Understanding
 The Bible
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The Search for Truth

When Pilate stood in judgement of the Creator of the Universe in a complete reversal of roles and declared rhetorically, ‘What is truth?’, he did not realise he was staring it in the face. Jesus said ‘I am the truth’. Jesus, the Word of God and Truth are synonymous.  Post-modernism would assert truth to be relative and transient, being different things to different people in opposition to the Biblical teaching that there is an absolute truth. I believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God and therefore absolute and dependable truth. This book is an attempt to substantiate and support that belief with reasoned arguments.

 

Many people find difficulty in accepting the early part of the Bible. In fact some would say that the most difficult parts to understand and accept are the beginning and the end, the books of Genesis and Revelation. If I were to read any other book and say I did not accept the beginning or the end, it would rather cast doubt on the whole book. But on the contrary, as we will be discussing, both Genesis and Revelation are reliable, believable and true, as is the rest of the Bible.

 

People reject faith in God for many different reasons. In my observation, there are three main reasons: intellectual, moral and relationship.

 

Intellectual rejection is based on the apparent conflict between science and the Bible. Some try to rationalise this saying that much of the Bible is poetic, figurative or symbolic, but others simply reject it as not relevant today.

 

Others reject their faith because the moral standards it requires are unattainable, particularly with regard to sex. The idea of monogamous heterosexuality - one man and one woman together for life - is seen by some as too restrictive. I intend to show in this book that monogamy and marriage are much more than at first appears. The special relationship that the Author and Creator of the universe is seeking with mankind is modelled in marriage. In the same way that there are forces at work in our culture trying to destroy marriage and the family, there are cosmic forces at large seeking to annul and annihilate the relationship between the Creator and his beloved. However, the Creator is not a passive lover prepared to lose his bride. He will die and kill to protect her. He is a passionate and jealous lover.

 

Thirdly, many have rejected their faith because of associations and relationships: friendships and peer pressure to conform that take the person in a different direction from that which they might otherwise have gone. The flip side of this coin is the hurt that can be caused by criticism or rejection. These may cause a person to leave the Church and in doing so lose their faith.

 

Yet another aspect is the inability of some to reconcile the God of the Old Testament with the one that appears in the New. Whilst the Bible says He is the same, yesterday, today and forever, there seems to be a disconnect between the God who commanded Israel to totally destroy the inhabitants of Canaan, with dire consequences for lawbreakers, and a loving Father. As a result they develop their own idea of God, cherry picking the scriptures and the attributes of God to produce something that is actually an idol. It is necessary to fully understand the nature of God and hold these seemingly contradictory attributes in tension. This requires diligent searching of the scriptures, which few are prepared to do, in order to understand the full council of God and understand His heart.

 

Once you begin to carve up the Bible into what bits you want to believe and reject those that are unpalatable, it is easy to end up in a confused state of mind and spirit, not knowing where to draw the line. Your Bible will get thinner and thinner with the latest ‘scientific’ or archaeological discovery until it comprises a nice little set of acceptable verses from the Psalms, Proverbs or Gospels. At the same time your faith gradually diminishes until it becomes compromised by input from all kinds of spurious sources; the latest pop religion.

 

The combination of all of these is perhaps the deadliest recipe for rejection of faith: a young Christian, perhaps criticised for immature behaviour is hurt and leaves the Church. They then begin to question the foundations of their belief system, meeting up with atheists and hedonists who take them down a road to scepticism and immorality from which recovery is going to be exceedingly hard.

 

I hope that the following discussion will enable some to overcome the intellectual inhibitors to faith and that having overcome that hurdle they will then be able to deal with the other issues.

 

Everyone sees the world through filters, some of which are inculcated by the family, but most of which come about through the education system. The western education system negates much of what the Bible teaches and as a result closes the mind to the truth of what is in the Bible. The teaching of evolution, in particular has eroded belief in God and the Bible. In fact, Charles Darwin did not just happen to stumble upon evolution by chance. He started out with an agenda, which was to prove that God was unnecessary to explain life. He was upset at the idea that some of his friends and family, according to the Bible, were destined for Hell and damnation and set out with an agenda to disprove this. And, of course, he found what he was looking for. In order to find truth, it is necessary to start with an open mind. Many people accuse Christians of having a closed mind, but usually the opposite is true. I hope the reader is prepared to take off the filters and look dispassionately at the arguments put forward, without preconception or prejudice. At least, begin by regarding evolution as a theory and the maybe there is more to life than what we can perceive with our senses.

Evolution is the belief that all life on Earth has descended from a common ancestral population, which through process of change over time, has resulted in the diversification of all forms of life. Belief in evolution is as much a matter of faith as based on data, evidence or reason. Adherents argue with religious fervour, from the premise that there is no God or higher order designer than man himself. If you use the arguments discussed in this book to confront an evolutionist, such as a science teacher you are likely to be met with hostility and unreasonableness rather than open willingness to share and discuss the theories. Many will refuse even to recognise the word ‘theory’ as applied to evolution and present it as ‘fact’.

 

The basic problem is unwillingness to face the facts that point to a Creator. For some reason which is hard to fathom, many people have decided in advance that the 3 dimensional world they can see and measure is all there is and there cannot be a higher realm, let’s call it a spiritual world. To convince themselves that there is no God they have to force the data, select the facts and manipulate the information to substantiate this position.

 

The Bible says: ‘Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water.’ (2 Peter 3:3 – 5).

 

Natural man does not want interference from a higher being. He is continually looking for ways to squirm out of accountability to God. A spiritual enemy, called Satan, who we will discuss later, will do everything possible to foster and further this rebellion against God. The God-less man will find a million reasons not to worship God. He will find a million fossils and artefacts that disprove the very existence of God because that is what he wants to find. He will write books and produce films and documentaries with very convincing arguments that in his mind justify the conclusion that there is no God and therefore he cannot be accountable to him. The material is very impressive and has all the hallmarks of scholarship, science and logical reasoning, but it is actually false. If a person wants to follow such a philosophy, there is little that you or I can do to change their mind. Their views are fixed and it is rare for someone to change from such entrenched positions without some spiritual enlightenment. People are rarely converted from one belief system to another by argument or reason.

 

What is most grieving, is that, because all this so called evidence and scholarship has been produced and is being taught is schools and universities as fact, many young or immature Christians are deceived by it. Jesus said that to deceive or offend one of these little ones, it would be better that such a person was thrown into the sea with a large millstone around his neck (Matt 18:6). Harsh words from ‘gentle Jesus’. Yet that is exactly what is going on in our education system. We have been forewarned that there will be deception of all types in the last days (Matthew 24). The cry of my heart is that many people who are wavering in their faith due to false teaching will think again and come to the conclusion that the Bible is indeed the very word of God and it can be relied upon in every book, chapter, verse and word: to regard it as inerrant truth and let it speak into the deepest recesses of their heart.

 

It is important in searching for truth that we do not spend too much time looking at error. In the days before there were machines to validate paper money, experts would examine the notes visually to check for counterfeits. Their training consisted in looking over and over at the real thing, valid notes. Then they would easily spot a counterfeit. We need to focus on truth, not looking to the right or left; not looking at apparent ‘proof’ that God does not exist or that he is not the Creator: not getting sidetracked by every latest discovery that ‘proves’ evolution. In spite of all the changes in science and new discoveries, the truth of the Bible has stood the test of time.

 

In looking for truth we look for reality and yet the only true reality is that which is eternal. What we now see and perceive is only a virtual reality that is represented in 3 dimensions. There is a much greater reality that includes, but exists outside of our physical perception. We are going to discuss this in the next chapter.

 

 

 

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