Folks, we are living in a world of deception and division. Everywhere you turn, there is a argument going on. We do not even debate things anymore. We sling insults, call names, and act like children.
What I notice the most is people read headliners only. They jump on the news and assume whoever they are listening to is telling the truth. In the Christian realm, we listen to one pastor or join one church and automatically assume they are saying and doing things biblical without blinking an eye.
What we need to understand is politicians, celebrities, big pharma, and even some pastors/churches (to name a few) are not in it for our benefit even though they act like it. They use social media, television, and the news media to push their agenda. Their goal is to have power and money. They get that from us. If they can get us to join their cause, then they gain control of both our thoughts and our money.
Unfortunately, to know something is true, you need to examine and research your resources. If you have several stories with the same basic information, you can assume there is some truth to it. Do not forget there are two sides to every story. You must look at things with an open mind as well. Reading an opposing view not only gives you their version of the facts, it gives you the ability to debate those facts.
I learned methods of research and debate in college. It was one of my favorite things to do and it became a valuable tool for me to use in classes. Believe me, my ideas sway on the religious side. I was often the minority in debate. However, I was able to get my point across where people would listen because I had facts. Another thing you need to remember is it is okay to be wrong in a debate. Debates are helpful if you keep an open mind and actually listen. There have been times valid points have been made that have swayed my opinion on certain topics.
We are very divided here in the United States. I truly believe that some of this division could be eliminated if we learned proper research and debating skills. It is unfortunate public schools have gotten rid of debate and ethics classes.
I am a strong believer in the Bible and speak out often about it because I believe every word is true. Apologetics is what Christians use to prove the existence of God and Jesus. The text of the Bible has more accuracy through time than any other books including Shakespeare. Not to mention, the Bible has been written by many authors through different spans of time. We have witnesses throughout the Bible that testify to the same events (the disciples and Paul). We also have writings that were found from outside sources that wrote of Jesus’s existence here on earth. Of course, we do not hear much about this in main stream media. The Bible also contains future events foretold long ago by prophets that ended up occurring later in time as predicted. Some events are yet to occur. The Bible also has a uncanny way of speaking and inspiring the individual that is reading it. Not only that, it also seems to relate to current events throughout time. No other book does these things. If you want to know more about apologetics, I highly recommend looking into books by Josh and Sean McDowell. Josh McDowell was actually on a mission to disprove God throughout college and found overwhelming evidence that supported the Bible and His existence. The link below will direct you to my favorite book. I encourage every Christian to have a copy to refer to in their home.
|Evidence That Demands a Verdict: Life-Changing Truth for a Skeptical World
By Josh McDowell & Sean McDowell
My methods of research
I always look at both sides of the story before I form an opinion. You will be amazed how many times you will realize the version you just read is not the truth.
I search for two and three sources from both sides whether it be news articles, videos, statistics, and/or case studies. News media no longer can be considered a reliable source like it use to. It is important to read both sides of any news story. If you type in Google Scholar in the Google search bar, you will be directed to scholarly articles, case studies, and statistics. This is great to search for topics that have been studied.
Another great tool to use is looking into eyewitness accounts. Twitter is amazing for finding people who are part of the news story. It is fairly easy to find them using hashtags that relate to the topic you are researching.
YouTube has a lot of alternative news media channels and a ton of videos of your topic of interest.
What I have come to find is nothing in the public view is necessarily scholarly anymore. It all shifts to one side or agenda.
In the Christian realm, I get the most out of my research of the text in the Bible. The link to my favorite Bible is below. This not only gives you the text, but cross reference text off to the side. This makes your research efforts much easier. It will lead you to another book of the Bible from another author that solidifies the truth of that text. Not only that, you have commentary listed below written by theologians who have extensively studied the Bible. Although this is solely their opinion piece, they have vast knowledge of the text, along with the original Hebrew and Aramaic languages. My methods of Bible studies have brought me to a better understanding of the Bible. You can read these methods here: Get the most out of Bible Study
No post of mine is ever written without doing my research first. I want to be a reliable source of information for people. Even my opinion pieces have been based off of research.
Debating: Voicing your opinion
I see nothing wrong with voicing your opinion on subjects you have researched and are passionate about. However, do not let it turn into a argument.
A debate and a argument are two different things. Two people discussing their beliefs and why is a debate. Matter of fact, some debates have changed my mind on things. It is good to see a different perspective sometimes.
When someone is slinging insults and attacking your character, do not bother. They are looking for an argument. Do not let them get one. There are times I will make a comment on something and people will rip me apart. As much as I would like to give them my piece of mind, it does not help. It is better to fold and not say another word. Never let your opinion turn into a argument. You can quickly see what direction it is heading by the first comment that is made.
Lastly, do not let people shut your belief system down. Many people in this world are trying desperately to shut everyone up. Most logical people are walking on pins and needles worried about what they may say. Our churches are even cautious about preaching on specific topics in fear of offending someone. You can not do that! You are entitled to a opinion and you have a voice.
If you are a Christian, speak the truth. The world wants to hear it. They do not want watered down versions. They want to know what the Bible really has to say. The Bible is loaded with life lesson and moral topics. It is very specific on the behaviors and laws we need to follow through with. Jesus says in Revelation that He loves the churches that stood up for Him. Do not be afraid to take a stand. However, He also tells us not to cast our pearls before swine. This means, do not give valuable information to people who are not going to use it. He also told the disciples to go out and spread the word. If they would not listen, move to the next. He wants us to take a stand and speak to those who listen. We are to ignore the rest.
Jesus told us as the days go by the world would get darker. Life would get harder and love would start to grow cold.
One thing we must do is start researching. There is a overwhelming amount of deception going on. There are a ton of people feeding off of division.
It is my hope that you will begin not only reading headliners, but the full story. Research everything you read, research people and keep an open mind. Use your morals, logic, and values to form a conclusion. Do not fall for the deception this world has to offer.