Anakrinontes Tas Graphas (Examining the Scriptures)
Have you ever played ‘The Telephone Game’ as a child? While the game teaches children how rumors can spread and change over time into something totally different and unrecognizable, it should also remind adults that oral traditions and practices change over time. God knows our weaknesses and limitations; He knew we needed everything in the Bible to be written down. And He made the provision for the New Testament books to be written down during the lifetime of the apostles’ and other eye witnesses. It should not come as a surprise that after the death of the apostles, practices and traditions passed down solely by word of mouth were evolving whether intentionally or unintentionally. As the Apostle Paul Himself said in Acts 20:28-31 that after his departure savage wolves will infiltrate the Church, not sparing the flock, and some of those wolves were already among the believers. Study Church history and you will learn about various groups and beliefs which had no biblical foundation in the past. In his providence, our God ensured that Scripture remained unaltered with its message even as the Church endured many diversions.
Evangelical Christians today might believe that they don’t have this problem. They may say something like “Mainline Protestants still hold on to various unscriptural traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, but we don’t!” However, many Evangelicals today who may have abandoned most of the unbiblical beliefs and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church have developed new unbiblical beliefs and traditions such as believing that worldly prosperity is a reflection of spiritual growth, believing that there can be other ways to salvation for mankind other than through the atoning work of our Lord Jesus Christ, confusing love for sinner with condoning sin therefore not effectively communicating the message of repentance and salvation, incorrect beliefs about speaking in tongues, etc. Many take verses out of context to interpret Scripture based on their beliefs and traditions instead of interpreting the Holy Bible based on the Holy Bible. It is essential to study the Holy Bible for multiple reasons namely: to know God better, to know what He wants us to do, and to be able to answer people who take verses out of context. Be like the Bereans, who examined the Scriptures to verify what they were hearing from Paul (see Acts 17:10-11).