The second of five parts:
Of course, not everyone reacted this way. Some still believed that the Bible had the answers. They heard of the life of grace and they really wanted it, but they had real trouble finding it in the Bible. Like the others, they could only see more to do and condemnation. Why? Because that was the grid or interpretation they had learned.
We see our world through the grid of what we have learned. The performance system (if you do this, then you will get that) has defined how we interpret information. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really matter what that information is. It is why abusers can convince their victims that the abuse is the victim’s fault. It is why some people learn to expect bad things in life. “Bad people receive bad things. If you want good things, you have to be good.” That’s how performance people learn to see life.
Even our view of Scripture is affected. Because we were taught that God was always angry at us, we see His anger everywhere in the Scriptures. Because we were taught that law and rules were important for keeping evil people in line, we learn to value the Law and dismiss grace. Because we were taught that we never measure up, we read the Bible and find over and over that we have fallen short of God’s expectations.
So guys like me have little hair left. We pulled it out while screaming “THAT’S NOT WHAT IT SAYS!!” We wanted so badly to show people that the love of God flows through the pages of His Word. We wanted to show them that the Bible itself tells them that their teachers were wrong and manipulative. We wanted them to find the joy of reading the Scriptures and the wonder of God’s consistent truth. But so many couldn’t see it. It didn’t fit through their grid.
More coming…. Comments??
(I am traveling these days. This series of posts was quite popular a couple of years ago. I hope you find them helpful. Please feel free to comment as usual. See you on the other side! – Dave)