I’ve used this language before:
If they would read the text honestly…
If they would read the Bible with an open heart and an open mind…
If they would put on first century glasses…
I believe that all of the above are necessary when reading the Bible, but we need to be careful not to label other believers as dishonest, close minded, or unreasonable simply because they don’t agree with us.
There is a lot that goes into how someone interprets a passage: a system of hermeneutics, education or lack thereof, resources they’ve read, sermons they’ve heard, and many other factors. On top of that, we all have biases that keep us from seeing the truth in every passage. For a list of those, check out the resource at the bottom of this article.
If labeling a believer as being honest or dishonest depends upon them having perfect knowledge and not reading the Bible with their presuppositions, then none of us are honest.
Unless we have the same level of knowledge as God, we will always bring baggage to the text, and none of us will ever have as much knowledge as God. Does that make us dishonest? No.
Now, that is not to say that futurists are all honest or that no preterist is dishonest, but we need to be careful in labeling 99% of Christianity as dishonest because in doing so, we label ourselves as dishonest since none of us have perfect knowledge.
I know you’ve been hurt, rejected, and shunned. I know you’ve lost friends, family, and maybe even a church family. I know you’ve been written off, written up, and written out. But this is no justification to return evil for evil.
Luke 6:27–28 (NAS): But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
Note: if you are unfamiliar with this terminology, a preterist is someone who believes Bible prophecy has been fulfilled while a futurist is one who sees its fulfillment as future. For the sake of the point, you can replace futurist with many of the -isms that divide believers.
Here are some resources on biases that we all have.:
“Why Don’t they Get It?” – Brian McLaren. This is the book upon which the presentation is based.