A good friend pointed out a mistake I have made in my posts and comments. He told me that when I say "Skeptics say," I am implying all skeptics believe this and I am making skepticism seem wrong. I agree with his criticism of me, and will be more careful how I phrase my points. I never intended to lump all skeptics together or imply that all skepticism was wrong.
In fact skepticism is a Biblical principle. The center scripture of this blog; 1st Peter 3:15 is based on having a healthy practice of skepticism, so that you may be able to explain why you believe what you do. The writer of Acts also pointed out the importance of skepticism.
Act 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
The Bereans were skeptical of what Paul was saying and searched the scriptures to make sure he was rightly representing the word of God. It was skepticism that caused me question my own beliefs and see if this Bible stuff had anything to it. It is skepticism that has strengthened my faith as I have sought out answers for all those doubts and questions I have had. I am very skeptical of most so called Bible teachers, because there is a lot of flat out false teaching out there. I am even skeptical of some of my own Pastor's views from time to time.
This skepticism is not based on any great wisdom I have, but on what the Bible actually says. Many people disregard the Bible because so many churches have different interpretations of what it says. However, I have found in most cases where churches diagree on doctrines, the disagreements are not based on an ambiguity in scripture, but in a refusal to accept what the scripture says on the matter. Core doctrines are not open for interpretation, the Bible is clear in almost every case. This is why skepticism is so important. A lack of skepticism in the church causes people to blindly follow leadership that is not representing God's word. The Westborough Baptist Church is an example of this. This heretical church is an agent of hate, not the love of Christ. There are many examples I could cite, but suffice it to say that a lack of honest skepticism in the church has given the church a bad name.
There is a balance however. I also have spoken with individuals who are skeptical just because they refuse to even entertain the possibility they might be wrong about something. Some may even accuse me of this. I admit I have been overly passionate in some discussions I have had about God. I am sure in some cases it was more about my pride than my desire for truth. I have been convicted of this on a couple of occasions, and I admit I was wrong in the tone I took. Believe me I am convinced that the Bible is indeed the word of God. I have many reasons for this. This does not mean I claim to know everything. I know I lack understanding about certain things. However I have experienced God intervening in my life on a daily basis for over 10 years. Because of this and the evidence I see in scripture, I don't believe anything will destroy my faith. I do pledge, however to listen to all points of view with an open mind and an open Bible.