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Find a Truth Worth Believing



I remember a song from Bible school about a wise man building his house upon a rock and a foolish man building on sand. (Matt 7:24-27) The moral: Sand is easy to find and easy to work with, but will betray you when the rainstorms hit. Rock is reliable, but requires some digging. And maybe explosives.

An article like this is supposed to tell you how Jesus, Christian spiritualism, and the Bible are reliable rocks upon which to build your belief and faith. Not this time. Prove those for yourself. This is a series on practical spirituality, after all. But, can we talk? Looking for Reality and Truth can be unsettling.

Here’s why: We can’t believe until we can doubt. But doubt rattles our security. If we can’t doubt, we’re stuck settling for hearsay. Pretty sandy ground, if you ask me. Doubts explored to their conclusions become the solid foundation for belief. For example, no scientific claim is ever accepted on someone’s word alone. Others test it for themselves and either support or debunk the claim. When enough independent studies support it, the claim gains merit. Nothing good happens until someone, probably from Missouri, doubts enough to find out for themselves. So, allow yourself to doubt and question what you’ve been told. That’s the beginning of grounding your life on solid bedrock.

□ Dig up and investigate the available facts and evidence. It’s a good place to begin, but we never have all the facts. Ask probing questions.

For instance, notice which facts are missing. I like my LDS friends and respect their strong values and dedication. But I cannot find one shred of archeological evidence to support the Book of Mormon’s claim of pre-historic Middle East-like civilizations in North America. Lack of evidence is often evidence of lack. Plausibility, rhetoric, and insisting authority figures are not proof. Dig for the facts and insist that they make sense.

□ Ask who else believes this? How has this belief affected them? How did they come to their belief? You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but you do need to understand wheels.

□ Intuition is the flipside of conscience. It tells you what seems right while conscience warns what seems wrong. Apply both. Weigh your relevant personal experiences and feelings, but don’t make them your guiding stars. Experiences and feelings are notoriously compelling and often wrong.

□ Ask yourself what you think you’re supposed to believe, and question the answer closely. Peer pressure is not a good compass, belief is not a democratic process, and truth is not determined by majority.

So, what do you believe and why? If you’re standing on sand, beware of storms.

Mike Pulley