How to Understand the Bible

What was Jesus' plan for us to know Him? When He ascended into Heaven did He leave us a book and say, "good luck."

So many Christians today simply turn to the Bible and then interpret it as they see fit. We all have biases. We are all impacted by our environment and culture. The Bible says, "How can I know what it says unless someone teaches me????" Our families, teachers, preachers and friends can impact how we understand Sacred Scripture. Without an authority, we have a strong natural tendency to fit the Bible's teachings and God into our own image and likeness. 

What good is in infallible book without an infallible interpreter? 

My friend just got the Apple X and is stoked about it. The problem is that he has very little data and is on a bad network. I will ask him to check out this video and he will say, "wait till I get to the hotel wifi" or I will call him and it will get dropped. My point is that even an Apple X has little effectiveness without good data and signal. It has great potential, but on its own it is not that great.

The Holy Spirit worked through His Church to give us the Bible, and the Bible doesn't fully make sense when it is ripped from the Church and we are left to interpret it on our own. 

Its like my atheist friends tell me how they can be good without God. Well, yes, you can be, but without God there is no such thing as goodness or right and wrong. There needs to be an objective moral standard to determine these things. They then say, well we can all agree with almost all of the morals/values of our culture today, so why can't we just accept those that we agree on. Just like removing the Bible from the Church that gave it to us and interprets it accurately, the Atheist wants to hijack the morals and values from the culture that came from Christianity, but set Christianity aside. These morals break down when ripped away from God and our man-made attempts to self-interpret and self-govern open up the giant slippery slope of division. 

I heard a great analogy from an acquaintance who was a staunch atheist who discovered God after the birth of her first child (she was actually a scholar and popular atheist blogger). She wanted to get to know God and she looked into the many different world religions. Coming to the belief that Jesus is who He claimed to be, she became Christian. She eventually entered the Catholic Church since she believed it was more rational to trust the reason/logic of those brilliant united, Christian theologians who have gone before her, than her own personal interpretation of Scripture (or other man-made attempts). She said that the Protestant faith is like if we had a Constitution, but no Governing body (Executive, Legislative and Judicial). 

I thought that to be a powerful analogy worth sharing and it makes me think of what businesses like Apple would be like without any authority.  Of course these analogies in the case of countries and businesses break down because the authorities are imperfect, but in the case of the Church, since it is guided by the Holy Spirit, it remains the "Pillar and Foundation of truth" and fulness of the Christian faith. 

Ripping the Bible away from the Church (or any of her teachings) breaks down since they are not in full context. Before Jesus ascended into heaven He did not say, "figure it out." Jesus said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whoever's sins you forgive, they are forgiven... Whoever hears you, hears me ... Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven ... Go make disciples of all nations ... teaching them to observe all that I have taught you. I will be with you always." Jesus left us a Church whose teachings we can trust. A Church whose primary role is to evangelize and to set it on fire with His love!