There is a subtle but important distinction between truisms and truth. Truisms sound true…but at their root, are based in falsehood. Truisms will often appeal to emotion and then are adopted as belief whereas truth is solely based upon the inspired words of scripture and is nourishment and life to our spirit–bringing freedom to our minds and hearts. Truisms have a thread of truth but with a non-truth mixed in.
A simple example:
Truism: G-d helps those who help themselves. (the true part of this truism is in bold)
Truth: G-d helps those who can’t help themselves.
If we had to help ourselves before G-d would help us, then there would be no basis for needing a Messiah to save us. If G-d only helps those who help themselves then the character and nature of the Father is a total lie–making him insensitive, selective with his love and support, and painting a picture of one who withholds what His children need. The truism that ‘G-d helps those who help themselves’ is not borne out in scripture. Rather, many times over, the Word states that the Father is the defender of the innocent, widows, orphans, poor, etc. and that those who call upon Him will find salvation. (Isa 19:20, Ps 68:5, etc.) Scripture tells us that He will not withhold anything good from those whose lives are pure and who walk uprightly (Ps. 84:11)
Why is believing a truism so dangerous? Because when we adopt a system of belief based on things that sound true and make decisions, etc based on them, we alter the course and direction of our lives based on that belief. So using this same example, if G-d only helps me when I help myself then I have to work to earn His help, support, etc. How radically would someone’s life be affected if they held to the belief that they had to work for G-d to do anything for them? They would be “paying for” the free gift of salvation with their own self-driven performance. They would feel the need to “clean up” themselves before they could approach the Father. A downward spiral unravels. One small mis-belief or truism can radically affect our walk with the L-rd because it takes a shift away from what is true and toward what seems right. (Prov 12:15, 14:12)
In this generation, few are taught to study the entire Word of G-d for their theology. Many form their own emotional or new age-based theologies based on what sounds spiritual and then twist scriptures to back them up. Sadly, it seems that congregations are spilling over with baby believers…and I don’t mean those who are new believers. I am referring to those who aren’t growing and maturing in their walk of trust with the Father. There is still a lot of spiritual bottle feeding going on where many are asking a pastor or leader to ‘hear from G-d and tell us what He’s saying’ and not rightly handling the word of truth for themselves (2 Tim 2:15). The book of Hebrews tells us that solid food is for the mature (Heb 5:12-14). Let us study to show ourselves approved and go back to the source…return to the elementary principles of trust in G-d and return to the simplicity of knowing and following Him. We must be on guard against the snares of the enemy that are carefully laid to entrap us.
We must be cautious to not be entranced by the seduction of emotionally-driven “feel good” doctrines that are sure to lure us away from truth and into an emotion-based reality. The Shepherd enters through the gate, he knocks at the door. He isn’t the thief who comes in from another way and entices us with a false, man-centered gospel.
(NEW to the blog: On the blog home page, I have added a new page which lists ALL of my blog posts and their links for easy access. So, if you want to ever look for a title or read an earlier blog post, you can now access them all from that page)