Is your skepticism real or is it selective? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Skeptic is often used as a term for someone who questions religious claims. However, there is a positive side of it and it is one that more of us should embrace. It is simply a mode of learning to question all claims that we come across that are not immediately verifiable and have some significant impact.
My folks just told me about a state of emergency being declared in Georgia. My Dad followed by saying there was no food or gas. Now this, I thoroughly questioned as there are farmers in Georgia. Could there be a problem with distribution? Sure. Looking online, that seems to be what the problem is and I have contacted my former in-laws already to hear what it is like from them in Georgia.
We who are conservatives often talk about fake news. Indeed, we should, but let us not act like fake news exists only on the left. It doesn’t. On this blog, I have taken down more conservative fake quotes on politics than I have liberal ones. That’s because the conservative ones matter more to me. I want our side to be known as people of truth.
To be sure, if you go to any station, be it Fox or CNN or MSNBC or any other location and you just believe everything you hear or even disbelieve everything you hear, you are not a true skeptic. You are letting someone else do your thinking for you. The danger we all have is that we do tend to fall into this camp easily. It is easier to believe the stories that conform to what we already want to believe than to do the hard work of investigating.
Consider some claims about religion. I grew up being taught in school that Columbus sailed his voyage to prove the Earth was round and not flat. Whoops! Looks like that was already known! I also grew up hearing about the Dark Ages. No. They weren’t dark at all. (Various articles here) As it turns out, it seems the more a claim is readily held in popular culture, the more likely I have seen it to be false.
Christian. This also means being willing to question what you hear in church, even, GASP!, your pastor! Yes. They are not infallible. Saying the Scripture is infallible does not mean every idea derived from it is. God deal with me also if ever I think everything that is written in this blog is pure and hard gospel truth and cannot be wrong.
This is also why you try to read both sides of major arguments. If all you do is read what you agree with, you are merely cementing your own opinion. If anything, I have found my trust in Christ greatly increased by learning to read what disagrees with me. It’s far better than just internet comments from those who disagree. I can go to the scholars themselves and hear the case. Sometimes, I learn points that help my own interpretation. Bart Ehrman can have some good insights into the text sometimes that can help me out. The way someone reads Scripture can be new to me and I might get something else out of it.
Many of our friends who call themselves skeptics are not. They disbelieve religious claims, but immediately believe anything that argues against them. Be better than that. Question both sides, including your own.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)