each revelation to build upon all the revelations prior to that.

    Most denomintations started as a result of a revelation of Him which then turned into a doctrine. The doctrine ends up becoming the be all and end all and not the Lord Himself. People become comfortable with the doctrine and park there. Not only do they not move forward but they don’t receive anything or anyone else outside of that doctrine.

    Yes, God allows man to express his own interpretation of the Bible, just like He allows man to exercise his free will in every other area of life. Those who live by the Spirit, will be able to discern Him more easily. He will show you what’s true in all things and help you to distinguish if something is of Him or not.

  44. says

    I started thinking about this question when I was around 13, and my pastor said that supernatural gifts like tongues and healing had passed away because “that which was perfect,” the Bible, had come.

    For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out he could get that interpretation from that passage without completely taking the words out of context.

    Years later, I grappled with issues like eternal security and whether or not we choose God or he chooses us. I explored the Scriptures from multiple perspectives and came to the conclusion that I could argue all sides of the arguments.

    I continue to ask these questions, wondering if we can apply prophesies and promises meant specifically for the Israelites to Christians today.

    As I wrestle through these questions, I see God’s infinite complexity. We will never fully understand the God who made us and loves us. I don’t even understand how he can love us.

    I believe he wants us to engage the Scripture because that’s how we begin to know him. We will never understand everything, but we will know him, and as we know him better and better, we will love him more and more.

    If we would take those passages on love more seriously, at least we wouldn’t get so upset with each other.

  45. Louis Louw says

    God actually created every man and woman with his/her own mind, even to interpret God’s inspired Word.

  46. Nancy says

    Hilarious! You made my day by getting me laughing out loud!

    My answer: I don’t have a clue!!!

    But look how many replies you’ve gotten already this morning, ha, ha, ha! I want my trip to Paris!

  47. VY Canis Majoris says

    If God were to supernaturally force all Christians to understand His word in the same manner, He would be denying us His greatest gift – freedom. It isn’t even an issue of God allowing thousands of denominations to spring up because of some exclusive understanding of His word but rather a choice of our own to align ourselves with those who tend to think the way we do. God rarely intervenes in our choices. We reap what we sow.

    As long as we dwell in a human body, we will only be lead by the Holy Spirit probably less than 5% of our lifetime. What we primarily believe in our life is mostly governed by what country we are born in, what kind of family we are raised in, our financial situation, health and much more. That is why the Apostle Paul said “Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known”. He knew that as long as he was in the flesh, he would only understand Christ to a very limited degree.

    Thousands of denominations is NOT a result of groups of people claiming some kind of exclusive right to truth. It is the result of 2000 years of people scattered over the earth, forced by institutionalized religions in various countries and by people being influenced by their environment, culture and period of time that they lived.

    Take away human flesh, race, countries, languages, politics and a ton of other human created baggage and all you are left with is a simple body of Christ where all the members believe the same and understand Christ the same. That is what will happen God’s kingdom comes on earth.

    Contrary to what is said in the audio, not all denominations think that they are the only ones who have a monopoly on the truth.

  48. Cynthia says

    I’m not so sure that was His purpose. The Bible, while I don’t want to belittle it in any way, seems to be elevated above Christ a lot of times. It’s been twisted to promote ideals of man, rather than showing that the Supreme God is love, and that love is revealed in Christ. I believe the Holy Spirit guides us to the Truth, not the Bible. But I know many don’t share my opinion on this. It’s not a popular take, but for now that’s how I see it.

  49. Matt says

    I hope we get an answer Frank! I think the best I can do would be to say that if the Bible wasn’t difficult to interpret, it would just be another set of stone tablets. Another set of rules to follow to earn salvation. Instead, the Bible points toward the person of Jesus!

  50. R L Hill says

    We must come to God as little children, children are dependent on God for interpretation from him and not from our fleshly head knowledge. He hides in plain sight. It is his spirit revealing to our spirit and points to Jesus. He reveals to babes. Blessed are your eyes for they see and your ears for they hear. Children have no agenda nothing to hide. We must come to him in faith believing that he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him, for he is The Way, The Truth, and the Life.

