Opinions Or The Truth?
By Grant Phillips
One of the biggest problems with mankind is a lack of trust. Without fail we replace that vacuum with our own opinions.
Don’t get me wrong. Opinions are fine if used properly, but when we place our opinions ahead of the Truth, we place ourselves in jeopardy.
Most everyone has an opinion about the Bible. Following are a few examples:
– I don’t believe it.
– It’s antiquated and not for us.
– It has contradictions.
– It is a book of myths.
– I don’t understand it.
– Some of it is true.
– It is the holy word of God.
– It is to be obeyed.
– It is the unadulterated truth from God.
– I love it.
Of course, there are many more statements folks have made over the years about this great book. From one extreme to another, some hate it and some love it.
The Bible says of itself, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 NIV)
“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20-21 NIV)
There is no question that the Bible is the holy word of God given to certain men to write down for us all to read and accept. Even though we are not reading from the original transcripts, we can rest assured that it has been passed down to us without fault.
Opinions are like building a house on sand instead of solid ground. When the storms come, they will fall. Hmmmm, that sounds familiar. (Matthew 7:24-29)
Over many years of dealing with people, I have never met so many self-proclaimed experts on the Bible who have arrived at that station without even reading it. Amazing! Then there are those who have read the Bible, occasionally anyway, and still twist its message. Again…amazing!
“This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 2:13-14)
It’s bad enough that many Christians are lazy and rely on their opinions or others opinions to support their view, but things really get bad when we listen to those who have something to say about the Bible and don’t even know the Author.
Most everyone seems to think their opinion counts. Well, often it doesn’t count. But you say, “I’m educated,” or “I’m special,” or “I’m religious,” or “I can think for myself.” We could go on forever with this, but you get the point. If your and my opinion doesn’t line up with God’s Word it is worthless.
So here is the problem. If I want the truth where do I go? From the Scriptures above (and there are many others), the Bible is where we go for truth. A lot of Christians are speaking truth. Where are they getting it? There is no other place they can receive it except from the Bible.
Here is another problem. Who do I listen to, if anyone, concerning the truth? Can you believe what I am saying? What about that preacher on TV, or the one on the radio? For that matter, what about the one at the church you attend? The answer is obvious. We must again go back to the Bible itself. If we do not compare what is being said with the Bible, we really don’t know for sure if what is being said is true.
The Christians in Berea of Paul’s day had a remedy for this problem.
“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.” (Acts 17:10-12)
Notice that the Bereans received the word with all readiness of mind. In other words, they eagerly received what was being taught by Paul. So we don’t need the attitude of a closed mind.
After they eagerly listened to Paul’s teaching they “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” The NIV says they, “examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, that Christian talking to you is trying to help you. They are giving you the best news you could ever receive. Or are they? To know for sure, examine the Scriptures and check them out. The Holy Spirit of God will help you in this area of your life. If what they say lines up with the Bible, you can depend on their word. Then of course, you need to act upon it.
If you are already a Christian, but actually quite confused because you hear so many opinions, the solution is the same for you. If you don’t know for a fact that what that person on TV is saying is true, then examine the Scriptures. Since the Holy Spirit actually resides in you, He will guide you to the truth.
The lost person can check the Bible for accuracy if they want to know that what is being told them about how to be saved is true. Is it their opinion or the truth? Actually, the honest witness will certainly show you Scriptures to consider.
The saved person (Christian) can check God’s Word at any time to know if they are being told the truth or someone’s opinion. There are many who will lead others astray, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
What about our own opinion? Do we need to check our own opinions against what the Bible says? Of course!
Everybody has an opinion, but the only opinion that counts is God’s.
I’ve seen it happen over and over where someone has said that the Bible says such and such, but it was actually not in the Bible, or it was a corruption of what the Bible actually says. “Uncle Joe said this, or Aunt Mary said that. My preacher says it’s like this.” The world is full of incorrect opinions.
Go for the truth. Go for the Bible, and you can rest in the Truth.