Selective Skepticism

by Neal Pollard
manbible.jpg“You don’t think the Bible is historically accurate, do you?”
“Moses didn’t cross the Red Sea. It was the Reed Sea, only a couple of inches deep.”
“Jesus was a good man, but the Son of God, born of a virgin, resurrected from the dead? Come on!”
“I just can’t buy that Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament.”
“Creation took place in six, literal, 24 hours day? Who believes that?!”
These are some typical questions people ask, and increasingly they are being asked by professed Christians as well as agnostics and atheists. The concept of a truly limitless God doing the incredible in the unfolding of history and His plan of salvation troubles many.
But there seems to be an inconsistency if not a contradiction with many of these doubters. They will aver that they, their family or their friends have had many encounters with the paranormal. They have seen ghosts or UFOs. They have communicated with “the dead” with Ouija boards or séances. They go to palm readers, read Tarot cards and tea leaves, or religiously scour their horoscopes to get a bearing on how to plan their future. They put complete trust in psychics and spiritualism.
They are willing to swallow every fact spouted by humanistic, evolutionary scientists. In fact, a good number of things are simply assumed to be true because of the sources themselves.
Why do these glaring inconsistencies exist? Because some of this deals with the heart and motives, one must be careful in assessing the whys.
However, it is manifest that such a reality prevails. The Bible talks about the mindset that leads one to put faith in the fanciful all while rejecting the reasonable explanation of God and his ways found in scripture. Certainly, we can treat the claims of scripture as fairly as we can a crystal ball or a Himalayan guru.
The pagan mind of the average Roman citizen was susceptible to the mystical and the cultic.
Paul writes,

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures” (Romans 1:18-23).

Ironically, with that worldview as a foundation, immorality of the grossest varieties followed (Romans 1:24-28) as well as unrestrained, chaotic behavior that was violent and destructive (Romans 1:29-31).
Tucked into the middle of this latter list was the fact that such were “haters of God” (30). Could this be a viable factor? People might not articulate their personal philosophy in such pungent terms, but what is the consequence of their belief system? They reject out of hand the idea
of the incarnation (literally, “God in the flesh”), a vicarious death (an innocent one dying for the guilty), an objective, normative and authoritative divine revelation (i.e., that the Bible came from God’s work in guiding men to write down his will to guide all people of all time) and such Bible themes as sin, repentance, redemption, a universal judgment, heaven, and hell.
Could it be that mankind is disturbed by the thought of accountability and submission? Would we rather have our fancy tickled by clairvoyance, black magic and Martians than have it all explained by special revelation brought about by an Uncaused Cause who not only set things in
motion but takes an active role and shows active concern in our individual lives even today?
I cannot speak for what drives a person to choose the ethereal over the eternal, but I can counter the fanciful with some basic facts of faith.
Our morality, our spirituality, our drive to have standards of right and wrong and our yearning to adore and worship cannot be satisfactorily explained by evolution, synapses of the brain or even inexplicable chance.
In our desire to titillate ourselves with apparitions and interpreting space noise, we have aimed infinitely low. If we will look up and put our trust in the all-powerful, perfect God and live our lives from that perspective, we unlock for ourselves the portal to peace and the pathway to purpose.
In our heart of hearts, we know that belief in God is the better explanation. To that end, may we follow our hearts.
——-
From Neal’s Daily Bread e-zine, of the Bear Valley congregation in Denver. http://www.bearvalleycofc.org/

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