  51. Irene Clark says

    Most interpret the bible through the carnal mind thus everyone have a different interpretation. The bible is a spiritual book and must be read through spiritual eyes.

  52. Miguel González says

    Oh man! Oh man! You are so funny (i refer to the podcast of course). By the way keep the Porsche i really don’t like those cars.

    I think God has inspired Scripture for us to know Him. Because all of us are different, we will have – and i dare to say must have – an interpretation of it. Each of it’s partially true, and part of our work is to learn how to put the pieces of a big puzzle together so we can bring us a closer and greater revelation of God

  53. says

    The Bible always points to Christ. The problem is that people forget who the bible talks about and look to it for eternal life. When one does that then proposition and concepts become the issue and not the love, grace and forgivemess of God found in Jesus Christ.

  54. Daniel says

    There is only one true interpretation of scripture, IMHO. The problem is that everyone assumes that they own the correct interpretation. I guess I would be included, because I strive to study the Word and be led by the Holy Spirit, however, one of the basic principles in scripture is that we are to love the Church. Therefore, as long as a person believes that Jesus is the only way to God, through grace and faith alone, we are brothers and sisters. I do not hate my wife for wanting the house a different temp. I do not hate my children because they don’t clean up as well as I would like, and I don’t hate others in different churches because they have different music or sprinkle babies or whatever. God is love. That is clear. Jesus said I and the Father are one. We are to be like Christ. Christ is like God, God is love, therefore we are to be love personified. Just my opinion.

  55. says

    To keep us humble. He’s God, we aren’t. Some mysteries have to remain mysteries. To trust Him, not ourselves. To seek Him, to crave more and to be at peace with that which we do not understand, knowing that He will reveal it in His good time. :)

  56. says

    The key to understanding the letter is knowing the person. Truth is a person. And here are some scriptures to prove my answer is right. lol

    John 5:39-40
    You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. NIV

    John 14:6-7
    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” NIV

  57. Julio says

    God allows us to interpret the scriptures any way we want, if and when our search won’t lead us to Christ Who gives us life.

  58. Nick Mackison says

    Frank, you really are a rascal.

    I think the answer lies somewhere between God’s infinitude, our finitude and the noetic effects of sin. God didn’t set out his truth like a systematic theology, because the infinite cannot be contained in finite speech. (I believe some of us like to create systematic theologies or doctrines from an idolatrous impulse, i.e. to supplant Scripture and the person of Christ). God, in Scripture, accomodates himself to finite sinners through his Word which, in turn, points us to Christ the finite One, in whom all the infinite glory of God paradoxically dwells. It is no wonder that finite, sinful creatures like ourselves have made such a hash of interpreting Scripture.

  59. says

    that is a great question. i imagine He assumed the Holy Spirit living in us would be an effective enough guide for those truly and humbly seeking Him and His ways. A lot of the bad stuff that has been done in the name of Christianity was done by people using scripture to back their ways as opposed to people humbly seeking His ways in Scripture and then trying to live them out… plus i imagine God would have hoped that community [the church] would help to work towards Truth seeking where possible division occured and so the Holy Spirit and the church is my answer. With God relying on the heart of it all – Love – to really be the deciding factor in how scripture would be embraced and lived out and meditated upon.

  60. Lisa A Brown says

    Frank you are too funny! I really don’t have a clue. I think this is a test. LOL! I might be penalized for the length of my answer but I wanted to join in on the fun. LOL! Frank next time you have a $25000.00 giveaway could you please gag the gardner before hand. LOL! Well here goes.

    Man does not have a revelation of ‘the eternal purpose’ (the ultimate intention) which causes them to see things from the wrong view, earthly v heavenly, which in turn puts man at the center not Jesus, so again man lives from the tree of knowledge of good and evil not by the tree of Life.

    • Santos Salinas says

      In many ways interpretations of the bible says more about us, than it does God. God can’t be interpreted he must be believed on, the bible is not the truth but testifies of the Truth, Truth was a person before it became print. Failing to understand that opens up many interpretations.

