GodliFact, Sorting Out the Truth
Politics! Our country is in the midst of a presidential election. The Democrats have an incumbent seeking re-election. The Republicans have approximately eight candidates actively campaigning for their party’s nomination. Each is campaigning around the country attending speaking engagements, debates, town hall meetings, etc., attempting to convince the voting public they stand head and shoulders above the rest in their ability to lead this country.
In the attempt to stand head and shoulders above the rest, the politicians at times engage in less than honorable tactics. They take statements out of context, twist words, tell half-truths, lie, assassinate character, engage in deceptive campaign advertisements, etc. Who is telling the truth? Can one sort out the truth? PolitiFact.com helps with sorting out the truth. It is a project started in 2007 by Times Washington Bureau Chief Bill Adair, in conjunction with the Congressional Quarterly and in 2010 expanded to the Austin American Statesman. This newspaper feature is called PolitiFact, Sorting Out The Truth in Politics. It is a project that takes statements made by individuals in the political arena and evaluates them to determine the degree of truth and publishes the results.
As in politics, there are many in the religious world distorting God’s truth. Results of a quick research over the internet indicated about twenty major religions existing worldwide. These are further divided into approximately two hundred seventy large religious groups and further divided into many smaller ones. Thirty four thousand separate “Christian” groups have been identified in the world. Thirty four thousand separate “Christian” groups! Imagine all the different teachings that exist! They are all about us, and our families, friends, co-workers, books, magazines, radio, internet, music, movies and television. Some are sincere in their beliefs, others purposely mislead for self-serving reasons, some do it for greed, some for recognition and others for the praises of men.
Jesus warns us “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (In Matthew 7:15). Paul exhorts Timothy to guard against false doctrine in 1 Timothy 1:3-7, 6:3-5. Paul warns Titus of false teachers in Titus 1: 10-16. Paul warns the church at Colossae against the teachings of error in Colossians 2. While the aforementioned scriptures addresses the early church, we can certainly be assured that we are not immune today from false teachers and doctrines confronted by the early church.
Who is telling the truth? Can one sort out the truth? Yes, the truth can be sorted out! God wants everyone to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2: 3-4). “3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. Each Christian is responsible to do their own GodliFact, sorting out the truth in God’s teachings. Each is to evaluate the teachings / doctrines confronting them and determine for themselves if it is true or false.
For the purpose of this short article, I will assume the reader acknowledges the Bible is God’s inspired word. For without this acknowledgement, there is no basis for determining what the truth is. It is without error and is the source of authority.
As one conducts their GodliFact, sorting out the truth in God’s teachings, here are some thoughts to keep in mind:
The Bible is God breathed. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
The Bible is complete. “…and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
No one has the authority to add or take away from the Bible. “… if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. 19. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city and from the things which are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19).
The Bible does not teach confusion. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (1 Corinthians 14:33).
Have a desire to know the truth. “1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter2: 1-2).
Stay steadfast in the scripture. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
Pray. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18).
Sorting out the truth taught in the Bible will help you to stand strong in the Lord. The spiritual battle exists from now until the Lord’s return. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” (Ephesians 6:10). In the words of the apostle Paul “…I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).