There is a hearing deficiency sweeping across our country. The airwaves are cluttered with words that never make it to the control center of our minds. The landing strip of the ear has been limited by our mindsets. The only words that seem to get through are those based upon what the hearer has pre-determined to be true. If someone offers an opinion that is a threat to one's beliefs, they immediately become defensive and take issue with the speaker. This is never more evident than the rhetoric that is bouncing around our politically divided nation. It has become a warfare of words that has even turned to physical altercations. The intent of these words is not meant to enlighten, but to hurt and destroy one another. People's opinions are based on what they have read, heard, and seen through social media as well as the printed and broadcast outlets. America has become a society of what they are told to believe. Just because it is on our "receivers," does not make it true. People run to their pre-programed news outlets and then adopt their rhetoric to what they have heard. There needs to be a desire to hear both sides of an issue, and then decide what they can live with.
One would think that the hearing problem in our country is limited to those of the secular venue, but it also encompasses Believers from all aspects of the Christian movement. To ask someone to support their adopted beliefs with Biblical verification can potentially destroy friendships. Why do people take offense if someone desires to understand what or why they believe a certain way? If someone cannot Biblically support their belief, should they not go back to the Scripture and reexamine how they came to that belief? The problem with many Believers is that their adopted traditional beliefs have been elevated to a status of a "holy grail" which cannot be questioned. Not all traditions are bad, but if a tradition is a result of contextual robbery through misinterpretation, one will have a shaky foundation. Some Believers believe that to raise questions about their faith will open the door for Satan to gain access to their "holy of holies." Should we not be concerned that he might already be active in the teachings we prescribe?
Some years ago I was invited to Seoul, Korea, to attend a seminar sponsored by Sung Yung Moon and the Unification Church. My Assistant District Superintendent thought I should pass on the invitation. He thought that their movement was a cult that could have a negative effect on my life. After a long discussion, he acquiesced and said he would pray for me. I responded by laughing and saying, "They are the ones that need prayer." Over the years, I have spent a great deal of time reaffirming through the Scriptures on what I have based my faith. There were times that I recognized how I had misinterpreted certain Scriptures. Thank God for the Holy Spirit opening my eyes. Sometimes we let our zeal supersede the Truth. (Romans 10: 2) As far as Korea was concerned, I knew what I believed and, with the Word of God secured within me, I was ready to attack the "gates of Hell." (Matthew 16:18) I heard what the Holy Spirit was saying to me and was ready to respond no matter what others said. There are too many Christians who are not willing to hear beyond their own walls of traditional teachings and have become entrenched in unbiblical doctrines.
Do not be afraid to examine Biblically what you have learned throughout your spiritual journey. Nothing is more reassuring than to know what you have truly lines lines with Word. If there is something wrong, take the step to line up with the Word. When someone asks you about your belief, do not be offended, but thank him for the opportunity to share your biblical faith. (I Peter 3:15)
By Paul W Hoffmaster
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