  61. Susan Atkinson says

    I think God wrote the Bible with the possibility of people coming up with many different interpretations because His mind is so much greater than ours, one group couldn’t possibly discern all of the depth of His intended communication. Because it is important to God that His people show love and unity to one another, He could have been giving us the opportunity to show charity towards others with different interpretations and also allow us to be humbled and stretched by considering that one group didn’t know all there was to know. It should also cause us to seek God for His intended purpose and interpretation.

  62. Matt Smith says

    God’s given us His written “ambiguous” word as one of the ways to foster/nurture RELATIONSHIP with Him. Thus just like all relationships… they are never exactly the same for each person. (i.e. if person x has 1000 friends, though many or most will agree on similar traits/reasons for the friendship with person x, none will have exactly the same reasons for said friendship.) So… why would He give us a text that is so open to a brode range of interpretation?… because He want’s RELATIONAL interaction/connections with us… not academic/paint by numbers friendship.

  63. Bob Green says

    God knew that mankind would not be able to read/hear a direct revelation of who He is and what His purpose was for creating mankind using His created sensors [eyes and ears]and understand it. So He had the Bible written as a series of narratives and proclamations that mankind could kind of follow. If mankind was more interested in learning more, He provided the Holy Spirit to complete the teaching and application of truth, changing us back into His likeness in the process. Since man is basically self-centered, most men stop being transformed and think they have the correct idea about what man needs to know [not the purpose of God] and a new denomination is birthed. Thanks for asking such a thought provoking question. Bob

  64. William Groff says

    Maybe there is only one true interpretation of Scripture and only the Holy Spirit can discern it. We do not always listen to the Holy Spirit and we get off track in the same way that if we always followed the Holy Spirit perfectly, He would not lead us into sin.

  65. Ke799660@bellsoutn Gibson says

    I have 7 of Frank’s books and have enjoyed reading them. I’m in agreement with most everything he says, even though I’m a “organized church” pastor. A question: Since most Christians have been involved with organized churches their whole Christian lives, what possibility is there that many will actually leave the organized church for a “house church” type situation?

    Ken

    • says

      Ken: There are several issues embedded in your question. The first one is that we have to draw a distinction between “house church” and what many call “organic church” and what I discuss in my books, which I deem “the organic expression of the church.” I am not an advocate of the former (house church and what many call ‘organic church’ today), but instead, I’m an advocate of “the organic expression of the church.” I explain the difference in my blog post ‘house church vs. organic church.’

      As to your main questions, it’s not a matter of “what possibility?” . . . because it’s happening on a wide-scale. Presently, over 1 million adults in the USA leave the organized church many of them are gathering in groups that are outside the institution. Barna showed a few years ago that presently there are 11 million adult Christians in the USA who gather in church forms outside the typical institutional church that we all know. Many of these people used to be part of institutional churches of some kind.

      So the question isn’t whether or not it’s a possibility, as it’s happening. At the same time, as I’ve argued in my books and posts that groups outside the institutional church are extremely diverse. So much so that I prefer many institutional churches to what I’ve seen in many so-called “house churches.” So every group is very different.

      And as I’ve discussed in a recent post, in this season of my ministry, I’m doing a lot with institutional churches and pastors on the theme of the deeper Christian life, which has nothing to do with church forms and structures. I’m more interested in where Jesus Christ is being magnified and embodied than I am in any kind of church form or model. And this has always been the case in my life and ministry.

      • says

        Frank, I’m disappointed! Correct me if I’m wrong, but in your last paragragh it sounds to me like you are watering down the truth that the form of church makes a huge difference. The fact that Jesus Christ can be found or “embodied” in many models or the lives of those involved,doesn’t mean His endorsement of the models. Some models rob the believers of their full participation and we need to stand against this oppression. A Biblical model is crucial and fundamental! The last paragraph smacks of Peter hanging out with the circumcised party. Good is the enemy of the best. Your stance against the institutional church model is against an evil, not just an inferior model. Fellowshipping is fine, but we need to be firm advocates of a Biblical model. Rob Morley

