I heard someone use a phrase the other day that I thought was interesting. He was speaking of self-proclaimed preachers who have a Bible and an agenda. His point was either they were self-promoters or had some pet doctrine that they were consumed with and they used the Bible to their ends. It got me thinking that this might be more common than we think.
I don't want to be a preacher with a Bible and my own agenda. There are plenty of people that have in their minds how this country should be or what the church should look like or how the person in the pew next to them should be living and the Bible is used to push what they already believe. Instead we should be concerned with what the Bible teaches whether it fits well with the way we already think or not.
It is sometimes difficult to approach the Bible afresh each time we open it but it is not impossible. We need to be careful not to see it as a few thousand verses of proof texts but instead see it as God explaining to us the issues of life and salvation. What he says is important should be important to us. What the Bible does not make much over, neither should we.
At its center is Christ and his glory. If we study the Bible to find out more about him and his work and less about trying to prove we are right over some side issue that doesn't affect holiness, then it seems we will have a better chance of coming away with a message from the Lord and not with our own message. The Bible is not a tool to use as much as it is a word from God to give us life and light. God is explaining his agenda, not turning us loose on each other.