Posts Tagged ‘Truth’

IN PRAISE OF DISBELIEF

In our constant struggle to believe we are likely to overlook the simple fad that a bit of healthy disbelief is sometimes as needful as faith to the welfare of our souls.

I would go further and say that we would do well to cultivate a reverent skepticism. It will keep us out of a thousand bogs and quagmires where others who lack it sometimes find themselves. It is no sin to doubt some things, but it may be fatal to believe everything.

Faith is at the root of all true worship, and without faith it is impossible to please God. Through unbelief Israel failed to inherit the promises. “By grace are ye saved through faith” … “The just shall live by faith.” Such verses as these come trooping to our memories, and we wince lust a little at the suggestion that unbelief may also be a good and useful thing. It sounds like a bold cancellation of the doctrine of faith as taught in the Scriptures and disposes us to write off the brazen advocate of disbelief as a Modernist.

Let’s look at the matter a bit more closely. Faith never means gullibility. The man who believes everything is as far from God as the man who refuses to believe anything. Faith engages the Person and promises of God and rests upon them with perfect assurance. Whatever has behind it the character and word of the living God is accepted by faith as the last and final truth from which there must never be any appeal. Faith never asks questions when it has been established that God has spoken. “Yea, let God he true, but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4). Thus faith honors God by counting Him righteous and accepts His testimony against the very evidence of its own senses. That is faith, and of such we can never have too much.

Credulity, on the other hand, never honors God, for it shows as great a readiness to believe anybody as to believe God Himself. The credulous person will accept anything as long as it is unusual, and the more unusual it is the more ardently he will believe. Any testimony will be swa1lowed with a straight face if it only has about it some element of the eerie, the preternatural, the unearthly. The gullible mentality is like the ostrich that will gulp down anything that looks interesting… an orange, a tennis ball, a pocketknife opened or closed, a paper weight or a ripe apple. That he survives at all is a testimony not to his intelligence but to his tough constitution.

I have met Christians with no more discrimination than the ostrich. Because they must believe certain things, they feel that they must believe everything. Because they are called upon to accept the invisible they go right on to accept the incredible. God can and does work miracles; ergo, everything that passes for a miracle must be of God. God has spoken to men; therefore every ‘man’ who claims to have had a revelation from God must be accepted as a prophet. Whatever is unearthly must be heavenly; whatever cannot be explained must be received as divine; the prophets were rejected, therefore everyone who is rejected is a prophet; the saints were misunderstood, so everyone who is misunderstood is a saint. This is the dangerous logic of the gullible Christian. And it can be as injurious as unbelief itself.

 The healthy soul, like the healthy blood stream, has its proper proportion of white and red cells. The red corpuscles are like faith: they carry the life-giving oxygen to every part of the body. The white cells are like disbelief: they pounce upon dead and toxic matter and carry it out to the drain. Thus the two kinds of cells working together keep the tissues in good condition. In the healthy heart there must be provision for keeping dead and poisonous matter out of the life stream. This the credulous person never suspects. He is all for faith. He accents the affirmative and cultivates religious optimism to a point where he can no longer tell when he is being imposed upon.

 Along with our faith in God must go a healthy disbelief of everything occult and esoteric. Numerology, astrology, spiritism, and everything weird and strange that passes for religion must be rejected. All this is toxic matter and has no place in the life of a true Christian. He will reject the whole business without compunction or fear. He has Christ, and He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. What more does the Christian need?

 from The Root of the Righteous by A. W. Tozer

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Weep

Writing from the deep sadness that invaded the hearts of many of us after November 4, Doug Groothius wrote the following poem:

Weep for America,
you who have tears
left for truth.

Weep for the continued
and soon to be intensified
slaughter of the innocents.

Weep for the supernatural stupefaction
that has overtaken us.

Weep that character
no longer counts,
that image is everything.

Weep that America has forgotten her
birthright.

Weep.

Charismatic Revivalism

“It is an offense to our rational, truth revealing God; it is an offense to the true work of His Son; it is an offense to the true work of the Holy Spirit to use the names of God, or of Christ, or of the Holy Spirit in any mindless emotional orgy marked by irrational, sensual, and fleshly behavior produced by altered states of consciousness, peer pressure, heightened expectation or suggestibility. That is socio-psycho manipulation and mesmerizm and it is a prostitution of the glorious revelation of God taught clearly and powerfully to an eager, attentive, and controlled mind. What feeds sensual desires, pragmatically or ecstatically, cannot honor God. You have to preach the truth to the mind.”
-John MacArthur
From the 1998 Grace to You message from 2 Timothy 3:1-4:4 “God’s Word in Today’s Church: Five Reasons I Teach the Bible”

 

HT: Reformed Voices

Fighting for Truth in the Church

“You will have battles when you go forth as minister into the church. The church is now in a period of deadly conflict. The redemptive religion known as Christianity is contending, in our own church and in the all the larger churches of the world, against a totally alien type of religion. As always, the enemy conceals his most dangerous assaults under pious phrases and half-truths. The shibboleths of the adversary have sometimes a very deceptive sound. ‘Let us propagate Christianity,’ the adversary says, ‘but let us not always be engaged in arguing in defense of it; let us make our preaching positive, and not negative; let us avoid controversy; let us hold to a Person and not to a dogma; let us sink small doctrinal differences and seek the unity of the church of Christ; let us drop doctrinal accretions and interpret Christ for ourselves; let us look for our knowledge of Christ, not to ancient books, but to the living Christ in our hearts; let us not impose Western creeds on the Eastern mind; let us be tolerant [think all views are equally correct] of opposing views.’ Such are some of the shibboleths of that agnostic Modernism which is the deadliest enemy of the Christian religion today. They deceive some of God’s people some of the time; they are heard sometimes from the lips of good Christian people, who have not the slightest inkling of what they mean. But their true meaning, to thinking men, is becoming increasingly clear. Increasingly it is becoming necessary for a man to decide whether he is going to stand or not to stand for the Lord Jesus Christ as he is presented to us in the word of God.”

J. Gresham Machen – The Good Fight of Faith (sermon)

HT to Doug Eaton

Silence and Truth

In observing the present state of affairs and of life in general, from a Christian point of view one would have to say: It is a disease. And if I were a physician and someone asked me, “What do you think should be done?” I would answer, “Create silence, bring about silence.” God’s Word cannot be heard, and if in order to be heard in the hullabaloo it must be shouted deafeningly with noisy means, then it is not God’s Word; create silence!

And we humans, we clever fellows, seem to have become sleepless in order to invent every new means to increase noise, to spread noise and insignificance with the greatest possible ease and on the greatest possible scale. Yes, everything has been turned upside down. The means of communication have been perfected, but what is publicized with such hot haste is rubbish. Oh, create silence!–Soren Kierkegaard, “Silence and Solitude,” in Provocations, 372.

HT: The Constructive Curmudgeon