Studying the word of God can be done in one of two ways. You either start with your conclusions and find them in the scriptures (what is called eisegesis) or start with the text and investigate what it says (exegesis).
I have noticed a trend. Those who are most certain about their beliefs tend to present lessons in a more topical/eisegesis way – the Bible says X, Y, and Z and you can find that here, here and here. But those passages may not even actually be about the topic they say it is about.
On the other hand, a person who does not believe they already know everything is coming to the text to learn rather than to confirm. Those who believe they already know everything don’t feel they have much to learn. The truth has been discovered and locked in a box to be pulled out and used as convenient. But the reality is the scriptures have depth to them we can never fully understand…when you come to the Bible believing that you will investigate to learn rather than study to confirm what you already believe.
Now, I do believe studying to confirm has a place. There are bedrock truths we need to go to the scriptures and make sure they say what we believe them to say to understand for ourselves and so we can present that information to others. But if all you ever do it study to confirm what you already believe your spiritual growth will be stunted.
Following your own advice is my suggestion. One of the things made clear during the Covid epidemic is how much “we” spend on payroll, paid staff. Not only that, but “we” even applied for millions in government funding to pay these bills.
So, as you read through the pages of Scripture, help me understand how you can defend the professional clergy “we” have created, based on exegesis..?
Just wondering…how we have come from the disciples proclaiming the message as they travel everywhere to using a headhunting agency, including focus groups etc. at the rate of thousands, to fin “the Minister, the New Leader?
Exegesis did not get us there, so the only other option is?
Many came to confirm. Preachers wrote and delivered and older people expected long sermons using many “proof texts” to confirm and support arguments that were sometimes questionable. The cofC became known for taking the Bible out of context. Sadly, few people in the pews ever heard entire portions of scripture such as the birth of Christ, the book of Jonah, the parables, and the genuine love of people shown by Paul in his epistles.