My Musings – We live in the information age, nearly to the point of information overload. Much of the information we receive we can clearly distinguish as false or not to be trusted, and we easily dismiss or discard it. Some of the information we receive seems to contradict what we have grown up believing, but so many others believe in and swear by it, sometimes with such great passion and credibility, that we can hardly see how it could be wrong. Still other information seems innocent and appealing, almost to the extent of “having a form of Godliness” and yet we wonder if it can be trusted. How then do we decide what is truth? Here are a few suggestions.
1. Is the information from a well-known and trusted source?
2. Is the information consistent with what you have learned from well-known and trusted sources?
3. Is the information clear from the Biblical texts?
4. Is the information exclusive or nearly exclusive?
5. Is the information necessary to support a questionable position or lifestyle?
6. Does the information direct society to follow God’s moral standards or does the information encourage others to follow the world’s social mores?
7. Is the information’s emphasis on God’s grace and freedom too permissive?
8. Is the information’s emphasis on morality and obedience to God’s laws too repressive or legalistic?
9. Does the information deny the power of God to enable His children to overcome sin and temptation?
10. Does the information follow Satan’s pattern of masquerading as angel of light?
11. Does the information follow Satan’s pattern of deceit by calling God’s word into question?
12. Does the information call right wrong and wrong right?
Mark Twain is credited with saying that “in religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a farthing.”
My Advice – We must never be too lazy (or too naïve) to blindly accept every “wind of doctrine” that comes along. In the final analysis, even when the source of information seems trustworthy, like the Bereans, we must lay what is being said alongside the Word of God to see if it is true. However, in order to do this effectively we must be sufficiently familiar with the Bible to know how to use it. Possessing a tool is not much good if we do not know how to use (“rightly divide”) it properly.
For Further Insights – Read my October 17, 2107 musing entitled “Illuminated by the Word.”
Question of the Day – What do you think is the most deceptive philosophy that is masquerading as sound doctrine today? Click on “Leave a comment” to the left of this musing to share your thoughts.