Before Bible Discussions Will Benefit Us, We Have to Read by the Same “Rules”

May 26, 2009 by  
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I had a great Memorial Day. First, I got to sleep in, which was important because Trina, my 18-month old, had a little accident on Sunday night and woke up several times throughout the night because of it. Don’t worry, it wasn’t major and she is doing much better now. Second, since the rain was held at bay, I was able to do some landscaping work. I had to build up our front flower bed, which involved hauling a bunch of landscaping bricks up the hill through my yard and redistributing a bunch of dirt. My arms, legs, and back are a bit sore today. However, to top the day off, my family was invited to a good friend’s house for a cookout and volleyball. What a blast.

However, I learned last night that almost no one knows the rules of volleyball have changed. In fact, you probably aren’t aware they have changed. Don’t worry, until Tessa started playing for a local league, I had no idea. You may believe that in volleyball you only score on the serve. Not anymore. Actually, someone scores every time. Whoever wins the rally or the volley gets a point whether their team served or not. You may have thought a volleyball game was played to 15 or perhaps 21. Not so. It is now played to 25 with one exception. If you are playing a match, you will play best 2 out of 3 or best 3 out of 5 games. In this case, if the series goes to the final tie-breaking game, that final game is played to 15. 

I tried to tell the other players, but they mocked me and acted like I was out of my mind. I encouraged them to Google it. If they did, they’ll find what I found–new rules.

I also learned something else last night, something more important than just the fact that almost no one knows that the rules for volleyball have actually changed. I learned that in order to play a game, you have to agree on the rules. We got started and the other team served. My team won the point. Then I served and my team won that point. I called out the score, “Two serving zero,” and everyone accept Tessa, my son Ethan, and one other player went berserk. We had to spend 5 to 10 minutes determining exactly how we were going to play. As old habits die hard, we played the old way. However, at least we all had a standard by which we could judge the game. Even if we didn’t like the standard (Tessa hated it), we knew what was expected and how to play.

This reminds me of most Bible discussions today. Too often folks just plow into a discussion about whether or not something is right or wrong and they get nowhere. They leave the discussion and simply can’t understand why the other person didn’t get it. Usually, the problem is they were playing by different rules. They don’t disagree simply because they disagree about the one issue. They disagree because they read the Bible differently. If I can describe it this way, they’re using different sets of rules.

II Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

God gave us the Bible so we could serve and glorify Him through the good works He has planned for us. However, before we can have good discussions about those good works, we need to be playing by the same rules. Before you get involved with someone else about a Bible discussion, back up and discuss how to use the Bible. You might be surprised the differences you find and you might have some more fruitful discussions with people.

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