The Battle for Truth

Today, as never before, the church finds itself in the midst of a very serious battle. This battle has been raging on for millennia and only those that have allowed themselves the honor of proper use of their mental and spiritual faculties have had better chances of winning. It is the battle of truth! It is to be noted that in this world, we only view things from two different angles, the divine point and the human point. Dr Johnson C. Philip have thus written,

All our lives we would have to face the struggle between these two viewpoints, with each one of them trying to control us. As long as the present human life lasts on the earth, this fight would go on. There is no way to escape this struggle. Whether we are headed for blessing or cursing in life would depend upon which of these viewpoints we choose continually.[1]

When God created mankind, He endowed him with reason, the ability to use his mind in a meaningful way to make rational judgments and sensible decisions. Man is a rationale being and removing this unique ability reduces man to a brute beast. The human brain is the organ within our person that enlightens us regarding the experiences of our world; it enables learning, assessment and judgment among many functions. Mac Lynn believes that “the fact that the human mind is capable of entertaining thoughts about the physical, emotional, and spirit realm demonstrates that man’s thoughts about these things are “rational.””[2]

Thus, we assume, “a legitimate pursuit of spirituality can be undertaken only by a fully rational human mind. One determines within one’s own consciousness if the quest of the spiritual has personal merit.”[3] Many believers have been wrongly taught that spirituality and reason does not co-exist. We have been taught that if you come to God and try to use reason, then you invalidate faith and you miss it ‘in the spirit’. Many times, we have heard preachers admonish their congregation to put reason and logic away as if true faith is a blind faith devoid of any intelligence. As a result, many believers in churches are afraid to ask questions when some spiritual exhortations appear to be foolish, insensible and awkward. They are afraid to judge or criticize “the spirit”. The preachers themselves have come up with their spiritual defenses and can gladly use Scripture verses out of their intended contexts to prove that humanity should not think or reason when they approach the throne of God.

Faith only and not reason becomes the news for the zealous yet fanatic preacher. He is afraid that if people can use their minds, they will begin to have some questions that, if unanswered, perhaps may lead to doubt, doubt about the preachers methods, message and calling. So to safeguard himself, the ignorant preacher prefers an ignorant congregation which is easy to manipulate and control. They simply believe without question. Whatever the man of God says from the pulpit, to them, it’s final. No questions asked. This is the reason why many have been forced to eat grass as spiritual manna, eat sand, and many other such like things in our day, suffering gross abuses by the religious preachers. We should bear in mind that such practices would have been eliminated or rather kept at the minimal should congregants have been allowed a fair use of reason in the churches. It really appears that witchcraft is rife in the religious higher places, the kind that does not devour human flesh per se, but that which manipulates and control the minds till they go blank and then can be used to do anything without reason.

The Catholic priest, James V. Schall, S.J. has written,

Where might we go, what might we do to find the truth, to find what makes sense, what incites us to use that mind we all have been given to pursue by it our human task, to know what is, to know what we ought to do? No age has an easy time of it, trying to figure things out. Our age has difficulty asking these questions, not merely because we have so much knowledge available to us or because, compared with other ages, there are so many of us, but also because we are an age of doubt, an age that does not seem to want to know what it can know.[4]

Truth is needed today in the churches than never before. When one bears in mind that we are living in the end times, he should remember the words of the Holy Spirit through the pen of the apostles that perilous times will come (2 Timothy 3:1) and people will no longer have the love of truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). The great apostle made this amazing prediction, “ever learning, and never be able to come to the knowledge of the truth” 2 Timothy 3:7. Many people are eternally lost, or rather, will be eternally lost not because they did not hear the truth being taught or preached. It appears that, in the churches today, we have people who act, think and behave like deluded unbelievers who simply do not love the truth.

