reply to post by sacgamer25
That all sounds fuzzy, warm and ultra groovy, but the simple fact is, evil, disharmony and chaos exist and as long as they do, mankind will continue
to have a physical inclination towards it. It is the nature of our dimension, and it is no respecter of persons.
All whom exist in this dimension will encounter their temptations and will either work through them in humility- gaining strength, wisdom,
understanding and victory, or will fall into them- and atrophy their spirit, be deceived, follow lies and live as slaves. Such an existence only made
bearable to them because of their own self-oblivion towards it. Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before the fall and,
unfortunately, not only is pride the number one temptation among all men, but also the most subtly deceitful.
What man can point to himself and accuse himself of wrongdoing when he perceives his intentions as good? What man has the strength to seek God and
sincerely ask for Him to search his heart and mind and point out all flaws, even those we are most ignorant of? And especially those in which we are
most critical of others? And then humble himself to accept that truth and face it?
Only the man who has enough integrity of character to suffer such self-examination, come to terms with it with an honest heart, then rise above it.
No matter how enlightened someone appears or how high of a standard they appear to maintain, unless it is truly matched by the heart, it is vanity.
And only God can see into the depths of and weigh the true intentions of the heart.
The truth is that only Christ can walk like Christ. All we can do is strive towards His ultimate standard of perfection.
Although I die to myself daily in the effort to strive toward that standard, I am no saint and I'm certainly no apostle or prophet, but at this point
in my personal effort I do feel comfortable in my ability to discern Truth. It's not something that can really be articulated or explained, but I
"know" it when I see it, and it far exceeds intuition.
I have also gained the ability to discern anti-Truths, and when encountered, I sense a reflexive sort of startle within my "self". Also difficult
to articulate, but best explained as some sort of primal disturbance.
I think you are well aware of the mis-truths you spoke in your post.
Christ advised that many would come in His name. Thus, Christ Himself stated that there would be many who would walk like Him and seemingly
demonstrate His characteristics.
Therefore, the only way to tell them apart is by their fruit. For those who choose to follow Christ, the Bible is the only way to accomplish that
caliber of discernment.
We are told that His Word is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, even able to divide between soul and spirit, bone and marrow.
Those without understanding would then say, "So the words, they jump right off the page, do they? Dance a little jig, tip their hat and sing
kumbayah and all that?" And that is their prerogative to do so.
But, those who can recognize Truth see through that ignorant, misguided smugness, and feel only compassion and hope for their brethren.
Those without understanding would likely perceive that compassion as pity and feel only indigence and contempt.
However, those with understanding would recognize that compassion as someone's genuine effort towards unconditional love. Not the false, counterfeit
love based on the seduction of "enlightenment" and the subtle deception of pride. But the genuine love of the Creator, based on truly loving others
as you would yourself.
Christ Himself confirmed that the Bible is trustworthy. Therefore, you either believe what is needed for someone to be a successful follower of
Christ is contained within those pages, or you don't, thus rendering Him a liar. Or, don't believe in Him at all, rendering any consideration of
such matters utterly moot and subject to mindless, pontificating and circular debate over each jot and tittle.
The debate over the Bible comes down to believing it, or not. It has nothing to do with simple mindedness, and it most certainly is not for the
blind. The Bible claims, for all intents and purposes, to be inspired wisdom, understanding and instruction from God. Christ Himself testifies to
this and to the validity of the apostolic work done by His own disciples. If someone claims to practice the Christian faith then they must
necessarily believe that the Bible is a trustworthy manual. And that belief must necessarily be based on an all-or-nothing principle. There can be
no picking and choosing what to follow and not follow, lest that person's faith then become based on the flawed standard of man, thus becoming their
own personalized version of faith, in which we already have so many of today.