Why Truisms Aren’t Truth

Posted: January 18, 2010 in Deception, Truth

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)

  1. Zac says:

    Ariel, I believe in everything you’re saying, however, I do believe God talks outside of Scripture, and what I mean is that He can talk to us, but we can only know it’s Him if it lines up with Scripture-I’m not saying He tells us like new commandments or anything like that, but I have heard the voice of the Lord before. I do agree, though, that IHOP is a cult. It makes me so sad and mad at the same time. And about the voice of the Lord-for example, the Lord has called me His precious son before and other things like that, and guided me in areas of life and what to do and all of that. You know what I mean? I love His Word, don’t get me wrong!!

    • Ariel says:

      Zac, I agree that G-d definitely speaks to His children…and yes, it must line up with Scripture. I did not at all mean to imply in my post that G-d does not speak. I simply was trying to illustrate that what is often passed off as the voice of G-d or a prophetic word to someone very often does not coincide with what scripture teaches as the purpose and definition of true prophecy. Thank you for your comment. Blessings!

  2. Did not realize the extent of leaving!

  3. prayer0617 says:

    Ariel, I just discovered your website a few days ago and I hope you dont mind by I have been referring many people to read your posts. I too came away from a congregation that was merging with IHOP in FL and although I knew the Holy Spirit brought me out because of deception, I along with a group of others have been putting togethter the pieces and we discover along with you and many others, it is bigger than we thought. I have gone back to the begining which was a love for Hebraic Roots. Since then I have been in much peace. One of my main thoughts the past few days has been since we were warned in the Book of Revelation not to add to or take away from the Words of this prophecy – I find the most visible evidence against IHOP doctrines is their manipulation of the Book of Revelation even calling it their personal prayer manuel to the end times. I shudder now that I have been away for six months. I only studied their teachings for about a year but I was pretty immersed in learning and took the time to listen to Mike Bickels foundational teachings. What suprised me is when I left the church I sent them an article we had found written by Ernst Gruen documenting the errors and was alarmed to realize not even the pastors had ever listened to Bickels foundational teaching series. They had no idea what I was referring to but yet leading as many people as they can lead to IHOP covering.

    • Julie says:

      The Book of Revelation Study Guide, Notes by Mike Bickle, page 4, reads: “(the book of) Revelation is not primarily about events that will happen.”

      Oh, really?

      Rev. 1:1: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show his servants THINGS WHICH MUST SHORTLY COME TO PASS;” (emphasis added)

      How blatantly false.

  4. mkayla says:

    I read it as John Wimber’s – http://www.grmi.org/Richard_Riss/history/arnott.html (toward the end of the article)

    And I will agree, there isn’t scripture to back it up. I’ts used to keep people from using their brain to question the lies and manipulation taking place in these meetings.

    New thing, new wine, new wineskin, new wave, kinda like fresh anointing or fresh word. ugh.

  5. Hadar says:

    Here is the source of “God offends…”.

    To view the entire article: http://www.pfo.org/growingpains.htm

    This is under the chapter ‘charasmatic mantra’  

    Bickle repeats the old mantra of John Wimber and John Arnott, “God offends the mind to reveal the heart.”40 He alleges that the Holy Spirit “intentionally offends people.”41 Bickle knows better but tries to use John 6 and the discourse on eating Christ’s flesh as a proof text for offending people.42 Certainly the people were offended at Christ’s message, but not at his manner. The offense of the cross is the rejection of the Gospel, not the message bearers’ silliness. We may offend people with the message of the truth (since they reject truth), but we are not to be offensive by our manner and lack of control. We ought to reject those who act like crystal ball readers. Paul warned the Corinthians that bizarre behavior would cause others to reject them and their message. They would be written off as insane (1 Corinthians 14:23, 33).

  6. cheaperdozen says:

    A popular truism coined by this movement: “God offends the mind to reveal the heart.” That may sound good, but I’m having a hard time coming up with a scripture to back it up. It is also used as a reason to accept the unconventional behaviors and manifestations associated with these outpourings. Does anyone know who first coined this phrase?

    • Ariel says:

      That’s a great example of a truism! I agree, difficult to find scripture backing on that. Another verse that is often used (out of context) to explain the “unconventional behaviors and manifestations” is Isaiah 43:19: “Behold I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it?” Then every “new thing” that is introduced to the charismatic movement has a verse that they can cite to explain why it’s okay and how it’s just another “new” thing G-d is doing. I wish I knew the original author of the truism you mentioned but I’m not sure.

      • Duane Carter says:

        I have heard that Neville Johnson stated the quote that God would offend the mind to reveal the heart. My question is does all truth have to be backed by Scripture? Is everything that Jesus is (Truth) revealed in Scripture? I know He would not CONTRADICT Scripture, but I am getting tired of people bashing the beliefs of others just because they can’t find a Scriptural backing. Be careful doing that. Read in the Gospels what an offended mind does to a spiritual climate. The entirety of God isn’t contained in a book, and even if it was Scripture is meant to be read and understood in the power of the Living Spirit of God. The letter is death, the Spirit brings life. Know what that means before using your own understanding of Scripture as truth. God will not change His truth, but He surely will change your understanding of it.

      • Ariel says:

        Duane, it is a truism that G-d offends the mind to reveal the heart. I have heard Mike (Bickle) say that many times, but it is a manipulative statement to disarm questioning and offensiveness to what he is saying. It is rationalized so that if something seems offensive or “off” then one assumes G-d must be revealing some wrong attitude in me. Very dangerous mindset because it bypasses any discernment! In answer to your question, asking Scripture to back up what someone wants to believe is totally backwards! It puts self and personal belief at the center (in other words idolatry). There is not standard for truth apart from the Word of G-d. Beliefs that are not backed by scripture should be questioned because our beliefs should come FROM scripture. To decide that one believes something and then go to scripture to try to twist it to find backing for that belief is completely contrary to the walk of faith that we are called to. No, the entirety of G-d is not completely contained in scripture but the heart of G-d, his instructions for how to love, follow and serve him and treat others are well laid out. I would be wary of calling something truth and ascribing belief to it when it can’t be found in scripture. If it were critical to salvation G-d would have included it in His Word. And if it is a superfluous ideology that has been designed by man and we choose to follow it above what G-d has instructed then we are in disobedience to His Word. Scripture is pretty clear about that.