Showing posts with label reasonable faith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reasonable faith. Show all posts

11 February 2020

A Few Thoughts About Being Cautious Even skeptical

Defining terms:
B1 Blind faith: Belief in something that has not been proved or is not capable of being proved (Source)
B2 Skepticism: Having or showing doubt; questioning (Source)
the idea is to hear, read, see something and not accepting it without analyzing it.
B3 Cynical: (Source)
C1 Distrusting or disparaging the motives of others; like or characteristic of a cynic.
C2 Showing contempt for accepted standards of honesty or morality by one's actions, especially by actions that exploit the scruples of others.
C3 Bitterly or sneeringly distrustful, contemptuous, or pessimistic.
B4 Reasonable faith: (Source)
C1 In accordance with clear thinking and good judgment
C2 Within the limits of reason; not excessive

Some dangers of being overly trusting is becoming deceived in some way as financial, emotional, relationships, etc.
B1 Philosophy and philosophical arguments: Colossians 2:8 NRSV See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.
B2 Authority (pastors, experts, teachers): Ephesians 4:14 GW Then we will no longer be little children, tossed and carried about by all kinds of teachings that change like the wind. We will no longer be influenced by people who use cunning and clever strategies to lead us astray.
B3 False prophets, dreams, spiritual experiences, etc.: Jeremiah 29:8-9 GW This is what the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Don't let the prophets or the mediums who are among you trick you. Don't even listen to your own dreams. 9 These people are prophesying lies to you in my name. I didn't send them, declares the LORD.
B4 Seek counsel from stupid people: Isaiah 19:11-13 NRSV The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish; the wise counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel. How can you say to Pharaoh, "I am one of the sages, a descendant of ancient kings"? 12 Where now are your sages? Let them tell you and make known what the LORD of hosts has planned against Egypt. 13 The princes of Zoan have become fools, and the princes of Memphis are deluded; those who are the cornerstones of its tribes have led Egypt astray.

Some ideas for advice
B1 Good advice:
C1 The best counsel comes from Scriptures for they are the only source of 100% truth.
C2 People who are successful in a field. Someone successful in the study of Augustine is a more reliable source than a person on the street. We still need to be aware though.
C3 Some believers have the gift of wisdom from the Holy Spirit.
C4 We must be a little skeptical and study ourselves.
D1 Pray: James 1:5 ISV Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to everyone generously without a rebuke, and it will be given to him.
D2 The Bible gives rules we must do and some things we must not do.
E1 Must do: 1 Thessalonians 5:21 NRSV but test everything; hold fast to what is good.
E2 Must not do: 1 Thessalonians 5:19 NRSV Do not quench the Spirit.
D3 The Bible gives principles we must do and some we must not do. For example, consider the parable of the Good Samaritan. Luke 10:29-37.
D4 The Bible gives examples of those who were successful and those who were not.
E1 Who were: Acts 4:34-37 Barnabus
E2 Who were not: Acts 5:1-11 Ananias and Sapphira
D5 Avoid signs and experiences, for the devil can give signs, too. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 NRSV The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders, 10 and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
B5 Bad advice
C1 Pride. We think we can make always make the best decision. Consider Edom: Jeremiah 49:16 NRSV The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, who hold the height of the hill. Although you make your nest as high as the eagle's, from there I will bring you down, says the LORD.
C2 Thinking there is no consequences to advice. All advice if followed has results: Galatians 6:7 NRSV Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow.
C3 Seeking guidance from spirits, fortune tellers, cards, boards, or anything occultic: Revelation 18:23 NRSV and the light of a lamp will shine in you no more; and the voice of bridegroom and bride will be heard in you no more; for your merchants were the magnates of the earth, and all nations were deceived by your sorcery. [Emphasis is added]

We need to test all things
B1 A standard is needed. 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 NASB But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.
C1 We must examine.
C2 We must hold fast (keep) what is good
C3 We must abstain (avoid and reject) every form of evil.
B2 For the Christian, it is basically the New Testament.
B3 We must study it to know what it says.
B4 We must believe what it says.
B5 We must do what it says.
B6 We must interpret the Bible in the plain, normal sense.
B7 J. C. Ryle writes in Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, w/Notes, J.C. Ryle - Luke 6:39-45

