The Declaration of Independence starts off the second paragraph with this quote “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.”
I find that very interesting because the course of human history shows that it has not been a self-evident truth that equality should be practiced. I would say that most would think it is self-evident that “the strongest, smartest, and most cunning” should have all the power.
But, we know that that shouldn’t be true. We know that “all men (and women!) are created equal.
If it isn’t truly “self-evident” then we must answer the question of “why?” with honesty and integrity. And as a Christian, I give my answer based upon something very different than my own self-reasoning.
God declared both Adam and Eve to be made in his image (Genesis 1:26-27), and all those who subsequently lived after those two are made in God’s image (Genesis 9:6; James 3:9). This would then logically mean that all humans are made in God’s image and therefore must be respected and valued.
Ok. Well, But why do I believe that stating the Bible on an issue matters?
I believe the Bible to be God’s Word and therefore authoritative on what it declares to be truth. This also means that I am to take it on its grounds, in its contexts, and pull personal application after I find out what it meant (to its people, in its language, in its time, in its culture, in its geography, etc.).
My basis for a belief comes from what God’s Word says on it.
But then why are there so many different beliefs if it is from God’s Word? And Who says it is God’s Word?
Ok. Alright. Settle Down. One question at a time.
There are many different beliefs because:
- Not everyone believes the Bible is God’s Word, but rather a faulty human document created to control ignorant masses.
- Most people do not know what the Bible says.
- The Bible is not a thorough textbook written for you on every topic. Some topics are not addressed in the Bible (like if you should homeschool, use clothe diapers, drive a hybrid, or if you should invest in stocks rather than bonds).
- We usually approach the Bible backwards- we look for an application to make ourselves feel good in a moment, and do not ask questions about context
- We do not know how to “study to show ourselves approved” (2 Timothy 2:15).
Why do I believe the Bible to be God’s Word and therefore authoritative upon my life and practices?
- I trust that it was passed down through the millenia without be defected beyond recognition. By this I mean that we have accurate manuscripts of the Bible that represent what was originally written/ said.
- I do not believe that God would be so malicious as to leave us clueless about what is truth.
- I believe that God is powerful enough to preserve truth.
- Scripture attests to Scripture (I Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; 3:14-16).
- The authors of the Old and New Testament had such a devotion to God that for them to write untruths about God, or to declare their own writings to be from God that they would have been going against their own beliefs about God, and would have consequently also been punished by the followers of God (Deuteronomy 18:20-22; Luke 24:27; Acts 7; 9; 17:2-5; 10-11).
- Nothing brought up which is “contrary” to this understanding cannot be explained in its proper context.
So, why do you hold true what you believe to be true?
Really pause and think about that question.
Most of the times, unfortunately, for all of us, the answer comes down to these reasons.
- Its what I have always been told
- It feels right
- I read it on the internet
- I read it in some book
- Oprah says
- (Insert news outlet source name) says…
- Or even worse: I don’t know.. I just suppose
Some things can be figured out with simple gut logic. God gave us good minds (though sin/ the fall causes our minds and hearts to not be wholly inclined towards good – Romans 1:18-32; 2:10-18). Some people do give us good information about life too. But you must always ask “what is the foundation?” Unless that foundation is God, it is a shaky and worthless foundation (Matthew 7:24-27)
If you have more questions about God’s Word – how to understand it in its contexts, feel free to ask me about good sources that can help you understand the Greek, Hebrew, geography, social culture and customs, and literary genres. I would love to help!