December 16, 2018
How may we be sure that our Christian principles and practices are approved of God? I believe that the most people who desire to establish and sustain a relationship to Jesus desire the approbation of our Heavenly Father. However, it is sometimes fascinating and often lamentable to discover how some people arrive at that which they believe to be Biblical truth.
For example, it is not common for some well meaning people to base their “Christianity” on emotions. In other words, a person feels strongly about something that is done in the name of Jesus or the Church, and because the feeling is so dominant, one believes that feeling to be the “truth”. Thus, there are those who proceed from feeling to faith to fact. By following that procedure not only could one establish almost any concept as a Biblical fact, but by placing feelings first, one betrays the very purpose of the Bible which is God’s Guide to establish the truth (John 17:17). We should base our feelings upon fact and not fact upon our feelings. Neither should our faith be based upon this expression: “This has always been the Church’s position”. “Preachers have always ended their sermons this way”.
Then there are those who first believe that “something” is a fact. And because the belief is strong it must be the truth. Such people attempt to adjust the Bible to their beliefs as opposed to adjusting their beliefs to the Bible. The attitude of placing belief before fact has resulted in the accusation that “you can make the Bible say anything”. Such an indictment is true if the procedure is from faith to fact to feelings.
The Biblical order of God approved principles and practice is: FACT (Biblical evidence), FAITH (believing the evidence), FEELINGS (an emotional response to the evidence). Paul states it best “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). The Bible way is not feelings first, or belief first, but Scriptural fact first, then basing our beliefs and feelings upon the facts of God’s Word (John 8:32; John 13:17).
WHAT ORDER DO YOU EMPLOY TO ARRIVE AT CHRISTIAN TRUTH? ARE YOUR BELIEFS AND FEELINGS SUPPORTED BY BIBLICAL FACT?
Dr. Taylor A. McKenzie