I’m a skeptic. Always have been. I’ve long had the habit of asking “Where did you hear that?” when someone shares “a fact” that seems suspect. My skepticism sometimes makes me wonder how I ever became a Christian. Well, I know the answer to that question actually. God did it. It wasn’t easy, at least from my perspective; but that’s a story for another time. Right now I’d like to share how my skepticism is valuable in my life as a Christian.
When I first became a Christian I had my eyes opened in more ways than one. A new awareness that made a lasting impression on me was that not everyone who claims to teach the truth about God does. I determined early on that I would closely test such claims moving forward. I was not going to believe someone just because they claimed to have the truth. I needed to know what their teachings were based on. Though I was a new Christian, I knew that any such claims would have to be supported by the Bible. I was convicted that it was indeed the word of God and worthy of being my measure of truth. It became the foundation for my discernment.
Through the years I have contrasted many beliefs and teachings of different groups and individuals with the Bible. Some held up. Some didn’t. As time went on I began to refer to these investigations as Background Checks. Today whenever the need arises I do that work again. There seems to be a never ending need to qualify teachers as “one of the good guys.” There are many deceivers and false prophets in the world. While my heart grieves for anyone led astray, it feels especially heartbroken when I see brothers and sisters in Christ following false teachings.
It is my desire to increase awareness about the need to test all that we hear and read and accept as truth. This work is not too hard and is so important for our spiritual health. To aid in this work, I invite you to read my new two-part series about Background Checks in Defense for Our Hope, the apologetics section of my site. The first part is Background Checks Introduction. The second part is Background Checks – The Details. I recommend reading them in order. They contain information relating to the process of investigating various groups and individuals. These checks have been indispensable in my apologetics work. I hope that you benefit by them as well.
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15