Within Christianity there are many different views about what the bible teaches. One of the reasons for these many different views is the basis upon which a person or group of people begin to interpret the Bible.
Establishing a sound basis from which to begin to understand the Bible is important if you are going to find the truth and be set free from ignorance, fear and futile thinking.
Here are a couple of misconceptions that seem to bind people that call themselves Christians or, more correctly, identify themselves by some religious persuasion (Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Fundamental) and carry a denominational brand; be it Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican (Episcopalian), Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Reformed, United Pentecostal, Assembly of God, Apostolic, Seventh Day Adventist, and so on.
One is that that Bible is the living word of God, when in fact the Bible states that Jesus is the Living Word of God and the Bible merely bears witness to him.
Another is that the Old Testament is no longer relevant for today, since it has been superseded by the New Testament.
Some more are:
You have to study to show yourself approved of God.
The King James Version is the Only True Word of God.
Man is completely and utterly incapable of doing a good act.
The Church is built upon the Apostle Peter.
If you do not accept the historical church dogma and statements of faith, you are of the devil.
Unless you are baptized, or sprinkled with water, you are going to eternal punishment.
Praying to saints is acceptable to God.
The second commandment of the Ten Commandments about manufacturing images and bowing before them does not really matter.
Once a person is saved, that person cannot lose his or her salvation.
All Catholics are going to hell.
All Protestants are going to hell.
Anybody who does not speak in unknown tongues is not saved and going to hell.
There is no such thing as eternal punishment.
Unless you keep the Sabbath, you cannot be saved.
Unless you believe the Earth was created in seven twenty-four hour periods, you are deceived.
God has ceased performing miracles like those recorded in the Bible.
The gifts of the Spirit are not available today.
Unless you speak in unknown tongues you have not been baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Speaking in unknown tongues is of the Devil.
The parable about talents is not about money, it is about abilities and gifts.
Good works will get you to heaven.
God does not require people to reason.
God is not really interested in human affairs.
God has not given humans a free will.
God has decided people’s destiny before they are born, so that nobody has any say whether in whether he or she shall go to eternal torment or share in heavenly bliss
God knows everything there is to be known ever.
God is not capable of creating anything he has not thought of yet.
The list goes on. There are so many erroneous ideas about God and man’s purpose for being on this earth, trying to work out what is true and false, right and wrong, incorrect or correct is similar to searching through a rubbish dump.
However, I can point out a couple of truths that you cannot deny. And if you are starting from the truth, then you will have a sound basis to progress towards gaining the freedom that comes with the truth.
First truth: Nobody asked to be born.
Second truth: Nobody would ask to be born on this earth only to die.
And a third truth is if anybody asked to born on this earth and they are going to die, this is nothing but futility. All this means is being born only to die is futile.
To me the basis of all truth has to be self-evident. If you start with self-evident truth, then you have a solid foundation with which to begin understanding what is true.
As Jesus said, ”The truth shall set you free.”