Once in a while, something the opposition says is true, and must be carefully considered… However in a state of war, we may prefer to deny the truth in what they say so that we can point out how they missed the mark overall. But, I don’t think people of truth should behave that way. We owe it to the truth to accept it, however it is thrown at us! It also lets our opponents know they are dealing with credible, sincere people…and hopefully, it might disarm them against resisting the truth in what you are saying as well.
Declaring that one agrees with an Atheist may be considered betrayal or even spiritual suicide (seeing as you gave concession to the voice of doubt), but here goes anyway! This lady responded to a post I made on another blog:
“Obviously from Paul’s point of view being wrong would mean, as you said, that god is real and there is no savior. No forgiveness for sins.
For my own personal interest: what if there is no god? In that “wrong” scenario, I suppose remaining in our sins would lose all meaning. And perishing would only matter to those who believe because they want eternal life. Paul doesn’t speak to my question because god was always on the table and eternal life was a big selling point.
But really, my only problem with Christianity is its need to destroy doubt entirely. Not in Jesus, but in the religion that has been built around Jesus. It’s dangerous, especially when you consider how detailed the list of things you cannot doubt have become. We can thank the Bible and church leaders for that. You believe Jesus died for our sins? Great. Go ahead and stand firm on that. If it makes you happy, that is wonderful.
But it doesn’t stop there. Christians everywhere are plugging their ears and stomping their feet when any part of the Bible is questioned, never willing to consider that they could be wrong about anything at all. It isn’t realistic. And from an outsider’s point of view it is terrifying. Using that method, any horrible idea man can create can be backed by the word of god. We’ve seen it happen, and in spite of what many may believe- it does not have to be an ugly side to faith. It can be overcome.
It’s irresponsible to be blind on that count. You owe it to god, Jesus, and anyone worth consideration to be critical of what has been passed down; including historical church decisions, and anything Paul had to say.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. When Christians come back with the answer: “Yup, I looked into it and it turns out I’m still right about everything in the universe because god has revealed it” I have a hard time taking them seriously.
If questioning man’s interpretation of god is a slippery slope toward doubt, it is only because it dissolves much of what we know about god. So what? Maybe we don’t know as much as we think we do. If that simple truth causes you to be “shaken by doubt” then maybe you need to be shaken.
I doubt I am the only one who agrees with her on the points I have highlighted. If I was truly the only one who agreed, then there would be really no such thing as denominationalism. The Church would still be governed by one authority, being the Roman Catholic Church. But many before me, questioned their exercise of authority, their understanding and application of scripture, and decided to think for themselves, believing that the Holy Spirit is still in the business of leading all of us to the truth.
Problem is, every new denomination that arises likes to state the beliefs that they expect everyone to accept without question! Is this an advancement or a game of control? The way I see it, the Truth is one big mountain that God calls each one of us to navigate, with Him as our guide. However, someone learns a new truth and decides to set up camp around it, while ignoring the Spirit to move on up! Others join him or her to settle there, and what do you know, they have a church! Someone else questions their flawed teaching, because it doesn’t take into consideration other truth, and moves on up. Unfortunately, they tend to also find a comfortable spot on the mountain to set up camp!
Those who hunger and thirst after God’s righteousness, though they may linger for a time at certain spots (or camps or churches) on the mountain, their allegiance to God’s Spirit alone causes them to arise and continue up the mountain at His leading! This is what it means to live by faith, and to have a personal relationship with God.
Jesus taught us that the least in the Kingdom of God is greater that the greatest prophet that ever lived (Matt 11:11)!!! Can you even imagine that? Yet, you would not suspect at all, because Christians everywhere hang on the message of the prophets, while rejecting Christ’s own words! We revere Paul’s and Peter’s words to the status of God’s own words, while we are afraid to even try listen to God ourselves! It is on this basis, that a fellow believer told me he couldn’t fathom why I would say that the Bible is fallible – because how then can he be sure what God says???
God gave us each a conscience, such that even those who did not have the law observed the law (Rom 2:14), as it was embedded in their consciences! God is greater than our conscience (1 John 3:20-21), and His Spirit was promised to us, to lead us into all truth (John 16:13). We don’t need to afraid of what He will reveal to us (Luke 11:11-13). We can use our conscience as a guage, and the Bible as a guage, without making either the voice of God! We have to submit all that we think we know, and unplug our ears, if we want to hear from God at all!
It is as if we are back to the time of the Israelites in the wilderness, when they asked Moses to go up alone, that they will wait at the bottom of the mountain and do what God tells him to tell them. But we, who are born again into a new covenant, are called to be a royal priesthood, where each one of us journeys with God up the mountain of truth! Do we learn from others? Yes. But we do not discard our own ability to reason, if we are genuinely interested in the truth.
Faith is strengthened while challenged, and all ministers of truth must be refined by that fire. The truth is not our enemy, and if we let it refine us, it will truly set us free as Christ promised (John 8:32). That is when we prove our faith to be genuine, and based on true personal knowledge of God, rather than a mindless submission to tradition.
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