Posted by: Chris Avery | August 23, 2011

How Do You Determine Truth?

How do you determine truth?

I aim this question specifically at Christians. As a Christian, it seems that what God says in His word would be the authority for what they believe. I would also make the assumption that the word of God is infallible and sufficient. I have found that many people don’t find this to be the case. Or even if they would agree with what I just said, the reality is that they will first go to philosophy or their own thoughts rather than seeking the truth within the word of God.

My example includes 3 responses and is over the doctrine of election or how people are saved and who does the saving. Already, as I say election: (that God chose before the foundation of the world whom would be saved apart from any merit in them) many people have already prepared their arguments in their mind and/or will ignore anything I say after this point.

Person #1. I have my ideas of how God works and will not seek to find out what scripture says on the matter.

This person when met with the definition given above of God’s sovereign election will instantly ask, “What about our free will?” and, “Doesn’t that make us all just robots.” This person has already made up their mind. This person was sent many of the scriptures that support election from scripture. It’s not just 1 or 2 verses, but verses found throughout the Bible, not just some verse that has been twisted to mean what I want them to mean. Several weeks later, this person has admitted that they never bothered to look at the e-mail. Now, I will readily admit that I don’t know what is in peoples’ hearts, but a few of my assumptions are 1. I’ve made up my mind and I don’t care what scripture says. 2. I don’t have the time to bother with finding out what God says. In this case, I’m leaning towards possibility number 2. This is a very busy person. At this point, I might give them the benefit of the doubt that they are as busy as they say. On the other hand, I find with many people that time is still a matter of priorities. I’m guessing this person has some time in their life where they are doing something idle or meaningless. I am guilty of this myself. Throughout scripture we are exhorted to seek out truth and wisdom, but it seems sometimes we just don’t have time to read our Bibles. To all of us I would say, God had bought you with His blood, you are now His slave or bondservant, and you are under His authority and are to do His will and not your own.

Colossians 3:1-2 1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

Person #2. Might be similar to number 1. When confronted with Bible truth will attempt to explain away the verses.

This person will ask for the definition of every word in these texts. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, after seeing dozens of verses on a matter is it possible that when God says “chosen, elect, predestined, according to His will, according to His purpose” that maybe those words actually mean what you would assume they mean.

Person #3 I disagree with what you have said, but I don’t want to be in error. I want to know what God’s word says on the matter. Please help me to understand what the Bible says.

This person has a teachable heart. This person is willing to listen to what scripture has to say. When given the Biblical evidence regarding the matter, they are still hesitant to believe it. I can sympathize with this. If you have believed/been taught a certain way your whole life, it can be difficult to just jump ship. This person is willing to listen and will do their best to find out what God had to say. They are not fully convinced, but they are seeking to know the truth and just need more time to examine this information.

In closing, I exhort you to  renew your mind by reading the scriptures.

Romans 12:1-2 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.


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