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Earlier I said, ask yourself this question as you read your bible, “what has God said?” This is important especially these days were truth is set aside by some, in favour of thrilling personal experiences.
I’m one person who encourages believers to read and study the bible for themselves, as I’ve just said above responding to the question, ‘What has God said?’ will form the basis or foundation for your christian faith. However, there is a danger to it especially when people start influencing scripture rather than scripture guiding them.
There are various ways to building a system of religious beliefs, but it’s good to remember that the procedure a person decides to pursue will influence also the final results. A false or defective process will diminish whatever conclusion is considered.
There are several basic methods of searching for truth based upon reason we’re going to discuss here;
1. The Speculative Method
In this system everything considered is made to conform to the philosophical principles previously assumed.
- Evolution assumes man is a product of time, space and chance.
- Rationalism assumes that the mind of man has created God.
- Deism assumes that God operates only according to Natural Law.
- Pantheism assumes that God is all, all is God, for example you hear someone say the voice of the people is the voice of God. There’s nothing like that, it is speculation.
- Christianity assumes the existence of God.
Christianity is sort of pleasing to the Lord (Heb. 11:6), it displeases the philosophies of man, (Evolution, Deism, Pantheism and Rationalism) which are found to be fundamentally flawed in light of objective evidence. The Christian believers are warned to, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Col. 2:8).
Note, I said Christianity ‘assumes’ the existence of God, and that it’s sort of pleasing to the Lord because remember there is a saying that says not all that glitters is gold.
“Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are.” Luke 13:23-25
Believers should be able to ask themselves this question, where is our faith leading up us to? For at the last day many will seek to enter in, and shall not be able, for they shall be refused entry right at the door. The master himself will say I do not know you – go away!
Don’t you assume, but strive to enter in through the gate. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Seek to know God only through the way he provided, i.e., of scripture.
Now this takes us to our next point;
2. The Mystical Method
Some individuals claim special revelations from God, and these embrace this method. It’s ok but however wrong when these revelations are considered to be superior to the Scriptures.
Our modern day Churches are saturated with spiritual subjective standards. Cults are even worse, they also suffer from excessive spiritual experiences that depart from the Scriptures, and what comes after that is a manifestation of the error of the mystical method individuals have chosen to embrace.
The seriousness of this mystical method is reflected in Deuteronomy 18:20, “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.”
3. The Inductive Method
The Inductive Method seeks to gather information for examination from all the areas in which God has revealed Himself. Once the information is collected the attempt is made to combine everything into a harmonious and consistent theological system. Even the Lord is not opposed to the Inductive Method of inquiry. Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Job 13:3 also says, “Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.”
4. The Deductive Method
This is used to move from these particulars to infer general principles by reasoning. The Bible tells us in such passages as John 3:16 that God loves. The love of God is manifested in many specific instances of tender care and concern. The general principle is established that God is gracious and merciful.
Anyway, that’s enough for the day. However keep yourself from error.