You Can Handle The Truth!
Do you know what the awesome thing about truth is? It’s true! It holds up to scrutiny. When it’s challenged, it always resurfaces.
Many people believe that the reason we believe the way we do is because we have been programmed to, whether it be externally or internally. The truth is, this may be true for many Christians. They believe because they were raised that way or told certain things. I know of people who fully believe they are Christians yet totally deny what it is to be one. How could you possibly be if you just aren’t? In my house we have always endeavored to not just teach that the Bible is true, but also why it is. This “why” that many believers are afraid of is a very important step in our faith.
Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with someone from a very different faith. They were very nice, somewhat knowledgeable, but also very naive. What I mean is, this young man had no real world experience and was therefore blind to some basic truths. I have learned over the years that there are two basic ways that you can learn about something, that is either by someone telling you, or by experiencing it on your own. I am not saying either is right or wrong because both have the ability to deceive, but I know this: anything that is true will still be true later.
An example of this is gravity. Gravity is a force we all experience, we are all affected by, yet we may not have full knowledge of it. Before people really understood it, there were ideas about it but those ideas were not reliable until they were proven. People have many ideas of truth but that doesn’t make them truth. We hear statements like “my truth” but can something that only seems true for one person really be truth? That is what used to be referred to as deception.
Hence the chaos of religion. People make claims based on what they have been told, based on culture, based on their experiences, based on what they think but none of these things make truth. Have you ever been sure of something only later to find out you were wrong? If you were honest, the reason is because you probably believed something without having all the facts. So how does one know what to believe? Whose doctrine is right? Let me first say what I’m about to say really only applies if you already believe in a Greater power. It’s a different conversation if you believe in nothing at all. That said, what is true?
This first step to understanding truth is to realize that you, or anyone you know, doesn’t have the market cornered on truth. If you believe so you are already deceived and will be resistant to receive things that will challenge what you know. I love what Jesus said in John 14:11. “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.” In other words, even if you don’t believe what I’m telling you, believe the proof that is presented. God gave humanity this leeway into believing. God Himself did not expect man just to believe words, but facts. Anything I believe about God should be verifiable externally. God allows this because if something is not challenged then it can be manipulated.
I’ve heard many Christians from different faiths claim that their faith is based in the scriptures, then when presented with something from scripture that challenges them, out right deny it. That makes what they said originally not so true. Maybe their faith is loosely based in scripture, but is that a safe place to throw it all in? If the Bible is not trustworthy in one area, then it is trustworthy in no area. I am not saying that a word or phrase couldn’t be mistranslated or misunderstood, I am saying the foundational tenets of the scripture have to be truth or it all unravels. If you believe something to be truth while leaving other aspects of it out, you have formed an opinion about that thing. Opinions are not facts and change easily with cultures, age, genders, etc. Real truth remains.
Gravity works the same today as it did 2000 years ago, and so does God’s word. God’s word is very reliable but it is written in such a way that exceeds human thoughts and desires. We can surely understand it but we must look at it carefully to do so. Whenever I see error in Christian doctrine, it always comes down to someone filtering through their mind instead of God’s mind. A simple example of this is slavery which I recently wrote about. If you try to understand what the Bible says about this subject, only through your understanding of it, you will never understand context and will therefore probably think wrongly about it.
Fortunately, the most basic ideas of scripture are quite easy. God so loved humanity that was separated from Him, He provided a way to bring back that connection. We can argue many Christian doctrines but this one is undeniable. It may not change our final destination but it can certainly affect how we get there. We need to understand what we believe and also why we believe it. That understanding will strengthen you as a Christian and open doors of opportunity you would otherwise miss. You don’t have to believe me, but it is the truth!
Remember John 8:31-32, “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”