Here is a quote from a Facebook comment made today concerning a divisive and difficult point of theological application:
“We all have our own interpretation of what’s right for us, and we’re all correct!”
This is not only rationally ignorant, but it smacks in the face of Scripture’s most basic teaching and 2000 years of church history. Did Jesus believe every interpretation that “worked for us” was valid? Did Paul or any of the apostles? Should Athanasius have simply let Arian move forward with his interpretation of Christ as a created being? Should Augustine have allowed the views of Pelagius to go unchallenged because it was a good interpretation for him?
I know that this side of glory we will always have theological differences of interpretation. There will at times be inappropriate attitudes and judging against those with whom we disagree. It can at times make the whole process seem pointless, so why not just let everyone believe what they want and call it “all correct.” Because it isn’t responsible. Biblical interpretation is not something to which we want to step back and punt. We should approach it with humility and respect, but still make up our minds about what the Bible is saying and how it is applicable today. Interpretive ambiguity is of no help to ourselves or our hearers. Sure, there are times when we must admit “I don’t know the answer.” But we should be diligent in our study, in our prayer life, and in our thinking as to have a solid understanding of what the Bible says and means. It doesn’t matter what we think the Bible says. All that matters is what the Bible says. So let’s work hard on determining what that is and not violate the very basic laws of non-contradiction by asserting “it’s all correct.” As an old professor of mine used to say, “it’s hard work. But it’s important work.”