        • says

          Rob: Alas, I’m “disappointed” that you’ve missed the point of my work by a considerable distance. I do not speak about “models” in my work as I do not subscribe to any “model” and I don’t believe a living organism is a model nor can be. The point of my statement was simple: Jesus Christ is given a greater place in some institutional churches than He is in many “house churches” or so-called “organic churches” . . . I stand by that statement. And I believe Peter would as well. ;-)

          • Tim says

            Frank, I appreciate your answer. I’ve been encouraged that you hold to your convictions on what the church should be yet aren’t narrow to not recognize God working in other kinds of church types. This is one reason why I keep reading your stuff.

          • says

            We need to distinguish between the organism and the environment. The Church is organic by nature, a living organism, that needs an environment in which to flourish. The environment (however loose it might be) in which it has its gatherings, grows and functions is a model. It’s precisely the environments or models in the institutional church that have stifled the life of the organism (the body of Christ) and have created malformation we see and want to prevent.

            I am all for working and fellowshipping with anyone who loves Jesus and I owe a lot to what I have received through the life in the institutional churches (as Luther did to his past). However, for the sake of giving all in the body of Christ a healthy environment in which to grow, I will make my stand in the face of their gross error. This is a huge deal! We are talking about the very life of Christ in individuals and corporately. We mustn’t loose the momentum that we have on this wave of reformation. It means so much to so many, let alone Christ.

            Your words, “I’m doing a lot with institutional churches and pastors on the theme of the deeper Christian life, which has nothing to do with church forms and structures. I’m more interested in where Jesus Christ is being magnified and embodied than I am in any kind of church form or model” sounds like a compromise of the cause. You see, many enjoy more “life” and “the deeper life” precisely because of your stand for truth on this issue. Do these other things, but don’t underestimate the significance of what you have meant and mean to this move of God. Many appreciate the walls broken down having re-imagined church and countless others will too. They especially need to see your support in this.

          • says

            Nope. Read “Pagan Christianity,” “Reimagining Church,” and “Finding Organic Church.” I’m allergic to “compromise” … if I wasn’t, I’d never put my name on those volumes. They all decry compromise, but as someone else pointed out in the comments, I decry sectarianism, elitism, and divisiveness, and thus stand by my other statements. That’s enough on this subject as it’s off topic. We’ll leave it there.

      • Kristine McGuire says

        ” I’m more interested in where Jesus Christ is being magnified and embodied than I am in any kind of church form or model.”

        Good answer. I think this is what many people are looking for today, but are not certain what it means anymore—hence the reason we need scripture (in my opinion) so we know who our Lord truly is.

  66. says

    I have 2 theories as to why God allowed this dilemma. I will keep it short and simple.

    1st one is that Satan can only occupy one place at one time. Hence is satan’s enemy is diversified he would have to divide his forces over a larger area. God does not have that limitation and can continue relating over the broader area created by the different denominations. (just a theory) he he he.

    2nd theory, is that in order for free will to be free will, we have to be “allowed” to interpret the way we see fit. As in “Esther’s” case in the old testament, very few actually ask the Lord to discover His will and correct meaning behind things (in this case scripture). Collectively I think what we see in the various expressions and beliefs and denominations is more the state of mankind rather than the desire of God.

    I know that may be over simplistic, but those are my theories and I stick to them. :)

    Lynley

  67. says

    I believe that God’s intent Is for us to be dependent on the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction. He never intended for us to be depended on a book. Scripture us useful and according to Paul’s letter to Timothy, but our limited intellect cannot fathom the depths of it. In order to understand fully we HAVE to be dependent on the Holy Spirit.

  68. Daniel Levy says

    I think that God allowed the Bible to interpreted in many different ways because the Holy Spirit inspires the word to the situation of the individual. Different people receive different interpretations many times because God really does inspire his Word to us.

  69. Kristine McGuire says

    Ha…love subliminal guy.

    Interesting question. I believe the Bible is meant to interpret itself. Perhaps the many denominations and multiple interpretations comes from people reading into the text something which appeals to their own ideas of life, the universe, and everything. :)

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