TITLE: Writing as a Tool to Arrive at Truth
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I determine His will by observing His willingness to answer prayer. If nothing happens, I conclude that I was praying erroneously. My explanation—as simply as I can put it—is that I believe in Christ as the Savior of my soul, but not with my reasoning power or with logic. Use of only these two leads to agnosticism.
All my life I have heard, from those who major in religious counseling, that a person should reduce his or her beliefs to writing. I agree that it is an excellent idea. In the process you must deal with uncertainties, then admit either they are unresolvable or state at what conclusion you have arrived.
I fear many Christians who fail to write down a complete explanation of their beliefs (faithfully dealing with disputed areas instead of “sweeping them under the rug”) are living in a world of comfortable clichés, expressed in the acceptable jargon that satisfies peers and those who “have all the answers.”
The prime motive for many churchgoing Christians appears to be to feel good inside, which may or may not be the result of acceptance by those who are established members of the church.
Some of those most ready to criticize others, who do not say the correct words or use familiar click phrases, may be the most insecure in their own position on spiritual issues. Perhaps they refuse to reduce their complete creed to writing because of the fear that others may find weaknesses in their interpretations and successfully debate the legitimacy of their conclusions. It is more comfortable for these persons to resort to (1) “my personal experience . . . it works for me,” which a person in any belief system can use to justify his or her creed, or (2) ignoring all other writings, gather around themselves those statements from books that reinforce the creed they have established for themselves.
I am not saying that these people are wrong to believe what they choose to think is the Way for them. What I get disturbed about is the arrogance that is sometimes demonstrated by those who think all people should agree with their beliefs or be in danger of eternal damnation. Compounding this problem is many who make judgements about those “outside the fold,” yet they have not dealt with the many interpretation problems inherent in studying the Bible (and other major legitimate religious writings). They depend solely on the creed determined by others.
To select a church because it most closely represents what a person believes is to be desired. This leaves, however, a margin of disagreement with some fellow believers. At this point then, the church may or may not declare those persons as errant in their thinking—just as many of the members are doing to those outside their belief system.
My recommendation is that all persons respect and accept others for their inherent good qualities. Allow, without condescension, each person to establish for themselves their own creed that supplies the spiritual depth as instructed in the Bible, not based on acceptance or another person’s beliefs. Then, write down what you believe.
I feel constrained to allow religious freedom in an individual’s search for the truth. If I am bent on not allowing religious freedom then I am endangering my own right to that freedom.
Psalm 25:4,5. “Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
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