A Few Thoughts About Being Cautious




A Few Thoughts About Being Cautious
Even skeptical
Defining terms:
B1 Blind faith: Belief in something that has not been proved or is not capable of being proved (Source)
B2 Skepticism: Having or showing doubt; questioning (Source)
the idea is to hear, read, see something and not accepting it without analyzing it.
B3 Cynical: (Source)
C1 Distrusting or disparaging the motives of others; like or characteristic of a cynic.
C2 Showing contempt for accepted standards of honesty or morality by one’s actions, especially by actions that exploit the scruples of others.
C3 Bitterly or sneeringly distrustful, contemptuous, or pessimistic.
B4 Reasonable faith: (Source)
C1 In accordance with clear thinking and good judgment
C2 Within the limits of reason; not excessive
Some dangers of being overly trusting is becoming deceived in some way as financial, emotional, relationships, etc. Deceived by
B1 Philosophy and philosophical arguments: Colossians 2:8 NRSV See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.
B2 Authority (pastors, experts, teachers): Ephesians 4:14 GW Then we will no longer be little children, tossed and carried about by all kinds of teachings that change like the wind. We will no longer be influenced by people who use cunning and clever strategies to lead us astray.
B3 False prophets, dreams, spiritual experiences, etc.: Jeremiah 29:8-9 GW This is what the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Don’t let the prophets or the mediums who are among you trick you. Don’t even listen to your own dreams. 9 These people are prophesying lies to you in my name. I didn’t send them, declares the LORD.
B4 Seek counsel from stupid people: Isaiah 19:11-13 NRSV the princes of Zoan are utterly foolish; the wise counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel. How can you say to Pharaoh, “I am one of the sages, a descendant of ancient kings”? 12 Where now are your sages? Let them tell you and make known what the LORD of hosts has planned against Egypt. 13 The princes of Zoan have become fools, and the princes of Memphis are deluded; those who are the cornerstones of its tribes have led Egypt astray.
Some ideas for advice
B1 Good advice:
C1 The best counsel comes from Scriptures for they are the only source of 100% truth.
C2 People who are successful in a field. A person who is successful in the study of Augustine is a more reliable source than a person on the street. We still need to be aware though.
C3 Some believers have the gift of wisdom from the Holy Spirit.
D1 A gift of the Holy Spirit: 1 Corinthians 12:8 WEB For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom, and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit.
D2 A prayer for all believers to have Ephesians 1:17 NIV I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
C4 We must be a little skeptical and study issues for ourselves.
D1 Pray: James 1:5 ISV Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to everyone generously without a rebuke, and it will be given to him.
D2 The Bible gives rules of what we must do and some things we must not do.
E1 Must do: 1 Thessalonians 5:21 NRSV but test everything; hold fast to what is good.
E2 Must not do: 1 Thessalonians 5:19 NRSV Do not quench the Spirit.
D3 The Bible gives principles we must do and some we must not do. For example, consider the parable of the Good Samaritan. Luke 10:29-37.
D4 The Bible gives examples of those who were successful and those who were not.
E1 Who were: Acts 4:34-37 Barnabas
E2 Who were not: Acts 5:1-11 Ananias and Sapphira
D5 Avoid signs and experiences, for the devil can give signs, too. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 NRSV the coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders, 10 and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
B5 Bad advice
C1 Pride. We think we can make always make the best decision. Consider Edom: Jeremiah 49:16 NRSV the terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, who hold the height of the hill. Although you make your nest as high as the eagle’s, from there I will bring you down, says the LORD.
C2 Thinking there is no consequences of advice. All advice, if followed, has results: Galatians 6:7 NRSV Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow.
C3 Seeking guidance from spirits, fortune tellers, cards, boards, or anything occultic: Revelation 18:23 NRSV and the light of a lamp will shine in you no more; and the voice of bridegroom and bride will be heard in you no more; for your merchants were the magnates of the earth, and all nations were deceived by your sorcery. [Emphasis is added]
We need to test all things
B1 A standard is needed. 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 NASB but examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.