WE learn, in the first place, from these verses, the great danger of listening to false teachers in religion. Our Lord compares such teachers and their hearers to the blind leading the blind, and asks the reasonable question, "Shall they not both fall into the ditch?" He goes on to confirm the importance of His warning by declaring, that "the disciple is not above his master," and the scholar cannot be expected to know more than his teacher. If a man will hear unsound instruction, we cannot expect him to become otherwise than unsound in the faith himself.

The subject which our Lord brings before us here deserves far more attention than it generally receives. The amount of evil which unsound religious teaching has brought on the Church in every age is incalculable. The loss of souls which it has occasioned is fearful to contemplate. A teacher who does not know the way to heaven himself, is not likely to lead his hearers to heaven. The man who hears such a teacher runs a fearful risk himself of being lost eternally. "If the blind lead the blind both must fall into the ditch."

If we would escape the danger against which our Lord warns us, we must not neglect to prove the teaching that we hear by the holy Scriptures. We must not believe things merely because ministers say them. We must not suppose, as a matter of course, that ministers can make no mistakes. We must call to mind our Lord's words on another occasion, "Beware of false prophets." (Mat 7:15.) We must remember the advice of Paul and John: "Prove all things." "Try the spirits whether they are of God." (1Th 5:21; 1Jo 4:1.) With the Bible in our hands, and the promise of guidance from the Holy Ghost to all who seek it, we shall be without excuse if our souls are led astray. The blindness of ministers is no excuse for the darkness of the people. The man who from indolence, or superstition, or affected humility, refuses to distrust the teaching of the minister whom he finds set over him, however unsound it may be, will at length share his minister's portion. If people will trust blind guides, they must not be surprised if they are led to the pit.
B8 Clement of Alexandria writes in The Stromata, Or Miscellanies. Book I. Chap. X.
But strong meat belongeth to those that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb 5:14) “For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe,” (Heb 5:13) and not yet acquainted with the word, according to which he has believed and works, and not able to give a reason in himself. “Prove all things,” the apostle says, “and hold fast that which is good,” (1Th 5:21) speaking to spiritual men, who judge what is said according to truth, whether it seems or truly holds by the truth. “He who is not corrected by discipline errs, and stripes and reproofs give the discipline of wisdom,” the reproofs manifestly that are with love. “For the right heart seeketh knowledge.” (Pro 15:14) “For he that seeketh the Lord shall find knowledge with righteousness; and they who have sought it rightly have found peace.”53 “And I will know,” it is said, “not the speech of those which are puffed up, but the power.” In rebuke of those who are wise in appearance, and think themselves wise, but are not in reality wise, he writes: “For the kingdom of God is not in word.” (1Co 4:19, 1Co 4:20) It is not in that which is not true, but which is only probable according to opinion; but he said “in power,” for the truth alone is powerful. And again: “If any man thinketh that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” For truth is never mere opinion. But the “supposition of knowledge inflates,” and fills with pride; “but charity edifieth,” which deals not in supposition, but in truth. Whence it is said, “If any man loves, he is known.” (1Co 8:1, 1Co 8:2, 1Co 8:3)[Emphasis is added]

God, Himself, loves us and wants us free from lies and deceptions. So let us remember the words of the Lord Jesus:
John 8:31-32 NIV To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

29 October 2019

A Few More Thoughts About Faith

B1 Defined
C1 I define faith as believing God.
C2 Bible verses
D1 Jonah 3:5 CSB Then the people of Nineveh believed God. They proclaimed a fast and dressed in sackcloth—from the greatest of them to the least.
D2 Romans 4:3 CSB For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness. (Genesis 15:6)
D3 Romans 11:30 WEL For just as in times past you refused to believe God, yet now you have received mercy through their disobedience.
D4 Psalm 78:20-22 NLT Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out, but he can't give his people bread and meat." 21 When the LORD heard them, he was furious. The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob. Yes, his anger rose against Israel, 22 for they did not believe God or trust him to care for them.
D5 John 3:18 WEL The one who believes in him is not judged, but the one who does not believe is judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
B2 Hebrews 11 is the faith chapter. What faith is. Examples of brothers and sisters in faith. They show their faith by what they do. We do what we really believe. It is not just what we say we believe.

