“Proving” What We Know is True
The other day a friend of mine contacted me asking me to help her prove something from Scripture. She had a particular position on a topic and wanted to know how Scripture supported that position.
Without even realizing it, she was saying, “I know ‘this’ true, so help use Scripture to back me up.” Her method is not unique. I believe many in the church often do this same thing. In fact people have been doing this for a long time.
Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, often talked about going to the Scriptures to verify what he reasonably derived as truth about God. In other words, “I know this is true so Scripture should back me up.”
The danger here is that person doing the reasoning is the source of truth, not Scripture. As believers, we should be interested in what God communicated and basing our beliefs and values on that.
However, as demonstrated by the recent social issues concerning homosexuality, few people seem interested in any standard other than their own personal opinions. Both parties have used and abused Scripture to their ends.
In any issue, any doctrine, any practice, believers should be the type of people who ask first, “what does the text say?” followed by “then that is what I believe.” Any attempt to put culture, denomination, heritage, or even long-held beliefs above the Scripture is to accept whatever is above Scripture as the ultimate authority of rule and practice. Several churches have knowingly chosen this route, and many more unwittingly practice this same idea.
Of course, the danger is that what one believes to be true might not be biblical, and even worse, might be anti-biblical. Bravery, honesty, and humility combined with some basic skills in hermeneutics (the principles of how to interpret the Bible) can lead the church back to a biblically based faith originating in the mind of God rather than the mind of man.