Brother Michel Lankford
Our paradigms are powerful things. They greatly influence how we read, how we understand, how we interpret, and how we apply Scripture.
What is a Paradigm?
A functioning framework containing the foundational and most basic assumptions, ways of thinking, methodologies, or procedures, that are most commonly accepted by members of a particular scientific community or field of study.
OR: A Philosophy or belief system that a person or a community regards to be so completely true and certain that it becomes the foundation, pillar, or standard by which many other beliefs, philosophies, and behaviors are measured and tested for their validity. In other words, a paradigm is a belief that is so completely accepted to be true among a group of people, that it becomes a standard form of measurement to judge whether other beliefs and ideas are true or not.
We Need a Good Straight Edge to Measure Straight Lines
If your initial paradigm (your measuring stick) is factually accurate, straight and true, then any other beliefs that you build based on those Standards of measurement will have a much better chance of being true, accurate, functional and safe. Conversely, if your initial paradigm (your measuring stick) is factually false, crooked, and more based on personal desires,and false assumptions over facts, then any other beliefs that you build based on those false standards of measurement will be even more false, crooked, unreliable and unsafe.
The Messiah summarized the whole concept this way:
As It Is Written: ““The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!(Matthew 6:22–23 NASB95)
- Key: We all have Paradigms and preconceived ideas. Some are good. Some are bad.
- Key: Whether we like it or not, our paradigms WILL and DO influence the conclusions that we draw as we read and study the Scriptures.
- Key: Different paradigms can cause people who both believe YHWH and the Scriptures to be TRUE, to draw out vastly DIFFERENT conclusions from reading the SAME verses of Scripture. It’s all because they are looking at the same words with different glasses, as it were.
- Key: It is a common DANGER to try to evaluate what we think Scripture says, in a way that most comfortably and easily fits and agrees with what we already think, desire, and believe to be true.
- Key: It is a most CRUCIAL discipline of discipleship that we MUST submit to God, and allow Him and His Word to CHANGE us, and our thinking to agree with God and what HE THINKS and what HE SAYS is right. We MUST NOT try to twist and force Scripture to say what we already think and believe to be true. This is one of the most neglected disciplines in modern day Christianity.
As It Is Written: “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.(Romans 12:1–2 NASB95)