Why is there confusion about the Bible and what it teaches?
There are many reasons why there is often confusion regarding the teachings of the Bible. First, there is sometimes confusion because a passage is difficult to understand. For example, a cultural practice or particular word can be misunderstood that causes a person to misinterpret the entire passage.
There is also a spiritual element that seeks to oppose proper understanding of the Bible. Second Corinthians 11:14-15 teaches, "even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds." Ephesians 6:12 adds, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."
Confusion about the Bible can be caused by false teaching or false teachers. For example, in Acts 15 the early church's leaders gathered together due to confusion among the churches. This confusion was the result of false teaching that said converts to Christianity had to obey all of the requirements of the Jewish Law, including circumcision. The apostles ultimately rejected this false teaching, sending letters to the churches regarding this issue.
Still today, false teaching often causes confusion among those who sincerely desire to know what the Bible teaches. For example, some people teach that God promises financial prosperity to those who are faithful to the Lord. While God does teach it is more blessed to give than to receive, it is clear in the New Testament that Jesus and His disciples did not teach "giving to get." Instead, they often spoke of storing up treasures in heaven as well as the reality of suffering in this life for doing good. The modern teaching of prosperity theology is not a belief that accurately reflects the teachings of the Bible.
Another reason for confusion regarding the teachings of the Bible is lack of study. In attempts to make church more comfortable, some churches focus mostly on topical issues that do very little to help listeners learn what the Bible says. Individual Christians are also often at fault, relying on other sources or not faithfully studying Scripture themselves to better understand the Bible's teachings. However, the Bible applauds those who act like the Bereans, who "received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so" (Acts 17:11). Second Timothy 2:15 also teaches, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth."
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