John MacArthur, commenting on the 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12, made this remarkable observation:

The truth includes both “the word of truth, the gospel” (Col. 1:5), and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is truth incarnate (John 14:6; cf. 1:17; Eph 4:21). Unbelievers do not welcome either Jesus or the gospel He proclaimed. Their antipathy to the truth is not intellectual, but moral, and their self-imposed blindness leaves the unredeemed under a damning level of satanic deception. It is not surprising then, that Antichrist will deceive the entire lost world.[5]

Some people in the church today thinks that the devil will deceive the entire lost world, and the church is safe from satanic deception because we are saved and we have the Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth. Let’s assume for a moment that, if that was the truth, why would the New Testament authors took their time to warn believers to be watchful, and to be on guard against false teachers, false prophets and false apostles? In fact, the Bible has more warnings that deal with the need to be watchful against error, false teaching and deceivers that will come into the church. Even in the times of the apostles, several false teachers were already there, and the Elder John even wrote that many antichrists in his time had already gone into the world (1 John 2:18). The church is not safe from error, heresy or any false teaching today. Instead, there are more false teachers and preachers in the religious world that it is not easily discernable who the real or fake one is. As a result, many believers have followed the path to spiritual deception and treaded the dreaded highway of error unknowingly. However, Satan wants you to believe that all is well at Zion; there is peace and security, prosperity and health. He wants you to believe that you are untouchable and cannot be lost as long as you are faithful in your church attendance and maintain your religious devotion.

When people are in error or peddling some false gospels, the devil is not bothered. He knows that they are just spearheading his end-times agenda. As a result, he seeks way to promote such churches by offering the delicacies of the world so that they keep busying themselves with the satanic occupations in the name of religion while truth perishes and vanishes from their sight. The devil loves lies; he is the father of all lies and those who propagate false gospels are his servants. We should be on guard against false teachings in the churches, but what can be done if we decide to believe that our rationality does not work in spiritual things? How are we going to use the gifts of discernment of spirits and test prophecies and teachings if we deny ourselves the ability to reason sensibly?

The Challenge to Rethink

One of the ways Satan has made truth to vanish in our time is by not allowing us to rethink. Instead, we can think of all other things but fail to rethink those things that appear to be spiritually intriguing, bear marks of popularity or acceptable behaviors. Today, the reasoning is like, “Everyone is doing it. Every church is doing it, so it must be oaky!” instead of appealing to the voice of reason, the voice of truth, we have allowed the opinion of the majority to be the determinant factor in establishing truth. This is a very fatal move in our spiritual life, for, usually, the voice of the majority; the voice of the crowd is not usually the voice of God. Many would prefer to remain in their religious systems where man is the authoritative voice instead of those places where God’s voice is the final authority. The supremacy of God’s voice and command usually become undermined by a majority vote.

We should bear in mind that humanity is inclined to evil. Religion, once good has now been corrupted by man’s wicked ways and systems that have sought to dethrone God and deify man. While in man’s conscience, the desire is for worship, Satan has deceived the majority into going after strange gods who seem to flatten the laws of true spirituality. Holiness adorns God’s house, but in the religious world, the talk of holiness has long been lost. It’s an uncommon truth. The late revivalist, Leonard Ravenhill used to say, “If you want to be popular, preach happiness. If you want to be unpopular, preach holiness.” The apostle Paul wrote, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19). The fear of the Lord and a departure from evil are topics that are rare in the churches today. The fear of God has been replaced by other humanistic philosophies, the gospel of prosperity and the “name it and have it” philosophies.

We do not like to rethink things and challenge our religious commitments. Few of us are allowed to think; the majority perishes and languishes in spiritual ignorance. If something is said in the religious spheres, the tendency is to accept it at face value; no examinations to its reality and truth claims, lest you be labeled a doubter or unbeliever. If we were to encourage church members to think, most of the acceptable church practices and teachings would have long ceased to be propagated from the pulpits. The believers should have the “Berean attitude” (Acts 17:11) of examining things to see if they are so. Instead, we have developed a culture of spiritual laziness that awaits the man of the cloth to come and spoon feed us. We do not care if the spiritual food is wholesome and tasty as long our spiritual appetites have been met. As a result, all forms of spiritual garbage are placed on the table and those who lack the spiritual disposition to make informed decisions are fed with rotten and poisonous religiosity that will take them to hell while they are devoted congregants. Many minds have been poisoned, and borrowing the communist phrase, religion is poison!

