define truth

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Why I am not a Christian: Excuses

Here are some common objections to Christianity: hypocrites in the Church, there is no absolute truth, or I only believe parts of the Bible. How do we respond to these objections? Is all of the Bible true? How do we define truthfulness? Are Christian beliefs based upon faith alone? This page answers a couple of common objections and this website should answer many more.

You can scroll down to start reading at the beginning or use the page index to jump to the part that interest you most.

Overview of content in this section is as follows:

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A common mistake made by nonbelievers
Truth
If that is Christianity I want no part of it!

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Truth and the bible: I only believe part of the Bible.

I WOULD LIKE TO MENTION A COMMON MISTAKE
MADE BY NONBELIEVERS:

How many times have you had a conversation with someone who will quote the Bible or say that Jesus said something, only to find out later that they do not even believe the Bible?

A person may try to win a debate with you by using certain parts of the Bible. When you bring the passage back into context, or share related verses in the Bible, your opponent’s response is along the lines of “I don’t believe that part of the Bible.”

I remember a conversation with a friend. She would claim that Jesus said something, and I would share other verses in the Bible on the same subject. Her comment would always be, “Well, I do not believe the Bible.” Finally, every time she said that Jesus said something, I would ask her, “What makes you think Jesus said that?” Her answer was, "It’s in the Bible". I then replied, “But you don't believe the Bible, so what makes you think Jesus said that?” This really confused her, and she kept repeating, “It’s in the Bible!” Even when she was quoting something that was in the Bible that Jesus had said, her reasoning (although sincere) was not logical. It makes no sense to quote the Bible as an authoritative source, and then turn around and deny the authority of the Bible. This is not sound reasoning!

The Mormons make a similar mistake in their Eighth Article of Faith: "We believe the Bible to be the word of God insofar as it is translated correctly. We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God."

This sounds fairly reasonable at first glance. What if there are mistakes in the translation of the Bible? There is an abundance of evidence supporting the accuracy of the text of the Bible. There is also an abundance of evidence showing the unreliability of the Book of Mormon. These are subjects that I have dealt with in other writings. What I want to point out here is that this article of faith is often used as an excuse to reject the bible by the L.D.S members.

For example, I remember talking to a bishop of the L.D.S church. Our conversation was about God. They believe that God the Father has a body of flesh and bones. I pointed out that Jesus made both of the following statements.

Luke 24:39: "See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have."

John 4:23-24: "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth"

Jesus said that the Father was spirit and He also said that a spirit did not have a body of flesh and bones. Therefore I do not believe that God the Father has a body of flesh and bones.

The bishop's response was that the Bible was wrong! He then referred to the Mormons’ Eighth Article of Faith.

This of course really boils down to one question: either the Bible is what it claims to be, and it is reliable — or, the Bible is not what it claims to be, and it is not reliable.

If one does not believe the text of the Bible is reliable, on what basis do they believe certain parts? How can we logically say, “This part is true and that part is not true”, without some sort of factual reason to support that position? I suggest to you that most people who discount the Bible do so with absolutely no evidence.

I certainly cannot prove every point or event mentioned in the Bible. However, I have proven enough for myself to accept the parts I cannot prove. I have yet to see an argument against the Bible that is not full of holes and gaps. Christians accept some things by faith, but it is not at all a blind faith. There is enough evidence for me that I cannot rationally throw logic out the window to deny the parts I do understand. I am reminded of something I once heard: "I am not bothered so much by things that I do not understand in the Bible as I am by things that I do understand." The truth of Scripture is sobering enough in what I can prove and what I do understand!

As far as the accuracy of the Bible, besides the abundance of archaeological evidence, manuscript evidence, and fulfilled prophecy, one should also ask themselves some basic questions. Is God Sovereign or not? Does God really have control? Can He actually preserve His written word? Or is He at the mercy of mankind to do that for Him? Would God consider it important enough to want to preserve His written word?

Jesus claimed to be from heaven. Jesus predicted His own death and resurrection. He offered us evidence of who He really was by actually rising from the dead. How reliable did Jesus consider the Scripture that existed during His earthly life? Considering that the Dead Sea Scrolls date to before Jesus, and they confirm the accuracy of the current Bible, this can be an important question.

Matthew 5:17-18: "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished.

It would seem by this statement that Jesus considered the text of Scripture reliable and authoritative. Since Jesus considered the text reliable and the Dead Sea Scrolls confirm the accuracy of the Hebrew text we have today, why would we reject it? This leads us back to the other question, “Is God sovereign?” Is He capable of preserving His written word or is He really at the mercy of mankind to do that for Him? I believe the answer is that God is sovereign, and He has preserved His written word to lead mankind to Himself.

Jeremiah 32:27: "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?"

Isaiah 40:8: “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.”

Isaiah 46:9-10: "Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like me, Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, 'My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure'...”

Matthew 16:18: "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.”

