*This post has taken both great research and great prayer. The subjects of the following two posts are near and dear to my thoughtful heart*
Speculation is defined as, “the forming of a theory or connector without firm evidence.” I believe that speculation in relation to scripture can be inspiring and even helpful, but too much or the use inappropriate wording can confuse or create crisis where none should be.
Context is a wonderful thing, and verses or passages taken out of context have contributed to some of the largest schisms in the history of the Church. However, engaging in historical entertainment instead of scriptural scrutiny is dangerous.
2 Timothy 1:4b says, “Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don’t help people live a life of faith in God.”
This mistake is most often committed when the teacher or presenter deeply desires his audience or congregation to connect with the message. She/he makes it “current” or spends great time discussing what scholars think “might have happened.”
Sometimes this is exactly what the message needs and leads the group closer to complete understanding. But all things in moderation friends.
I believe there are three ways this behavior goes from helpful/questionable to unacceptable.
1. When the speculation is treated or presented as fact. Do not use the word “is” if the correct word is “might.” If you are teaching on material that is extra-scriptural, you must preface it what it is: an educated guess. No matter how excited or carried away you get with the lesson.
2. When the Bible is considered too boring and needs to be spiced up. Would this happen deliberately? Perhaps not. But I just saw Noah, the new move, and as much as I wanted to appreciate it, it was impossible. The story was much more false than it was true, the message was nearly ignored, and the Lord was presented as distant and even cruel. The word should never be interpreted to meet your needs as a speaker. One must not use the Word. The Word must use you.
3. When the awe of what might be exceeds the awe of what is. The time spent in speculative material should be brief and factual. Teaching the “might be” as the most moving or inspiring part of the lesson is not teaching the word of the Lord. The lesson has become dedicated to the whim of man.
The Word has been called the Love Letter of God, Holy Book, the Law, Sword of the Spirit, and Living Word. Even our Jesus has been referred to as, “The Word.” The sacred message of our great God deserves our utmost respect. Never our manipulation.
“My point is that people need solid food, not possible food. They need a sure word from God, not a guess from man. They need a biblical, “Thus says the Lord,” not a “Maybe God said.” – desiringGod.org
Welcome! I'm a wife, third year music teacher, Jesus follower, and am chronically curious about just about everything. Join me as I kick off this adult life.
"I am the Vine, you are the Branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."