The Chapel of Christ
409 West Marion Street, Shelby
Sunday mornings at 10:30

How Christian Beliefs are Developed

You can't help but notice that Christians don't agree with each other.  There are many different versions of Christianity, many differences among Christians over what are the "correct" beliefs.  Different Christians believe all sorts of different things, but yet all these different beliefs supposedly come from the same Bible.  How can that be?

Well, the Bible is not a list of beliefs, it is a collection of ancient writings.  Christian beliefs are derived from interpreting these ancient writings.  Different people interpret them differently.  But more importantly, people have a tendency to focus only on a few things and develop beliefs from those few things.

The most common way Christian beliefs have been developed is that a few selected verses are pulled from the Bible, and they are interpreted in a certain way.  The things that point to a different conclusion are minimized.

That is how virtually all Christian beliefs have been developed--focus on a handful of verses or short passages, put a certain interpretation on them, then sidestep verses and passages that don't go along with that.

This is the "cut-out method."  Out of the 31,102 verses in the Bible, pull out a few, use only them, and then find some way to minimize verses that present another viewpoint.

This is the major reason why there is so much variety of beliefs in Christianity.  One group selects one set of verses and puts a certain interpretation on them, another group selects a different set of verses and puts a certain interpretation on them, another group selects yet a different set of verses and puts a certain interpretation on them, and so on and so on.  This is done across the entire Christian spectrum. 

The end result is a myriad of different groups within Christianity, all having different--and contradictory--beliefs.

There's no doubt the Bible has to be broken down into smaller parts in order to study it, but the "cut-out method" does not work.

Any individual thing in the Bible has to be seen in light of the entire sweep of the Bible.  You first have to stand back and look at the forest, not the individual trees.  The entire Bible, in all its wonderful complexity, has to be seen as a whole.  Any part of it must be considered first of all in its relation to the whole.

That's what The Chapel of Christ tries to do, and that's why The Chapel of Christ is so different than church.