From this past election it became apparent to me that no matter what the facts or truth is people will only believe what they want to believe. Do not confuse me with the facts (stupidity), and I do not want to know the facts, (willful ignorance). What is more disturbing is that the very same thing happens in Christianity. To those that consider themselves to be followers of Christ, to know truth should be the most important treasure you should seek. Yet today I see very few people that consider or call themselves Christians, to even take the time to find truth for themselves. Most are very eager to believe what some man, group of men or denomination tells them is truth.
I can understand somewhat in politics how or why someone may choose willful ignorance or just being stupid, but it is extremely hard to understand how something as important as where you will spend eternity to be taken so lightly.
There is only one truth (the Bible), which is comprised of many truths that all must agree together. If one truth is taken out of context and does not line up with the rest of Scripture, it is a partial truth, which is the same as a lie. When the devil came to Jesus to tempt him, he used a partial truth. The devil said to Jesus in Luke 4:10,
For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee.
While this is a truth from scripture in Psalms 91:11, it was used as a partial truth by the devil to tempt Christ.
Men and organizations have used partial truths in Christianity throughout history that have led many believers astray, just as the devil tried to do to Jesus, but was unable because He knew the Scriptures. The problem is so many today do not take the time for themselves to find out truth, and so they end up believing a lie.
When I first became a Christian, my wife and I attended a church that taught the "prosperity gospel" which said that it was God's ultimate desire that you prosper in your finances. It all sounded good and the preacher would show and prove by scripture that indeed it was God's desire. Well what I found out later was that it was a partial truth. While it is true that there are several scriptures that say that it is God's will that we would materially prosper, it is equally true that it is more, and most important that our soul prospers, and without our soul prospering, God has no real desire that we prosper materially. As a mater of fact it can be one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome spiritually. Jesus even said in Matthew 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
This gospel was very appealing to the flesh, but it was only partially true and if we would have kept believing this "truth", I believe it would have greatly hindered if not shipwrecked our walk with the Lord.
You see it over and over in many churches today how Scripture is taken out of context and only a partial truth is presented. It never ceases to amaze me how so many people are so apathetic about something so important as eternity. You should never take the words or beliefs of any man without checking them out yourself. I do not mean just looking up the Scripture or Scriptures they base their doctrine on, but know by reading and studying the whole of Scripture yourself. Since I have become a Christian, I have year after year read and reread the bible from cover to cover. By doing this I have come to a more full understanding of God and His Word and I believe have kept myself from deception.
Many doctrines can be especially deceiving because they take a few, or even several scriptures, and make them to be a whole truth. One way to test if a doctrine is correct is to carry it out to it's end, and at the end, if it makes no sense, and does it line up with scripture as a whole, it is a lie.
Many people that believe partial doctrine, get very upset when you bring up other scriptures that disprove their doctrine. Instead of taking the scriptures that disprove their doctrine and really analyze it, many I have found will continue to go back to the few pet scriptures they have, and totally disregard the other scriptures that disprove it. You should take all scripture into account when discerning whether a truth that someone tells you is in fact the TRUTH.
DO NOT CLOSE YOUR MIND TO SOME SCRIPTURE WHICH MAY DISPROVE THE TRUTH THAT YOU HAVE BEEN TAUGHT. ALL SCRIPTURE MUST LINE UP OR IT IS NOT TRUTH.
The Bible warns in many places to be careful of deception. One place is 2 Peter 2:1-6 (KJV)
1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly
I know many will not receive truth no matter how true it is nor who delivers it. They will continue to believe what they want to believe or what they have been taught by some man or denomination and never come to a knowledge of TRUTH.
Hosea 4:6 (KJV)
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge
Jesus, who is the TRUTH, came and spoke truth to the people when He walked this earth, but they did not receive truth and put Him on the cross because they did not want to hear it. Why should I think that it is any different today.