One of the things that I have always loved about my church is the importance that is placed on learning and applying accurate bible doctrine in one’s life. While growing up in the church, my various experiences were not one that I found conducive to learning. For one thing, it is very important when teaching something, to teach it in context. In order to do that, one has to teach an entire paragraph, or chapter, and not just take out a random sentence and teach me that it means something specific. I personally see that as equivalent to taking a page out of a book, and expecting me to know what happened based off of that snippet of informaiton. I found this method of teaching to be the majority of my experience growing up, which was not useful for me, and in some cases led to learning things incorrectly.
Another thing that was not useful from my past experiences, were the things that were lost in translation. It is fair to say that things can easily be lost in translation, and that can easily confuse the receiver of the message. Even in the American English language there are several words that have different definitions based off of the context (I read a chapter of the book/I am going to read a chapter in the book). So in an environment were there are a lot of Bible translations, it is no wonder that things can get confused, and taught incorrectly.
Those were my previous experiences, and I am fortunate to say that I am in neither of those environments today. The first thing I love about my church is the time that is spent learning the doctrine in context. Instead of learning, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind”, we begin our study at the beginning of Romans Chapter 12, and work through the end of the chapter. For instance right now, we are studying the entire book of Romans. We started the study at Romans Chapter 1 verse 1, and last week we finished up to Romans Chapter 12 verse 8. It takes a long time to make it through an entire book like Romans, but the amount of learning gained from that dedication to study is priceless.
The second thing that I love about my church, is the time taken to acquire the proper definition of the terminology used in our studies. Time is spent looking up the Hebrew or Greek, respectively in order to ensure that we are learning correct information. This is something that I have found to be very beneficial, and important as I have continued to learn. There are several things that I thought I learned in my experiences growing up, but finding out the actual definition of a word, and reading it in it’s full context has shown me that there were definitely things to go back and truly learn.
If your experiences were in any way similar to the things that I have described, know that there is a way to find the truth that you seek. I would encouraged you to take the time to read the entire chapter the next time one verse is taught to you. You may be amazed at the true meaning of the passage.
If you are curious about my church, past lessons are available online, and new lessons are posted each week.