As I have already indicated, this book is a wakeup call from spiritual ignorance. My hope is that, peradventure, God will give the church in Southern Africa repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that we may recover ourselves out of the snare of the devil who has taken the churches captive at his will (cf. 2 Timothy 2:24-26). One way to do that is by rethinking our spirituality. Have we been doing things rightly? Have we believed the true Gospel? If so, how is my spiritual life? Is it healthy or not? How is my relationship with God? Do I love the Bible so much that its teachings and principles govern my daily life, conduct and decisions in everyday life? How is my prayer life? Is it informed by the word of God? How is my faith? Is it blind faith that leaps n the dark or my faith is intelligent? Someone has written, “An unexamined life is not worthy living.” Do you have time to ponder and reflect on what you have been doing? Have you chosen the path of folly or wisdom? God is calling you to come and reason together. He has endowed you with the mind and you should use it. Allowing preachers to tell you that God’s things do not need you to reason is to be defrauded of that great thing that demarcates between humanity and animals. You are a thinking person and God requires that you use your mind to think and rethink especially in the modern day where the battle for truth is raging as ever been witnessed before. The days are evil and Satan is very angry knowing that he has but a little time. Sadly, the church is the only place where people think they still have much time.

Acknowledging Responsibility

Many times, I have gone to the shopping malls. At the front of most shops, there is a parcel counter, and in that counter, there sits the employ of the company being paid to watch over people’s parcels and luggage that they are not to bring into the shop with them. At almost all such counters, I have been puzzled to read, “Goods left at owner’s risk!” This has puzzled me for a long time, until the truth of it began to dawn on me: our society is irresponsible for anything. Likewise, travelling in a local bus, the ticket is equally stamped: “All luggage carried at owners’ risk. We do not repay”. No one wants to be responsible for anything in the world. The blame game is at its toll. People are blaming someone or something for their irresponsible behaviors and they are good at finding excuse and an escape route. This kind of think has dominated our cultures and permeated our societies. In fact, it seems the only responsible thing to do: to be irresponsible. This is a great paradox if not a great irony.

Because the churches have failed to set the example for the world, we have followed in its footsteps. No one in the church claims responsibility for anything; there should always be something or someone to blame, just as it happened in the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 3). Adam could not take responsibility for his actions, neither Eve. Both had to shun from their responsibilities and refused to be accountable for their disobedience. It had to be Satan who stood there with no-one to blame! If people sin today in church, the pastors have made the sins of the people to look much lighter by encouraging the believers to blame their sinful behavior on other things that they can think of. For example, a believer caught in the act of adultery does not blame his carnal and unhinged sensual nature. He blames the devil and some demon of lust, fornication or adultery that is believed to have seized him. The church women who gossip blame the demons that cause gossip. By so doing, we have encouraged a culture of false humility and pseudo-repentance, thus, encouraging more sinful activity by default, where people’s conscience are untouched because at the end of the day, they have a demon or a spirit to pinpoint as the reason for their sin. Thus, they themselves are falsely justified. It’s like a chicken that has picking food with its beak and wiping it out, saying, “I haven’t eaten anything”.

I have to say with some heavy heart that this is where the roots of much that is called deliverance in our Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. The tendency is to find something to blame for someone’s behavior, lack, poverty or spiritual problems. The ancient philosophy of Philo, “There is a spirit behind everything” has been taken by the churches as if it’s a biblical fact or principle. Many believers, failing to take responsibility for their own actions have found some sought of scapegoat to take away their irresponsibility while they stand falsely justified. This practice has become so dangerous that it has produced a breed of religious folk who have deluded themselves of true repentance, for all its worthy is just pin pointing some unseen spiritual personality and cast it in the name of Jesus. Then, you can come back tomorrow with this and many other problems. After all, why do you have to worry when the religious leaders are the exorcists? A little seed offering, some monetary sacrifices, some work at church can earn you the much needed healing, deliverance or spiritual solution. Because we have allowed ourselves not to think, we end up deceiving ourselves that this is the kind of spirituality that God wills for us. As a result, churches have become the hub of men-made religious rituals that have been mistakenly called Christianity.

