Sep 4, 2011

NECESSITY OF CRITICAL THINKING IN CHRISTENDOM


Post by Ezra Prince
Today is the age of "Last Days" , where "Knowledge has been increased"(Daniel 12:4) due to the increase in the "Freedom of speech and Expression"..Knowledge sources like Internet,Books etc are flooded with loads of information justifying and explaining various perceptions,theories etc..As a result,it has added more "complexity" and vulnerability for "Deception"...As 2 Timothy 4:4 says The time has come for people to "Turn away from Truths towards Myths"..Because of the "complexity and abundance of information",Truth has become like a "pearl in the deep sea" and Deceptive Myths are in abundance like "sea water"..


To safeguard ourselves from deception of the Enemy and to have a closer walk with God by knowing the "Right" Truth,we need LORD's wisdom and guidance .God is ready to equally provide Wisdom to everyone(James 1:5),but we've to be smart enough to use the Wisdom and "Critically analyze" to differentiate the Truth from False...Because even a bit of "false" pereception can make a serious damage(both in our Spiritual and professional lives)...So,it is our duty to constantly seek HIS wisdom and strength to apply the wisdom in the right manner to analyze and safeguard ourselves from deception..


God has been teaching me certain things by HIS sheer grace through many friends ..By sharing this i don't mean I'm a "great Critical Thinker or Man of Great wisdom"..I'm still learning a lot and i do make errors,but still God has been patient enough to correct me and guide me to understand the right things..All Glory to be HIM alone..Now,I wanted to share certain key-points(which i learnt out of my experience taught by God) which would be helpful in "Critical Analysis"..If anyone of you,find anything wrong in my illustration,I am ready to correct myself so that it'll be a "healthy,learning experience"...


1.BEING HUMBLE : Humility is the primary character that is essential...Many would ask the question "Where Bible says you need to be humble to find Truth?"....But when we truly possess "Humbleness" within us,it will kill our pride and "Fear of God" will increase in us , Eventually bringing "God's Grace" over us (1 Peter 5:5) and " Wisdom" (Proverbs 1:7) which will ultimately lead to find the Truth...When we're Humble that means,we'll be having a "open-mind" without prejudice..Because Prejudice is the major factor that makes people in being stubborn of what they believe and being unwilling to change which paves way for "false conceptions"...It is a practical fact that holding "Humility" is difficult by our own self,but its possible by the strength and Grace of God..


A humble person will not say, "What I say is always correct and my opponent is wrong". He will try to learn even from his opponents.The best example for "Humility" in scripture is our Saviour Jesus Christ who was "Filled with wisdom and Grace of God was upon Him"(Luke 2:40)...


2.CONSIDER A FACT BY ITS VALIDITY NOT BY ITS AUTHOR:This is the point that many of us miss out today..We simply tend to believe anything that is said by a "Famous,Great preacher",forgetting thateven Great Preachers can make mistakes(yet they will have the humility to correct and confess them)..Recently a brother shared this incident with me..Once a Famous Preacher came and preached in his church..During his Sermon he quoted a wrong fact ..After the meeting was over,our brother had a discussion with him explaining that his factual explanation was wrong and the Preacher had the humility to accept..Next day in the meeting,he asked apology and provided the "correct explanation" and appreciated the courage of a young man(half his age) coming forward and correcting his error..


Bible mentions about Believers in Berea(Acts 17:11) "who had readiness of mind and searched scriptures to find whether the Apostles preachings were valid" ,and because of that they had a good(not bad) name among Apostles..This is the healthy attitude which must exists among believers today..


3.DO NOT FALL FOR FLOWERY OR FLATTERING ARGUMENTS:In the age of competitive marketing,"flattery" has become a major weapon to sell one's idea..Though,there are "genuine appreciations" from dear ones which may flatter us,still in most cases "flattery" digs a big-pit for you to fall..Especially, "Flattery" is the main weapon used by Satan to activate Pride in a person,blind him from Truth and ultimately make him fall from God's grace...Its natural for a human to be drawn and convinced into flattery,still we've to seek God's strength to overcomethat and critically validate the idea of the "flatterer"..If we don't do so,we'll be the one at peril and be deceived for eternity...

Bible has numerous examples of people falling for flattery..Eve was "flattered" by the Serpant(Satan) by telling "If you eat the fruit,you'll become Godly" and she yielded to the deception completely and failed to validate it and Hence, Adam and Eve was sent away from the "paradise of Eden" and the consequences (Genesis 3:16-17)of that is still faced by Mankind today..But the same Satan tried to "Flatter" Jesus (Matthew 3),still by the Grace and wisdom of God,Jesus validated and rubbished the ideas of Satan and safeguarded himself from Deception..Had Jesus Christ fell for Satan's "flattery",He would not have died in the cross and we wouldn't have been entitled today, to receive the "Free gift of Salvation" for eternity..


4.DO NOT DRAW HASTY CONCLUSIONS:There is a old saying in Tamil which means "What you see may be false..What you hear maybe false..But what you enquire and findout will be True"..The English proverb "All that Glitters is not Gold" infers that we cannot "come to a right conclusion" just by appearences or opinions alone,but only by "valid proofs"..

In Book of Samuel we find when Hannah was praying due to bitterness of her soul without moving her lips(1 Samuel 1),Eli came to a quick conclusion that She was a Drunkard..But when he enquired to Hannah, he found out that "she was a sorrowful woman and hadn't drunk any strong drink" and corrected his judgement...But,because of the hasty judgement of Saul to "sacrifice burnt offerings"(1 samuel 13:9) without enquiring or considering about "God's commandment"(1 samuel 13:13) he lost his kingdom to "A Man after God's own heart--David"(1 samuel 13:14)...

Another important thing is when you enquire about something with many people,don't be drawn to the conclusion that "Majority opinion is a valid opinion"..Truth of a fact cannot be always determined by the majority support it enjoys... In Numbers 13 we find that when Moses sent 12 spies to survey Canaan for 40 days ,10 spies(majority) who returned back after enough surveying gave a "wrong conclusion" that we cannot "overcome cannanites(forgetting the Mighty God and HIS Promise and Leading),which was believed by the whole Congregation of Israel ..But two of them(Caleb and Joshua) gave the "Right assessment" that God can give us Canaan (Numbers 14:8,9) ..People rejected their assessment and wanted to pelt stones at them(Numbers 14:10)..What happened finally??...The congregation earned God's wrath(Numbers 14:29) and except Caleb and Joshua everyone else couldn't enter the Promised Land(Numbers 14:30)..


CONCLUSION:
Now we've briefly discussed with biblical examples about the necessity and necessary aspects of a "critical analysis"....Because we find from the above examples that those who've drawn "right conclusions" succeeded and those who had wrong conclusions and beliefs failed.And Let's never have the wrong notion that "Wisdom and Thinking is only for the educated and Geeky"..Peter was a ordinary fisherman ,yet God gave him wisdom to speak before courts and write epistles..There is no human in the world who lives without thinking,yet many fail to apply right thinking at right places.But our ,God is ready to give his wisdom equally to everyone.(James 1:5)..So,lets be careful to seek and use God's wisdom in our lives to safeguard ourselves from the "deception" of Enemy ,so that we don't end up in the "wrong side of Eternity"...

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