In this modern age in which we live, it seems almost taboo to ask for proof for anything. We are expected to just accept all the so-called news that is presented on our television, on the radio and especially on the internet. Occasionally someone will ask for proof for some of the things reported and you would think they had threatened to kill all the children of the world. However, it would seem that long before it became taboo to question our political leaders, the news reporters, the science books and many more, many people considered it somewhat taboo to demand proof for what one taught in the spiritual realm. To point out that something taught or practiced is not in harmony with God’s word would often receive the out of context quotation of, “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matt. 7:1). Such a mindset is amazing and ridiculous to say the least. Let us consider the need to demand proof.
Though we could present the logical arguments for the need to demand proof for all those afore mentioned secular realms, we will spend our time on just the spiritual one. First we might give consideration to the fact that the word of God demands that we demand proof. The apostle Paul, writing by inspiration, told the brethren of the church in Thessalonica, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (I Thess. 5:21).
That brief command tells us that we are to prove all things. That by itself overthrows any mere man’s view that we should not question one’s religious teachings. But, it also shows us that there must of necessity be a means of proving all things. In other words, if God commands that we do something, there must be a way in which we can do it, for God has never commanded man to do that which is not possible. Without using the remainder of our space in this article, we will simply point out the means of proving all things in the spiritual realm by quoting the words of the apostle Paul again when he said, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (II Tim. 3:16-17). We might also just toss out a little reminder that it is the word of God by which we will be judged in the last day (John 12:48; Rom. 2:16; Rev. 20:12).
But, notice also from that statement to the Thessalonians, “Hold fast that which is good” (II Thess. 5:21). We are not only to put that which is taught to the test, demanding Biblical proof for it’s truthfulness, but we are also to reject that which is not scriptural and hold fast that which is. This brings us to our next passage to consider.
The apostle John, often called “the apostle of love”, wrote, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I John 4:1). There was and still is many false teachers, spewing out teaching that is not from God, thus unprofitable to all but Satan. Jesus was once asked “By what authority doest thou these things?” (Matt. 21:23).
He responded with a question of His own, “The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men?” (Matt. 21:25). Jesus basically pointed out the only two sources for any teaching and practices, both then and now. Either a doctrine or practice has it’s origin in heaven, or in other words from God, or it has it’s origin in the minds of mere men upon this earth. Since, as we have already noted, we are to be judged by our acceptance of and our adherence to the word of God, we must demand proof that what we are being taught is indeed the word of God, not simple the meanderings of mere men. Don’t forget, Jesus said, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:9).
Many are somewhat offended when asked to prove what they are teaching, but they should rather be glad that one is seeking the truth and be ready to provide the proof that they seek. The apostle Peter wrote, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (I Pet. 3:15). You will often find these articles pointing out doctrines that are erroneous. Do note that it is the word of God we go to for the proof of the matter. In like manner, we welcome any questions concerning any teaching that we present in these articles.
Would you be offended, maybe even angry, if you found out that the politician of your choice, the one you believed in and had supported, had been lying to you with almost every breath? You probably would. Would you be offended and possibly angered to find out the doctors that had been collecting money from you and prescribing various drugs for you to purchase and take had actually been lying to you and that you really had nothing wrong with you; he was just taking advantage of you? I imagine you would! How much more so if it is a supposed teacher of the word of God, instructing you in how to save your eternal soul in heaven? It seems its time you demanded proof.
Robert Oliver is a long time columnist for The Sampson Independent.