If the church has to go back to the basics of the Bible and retrace its steps to primitive Christianity, then we must begin by taking responsibility for our thinking, behavior and practices. If we are not determined to rethink, we cannot recant the false faiths which we have so dearly embraced out of ignorance. Out of ignorance, we have thought that we are enjoying some religious freedom and independence and yet, we have forgotten the truth that “freedom preserves itself by acknowledging responsibility”.[6] If our freedom in Christ does not make us responsible citizens of God’s kingdom, then it’s a false liberty; we are still bound. Christians should be on the forefront of being spiritual intellectuals who stand for the truth that is in Christ and in His word through the enabling power of the indwelling Holy Spirit that God has freely given to those who obey Him. If we cannot be responsible for the truth, how then should we stand for it?

We should encourage church folks that they are free to use their minds. Using your mind is not a sign of carnality. No one should be afraid to use his mind as long as it is governed by the dictates of godly principles and spiritual truth. “Our intellectual faculties were given to us precisely to use, to use correctly.”[7] However, the challenge lies in one’s use of his brain. If you use your mind wrongly, it will lead to wrong deductions and wrong behavior. It should be obvious then, that faith depends on a rational process, though it cannot be defined as a creation of human rational thinking. No true faith is uninformed faith! “Rationality calls for human judgment as to what is “reasonable.” Human judgment decides what state of mind determines saneness, sensibility, coherency, and normalcy.”[8]

However, we should stress here that wrong reasoning would want to imprison the spiritual and reduce it to something that can only be accounted for by reason, thus, blocking the way to faith. When man’s intellectual seeks to control the spiritual, the result is that man becomes a ‘god’ as he defines the standards, controls his own destiny, and judges between good and evil. This has been the illegitimate fear of some churches and believers who have only been pessimistic about reason. We should also remember that as humans, we are imperfect and our imperfections time and again can cause us to lose view of the divine viewpoint. But through practice and our willingness to take responsibility for our thinking, we can affect a divine viewpoint in our value systems, have a better shift of focus, have a controllable thought life and avoid sinful choices.

Nevertheless, there is the optimistic side of reason and its proper use. True reasoning will first of all; seek to be informed by the Bible, the divine point of view. When believers decides to mould their lives, thinking processes and behavior with what the Bible teaches, Satan will fail to penetrate their lives. But, if as Eve in the Garden of Eden, they choose to entertain his thoughts, he will throw seeds of doubt in believers and cause them to enthrone themselves above God to whom they should be accountable. The Psalmist declared, “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I may not sin against thee” and he also wrote, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119: 11, 105). To Joshua, the Lord gave him the task of being responsible with how he handles God’s Law for in it, he would find success and make his way prosperous (Joshua 1:6-8). If Joshua had decided to forego God’s word, and merely appealed to his judgments that were not rooted in the word, Israel would not have possessed the land of Canaan or won its numerous wars. Rather, Joshua chose to meditate upon God’s word and it conditioned his way of thinking and behavior. The Holy Spirit through Paul penned the same thoughts, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

Are you willing dear reader to be spiritually responsible for your spiritual life? The first responsibility of taking care of your spiritual life falls to you. “Take ye good heed unto yourselves” is a frequent command in the bible.[9] You should be able to take responsibility of yourself, your mind and spiritual life. No other human has the right to detect that to you. It is your personal decision, albeit, it should be in accordance to truth, to what is right and good for the well being of your soul. Some believers live as if their spirituality doesn’t matter. This is the result of many of the daily teachings and preaching that have failed to prepare believers for the coming age. The Holy Spirit has warned us to live as citizens of the kingdom and to set our minds on high, there in the heavens were Christ is enthroned at the right hand of God (Colossians 3:1-4).

Also, your spiritual oversight lies with your local church leadership. The Holy Spirit teaches, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls and will give an account for their work. Let them do this with joy and not with complaints, for this would be no advantage for you” (Hebrews 13:17 NET). It is evident from this Scripture that the responsibility of spiritual leaders is to have oversight of your spiritual affairs, as under-shepherds who have to report to the Chief Shepherd of the Sheep, Christ Jesus himself. The Lord once promised the nation of Israel, “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15). The Bible clearly teaches that true church leadership is a gift from God (Ephesians 4:11-16). It is God through Christ who has given us local church leaders to exercise spiritual oversight over God’s people. These spiritual leaders normally referred to as elders in the New Testament, can be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. There are many names that have been ascribed to them however, some with biblical connotations and others so strange and foreign to the biblical text that have made their office to be carnal than spiritual. [10]

