How do we decide what is correct?

It was only a few years ago that I came across a great book that deals with this issue of why we believe certain things and don’t accept other things and why it is that we immediately dismiss others, when an attempt is made to introduce a new concept to us.

For example, if I told you that “this earth is not 4 billion years old but could be as young as 6 to 10 thousand years old”,  your first reaction would probably be “please not another fanatic” or “where did you get educated, you poor soul?”

This is understandable and should not be immediately condemned as we all have a tendency to view things in this way. Firstly, we must point out that no argument should be ignored or simply rejected just because the majority of people think something differently. Fear has never been a good way to broaden our understanding and it has always been responsible for crippling and stopping the progress of our personal development.

It is a well known fact that our outlook on life is driven by the philosophy that we foster, often influenced by our upbringing or education which we have received. There is a well known saying that is phrased differently depending on who is saying it but it goes something along these lines: “Communists would say… give me a child for the first 5 years of his/her life and he/she will stay a Communist for the rest of their lives”. In other words people that are responsible for the education of young minds have enormous responsibility and authority in how they mould their lives.

Today there are a few people who have influenced our thinking and their ideas are present in everything we come across in our everyday encounters.

  • Theory of Evolution and Charles Darwin are a very good example of how society can change in a very short period of time (compare the last 50 – 70 years and you will notice that there is a significant shift in this outlook) and what was once classed as theory can suddenly be accepted as a matter of scientific fact. This has caused many to doubt accounts of the Bible and also to question the validity of God’s existence.
  • Karl Marx and Communism is another well established teaching today. Whilst one can argue that the world has changed and that we are not inclined that way anymore, we could  say that socialism is a new child of Communism and that Karl Marx was responsible for making us think bigger and focus on something other than ourselves. However, one could also argue that they (the new Socialists) have been responsible for removing individualism and creating the collective mentality that has made such a massive blow to our “evolutionary thinking”. This has been achieved by reducing us to being just a small part of the big machinery which is obediently part of the team. We forget that we also possess individual traits that makes us who we are. With sayings like “religion is the opium for the masses” and religion being used as a way of controlling them, doubt was sown in people’s minds that we are able to independently assert our own thoughts and to stop our own exploitation and manipulation by others. However, one should also note that this is also an excellent way to manipulate naive people by telling them that they on their own can achieve anything. The fact is that we are what we are because of the external influences on us. One could argue about genetic makeup and I would certainly argue that God himself has a part in this in that he provides us with gifts that we may not naturally possess. (The reader should remember that this only applies to Christians according to the Bible.)
  • Humanism and humanist philosophers have been greatly responsible for our concerted effort to replace God with ourselves. “Look after number one” is a well known saying today and many people are saying it without an inch of shame, as this is how the rest of the world thinks and so it must be O.K. With the development of science many people have made numerous claims as to how we are going to free humanity and live our lives as we should in self indulgence and complete liberation of any previous constraints we may have had in the past. 

This is why we should always test everything and check our own views, examine what influenced us to have the opinions that we do, and why it is not acceptable to us to even consider something like the Bible.

One thing is for sure, the Bible makes some bold claims. “The word of God” will be with us forever and if everything changes when the latest trends in philosophy come and go the Bible will stand the test of time.

It’s remarkable to see that even today it spans several Millenia. The Bible contains 66 books documented by different people (different writers but the same author ie God) but there is the same consistent message within it. There are prophesies in the Old testament which are often more than 400 years apart that have been fulfilled in the New Testament.

The fact is that the Bible talks about the earth (that earth is round and hangs on nothing) and other similar subjects that have been confirmed by science 3 or 4 thousand years later. Initially this was dismissed as many other nations held completely different views on these subjects. Remember that it was said that the “earth was flat” and carried by the elephants etc.

Simply put, it is a remarkable book that deserves more than just a fleeting glance through it.  After all, it claims to be the word of God and I believe that it is. We need to be reminded about the teachings that it gives us, the claims that it makes about us, life and death and most importantly God’s desire to have a real relationship with us.

So today I just want to challenge you to examine your ideas and then to have the courage to look at what the Bible is saying, test it in any way you like but just stay honest to yourself and see where this will take you.  You may be surprised just as I was when I decided to make that step.

I wish you success as you begin your journey.

Defend the Word

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