How can I know that the info you have on this site is truth without researching every item individually by myself? How can you prove your credibility?Maralee
What a WONDERFUL question! The truth is that you CAN’T know that what I’ve written is true without researching every item, individually, by yourself. Now, I could certainly give you reasons that others might find me credible.
Let’s see…I’m a minister. That’s enough for some people. Of course, the world is chock full of ministers who preach and teach things that I find questionable…so that’s probably not enough, by itself.
Hmm…I’ve been a Christian for over 45 years. That’s a long time! Unfortunately, I know a whole bunch of people who’ve been Christians for longer than that, and some of them are pretty ignorant about what’s in the Bible.
Well…I studied religion and philosophy at a Christian college. How’s that? Of course, a lot of the students I went to school with are kinda weird, and some have walked away from God.
Nope. I can’t think of any good reasons for you to find me credible.
That’s a good thing, I think. The Bible says something I find very, very important:
Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.Acts 17:11
You see, even the apostle Paul (who wrote most of the New Testament) had people double-checking what he taught…and those double-checkers were commended for it! You shouldn’t take my word for anything at all, Maralee. You should examine the Scriptures (every day!) to see if what others say is true. Now, people can develop a “track record” of reliability, and might be trusted more than people without that track record…but that track record doesn’t appear all by itself. It must be earned, and each person must do their own homework. A good track record can also be lost pretty quickly.
Here’s my advice…it’s what I do when confronted with ideas I’m not sure about:
- Read the Bible verses that are mentioned. If there aren’t any, don’t be afraid to ask for some. Any Bible student worth listening to will be able to back up their claims with Scripture. If they can’t, you should stop listening to them.
- Talk with trusted Christian friends…you know, people with their own ‘track record’ of reliability. Certainly there will be some disagreements about what Scripture means but, the more you talk about it with mature believers, the more you’ll see both sides of an issue.
- Pray for guidance. The Holy Spirit will help you understand what you need to know.
- Remember that getting to Heaven isn’t dependent on being right about every point of doctrine. Our goal is to be like Christ, not to be like an encyclopedia. We should know what we believe and why, but the Christian life is much more than that.
- Keep an open mind. As you grow, you’ll see the same Bible verses in a slightly different light than before. You may come to believe differently than you once did, as you see the evidence with a different perspective.
If there’s anything I can do to help you, please let me know. I’m happy to answer specific questions on almost any topic. I’m not afraid to say that I don’t know something, and I’m not afraid of finding out that I’m wrong. If you need a hand looking into a doctrinal issue or Bible verse, I’m all ears.