IF you are a doctor and you are treating a patient, what is supposed to be your oath? Doctors have the Hippocratic Oath. I really don’t know its contents. But one thing I do know is that any doctor is bound by this principle: “First, do no harm.” Meaning, as a doctor, you should not do or say anything to worsen the patient’s condition.
Since we are speaking about the Bible, as a theologian, philosopher or preacher, what is your oath? Before you speak about God, the Bible and religion, what should be your guiding principle? I believe it should be: “First, do no hypocrisy; do no misrepresentation of the Bible, God and religion; do no distortion of the words of God, words of Jesus and the prophets. Do no hiding of the complete and most important truth.
Why is the world in chaos and confusion today? Because the words in the Bible were presented in a lump. There was no distinction or segregation as to heads or tails, chaff or wheat, important or trivial, historical truth or eternal truth, facts of opinion, and so on and so forth.
As a preacher, you should let the Bible speak for itself. You should let God speak for himself. You should let Jesus speak for himself. You should let the wise men like the prophets, disciples and apostles speak for themselves.
Do not misrepresent God, Jesus and the Bible. Do not distort their words. You should distinguish historical, spiritual and religious aspects of the Bible. You should segregate historical truths from eternal truths. Do no hypocrisy. No hiding of any truth. You should teach to spread knowledge. But you should not control the minds of your students. Let them think freely and allow them to change their minds.
We should study, read and preach the Bible in relation with the present reality.
Do not take the Bible for granted. Study it seriously and sincerely only with an aim to make the world a better place for all.--Chito Germino, Mandaue City