youngest son did a science project to determine whether the
information gathered off the Internet or at the library was the better
information for research. After doing some checking he found out that the
information contained in books at the library was not necessarily factual,
but could very well be only someone’s opinions. That was kind of a shock to
me. I had always assumed that information obtained out of books was factual.
learned a lot of things from my parents. I learned by asking questions and
by listening when they were talking to someone else. I had complete
confidence in my parents and (until I was a teenager, of course) believed
everything I heard. I assumed that their opinions were based on facts they
had obtained in their lifetime. Their opinions were as good as fact to me
and many became my opinions as well.
the years I sat under pastors and Sunday School teachers I was learning more
about God, Jesus, the Bible, and what God wanted me to do. I assumed that
they were more knowledgeable than I was about the Bible and took what they
said as fact. Their interpretations of the Bible became my interpretations.
Many of their opinions became my opinions.
Everyone has taken facts, assumptions, life experiences, and their own
personalities and have mixed most of them all into one pot and the resulting
information is known as opinion. Sometimes an opinion that begins as an
admitted opinion, not based on any factual evidence, gets repeated so many
times that it turns into “fact” in the mind of the person who originated the
opinion. Other times, the line between fact and opinion gets blurred and the
result is passed on as “fact.” There are lots of ways that opinions are
formed. We are going to look at our own opinions.
can see, it is easy to fill your mind with “fact” that is actually
“opinion.” We then, in turn, may be passing our opinions on to others as
facts. The world is full of opinion disguised as fact. How do we stop this
cycle in our own life? It seems like a formidable task, but it is possible.
SORTING OPINION AND FACT
thing that may hinder your ability to separate opinions from facts would be
pride. Many people take pride in being knowledgeable and want to be able to
know something about everything. Some people feel it is a sign of weakness
to say, “I don’t know,” or, “I’m not sure.” I’m not going to deal with the
pride issue other than to make you aware of its existence.
necessary to examine all information we pass on. We need to be aware of
where we got the information. I have found that most things need to be
prefaced with, “I read somewhere,” or, “I was told,” or some other
explanation that will indicate there is a possibility that the information
is not factual.
much easier to determine the validity of information about God, Jesus, the
Bible, Christianity, and anything else that originates with God. The first
step is to be reading the Bible. Notice, I didn’t say to just read the
Bible. Reading it through one time is not enough to absorb it. You need to
dive in, swim around, bathe in it, meditate on it, do comparative studies of
topics, pray about it, and just spend a lot of time in it.
Bible is the Word of God. It is from God and about God and is written for
our benefit. As it says in 2Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable
for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
"Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy
righteous judgments endureth for ever."
Everything we read in the Bible is good. It is all truth. We can believe
everything we read and use it as fact.
"That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God
to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay
hold upon the hope set before us."
“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised
before the world began.”Titus 1:2
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh
unto the Father, but by me.”John
Jesus was talking to God and said, “Thy word is truth.”
not enough to listen to a preacher read the scripture and tell you what it
means. If you haven’t read other parts of the Bible yourself you may find
yourself believing something that is not from God. I’m sure you’ve heard the
controversies about losing or not losing salvation, speaking in tongues and
not speaking in tongues, and many others. God doesn’t want us to be confused
on those issues, yet there is a huge amount of controversy regarding them.
easy to pick a sentence or a few sentences and make a statement as to what
they mean. That is how some controversies start. Someone will pick some
scripture and interpret it and then start spreading their interpretation as
people who believe the Bible teaches you can lose your salvation have a very
valid argument. They have a good deal of scripture to back their claims. If
you listen to the whole thing you will be firmly convinced that you need to
continue renewing your salvation to make sure you will get to heaven. It is
a very important thing to know whether or not your salvation is secure,
isn’t it? Now, answer this question. Does the security of your salvation lie
in man’s opinion or in God’s opinion? So, the thing you need to find out is
God’s opinion on the issue and on every other issue.
|FINDING GOD'S OPINIONS
gave His opinions to the writers of the books of the Bible. The reason they
wrote the books was because God laid it upon their hearts. God gave them the
information to write. The confusion begins because each writer wrote using
words they personally used and they used examples of things they themselves
had experienced in their lifetime. You can see each writer’s personality
shining through what they wrote. You know yourself how sometimes something
you say can be misinterpreted by someone else. Each person communicates
based on their own life experiences.
you add the variable of how the reader interprets what they are reading.
Each person interprets based on their own life experiences. Confusion is
often one of the by-products.
process does not take God by surprise. He knows how and why we think what we
do. He knew that people would misinterpret what He wanted to tell us. That
is why there is so much information in the Bible. If we read it we will find
many references to the same subject. We will learn more about God’s nature.
