I must admit that I have become pretty turned off by most theological things. At one time I was deeply embedded in theology and studied it on almost a daily basis. But after several years at it I discovered that, like the original Bob Newhart TV show character did about psychology, that theology is pretty much a crock! 🙂 Of course the business of theology is pretty much interpreting scriptures.
Many of us get carried away with “interpreting” scriptures. We take a message that says one thing and try to turn it into something else or in some cases we might take add a few words to make it mean exactly what we want. This post is sort of aligned with the one about mining tidbits in scriptures but in my mind intentionally misinterpreting the words to fit a particular agenda, as some seem to do, is even more harmful. I think much of this, especially by the amateur theologian, is a very innocent practice. We read the words and automatically think it means one particular thing. So, we add a word or two to make that meaning clearer. Much of this “adding words” is innocent in nature but some of it is very intentional and not for noble purposes but more for self glorification.
When I personally look at Jesus’ words I try to take them for what they say, not necessarily what I want them to say. In some places I am disappointed that he didn’t go on to say something a little clearer to me but I am not about to intentionally put words in Jesus’ mouth! If anyone has the ability to say what he means it surely was Jesus.
I must admit that when I read the words of Jesus in totality, and I do this on at least a semi-annual basis, he spends too much time talking about the kingdom of heaven and other such things for me. Since I am an altruist through my soul I want him to say more about “the least of these” and being “my brother’s keeper”. He does speak often about that but not enough for me. Some of Jesus’ words just don’t make much sense to me, at least at this stage of my life. I know there are a myriad of theologians out there to “help” me with those areas. I certainly know that there are many who are more wise than I am but in reality I’m pretty sure most are just guessing as I do.
I try very hard is not to add words or change the meanings of what Jesus says to fit my particular agendas. I pray that I will always become aware when I might be trying doing that.