It is important to note that spiritual leaders are given to the Church by God from his heart so that they can instruct God’s people, feed them with knowledge and understanding. If we could closely look at these two words, one will quickly discern that they require the use of a healthy and sober mind. Church leaders are not there to brain wash our minds and feed it with spiritual straw. They are there to feed it with God’s word. It’s their God-given responsibility. In the Old Testament times, even priests had a similar law, “For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 2:7). As believers, not only should we be seeking truth, knowledge and understanding from our spiritual leaders, it is an apt and befitting spiritual enterprise. Sadly, the majority of spiritual leaders have nothing to give or feed us with. This is the reason why many believers particularly in Southern Arica have become spiritual migrants with no fixed abode. They roam from church to church, prophet to prophet seeking wrong things instead of pursuing truth, knowledge and understanding.

Isn’t it ironic that when you listen to prophets, and pastors today claiming that they are Levites and are in the order of Old Testament priests, their sights are set on eating tithes and offerings yet, they neglect the weightier matters of such responsibilities which lies in instructing and training people in righteousness? Long ago, the ancient prophet Jeremiah made a prediction of Israel’s spiritual leaders which I see to be a similar situation with the majority of church leaders. He wrote, “The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit” (Jeremiah 2:8). God expects his leaders to know Him, know His word and be able to instruct others. This is the reason why Scripture makes it clear that church leaders should be “apt to teach” (1 Timothy 3:2; 2 Timothy 2:24). Teaching is a way of imparting intellectual saneness to the human mind.

We need churches that can eradicate spiritual ignorance in the believers so that Satan should not take advantage of our ignorance (2 Corinthians 2:11). Believers should be well grounded and rooted in the word (Colossians 3:16). It is only when believers are well instructed in God’s word that they become true disciples (John 8:31, 32) who knows the truth and live the truth that informs their behavior and thought patterns. As a result, such believers can be doers of the word and not hearers only and the chances for them being deceived become slim. But, as we have already discussed, how can ignorant church leaders be in the position of imparting some spiritual knowledge? Where is the quest for truth? Where is the passion for learning and study? Where is the pursuance of truth and biblical ideology above the storms of worldly passions and self-will? Where are the church leaders today who can stand for the truth and authority of God’s word and can defend the faith that was once for all delivered? One only wonders what the fate of the church is, when spiritual leaders fail to take responsibility to educate the church, thus, utterly disobeying the Great Commission to make disciples. You can’t disciple without teaching. We should learn from Christ, the Grand Master Teacher himself.

Some church leaders have fallen prey to the Gnostic tendencies and philosophies. They behave as if they are the only custodians of divine truth. Thus, they think apart from them, no-one else can teach the truth. They have then seized the churches and made them their own empires, their grounds for manipulation and spiritual brainwashing centers. Believers are confined to the teachings, creeds and dogmas of the church only and are forbidden to interact with other believers and churches. They are made to believe that only their churches are the in truth others are in error. The man of God that leads the church is the only man of God for the season, all others are fake and crooks! Now, you need to understand that the logic that belies this kind of behavior is satanic and diabolic. It is manipulative, repressive and controlling. It’s sad to note that many believers today throng such churches in great numbers, like sheep being led to the slaughter.

Dear apostle, prophet, pastor or church leader, whatever title you can claim to yourself, remember that the church is the Lord’s. You are just a fellow-servant with those folks you lead, only that their spiritual oversight has been entrusted to you. At the end, judgment will be on you depending on how you have dealt with God’s flock. You have a unique spiritual responsibility to lead these people in the paths of truths, in the paths of righteousness. Your unique spiritual task is to lead them to worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth. Dear believer, while your church leader has his own responsibilities over your own souls, remember to take heed to yourself, you have a personal responsibility too over your own soul and you should learn to say “No!” to things of no spiritual value. It doesn’t matter who is practicing them or teaching them to you. You should learn to “hold on to that which is good” (1 Timothy 5:21) as the Holy Spirit teaches.

