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Why Questions on Doctrine?

Questions on Doctrine has been created in response to questions on doctrinal issues we have received from individuals with whom we study. In these pages we will present vital truths from God's Holy Word, confirmed from history, on topics as varied as the Bible's old and new covenants, the nature of Christ, justification, Sabbath vs. Sunday worship, and religion in America's Constitution. Here we hope to untangle some of the confusion on these points by presenting facts from history, supported with documentation from original sources. We will answer questions such as:

  1. Does America have a place in Bible prophecy?
  2. Is America truly a "Christian nation"? What does the Constitution say?
  3. When was the fourth commandment (Exodus 20:8-11) changed from the seventh-day Sabbath to first-day worship (Sunday)?
  4. Does it make any difference which day you worship God?
  5. What is the "old covenant" and how does it differ from the "new covenant" of the New Testament?
  6. Does it make any difference what we believe about what nature Christ assumed in His incarnation?
  7. What is righteousness by faith? What is legal (forensic) justification and how does it impact our lives?
  8. These are vital truths that have been increasingly obscured since Pentecost, but which the LORD has said will be brought forth in their native purity at the time of the end. We are living at the time of the end: it is time to know and appreciate these truths.

    "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities."  Revelation 18:4-5.

Why Smart People Believe Weird Things About the Bible

Smart people believe weird things about the Bible because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for illogical reasons.

Rarely do any of us sit down before a table of facts, weigh them pro and con, and choose the most logical and rational explanation, regardless of what we previously believed. Most of us, most of the time, come to our beliefs for a variety of reasons having little to do with empirical evidence and logical reasoning. Using our preconceived opinions as our guide, we sort through the newly presented material and selectively accept those ideas that most confirm what we already believe, and ignore or rationalize away those ideas that do not agree with what we already believe.

This phenomenon, called the "confirmation bias," helps to explain why so many people believe so many irrational things about God and salvation, and accept as "truth" so much of what is patently false, unsustainable from the Scriptures, and even anti-God. Such irrational notions will lead people's minds during the last days of earth's history to accept the fatal deception of spiritualism when it masquerades as true religion. Not being disposed to give up preconceived opinions, and possessing an inclination to believe that which is contrary to the plain teaching of the Bible, opens wide the door for such God first

A deeper cause of this problem is that a large percentage of Americans do not understand the process by which we know God's will as unfolded throughout the Bible narrative. One solution is more and better Bible education. Approaching the Bible as merely a story diminishes the power of God's Word. Coming to the Bible with preconceived opinions, seeking justification for those opinions, veils the full truth from us. We must approach Bible study from a different perspective — God's perspective. Truth, all truth, comes from God through His revealed Word to man.

The key here is teaching how the Bible's good news works, not just what some Bible teacher has discovered in the Word for himself. Students that scored well on Bible knowledge tests (by simply regurgitating facts) were no more or less skeptical of claims based in spiritualism or claims with a pantheistic foundation, than were students who scored very poorly in Bible knowledge tests. Apparently, the students were not able to apply their acquired Bible knowledge to evaluate these spiritualistic claims. We suggest that this inability stems in part from the way that the Bible is traditionally presented to the students: Students are taught what to think about the Bible, but not how to think.

To attenuate this dysfunctional approach to the Bible we need first to teach that the Bible is not a database of unconnected factoids, but a set of divine principles designed to describe and interpret events — past, present or future. Learning Bible truth in this way is aimed at building a testable body of knowledge so the individual can accurately evaluate events and be open to reject them as false or confirm them as true based on God's unerring Word.

For those lacking a fundamental comprehension of how Bible knowledge works, the siren song of spiritualism and pantheism becomes too alluring to resist, no matter how smart you are. See "How to Study the Bible" for more information.

"For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it."  Acts 28:27-28.

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