What about commentaries and other resources that people write for helping us to study the Bible? Can they be of value to a disciple of Jesus? Do we have to ignore them? This section focuses on such issues.
Much of our focus will be on man-made teachings and the misuse of the Bible, for this is where our problem tends to be. However, we do not want to deny that there can be value in helps and resources - if we keep them in their proper place.
Note that these issues apply even to the way you use this "Journal"! (Don't place it above the authority of the Bible.)
The basic concept of not departing from God's Word and its message is consistent throughout the Scriptures. It must impact our attitude about accepting what the Word says, as well as our obedience to it. This study focuses on verses which use the words "add / subtract" or "right / left." You must look up the verses; then you can reflect on the study questions.
The word "tradition" refers to teachings and instructions which are "handed down" to us - and the big issue is where they originally came from. Are they from God (by way of the apostles and prophets) or from people? If from God, we have a moral obligation to accept them; if from people, we have a moral obligation to reject them at any point where they disagree with God. [In this context, we are not dealing with things such as "family traditions," or harmless customs and practices that people may choose to have (such as having a "Thanksgiving dinner tradition" once a year), but with teachings about life, godliness, where we came from, etc.]
The use of Scripture to Promote "Fads" [a look at one example]
There are many fads, lifestyles and viewpoints that people claim are the "Christian" way. They often say that the Bible supports their teachings, or even demands that we follow them. Often they will try to use Scripture to support their claims. This article looks at one specific example of this, but many others could be used. In this case, certain people were using 1 Corinthians 6:20 to "prove" that Christians needed to participate in their particular "health fad," (one that emphasized certain exercise activities), in order to be in the "will of God."
The issue I am opposing isn't whether or not we should exercise our bodies. Rather, it is about the way people use Scripture to promote their viewpoints, as well as the way they often exalt their opinions above the direct commands of God.
(The following two articles go together.)
Contains: 1) INTRODUCTION to the general issue, and 2) An EXAMPLE of doing so.
Shows that the fad mentioned above is not supported by verses in 1 Corinthians. (These chapters are focusing on something totally different!)
The Bible says (as an example for us to follow):
Now these [people in Berea] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. (Act 17:11)