“My father says that’s what ministers are for. To tell us what the Bible says and then to interpret it.” Carrie’s voice rose in stubborn defiance. She could not explain why she was close to tears.
Abby edged closer. “Carrie, listen to what I am about to say.” Her voice, though low, was more intense than Carrie had ever heard it. “This has nothing to do with our differing beliefs about slavery. It has everything to do with how you’ll make decisions for the rest of your life.” Abby waited several moments for Carrie to regain control. “Carrie, the church is made up of people. The ministers who stand and preach the word of God are nothing but people. Yes, many of them have been called by God to serve in that way, but they are still just people. And people make mistakes. People, even ministers, form opinions and beliefs based on their own experiences and their own interpretations. How else can you explain two men—both ministers of God—standing in their pulpits delivering vastly different messages about the same issue?”
Carrie leaned forward now, intent on every word coming out of Aunt Abby’s mouth. Somehow she knew this was critically important. Abby continued. “Both men obviously believe what they are saying enough to preach it to whomever will listen, but,” she said earnestly, “those men are not God. Only God holds the real truth. And I believe he will give it to anyone who honestly seeks and asks questions. The Bible says ‘all who seek me will find me.’ It is good to listen to what people have to say. Listen, and then examine it. Read the Bible yourself and then ask God to show you the truth. That’s the only truth you can stand on—the only truth that will not falter when attacked by others around you.”
“That’s a lot of work.”
“Yes,” Abby said flatly, her eyes kind, “and that is exactly why most people are merely sheep being led by the person who steps forward claiming to be their shepherd. It’s much easier to be blindly led along. They echo sentiments put forth by someone else without knowing God’s mind, and certainly without knowing His heart.”
From Storm Clouds Rolling In by Ginney Dye
This is why I love inductive Bible study so much. I want to know what God says about things rather than just listen to what Jen gave to say. God gave us His Word that we might know Him.