I have been so saddened in recent months as I’ve seen prominent respected Christians pronounce their interpretation of certain scriptures based on a “look-imagine-see” method. What do I mean by “look-imagine-see?” Someone looks at a verse or passage, imagines what they want it to say, and then sees in their mind what they have imagined through twisting word meanings and interpretations. The result of their teaching feels a lot more comfy and cozy with the prevailing cultural views but is not intellectually honest. And, it really boils down to basing truth on someone’s opinion.
Cultural influence on Bible interpretation feeds this “look-imagine-see” method. You look at the passage, imagine a way for it to fit a particular cultural slant, then you see what you want to see. Look-imagine-see. Many types of false teaching through the years have started with this kind of “look-imagine-see” method. Once it starts, it’s like a fiery dragon burning truth in its path. The “look-imagine-see” method leads to error in any discipline based on truth. The brave thing to do is tame the dragon, at least as far as our own approach to Scripture is concerned.