Page Index (universal truth, define truth)

TRUTH

I remember being in a college dorm and seeing a statement that a student placed on the door to his room. It read, "Truth is what you believe". Think about that statement a minute. Is it true? A couple of days later another note was stuck on his door underneath the original statement. It read, "Truth is what you believe? Well you must be an idiot. I believe that, therefore it must be true!" I am amused sometimes by the blindness of some people's “statements of belief”; their “creeds”; their “words to live by”.

If the student who originally wrote "Truth is what you believe" was correct, then he must have been an "A" student. After all, how could he ever get anything wrong on a test? He obviously believed his answer was true! Since he believed it, how could he be wrong? Funny enough there are professors who also believe this philosophy and still maintain a double standard by not giving all of their students a passing grade.

In our world today it is amazing how many people do not believe in any absolute truth. The reasoning given for this general attitude of disbelief is that many things that once were accepted as true have been proven incorrect in the past. For example, people once believed the world was flat. Also, in the area of medicine, so called "facts" seem to evolve with research and advancement in technology. Something that may seem true now may later, after more research, be shown to be incorrect, or incomplete knowledge (flawed). Some people apply this theory across the board, and say that there is no absolute truth at all, in anything. While it is true that people have believed things that were later proven to be untrue, this does not mean that there is no absolute truth. This doubting attitude is not really a new concept that developed only in our century. Pilate asked Jesus the same question.

John 18:37-38:

Pilate therefore said to Him, ‘So You are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’ Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?’ And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, ‘I find no guilt in Him.’”

There are indeed certain things that remain true regardless of whether or not an individual chooses to believe in that truth. “2 + 2 = 4” even if one chooses not to believe it. If you decide that you do not believe in gravity and step out of an airplane at 3,000 feet without a parachute or similar device, the outcome will be fatal.

When it comes to religion, some people make popular (but not very well considered) remarks. For example, "you must keep an open mind" is popular, as is, "that may be true for you, but it is not true for me." Keeping an open mind is indeed good advice — but ignoring all evidence in any situation is naive. It is best to make sure that your mind isn't so open your brains fall out. Usually when someone has told me that I must “keep an open mind”, I find that the person talking knows very few, if any, of the facts — and is reluctant to acknowledge that I may, in fact, be right. There are truths that are so well-established in fact that I do not need to "be open to the possibility." of them being wrong.

People have fallen from very great heights and lived. Yet if someone tells me to jump off a cliff, telling me I will be all right, I am not going to do it. When I am advised to keep an open mind about the probability of my resulting death, I am still not going to jump. Why would I be so closed-minded about such a thing? Because I have some knowledge of the facts, and I know that to jump would be foolish. This may seem an extreme example, but to my mind, some of the things that people say we should “keep an open mind” about really are that ridiculous.

As for the phrase, “that may be true for you, but it is not for me” — picture yourself in a courtroom on trial. The prosecutor alleges that you were caught stealing something, and theft is against the law. Your defense is, “Well, that might be true for you, but that is not true for me.” Do you think the judge or jury will accept that explanation? We do not live in different worlds from each other; we all live on this earth. What has been proven true is true, plain and simple.

You can believe something that is not true, and you have that right. But truth is still truth, in spite of what we believe. Sometimes there are consequences for believing that which is not true. You can step off a high mountain cliff because there are soft-looking clouds just a little below and you believe they will make a nice soft landing. But you will probably suffer some consequences for your false belief. Or am I just being closed-minded about the whole thing again?

The disciples of Jesus saw Him crucified. Three days after the crucifixion, the disciples claimed they saw Jesus alive again. There were more than 500 eyewitnesses who claimed they also saw Jesus alive after the crucifixion. Included among these eyewitnesses were people who were formerly unbelievers. After the crucifixion Jesus appeared to people and talked with them. Jesus ate food with them. They touched Jesus. This behavior continued for a period of forty days. The original disciples and numerous others suffered persecution and death for continuing to tell people what they had seen. Being closed-minded about the whole thing they were put to death! I exaggerate to prove my point — that there is no other apparent motive for them to stick to this testimony other than that they believed the resurrection of Jesus to be true. These things took place in the same geographical area and during the same time period as Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and burial. Those are the facts of events that occurred over 2,000 years ago. The resurrection of Jesus can be confirmed as a historical fact outside of the use of the Bible.

The discussion so far has led to one absolute truth that I would like to focus on for a moment — to refuse to accept this truth would be an error more fatal than stepping out of an airplane without a parachute. What could be more fatal than death? An eternity spent in a place called “Hell” would certainly be far worse than death itself, or any form of suffering here on earth, if indeed such a place really exists. We base the idea or reality of “Hell” on the fact that the Bible is indeed the word of God. I stand with those who declare, "God said it, and therefore I believe it!" Many people question whether the Bible is the Word of God or if it is truly accurate.

