Who is Mark Heaney?
I am a man who loves the Lord God. I love the Bible and have been reading it for some thirty years. I believe the way to grow in the things of God is to let the Teacher teach by reading the Bible and obeying its teachings. "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am." Says Jesus Christ in John 13:13 (NIV). To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32 (NIV) You see, if you really belong to Jesus Christ then you will do what he teaches you in your heart. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22 (NIV)
I have no 'official' Christian education. In fact I have consciously avoided contemporary books on Christianity. Why would I do that? It is because I wanted to fill myself with only the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God. The Lord impressed upon my heart the need for me to learn from him and not from religious custom. Most Bible 'teachers' study Bible commentaries and teach what they say, that is, what the 'accepted' interpretation is. While this would be of great value if the commentator was the Apostle Paul, or the Apostle Peter, but if the commentator lacks true wisdom from God, then the commentary may be of little value, and may be a great danger. It is my opinion that this method of study implies that the authority of the commentator is equal to the Word of God.
Proper Bible study involves extensive reading of the scriptures themselves, and then applying what you know from the scriptures in your life. I am not saying that Bible commentaries do not have their place in studying the Bible. Bible commentaries and other contemporary sources should be used, sparingly, and only to open our eyes to things we have not yet considered. If they are from the Spirit they should open-up an exciting understanding within our hearts, and should agree with all the things from the scriptures that we have definite understanding of.
The Lord Jesus Christ places into his body, the Church, all of the tools needed to strengthen it and bring it to maturity. I am such a tool. It is my function, within the body, to search out understandings in the Bible, and then to present them to any who are searching for understanding from God.