This morning, Daniel and I are watching a video about the Old Testament and if it lines up to what archaeologists have found in the Mesopotamian region. As it turns out, not surprisingly, it's anti-Biblical. The unfortunate thing is, the video does incorporate most of the parts of the Old Testament and just puts it's own twist on how it happened, why, and in what time frame. It always amazes me what great lengths people go to to deny God and Christianity. The thing about archaeology though is that, no matter what a person finds, they don't know what really happened. They can make an educated guess, but that's all that it is - a guess. To say that finding something a certain way means that this thing happened or didn't happen is not true. It's always just a guess.
All of that to say this - a Christian can't be so opinionated that his opinions will destroy his faith and he can't be so without opinion that his lack of opinion will destroy his faith. What do I mean by this? Well, most of the Bible is interpreted - a person will think a particular passage of the Bible means one thing and another person will think it means something else. These are opinions. For example, when the Bible says Creation took 6 days, you may either be of the opinion that it's a literal 6 day period, or you may be of the opinion that the 6 days is a figurative amount of time and really took much longer. Whichever way you believe, it's your opinion - and yes, of course you think your opinion is right. You wouldn't hold to your opinion if you thought it was wrong. However, don't hold to your opinion too tightly. I think Creation literally took 6 days but if I find out that my opinion is wrong, I'm not going to lose my faith over it. I'm not saying "I'm right, no matter what, and if it's proved that it wasn't a literal 6 day period, than the Bible must be wrong instead of my opinion being wrong".
Of course, you can swing the other way too. Being too opinionated can destroy your faith just as quickly as not being opinionated enough can. While the first are the hard-headed people, these are the wishy-washy people. A person has to have beliefs about some things or else anything goes. Back to our Creation example - most Christians think Creation took a literal 6 days but there are some who think it was actually a much longer amount of time, but at least they believe in Creation. If you don't have an opinion about it, then someone could say that evolution is true and God doesn't exist and you'd would be liable to believe them. After all, if you have no opinion, anything, even something anti-Biblical, could be true. Your faith wouldn't make it through one conversation with an atheist.
You have to be opinionated enough that you know what you believe, but not so much that you know it all and you have to be right no matter what. So my challenge to the hard-heads is this - yes, you can have your opinion but be careful how far you take it. After all, God is the only One who knows everything. And my challenge to the wishy-washies is this - have an opinion about something. If you don't believe in anything, you'll believe in everything.
So what does this have to do with the video we watched? Well, I have my opinion about the Old Testament and what certain things mean, how things happened, why they happened, etc. The video we watched had a different spin on everything. They used their interpretation of the evidence found through the archaeological excavations to try to disprove the Old Testament. I think their interpretation and their conclusion is wrong. However, if their interpretation was right, I wouldn't lose my faith over it. Their conclusion, that the Bible isn't real, that God doesn't exist, that Christianity is a fluke and Christians have all been misled, is wrong and will always be wrong, but their interpretation of the evidence may be right. Like I said, archaeologists can only make guesses based on what they find. A Christian archaeologist could look at the remains of a building and conclude one thing and a pagan archaeologist could look at those same ruins and conclude something completely different. At best, it's an educated analysis and at worst, it's a guess... but either way, no one really knows.
There are very few rock-solid facts in life and all the rest is opinion. Of the things that aren't fact, have an opinion but don't have too much of one.
And that, my readers, is your challenge for today. Until next time...