All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for . . . correcting. . . . (2 Tim. 3:16, NIV).
Peter Green is a translator from Canada who used to serve with the Tagbanwa people in the Philippines. He was working with a Tagbanwa neighbour named Militon to translate Scriptures. Peter continually asked him questions to see if the message was being conveyed correctly.
When they came to the story of how Lazarus died and went to heaven, Peter asked, “Militon, where will you go when you die?”
“That is a serious question,” Militon replied. “I can’t answer now. I will have to think about it.”
Each time Peter asked Militon how this applied to him personally, he said he would think about it, leading Peter to think the man was putting him off.
Several months later, Peter left the village for a few months. When he returned, he learned that Militon’s wife had died. Shocked because the woman wasn’t sick when he left, Peter wondered if her death would discourage Milton from accepting Christ.
When Peter next had the chance to be with Militon, he asked if he had thought about the things they had translated. “Oh yes, I am believing now,” he replied, before telling his story. Militon said he had wanted to believe earlier, but his wife held him back. He would come home excited and explain what he was learning, but she would say it was all white men’s lies.
“We have our own ways,” she insisted, “and they are good.”
When Militon went to church, his wife refused to cook a meal when he returned.
A week after his wife died, Militon had a dream in which his wife appeared to him. “Don’t travel the trail that I’m travelling on now. It’s an overgrown trail and not good. You travel a different trail.”
The next day Militon started on a new trail, following Christ. God’s Word had finally corrected his way.
Other people’s opinions and viewpoints can interfere with God’s correction from His Word. But Scripture should always be heeded. After all, as the opening words in 2 Timothy 3:16 teach us, the Bible is inspired by the very Lord of the universe!
Staff profile: Peter and Betty Green