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We talked very briefly so far about some of the reasons people will give for their rejection of the Bible. We said that one of those reasons was the belief that the Bible is full of contradictions. Another was the belief that the Bible has changed over time, and through different copies and translations. Do you know how to defend your faith?
We haven’t really gone in depth with these issues. The truth is that there are even more so called reasons that people have for their lack of faith in the Bible. It would be an endless task to address every single “concern” that someone may have. But, don’t be fooled by these endless questions.
1 Timothy 6:20
20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
We are instructed to avoid 3 things:
Profane babblings – The word profane means disrespectful towards something sacred. Examples of this would be the mocking of God and the Bible. There are a lot of people who make a joke out of Christianity. When they turn to profane (disrespectful) babbling we should turn and walk away.
The word babbling, by the way, means to talk continuously in a foolish, excitable, or incomprehensible way. When someone tries to talk over you to drown your voice out they meet the definition of profane babbling.
Vain babblings – The word vain means useless. A good example of this is someone asking an endless stream of questions. They ask one after the other with no thought to what the last answered question may mean for them. There are people who will ask why the Bible says this and that, but they don’t want answers. What they really want is to babble and keep you busy until they tire you out. It’s like arguing with a two year old.
Oppositions of science falsely so called – The word “false” is key here. It means “intended to deceive,” and “not true.” In other words, it’s a lie. There are plenty of things called science “fact” which is false. So many people claim that science disproves the Bible. But those things they use to show this are founded on falsehood.
For example, I was taught in school that blood inside the body was blue until it is exposed to oxygen. This was taught as science fact. But it was wrong. It was a false scientific “fact.” Yet, if I read in the Bible that the blood in our body is red, and someone says science has proven it is actually blue, then I may doubt either the Bible or the science.
Here is a good rule to live by in these cases: “Let God be true, but every man a liar.” This is part of a verse in the Bible (Romans 3:4). It has served me very well, and will help you in defending your faith. Because, instead of allowing myself to question and doubt God, FIRST I focus my questions and doubts on what men say. I have never been failed by this and have caught many “faith killing” lies.
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Here is another thing that we should beware of. Philosophy is basically making up theories and using your imagination to come up with ideas. It is the great “What If” question that we sometimes spend our thoughts on. At times it is a good idea to think of the possibilities of “what if.” But at other times it is a waste of energy.
For example, what if you hold your breath for 10 minutes? It is a good idea to consider the consequences of that so that you make your choice to not die of suffocation. But, what if you and I are only a dream that someone is having while they sleep. Is there really any use in this line of thinking? Isn’t it better to spend our time on reality instead of this imagination since it really wouldn’t matter anyway?
Vain deceit will keep you thinking about things that are not true rather than focusing on what is. It is like an ostrich sticking his head in the sand. It will do no good and when reality finally hits home the stupid bird will be in for a rude awakening. We should deal with what is really happening and not hide our eyes from it, to dream in the sand of things that do not affect us.
These are the reasons the Bible tells us to avoid these things. It is because they do not have any productivity in them. Talking with an irate mad man babbling profane things until they (and you) are blue in the face is a waste of time. Accepting things people say are scientific “fact” can prove to be destructive, if you allow your doubt to first be focused on God.
Instead of endless debates, scientific reexamination, and shouting matches with those who only cause strife and frustration we should get to the root of the matter.
Think of a tree. If you go outside in the spring time and decide that you want to make something out of it, let’s say a thousand toothpicks, you are going to have to confront the tree. So you get your axe out and start hacking away at the branches with their leaves covering them.
After working your way around the tree, hacking away as much as you can, you believe you may be making progress. But then you notice new limbs and new leaves shooting out of it. So you are going to have to hack away at them as well. When you finally finish, … more limbs have shot out and more leaves are there again.
This is what it is like to engage in debates with profane and vain babblers as well as oppositions of science falsely so called. There will always be another question or a false “fact” that is thrown at you. But if you avoid these things, and go right to the root of the tree, then you will not only take all the branches down, but you will also get those toothpicks you wanted. And, in record time too!
Jesus did this when He was asked a question that He knew would not have an answer that those who asked it would accept.
28 And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things? 29 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me. 31 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? 32 But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed. 33 And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.
Now, you may be asking what the root looks like. It is true that sometimes you can’t see it in plain view. A tree may be covered in so many limbs and leaves that the trunk is hidden. In the same way, people rarely ever show you the real heart of their issue. They cover it up with questions, lies, and every other thing they can. No one wants to be pricked at the heart.
So how do you find it? Well, those branches can be a good thing. They help you track down the root. Take a branch of a tree by the tip and follow it back, before long you will find the heart. This is how you can work with people too.
Let’s imagine a man named Cedar. Now, Cedar is a devout atheist. He likes to babble and quote “scientific” findings that “disprove” the Bible. So we start there. The branch he shows us is his belief that the Bible is wrong because of “all the evidence to that fact.” Be careful, those branches can be deadly if you let them hit you!
Now, you could start debating every single bit of “evidence” that he brings up. That would only be swinging at the branches, though. Instead, we can deal with the one branch just long enough to hold it back and look closer. Like pushing the tree limb aside. The tree thinks we are focused on the branch, but we are really looking for the root.
How do we do deal with the “evidence” while looking for the root? This may take some practice, but it can help you to no end if you master it. Remember, your task is to avoid this endless stream of nonsense and get to the heart of the person.
You can take one of three paths here. You can answer his question, only with the understanding that he must answer yours first, or you can answer his question first and then ask your own, or you can just walk away. So let’s pretend he agrees and asks his question first.
He says, “The Bible is wrong because it is biologically impossible for a child to be born without a human father.” Now, you could answer with a very simple reason why this objection is invalid. A good reason, to you, may be something like, “If the Bible is true then nothing, not even that, would be impossible for God.”
So you just answered his question (though, no doubt it will not satisfy him since this answer requires the very thing he rejects) and now it is your turn. In effect, you are holding the branch back now and ready to take a look past it. Your question should not focus on proving the Bible to be true on his terms. Instead, it should be used to find out what the REAL reason he doesn’t believe is.
Here is an example: “Mr. Cedar, why does it seem impossible to you for God to perform such a thing?” His answer may help you get to his heart and address the real issue of his unbelief.
Just FYI: His real issue with this question will likely be that he can’t accept things that he can not understand, and thus can not control.
In the next section, we will get even deeper into the real reasons people do not believe and help dissolve them.
July 12, 2015 at 12:48 pm | | No comment