Classes of faith (from my feeble mind)
B1 Blind faith
C1 Blind faith is the faith where there is no reason to believe something other than what someone says of writes. An example might be I might someone whom I have never met before. This person tells me that they have 3 earned doctorate degrees. This person tells me something he/she has learned. I believe this person explicitly. I have never met them before. I do not know if they have any degrees. They give no reasons or logic to support their statement. I just believe it. This is blind faith. We all must have a little skepticism to test what someone claims.
C2 The common example: Too many still mention God’s command to Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. They claim this was blind faith.
C3 But
D1 Abraham had many times believed God. Always it was the best choice to make.
E1 Genesis 12 Leave Haran:
F1 Genesis 12:1-4 NIV The LORD had said to Abram, "Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you. 2 "I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." 4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.
F2 The rest of the chapter and following chapters show how God blessed Abraham.
E2 Genesis 15 Prediction of a son who will be the heir:
F1 Genesis 15:1-6 NIV After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward." 2 But Abram said, "Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?" 3 And Abram said, "You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir." 4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: "This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir." 5 He took him outside and said, "Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be." 6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
F2 Prediction of a son in about one year: Genesis 18:10 NIV Then one of them said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son." Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.
F3 Prediction fulfilled: Genesis 21:1-3 NIV Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
E3 Genesis 18 Prediction of judgment:
F1 Genesis 18:1, 20-23 NIV The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. ... 20 Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know." 22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD. 23 Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
F2 Prediction fulfilled: Genesis 19:28-29 NIV He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace. 29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.
E4 Genesis The test:
F1 Genesis 22:1-2, 8, 10, 13 NIV Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. 2 Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, whom you love--Isaac--and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you." ... 8 Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together. ... 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. ... 13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.
F2 Isaac was delivered by a substitute.
D2 So it was reasonable for Abrahma to believe God in Genesis 22. Abraham had had many dealings with God. God proved faithful. What God predicted about Isaac being the heir came true. If Isaac was to die, then God would prove to be a liar or too weak. Isaac lived. Further, we know from Hebrews 11 that Abraham couldn’t understand this command but thought that God would raise Isaac from the dead. Hebrews 11:17-19 NIV By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
C4 Some articles:
B2 Reasonable faith—is a faith that the person mentioned about might have some proof of their degrees or perhaps, we have met them before. Still, we need a little skepticism to see if they really have these degrees and need more than a little, simple support for their statements. We simply must have some evidence.
C1 Personally, I look to Jesus as the foundation.
D1 It is reasonable that He existed. See here (also read the comments as there is much more information there) and here (PDF) for examples.
D2 It is reasonable that what is written about Him is true. See here and here and here (book) for examples.
D3 It is reasonable that what He said was true.
D4 It is reasonable that He is the Messiah. See here and here for examples.
C2 The Gospel chain of custody as presented by J. Warner Wallace. It is also here.
C3 Some examples of how others twist meaning into Jesus’s words.
D1 This is from a rebuttal to a debate by atheist Richard Carrier in the David Marshall v. Richard Carrier debate.
D2 Words of the Lord Jesus:
E1 Matthew 26:60-61 NLT But even though they found many who agreed to give false witness, they could not use anyone's testimony. Finally, two men came forward 61 who declared, "This man said, 'I am able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days.
E2 John 2:19-21 NLT "All right," Jesus replied. "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." 20 "What!" they exclaimed. "It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?" 21 But when Jesus said "this temple," he meant his own body.
C4 Some other sources (I don’t necessary agree with all they teach. Always be a Berean).
D2 The Evidence for Christianity by William Lane Craig