There is an abundance of evidence giving validity to claims of the Bible being the written Word of God. I am speaking of all of the archaeological evidence that the Bible is historically accurate. Numerous fulfilled prophecies show the Bible’s supernatural ability to constantly accurately foretell the future. Couple this with the fact that there is also plenty of historical evidence showing that Jesus actually did bodily raise from the dead, and I remain convinced that the Bible is indeed the Word of God.

Considering the Bible’s accuracy, I would refer to the manuscript evidence and also ask, "Is God sovereign or not?" He declared that He would preserve His word in the Old Testament (Isaiah 40:8), and Jesus made a similar statement in the New Testament (Matthew 24: 35). If God can create the world, then certainly He is capable of preserving His written word.

This is the realm where eternal truth is found. These truths are far more significant than the fact that 2 + 2 = 4, or that there is such a thing as gravity. Since God does not change (Malachi 3:6) this is an absolute truth that will not change. The Bible itself makes claims that if its words are true, ignoring them will be a fatal mistake. God will judge the world and He will judge both the living and the dead. A righteous judge is not going to excuse a behavior based upon a philosophy like "it was only true for him, but not for me" We either have broken God's law or we have not. When the Bible tells us that God will judge the world it is either the truth or
it is not. The evidence indicates that the bible is true! Consider the following passages in the Bible concerning truth.

Psalm 119:142: “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Thy law is truth.

John 1:14: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 1:17: “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”

John 8:31-32: “Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’”

John 8:45-47: "But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God."

John 14:6: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.’”

John 14:17: “.that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.

John 17:17: "Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth.”

Romans 1:18: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”

Romans 2:7-8: “to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.”

Galatians 2:5: “But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.”

Ephesians 1:13: “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation — having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise...”

John 1:8: “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

You have just read that God's Word is truth. The Gospel is truth. No one comes to God the Father except through Jesus Christ. The wrath of God is revealed against men who suppress the truth. If we say we have no sin then the truth is not in us.

This means that there are not a lot of ways to heaven, folks — Jesus claimed to be the only way. Jesus spoke of Hell more than anybody else did. He claimed to be from Heaven. He was foretold in detail before He was even born. He came here and amazed people with His miracles. He predicted His own death and resurrection.
Historical evidence leads us to the conclusion that He actually rose from the dead.

Yes there is absolute truth. 2 + 2 = 4, and it will always remain so. There is such a thing as gravity. Eternal truth is found in Jesus Christ. He still maintains more validity than any religious leader in history. Ignoring His claims will prove to be fatal. You would not step out of a plane at 3,000 feet without a parachute. So why would a person not at least consider the facts concerning Jesus and his claims? If Jesus was telling the truth, then those who accept Him and His payment for their sins can spend eternity in a place called Heaven, where there are no more tears or pain. To reject His offer is to choose to stand before God with no payment for sin. One can choose to do this, but it is not a wise decision, and the outcome will be more fatal than death itself.

Truth is not just what we believe. Hopefully we will believe, earnestly seek and obey the truth. However if we do none of these things, truth will remain true and just, in spite of our rebellion.

John 3:16-19: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil.

John 14:6: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.’”

Time Magazine December 30, 1974: "After more than two centuries of facing the heaviest scientific guns that could be brought to bear, the Bible has survived and perhaps better for the siege even on the critics’ own terms. Historical fact, the scriptures seem more acceptable now than they did when the rationalists began the attack"

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IF THAT'S CHRISTIANITY, I WANT NO PART OF IT!

I often hear this remark — “If that’s Christianity, I want no part of it!” — When someone who professes to be a Christian falls into sin. Hypocrisy has always been an excuse, a stumbling block, for those who do not fully understand Christianity, as to why they do not choose to live a Christian life. Sometimes, people have referred to the life choices of certain public figures as to why they do not embrace Christ. There have been several times, while I was sharing the Gospel with someone, when suddenly the other person would change the subject and say, "What about this person, or that person? "

People's failures have no bearing on whether the Gospel message is true or not. There are true Christians who have fallen into sin. A true Christian will not continue in sin (1 John 3:9-10). There are also people who claim to be Christians who are not Christians at all. Going to church and calling yourself a Christian does not make you a Christian, any more than sitting in a garage and calling yourself a car does not make you a car. The truth of Christianity itself is not based upon any of us; the truth of Christianity is based on Jesus Christ, who has never sinned and is not a hypocrite.

If you were drowning and someone threw you a life preserver, how would you react? Would you say to yourself, the person who threw this to me is a jerk, so I will not use this life preserver? Or would you say to yourself, what about that guy drowning way over there? Does he have a life preserver also? If not, I will just let this one float here while I drown. It is just as ridiculous to reject Jesus Christ because of some other person. Jesus Christ deserves your attention. He lived a sinless life and died on a cross to pay the penalty of your sin. He also rose from the dead and ultimately will be your judge (John 5:22). You will be judged on your decisions regarding Jesus and His substitutional sacrifice. What will it be? Will you accept Him, or reject Him? If you deny Him, He also will deny you (Matthew 10:32-33).

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