Seize the Truth

Not only should you be responsible, you should begin your journey to seize the truth. “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding” (Proverbs 23:23). There are four things that you need to have in order for you to come out of your state of spiritual ignorance: truth, wisdom, instruction and understanding. All these rely on your ability to reason and make informed judgments using your mind. Do not allow anyone to tell you that your mind is useless. God wasn’t stupid when in His foreknowledge and wisdom chose beforehand that man should have a brain. He saw that it was good, and it will be evil to use your mind to not think of truth and examine truth claims.

Many of us have long forgotten what it means to be civilized. We think civilization is possible without truth and without education. To be educated is to have a life change as a result of your application of the knowledge that you have acquired through learning. Does this in any way imply that one has to go to a college or university to find truth? No! However, if such chances avail themselves, one should seek to utilize learning opportunities that are meant to make him a better Christian. If we deny learning, we deny ourselves truth. A denial of truth is a denial of real human communication. If we deny ourselves truth, how are we going to judge between what is real and not? The truth is, as Plato said in The Republic, to say of what is, that it is; and to say of what is not, that it is not.[11]

Most church folk today cannot explicitly say what is and what is not. They do not know the difference between religious ideas and Gospel truth. As a result, most of them have been forced to subscribe to the religious views of their church leaders, founders and denominational creeds without question. We should bear in mind that only those creeds, teachings and practices that have been clearly drawn out of the biblical text after a proper hermeneutic should be deemed biblically informed. Otherwise, what we have is man’s philosophies masquerading as spiritual revelations.

If we say we are lovers of good, we should also love truth. Truth is good, it sets people free (John 8:32). However, if we do not have our lives in order, ready to seize and accept truth, we will lose sight of the fundamental principles of reason and logic. The Christian’s life should be orderly, not confused. There exists many things in the Bible that are meant for our knowledge and understanding, but, if one lacks self-discipline and the disposition to avail one’s self to the Holy Spirit, the real truth teacher, then one is in danger of following strange voices that masquerades themselves as notable voices. When we have the needed self-discipline, to sit under godly instruction and to have listening ears, then we will come to know the truth. Many are of the opinion that the Holy Spirit will cause your mind to go blank; as you shut your eyes and awaits his spiritual nudges, the Holy Spirit will begin to deposit some new revelations and information that excites the mind and some spiritual senses will be heightened. Then, there follows a “Thus saith the Lord” and the believer is caught in a spiritual frenzy.

We should caution ourselves that this kind is spiritual meditation is nowhere taught in the Scriptures. Rather, our first place to seek spiritual truth is to retrace our steps into the library, the sixty-six books of the biblical canon. These should be read and interpreted using the principles of Bible interpretation that we have so far discussed. From there, we should aim at reading other good spiritual books that have handled the Word accurately. These books can be from the past, from philosophers, theologians or any other Christians that have taken their time to share with us their amazing discoveries from the biblical passages that may even seem parallel to our own spiritual conditions. I have found great insight from my biblical meditations after reading such great works by other men of God from the past ages. I am always thankful to God for giving mankind the gift of using their minds that has conceived the idea of the internet. Books from antiquity without diluted theology are available and cab ne accessed even for free. The only thing is, you need to know what makes a good read and a bad read. This is where teachers or guides are important in our lives.

Many books are available on the internet and in the libraries which falsely handle the truth. For a novice, it is not easy to discern the error or mishandling of the word since the authors have taken a lot of their time proof texting their ideas with biblical verses. This sounds convincing to the beginner because as long as some people see Scriptures in any given book, they wrongly assume that the author’s intent if good and his interpretation of the text is sound. I have often come across many students and believers who think so but only after exposing the errors or fallacies of the author’s logic has some students begun to see the truth. Thus, in your pursuit of spiritual truth, you need spiritual guides, seasoned men and women of God who knows the Word to lead you in the paths of righteousness. I love listening to others as they preach or teach. However, I have come to categorize others as false teachers because of the way the handle biblical truth. Sadly, most believers feel that no-one on earth has the right to classify preachers that way. One of the arguments I often hear is, “If he is a false teacher, why does God allow him to thrive? He has the biggest church, latest instruments, latest models of cars and buses, and what do you have? Are those not evidence enough that God is using him and has called him for this hour?”

