That’s Your Interpretation!!
by Ronald W Robey
“That’s your interpretation!”
Those were the words that echoed in my ears one afternoon during a conversation over the telephone.
The person on the other end informed me that my interpretation of Scripture concerning the tithe was not the same as hers, and that frankly, I had many people worried about me.
My question is, “Why?”
What are they worried for? How is my interpretation damaging to the truths written in God’s Word? Are we not to interpret Scripture in the manner in which it is written? Or are we to believe that any and all interpretations are right?
Did Elijah ascend to Heaven in a whirlwind? or was it in a tractor beam? What about John the Baptist? Was he wearing garments made of camel hair? or was it silk? Was he eating locust’s and honey? or was it venison and barbecue sauce?
Whether some want to accept it or not, the way we interpret Scripture is important. The Apostle Paul, in his second epistle to the Church at Corinth, wrote:
2 Corinthians 4:1-2 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
The ministers of God are not to handle the Word of God deceitfully, but are rather told to manifest the Truth.
That being said, I cannot agree with such statements as “That’s your interpretation!!, ” or, “We all have our own interpretations!!” or, “Just because a person has a different take on Scripture, doesn’t mean they are wrong.” God’s Word does not allow for false interpretation. To falsely interpret God’s Word and to teach that false interpretation is not an example of “manifesting the Truth” Truth does matter. It matters more than falsehood.
Concerning God’s tithe, many claim money is to be tithed, yet they never provide Scripture that commands one to tithe one’s money. Many say the Church is to receive tithes, but where is the Scripture that says such? Why is there never any Scripture given to support their claim?
Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
At what point in History did teaching the commandments of men become acceptable in the Sanctuary? Since when did pastors decide that their seminary training was right and God’s Word was not? Has the Church become like rebellious Israel and decided to do that which seems right in their own eyes?
I have laid out the challenge in the past. Pastor, spiritual leader, layman, Church member who has been attending Church for decades, … where is my doctrine not lining up with Scripture? If I am wrong, it is your responsibility, not just to tell me I’m wrong, but to show me where I am wrong. In the same manner, if you are wrong, it is my responsibility to tell you that you are wrong and to show you where you are wrong.
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
I keep getting blasted for my stance on tithing. Well, if I am wrong, don’t just tell me I am wrong… show me I am wrong using the word of God. The word of God is not just given for rebuke, it is also given for doctrine, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
To tell someone they are wrong without teaching them the right does no good whatsoever.
The Word of God tells us to “Search the Scriptures.” The noble Bereans “searched the Scriptures” to see if what was being taught by the Apostles was indeed what the Scriptures actually said.
It seems to me some are just not willing to “Search the Scriptures,” or to provide Scriptural “instruction” when it comes to the tithe.
I challenge all to “Search the Scriptures” to see if what I teach is so. If what I teach is in err, show me the Scriptures that say I am in err. Don’t just say, “That’s your interpretation.” Don’t just say, “We all have our own interpretation.”
Interpretation matters. Just as reading a map wrong will lead someone away from the place they are needing to go, so also wrong interpretation will lead a person in the wrong direction.
Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Wrong interpretation only leads to the broad path to destruction.