Devotional - 99-08-02 - Don't Confuse Me With the Truth
John 8:31, 32 Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
I would like to quiz you for a moment. Do you know what today is? 223 years ago today something significant happened in the United States. The year was 1776 and (have you guessed yet?), the significant thing that happened on this day, August 2, 1776 was the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the members of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.
Now if you are like me you would be surprised to learn this because you would have an understanding that the signing of the Declaration of Independence is what we celebrate on July 4th of each year. We call it Independence day. Well, what we celebrate on July 4th of each year is not the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but rather its adoption and approval of it by the same Congress, July 4, 1776.
These facts will not change your life, but they do lead to an interesting point. Things that are common to us and familiar to us we often take for granted. We often do so because we always have thought a certain way or believed a particular truth to be true. Every year I hear about July 4th being the day Americans celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, when in fact, it was not signed on that day at all. It was not signed until almost a month later.
I fear that Christians are prone to fall into this trap of accepting general truths that everyone believes or everyone accepts because they always have. The stamp of approval from Paul was rather upon the church in Berea, Acts 17:10,11. Paul says that the people in this city were more "noble minded" than the church in Thessalonica because the listened to their preaching (Paul and Silas) and then searched the Scriptures to see, "whether these things were so."
We need more people like the Bereans in the church today. If I were to start a Christian society, I think it would be a Berean Society, to emphasize the importance of taking everything to the Word of God. In the right spirit there is nothing wrong with asking the question, "Why do we do this or that in worship?" or, "Why do I believe this or that doctrine?" and for those more advanced, "Why don't I believe this or that?"
My fear is that many Christians would respond to such questions by saying, "We have always done it that way." or, "I have always believed that." and feel satisfied that the question has been resolved. But it hasn't and such an answer is a Christian cop-out that avoids the question entirely. The question was why is something believed or done, not when did we start doing or believing it. With such an answer the "why" is never answered.
If you are at all like me, you were surprised to learn the Declaration of Independence was signed on August 2, 1776 and not on July 4, 1776. I wonder how many other things that we know and take for granted in our Christian faith are simply not true, or not according to the Word of God. We need more Berean ilk Christians who seek for a Biblical foundation for their beliefs and practices. We need more people who will take everything to Scripture with the "why" question and seek to have it answered from God's Holy Word. May we be of such a mind and practice.
Soli Deo Gloria,