C1 We must examine.
C2 We must hold fast (keep) what is good
C3 We must abstain (avoid and reject) every form of evil.
B2 For the Christian, it is basically the New Testament.
B3 We must study to know what it says.
B4 We must believe what it says.
B5 We must do what it says.
B6 We must interpret the Bible in the plain, normal sense.
B7 J. C. Ryle writes in Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, w/Notes, J.C. Ryle – Luke 6:39-45
WE learn, in the first place, from these verses, the great danger of listening to false teachers in religion. Our Lord compares such teachers and their hearers to the blind leading the blind, and asks the reasonable question, “Shall they not both fall into the ditch?” He goes on to confirm the importance of His warning by declaring, that “the disciple is not above his master,” and the scholar cannot be expected to know more than his teacher. If a man will hear unsound instruction, we cannot expect him to become otherwise than unsound in the faith himself.
The subject which our Lord brings before us here deserves far more attention than it generally receives. The amount of evil which unsound religious teaching has brought on the Church in every age is incalculable. The loss of souls which it has occasioned is fearful to contemplate. A teacher who does not know the way to heaven himself, is not likely to lead his hearers to heaven. The man who hears such a teacher runs a fearful risk himself of being lost eternally. “If the blind lead the blind both must fall into the ditch.”
If we would escape the danger against which our Lord warns us, we must not neglect to prove the teaching that we hear by the holy Scriptures. We must not believe things merely because ministers say them. We must not suppose, as a matter of course, that ministers can make no mistakes. We must call to mind our Lord’s words on another occasion, “Beware of false prophets.” (Mat 7:15.) We must remember the advice of Paul and John: “Prove all things.” “Try the spirits whether they are of God.” (1 Thess 5:21; 1 John 4:1.) With the Bible in our hands, and the promise of guidance from the Holy Ghost to all who seek it, we shall be without excuse if our souls are led astray. The blindness of ministers is no excuse for the darkness of the people. The man who from indolence, or superstition, or affected humility, refuses to distrust the teaching of the minister whom he finds set over him, however unsound it may be, will at length share his minister’s portion. If people will trust blind guides, they must not be surprised if they are led to the pit.
B8 Clement of Alexandria writes in The Stromata, Or Miscellanies. Book I. Chap. X.
“But strong meat belongeth to those that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb 5:14) “For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe,” (Heb 5:13) and not yet acquainted with the word, according to which he has believed and works, and not able to give a reason in himself. “Prove all things,” the apostle says, “and hold fast that which is good,” (1 Thess 5:21) speaking to spiritual men, who judge what is said according to truth, whether it seems or truly holds by the truth. “He who is not corrected by discipline errs, and stripes and reproofs give the discipline of wisdom,” the reproofs manifestly that are with love. “For the right heart seeketh knowledge.” (Pro 15:14) “For he that seeketh the Lord shall find knowledge with righteousness; and they who have sought it rightly have found peace.”53 “And I will know,” it is said, “not the speech of those which are puffed up, but the power.” In rebuke of those who are wise in appearance, and think themselves wise, but are not in reality wise, he writes: “For the kingdom of God is not in word.” (1 Cor 4:19, 1 Cor 4:20) It is not in that which is not true, but which is only probable according to opinion; but he said “in power,” for the truth alone is powerful. And again: “If any man thinketh that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” For truth is never mere opinion. But the “supposition of knowledge inflates,” and fills with pride; “but charity edifieth,” which deals not in supposition, but in truth. Whence it is said, “If any man loves, he is known.” (1Co 8:1, 1Co 8:2, 1Co 8:3) [Emphasis is added]
God, Himself, loves us and wants us free from lies and deceptions. So, let us remember the words of the Lord Jesus:
John 8:31-32 NIV To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
A Few Thoughts About Being Cautious Even skeptical 11 Feb 20
Skeptical, reasonable faith, testing all things, Bible standard, good decisions, bad decisions
By Choco on 11 Feb 20


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