As Christians, we are supposed to have a firm foundation in Christ. But do we know what our foundation consists of? Have we ever stopped to consider what we have simply accepted from our peers and authorities as the truth? I don’t agree with everything that my friends, family, or even my church tells me is right. I’m not being opinionated or stubborn about it; I’m just being analytical, in the sense of figuring out why I believe what I do.
So why should we question what we believe? Why should we not take everything we hear at face value? Well, why do we make decisions? We make choices based on what we think is right. Even if we make the wrong choice, we know why it’s wrong and we know that it is wrong; so we still do it knowing what is right.
It’s the same with questioning what we believe. We question all we’ve known to determine what’s right and what’s wrong. We don’t want to believe lies; who likes to know that someone’s been lying to them? But if we don’t question what the world is telling us is true, how do we know we aren’t being lied to?
It wasn’t until this year that I started questioning my own beliefs and started forming my thoughts on what was right and wrong. It’s important for us to discover what we think is right, so we can grasp that understanding of why it’s right, instead of believing everything we hear; but our source of information needs to be the Bible. I can tell you all day long it’s not right to steal, but how will you know if I’m telling the truth or not? Without the Bible, we have no standards, no guidelines, and no applications for daily life.
Once we know the truths the Bible presents, we can then face the world. With our truths in mind, we need to analyze what others present as truth. I have grown up in church my whole life. I’ve heard many, many sermons. I’ve been to contemporary churches and traditional churches. I’ve also heard many different arguments over the same point. Like contemporary Christian music. This one is a big one for me. Hearing all these sermons, all these viewpoints, all these arguments, I’ve been exposed to different ideas as to what’s right and what’s wrong. Obviously, only one is the truth. Only one viewpoint can be right. So then, how do we determine which one is true? We take the truths from the Bible and compare them to what we’re hearing.
It’s hard to discern the truth, though. It’s not as easy as comparing what the Bible says to daily discussions. There are many theologians that disagree with one another on the same points in the Bible. They’re both talking about verses in the Bible, which we know are true. But they both can’t be right. So how do we know which one is true?
You go back to the truths you discovered from the Bible. There are some questions we will never have answers for, and that’s okay. But you need to have answers for the big questions in life. And with these answers, you can combat all that you know is false.
So now I go into why we shouldn’t take everything at face value. Everybody has ideas they accept as truth, and they will be happy to tell you why they’re right. This is EXACTLY why it is so important to know what you believe and why you believe it. If you have simply accepted “truth” without understanding why, then you will be unable to defend your beliefs. They will never stand against the convincing arguments that others can and WILL make and that makes you susceptible to falling for falsehoods that can lead you in a wrong direction. I believe that that is why so many young Christian people “fall away from the faith”. They have never taken the time to work through their beliefs and are not grounded enough to withstand the lies of the world when they are old enough to make their own decisions.
We need to question what we’ve grown up with as well. Nobody has all the answers, not even your authorities. Therefore, if we never question what we’ve accepted as our own beliefs, we could very well be believing lies. I know some people who follow exactly what their parent’s beliefs are. They never are willing to accept any other viewpoints on anything, and they are positive that their parent’s ways are correct without stopping to ponder it, and they reiterate what they’ve been taught when faced with questions. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with questioning your parents’ ways; you should always trust your parents – they’ve been around a lot longer than you. But stop and think about what you have accepted as your own belief. If you don’t determine for yourself what is right, you will never realize why you believe what you believe. Don’t believe what you do just because someone tells you to. Analyze it, ponder it, determine if it matches up with the Bible. Then base your beliefs on your conclusion. This isn’t meant to be an excuse to rebel against authority; we are to “be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. (i.e. parents) Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” (Rom. 13:1-2) I’m just saying to determine your own beliefs on what someone, anyone, says is true, that you may fully understand the foundation you have set for your faith, and you may be a better testimony to Christ, the One you believe in.