Many times we can apply God’s nature to a subject and know exactly what He
means. The more we read the Bible the more we learn about God. We have to
read and read and read the Bible before we can make factual statements about
what God will and won’t do and what He does and doesn’t think. We may find
that there are certain statements about God that we can never speak with
complete assurance. We will always have to preface those statements with, “I
feel,” or, “My opinion is.”
Reading our Bibles is not the only way to find out what God wants us to
know. We have to communicate with Him on a personal level. We have to get
closer to Him and let Him teach us. 1John 2:27 says the Holy Spirit will
teach us what we need to know:
“But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you,
and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth
you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught
you, ye shall abide in him.”
has not stopped communicating with mankind. He did not close His mouth after
the Bible was written. He still communicates with us. He is always in us in
the form of the Holy Spirit. He is not silent. He is wanting to communicate.
Any problems in hearing from Him are on our part.
a web page dedicated to teaching about
prayer. It is based on Bible studies I did on prayer as well as my own
personal experiences. There is more to prayer than asking for things.
been praying that my opinions become God’s opinions. Opinions, in
themselves, are utterly worthless unless they line up with God’s opinions.
Then they become extremely valuable. In order to obtain God’s opinions we
have to do some surgery. We need to be able to remove our life experiences
from our opinions. We need to remove our prejudices from our opinions. We
need to ask God to reveal His opinion. It is a continuous process that needs
to be nurtured along. We need to learn how to be in constant contact with
God. We need to fill our minds and hearts with God. Once we can do that it
will push out the worldly things that contaminate our opinions.
to share an example with you of how I was able to let go of an opinion I
held and replace it with God’s opinion. It was not easy for me since my
opinion had been validated by scripture, by pastors and Sunday School
teachers, and by society in general. As far as I was concerned my opinion
was already God’s opinion, but I asked Him to reveal His opinion to me,
anyway. He did and it surprised me how wrong I had been.
placing that example on a separate page since you may or may not want to
read it and because it is a sensitive and controversial subject. You may
already have a “good” opinion on it and may not be interested in reading
what the Lord revealed to me. Heck, you may not even believe that I heard
the Lord correctly. Anyway, the subject is homosexuality and, like I said,
is on a separate page. You can read it
have to be very careful when we are teaching others about God, salvation,
Jesus, sin, grace, and any other topic that is in the Bible. If we haven’t
tuned in to God’s opinion then we are doing nothing but spreading our own
worthless opinion. Has God given you the go-ahead to teach what you are
teaching? I pray you don't find yourself expecting to hear the Lord tell
you, “Well done my good and faithful servant,” and, instead, hear something
like, “You caused many of my children to stumble! You allowed satan
YOU SERVING GOD OR OPINION?
Internet is a wonderful thing. It has opened my eyes to things that were
outside of the box that had I had built to contain God and His attributes. I
had reached a limit of understanding. I had read and re-read the Bible.
However, I had been stifling God’s attempts to speak to me. My mind was not
open to the fact that God wanted me to be taught by Him personally. I had
been in a limited learning environment. I was allowing people to teach me
about God rather than allowing God to teach me about Himself! The Internet
showed me what God was doing in the lives of others. It threw open the doors
of my mind.
in constant search for Internet sites that will teach me, encourage me, and
edify me. There is a problem, however. There appear to be very few sites
that have been inspired by God. Most sites are developed because “the space
is there so I need to fill it.” Portions that are dedicated to the Lord are
usually full of personal opinion or personal testimony. Many people feel
compelled to draw people to their sites so they can convert them to their
opinions or so they can fuel their personal need for recognition. I’ve found
very few sites that were created because the Lord placed it on the authors’
those people had asked the Lord what He would have them place on the
Internet then I would be able to find many sites that will teach, encourage,
and edify me. I feel the most pitiful part is knowing that the author is
wasting their time on something they feel is work they are doing for the
Lord when it isn’t at all what God would have them be doing! Their gifts and
talents are being wasted because they didn’t spend the time finding out
same thing holds true for many people holding positions in churches. They
are there because they feel anything they do for the church is what God
would want them to do! They may be holding a position that should be held by
someone else. In that case, there is a job in the body that is not being
filled since the person is in the wrong place!
has given each of us specific talents and gifts. They were given to us so we
could do a specific job in the body of Christ. We have to find out what it
is. If we plug ourselves into a position then we are not effectively serving
God or the body. Many people will be very surprised when they come face to
face with the Lord and He tells them something like, “You did OK, but you
sure missed the boat!” when they are, again, expecting to hear, “Well done,
good and faithful servant!”
easy to be complacent and think that we are in God’s will. The bottom line
is that it just plain doesn’t matter what we think. The most important thing
is to find out what God thinks!