Now we come to our next two questions. By next Friday we will be finished with our look at your answers to the survey we took a few months ago. As with our previous questions we will find the answers only in the Bible. Then we will know that the answers are solid and that we can be confident in them.

 

  1. Religious belief is a matter of personal opinion; it is not about objective truth. True or False?

Imani ya kidini ni suala la maoni ya kibinafsi; sio juu ya ukweli wa mambo. Ndio au Hapana?

종교의 믿음은 개인의 의견이지, 사실에 근거를 객관성있는 사실에 근거를 두지 않았다.

          Let’s begin to find the answer to this question by defining what subjective and objective mean.

         

          If something is subjective, then it is simply the opinion of one person. There is no way to measure that statement against reality; Even if everyone we ask also has the same opinion we still cannot know if it is true or not because,  other people will either agree or disagree with the statement based upon their own, equally subjective opinions.

          It’s really impossible to say that a subjective statement is true in any meaningful way; For example, I can say that travelling by car is the best way to go from one country to another. But another person says “no” travel by airplane is the best way to go from one country to another. Who is telling the truth?

          The way we sometimes hear this question answered is, what is true for me is “my truth” and the other person has “their truth”. Of course, this was also known in the past as “my opinion” and “their opinion”.

 

          If something is objective, it agrees with reality. Objective truth is something that is true for everyone, whether they agree with it or not. At one time this was simply called “truth.” If I say I own a 2008 Nissan X-trail, I am making an objective statement. If I do own a car by that description, then the statement is true. If I do not own such a car, then the statement is false. The truth or falsehood of the claim does not depend upon subjective opinion.

 

          This will be important for us to agree upon as we go through the following answer to the question of whether,Religious belief is a matter of personal opinion; and not about objective truth”.

 

          In order to arrive at a satisfactory answer, we need to understand that all religions of the world do not claim to be just subjective, personal opinions. Every religion claims to be based upon objective truths about reality. The Christian faith is no different in this respect. But it also claims to be based upon historical events like the resurrection of Jesus. Therefore, for Christianity to be considered as valid then that claim must be objectively true.

 

          The apostle Paul also makes this observation. In 1 Corinthians 15:1-10, he goes through a lengthy treatment of the objective reality of Christ’s death, resurrection, and appearances to a variety and number of believers. His conclusion is given in verse 17 where he says, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins”.

 

          In Isaiah 45:21b we read, “And there is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me”. The same God who raised Jesus from the dead is the same God who claims that He is the only one who can save us. If this is not objectively true for everyone, then there is no Christian faith.

 

          Of course, as individuals, we all have a personal subjective faith, but to believe in something that is just your opinion and not based upon objective truth is to believe in something that will not ultimately save you. Therefore, if we consider Christianity to be valid and objectively true, then we must say that the answer to this question is FALSE and that, religious belief cannot just be a matter of personal opinion and should be based upon objective truth.

 

  1. The Bible is the highest authority for what I believe. True or False?

Biblia ndiyo mamlaka ya juu kabisa kwa kile ninachokiamini. Ndio au Hapana?

성경은 내가 믿는 모든것 중에 가장 위의 권위를 갖는다.

          2 Timothy 3:16-17 makes the following declaration, All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Therefore, as Christians, the only God-breathed revelation that we have is the Bible. In fact, we cannot think of anything greater, and we cannot accept anything less than the Bible as our highest authority. Jesus Himself, the Son of God, made reference to the Scriptures as the highest authority in many of the gospels which record His sayings.

 

          In Matthew 5:17-18, He said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

          Later in chapter 15 as he encountered some Pharisees and teachers of the law, he had this to say to them, in Matthew 15:3-9, “…why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’”

          In Mark 14:48-49 at his arrest he affirmed the prophetic nature of the Scriptures concerning Him, “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.”

 

          In John chapter 10 when Jesus was showing some Pharisees that if they followed the Scriptures, they would see that His claim to be God was supported by Scripture and Scripture cannot be ignored. He declared in verse 35 that “If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside

 

          So, the answer to the question of whether it is TRUE or FALSE that the Bible is the highest authority for what I believe is quite clearly TRUE.