What was he talking about? I remember my first day after moving to Brooklyn, New York asking someone for directions. They said, “Go three blocks and turn left at the “L” and…” I interrupted, “L Street?” “No, turn left at the “L.” “The “L?” I asked, very puzzled.
His irritated response was, “Where are you from?” No, I wasn’t a native and had no idea what the “L” was. However, I learned quickly that, “L,” actually meant the elevated subway train.
There are times when we hear things that we are unfamiliar with, and do not have a clue what they mean. But other times we hear things we are familiar with and we do understand what they mean. But actually, if you think about it, we only understand according to what we think it means.
For example, not long after we got settled in Brooklyn, we were invited to supper at Fannie’s house. We were told to expect a great Italian dinner and that Fannie’s gravy was the best. I was a little apprehensive at the thought of having gravy on Italian food. Why?
Growing up in the Midwest, we always referred to the tomato sauce for Italian dishes as, “sauce.” Gravy, to me, meant a brown sauce that you put over turkey or meat; certainly something one would never put on pasta. But in Brooklyn, we learned that tomato sauce was called, gravy. And Fannie’s gravy was outstanding!
When it comes to Christianity there are a lot of differing beliefs. Mention something to one Christian and he understands it differently than another Christian. That is because the two of them have been taught differently.
If you share with someone that you have been “baptized,” they may understand it to mean you have been fully submersed in water. Someone else may understand that as having water poured or sprinkled on your head. Still others may conclude that there was no water involved at all.
What Difference Does It Make?
I know some feel it makes no difference as to what you believe, as long as you love God and try to be a good person. That’s their opinion, and they are entitled to it. But what are they basing that opinion on? What the standard for right living as they see it?
How can so many Christians, who profess that the Bible is the Word of God, come up with so many different opinions and beliefs regarding the same subject? Each believes they are right, and each can point to a verse or two to substantiate their beliefs.
If the Bible is indeed the Word of God, are we to believe that what God speaks to us in Scripture can be taken and understood in many different ways? We certainly wouldn’t want people to take that approach to our words, would we? What about God’s words?
So How Do You Get To The Truth?
After many years of studying the bible, I believe whatever topic or subject you want to understand, you must take into consideration every verse of Scripture related to that topic or subject. That’s really the only honest way to approach it. But for many, that’s just too much work. They would rather have someone just tell them the answer.
But it really is an excellent starting point for understanding what the Bible has to say about what you think you already know and understand. And, if you find your belief is not substantiated in the Bible, you have a choice: keep your current belief, or change.
It seems today there are about as many different ways preached on how to gain salvation, as there are ways to prepare good sauce or gravy. But what does the Bible have to say about you being saved and having eternal life? Wouldn’t a topic of that magnitude be worth a look in the Book? (Romans 10:9 and 10 is an excellent place to start!)
Some cooks have their own way of preparing a certain dish, while others prepare the same kind of dish differently. That’s cool! And, during our time in Brooklyn, we ate some really delicious food. But, when it comes to spiritual truths, I want to understand the Bible so I can base my beliefs on what God said to be true, don’t you?