Mostly, to be honest, the things people use to validate a person’s ministry are so estranged from God’s criterion. Very few can stand and say, “I believe so-and-so is a false teacher because he mishandles these Scriptural principles or values”. How can they if they are spiritually uninformed? At times, church leaders are to blame. They have forgotten their spiritual call to make informed and intelligent disciples. Rather, most church leaders have produced dump followers who know nothing about God’s truth. If the church in Africa is to survive, it should produce disciples who are pursuant of truth; truth lovers who will seek to buy the truth at any cost. If we lose focus of this important mission, our churches will be heretical centers where much confused religion is birthed and nurtured.

If revelation does not seek reason, then something is definitely wrong. Revelation addresses the mind and fosters it. It is not dump and blind revelation. This is the reason why biblical revelation had to be written down. Why had it to be written? The Holy Spirit informs us, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). Have the Scriptures not been written, where would our spiritual learning today be? Those that have rejected the Bible have found themselves shopping spiritual error and have lost the paths of righteousness.

As I come to the conclusion of this chapter, it is important that we have a recap of the finer points that have been discussed. The call to spiritual wisdom is a path that most spiritually ignorant people would dare not tread. Most people in the churches are comfortable dwelling in ignorance because they think it’s a way to safeguard them from error. Their reasoning is like, “The more I don’t know, the safer I am”. However, this is not always the case, for “My people perish for lack of knowledge” cries God (Hosea 4:6). Believers have the spiritual mandate to watch over their souls and neglecting such a high responsibility will open doors to the enemy to abuse you. Spiritual leaders, our church leaders have an equally unique job of taking oversight of our souls; however, this does not imply a folding of hands on our part. We should be always willing to pursue the truth and find better ways to have an informed faith and not blind faith.

____________________________

[1] Johnson C. Philip. Resisting Mind Manipulation: Analyzing the Methods Which The World Uses To Fight Truth. (India: Trinity Graduate School of Apologetics and Theology, undated).

[2] Mark Lynn. A Search for Spirituality. (West Monroe: Nations University, 2013), 7.

[3] Ibid.

[4] James V Schall, S.J. A Student’s Guide to Liberal Learning. (Wilmington, ISI Books, 2000), 1-2.

[5] John McArthur. “God’s Strong Delusion” 2 Thessalonians 2 available at http://www.gty.org/resources/bible-qna/BQ012413

[6] Richard Weaver, “Lee as a Philosopher” as quoted in Schall, p.5

[7] Schall, p.8.

[8] Lynn, p.7.

[9] See Exodus 19:12; Deuteronomy 2:4; Deuteronomy 11:16; Jeremiah 17:21; Mark 13:9; Luke 17:3; 21:34; Acts 5:35; Acts 20:28. These verses stresses the importance of taking good care of yourself by being watchful or what I may call exercising personal oversight of your spiritual affairs. If you do not guard yourself, don’t blame anyone for your spiritual lostness.

[10] See the discussion in my book, The Equippers of the Church: An Investigation into the Ephesians 4:11 Ministries wherein the idea of the five-fold ministry is discussed at great length.

[11] Schall, p.10

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2 thoughts on “The Battle for Truth

  1. This was a great read! Right from the heart – a helping hand just when I needed one.

    “…you should learn to say “No!” to things of no spiritual value. It doesn’t matter who is practicing them or teaching them to you. You should learn to “hold on to that which is good” (1 Timothy 5:21) as the Holy Spirit teaches.”
    And this,”One of the ways Satan has made truth to vanish in our time is by not allowing us to rethink. ”
    Your summing up in detail of this battle for the truth, impressed me and helped me crystallize a concept not yet articulated that was floating around in my mind.

    Praise be to God- Eph 1 3:5

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    • Dear Maggie,

      Thank you for you great comments. I am glad you found the article to be of great help to you. I have made it a chapter of one of my books if you may be interested to get a copy of THE FOLLY OF SPIRITUAL IGNORANCE. It is available from createspeace.com or amazon.com.

      Blessings,

      Ernest

      Like

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