Are You Building Upon the Foundation of Truth?
By Kelly McDonald, Jr.
We are all born into a country and possibly a church environment with certain beliefs, ideals, and practices. As we grow up, these ideals and practices become engrained into our lives through laws, culture, entertainment, social mores, and celebrations. Thus, we have been influenced by these factors. Your environment has an impact to one degree or another upon the person you are today.
As part of this process of socialization, we have certain traditions and beliefs that become assimilated into our own practice. The challenge I issue to all who read this article is to question your practices, beliefs, and thought patterns in the following manner: Are you building upon the foundation of God’s truth or are you simply following the traditions handed down to you?
Many people follow a degree of traditions given to them, but they are not aware that they should even question them.
For Christians, the Bible is the foundation of truth. In other words, we are expected to build our world view, perspectives on life, and practices upon its precious Words. The great challenge remains for the individual to recognize his/her beliefs or practices and subsequently compare it to the foundation of all knowledge.
This challenge applies to all backgrounds.
This will lead us back to the age-old debate between culture and Christ. To what degree do we allow culture to define or influence our view of Christ? Or, do we view Christ as the rock that influences our view of the world. The answer is simpler than one might think. Christ never changes (Hebrews 13:8). He changes us and then subsequently uses us as an agent of change in the world around us. Therefore culture cannot redefine His eternal nature.
It is so easy to say “well, this tradition means _____ to me”; this is problematic because this is an argument from relativism. People use the same line of reasoning to justify the redefinition of marriage. If there is no perpetual morality in the Bible, then culture can influence our interpretation of the Bible.
At some point in the future, a majority in America will no longer understand the Biblical definition of marriage. They will be engrained into a tradition that supports a false view. Even if the majority accepts this tradition it does not redefine truth.
Following the majority view leads us down a destructive path of reactionary thinking. More often than not, the Bible is quoted from a position of defending tradition rather that building upon truth. Humanity can rationalize any view point. But the never-changing Word of God is that sword (Heb. 4:12) to cut away to the truth of the matter – are we rationalizing what we think is right or simply standing for what is absolutely right?
Questions to ask yourself: Are you using tradition to define the Bible? Do you find Bible verses to justify your behavior or tradition? Does the frame of reference for your world view come from tradition?
When you read the Bible, do you allow its words to change your lifestyle? Do you view the Bible as the source of your life instead of a reactionary crutch?
The Bible should be the foundation of our lives. It should define and start our practices, so we proceed forward on the foundation of truth. We want to build on what is eternal, not temporary and fleeting.
This is indeed a lifelong process; no one has all the answers. And I can assure you the process is not easy – you will alienate family and friends when you choose truth over tradition. But God will also connect you with people to replace what is lost (Matthew 19:29). However, the process also leads to a fulfillment and renewed outlook on life that you will not trade for anything in this world.
Some people believe strongly that they have inherited a tradition of truth. If so, have you proved your views through the lens of God’s Word? Even if something is absolutely true, we should understand, from the Word, why it is true. It is incumbent upon every generation to “Test all things, and hold firmly that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21).
The process described in this article can make the difference between operating off inherited beliefs (which may or may not be eternal) or building upon the foundation of everlasting truth (Matthew 7:13-24).
Kelly McDonald, Jr