Should Christians approve same-sex marriage? This was the question that one book author was trying to address. His answer was in the affirmative. While I only got through the first chapter or two, what I read stunned me. What struck me was not his arguments or even his position, he did not bring anything new or compelling to the table, rather his case was all emotional. Unsurprising, his arguments were not biblical nor based on biblical precepts. It seemed that he was trying to change people’s minds with emotions first, then when (or even if) he would come to the arguments, people would be more likely to be persuaded. While he was a great writer, I could see right through his superficial emotional arguments. I already knew the truth of the Scriptures, I knew proper thinking skills and logic, and I also knew how rhetoric works. In a previous post (see here) I gave an overview of knowing how to prepare others, and yourself, against deception. The first and main step in helping build a “bulletproof” mind is to know the truth and why it is true. However, knowing the truth is just one aspect of a whole package that needs to work together for deception prevention.
My Mental Filter
As I listen to people making truth claims, I am constantly filtering their words and concepts through, what I call, my “mental filter”. When anomalies arise, “red flags” pop up, I isolate that thought or concept and try to assess it because it seemed to challenged my “filtering mechanism”.
From experience, without a firm, deep, logical and compelling understanding of the truth, one will feel totally unprepared. Once I know what I know and the reasons why I hold to a view, I am much more bold and I “set my face like flint” concerning bad reasoning and devious ideas.
Education is the best way to avoid deception. Primarily, our education should be based upon the Bible. This is where we find the truth. If we don’t have this down, the rest will not help. However, we do need to read it for what it says, nothing more and nothing less. We need to take concepts in context and how it was intended. Extra biblical sources such as instructional books, audio books, lectures and podcast are also powerful. So many times we can learn from those who have gone before. Reading books is like listening to instruction from another. These can help increase your knowledge and education while on the go. Whether listening or reading, you will want to make sure your sources are sound. Anyone can write a book and anyone can lecture. Make sure your sources are biblical and accurate. It is kind of circular I know, but you will need other tools of deception prevention so you can learn but not be deceived.
While gaining knowledge, it is not some sort of passive process, rather very active. One needs to use critical thinking skills, which is logic and deep thinking, while learning. Most learning is hard work when you use critical thinking, but it is worth it in the end. You gain so much more. You need to connect the dots and reason accurately. The biblical word “Word” is Greek for logic, which Christ embodies (John 1). Also, the Scriptures teach that we should gain wisdom. All throughout the Bible, it teaches wisdom. Wisdom is much like reason and logic and they all are good and necessary for proper knowledge implementation.
Presenting and Proper Interpersonal Skills
Speaking and teaching are very important for learning. Many times teachers learn more than the students. As a teacher, whether it is one-on-one or to a group, you will have to express your knowledge in a way that is orderly and makes sense. This is where the interpersonal and presentation skills come in. If you are open to questions, many will ask them and this will drive you to research the material deeper. Plus, if you come across graciously, you will be able to isolate poor thinking from another and help save yourself, and maybe the other, from deception. You can point out bad reasoning and poor arguments. However, this is hard. For some, it seems almost natural to speak well, however, from my experience, we all can work on this, including me! Writing also helps, it reinforces the material you have learned, and helps you organize your thoughts in a cogent way so you can spot error.
There is more to come. In this post, I just gave the overview of the three main areas that are under learning the truth. You will not want to miss the future posts, I want to dig deeper in each one of these and the other aspects of deception prevention. If you found this helpful, you will want to keep an eye open for them. The best way is to click here, because you can get them straight to your inbox so you don’t miss out! Plus I’ll send you a Free Quick Guide why science points to God!
Have you heard some say that knowledge for Christians is wrong? If so, what were the reasons? What about critical thinking? Some think that is wrong, do you and why? What have you found interesting above? Do you disagree with anything?
Image credit: The Thinker, Rodin | Public Domain