Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | July 1, 2020

Claim Checking

(5 Minute Read. 1Jul2020)

Recently I attended a virtual IT seminar. The moderator began by highlighting the organization’s code of conduct. He admonished everyone,
“Remember to be a good human today.”

When I heard this, I wondered what he meant by “good human.” Based on background information I knew about the organization, I suspected that some of what this man would praise as good, I would condemn as evil.

Nearby in the kitchen, my wife couldn’t help overhearing the moderator. She murmured to herself, “But how do we know what being a good human looks like?” The organization holding the seminar liked to emphasize some rules they had about being civilized in meetings, but in reality it had long since ditched any foundational standard of good.

My wife knew that the presenter had excellent motives behind the “good human” exhortation. But she instinctively seized the Biblical-worldview yardstick to measure every statement. It’s reflexive after many years of deliberately imitating the Berean believers of Acts 17:10-12. What did the people of Berea do?

The Bereans listened to presentations from Silas and Paul in a very specific way, and they were commended for it.
Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. (Acts 17:11)

Like the TV detective Adrian Monk, my wife couldn’t help analyzing. She held up even a preliminary comment to the light of God’s Word, our only certain and unchanging source of what is true, what is right, what is good.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Fact-checking has become a buzz word. But it is an invalid concept. Facts are facts and do not need to be checked. If something is not true, then it is not a fact. The term that should be used is claim-checking.

The media’s “fact-checkers” are really claim-checkers. And every claim-checker has a bias. And that bias affects the checker’s judgment of the claim. This is obvious when a conservative claim-checker disagrees with the judgment of a liberal claim-checker.

No claim-checker is completely objective; every claim-checker is biased. It is vital that a claim-checker’s bias be the correct bias in order to render accurate judgment.

But for the most critical issues of life, how can a claim be checked? The Bible is our first, last, and highest reference book!
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

Every Christian should aspire to be a compulsive claim-checker — not by using a search engine or Wikipedia, but using the infallible reference written by Yahweh Himself, the Old Testament and New Testament.
For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2 Peter 1:21)

Whenever you’re reading, whenever you’re listening, keep asking yourself, “Is this Biblical? Does it match what the Bible says?”

Whatever topic is at hand, keep asking yourself, “Does God’s word address this?”

Keep asking yourself, “Will I bow to the authority of Scripture on this matter?”

Sometimes the error we identify is malicious deceit. But many times an unscriptural statement comes from a person with kind intentions and often from someone seeking to inspire. Holding words up to the searchlight of the Bible is not mean-spirited. In fact, when done Scripturally, it is melded with love and discretion.
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent.
(Philippians 1:9-10)

Especially in these challenging days, kindhearted philosophizing abounds. But so much talk that is meant to be inspirational is empty, false, and even harmful.
For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God. (Ecclesiastes 5:7)
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

Claim Checking Practice

Are you ready for a little practice? Here’s a quote that in various versions is circulating widely online. It was even posted on our neighborhood’s virtual bulletin board. The contributor was a warm-hearted person seeking to inspire. But let’s consider — is the content valid?

Use “Bible ears” to evaluate the following words addressing the Wuhan virus crisis that were posted on our neighborhood bulletin board:

The world continues its life and it is beautiful. I think it’s sending us this message: “You are not necessary. The air, earth, water, and sky without you are fine. When you come back, remember that you are my guests. Not my masters.”

How many claims in the above quote can you either substantiate or refute?

– The universe is indeed sending us a message, but it is not the one stated.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1 ESV)

– Man does not sustain the earth, true. But the world is not independent or self-sufficient.
O Lord, Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations. You established the earth, and it stands. They stand this day according to Your ordinances, for all things are Your servants. (Psalm 119:90-92)

– A person’s life is fleeting, true.
As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
When the wind has passed over it, it is no more,
And its place acknowledges it no longer.
But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him.
(Psalm 103:15-17)

– Are humans guests on earth and not its masters?
The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth He has given to the sons of men. (Psalm 115:16)

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28)

What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet.
(Psalm 8:4,6)

Apart from the emptiness of these well-meaning but erroneous sentences from the bulletin board, their smooth, lofty tone distracts us from the genuine comfort of Scripture: Yahweh is the eternal, immutable constant, the enduring bedrock of stability. He promises His own presence and supernatural peace in distress. Self-sacrifice and loving service is the path of fulfillment. Life is brief and difficult, but eternity is incomparably blessed for followers of Jesus. These expressions won’t break any records on Twitter. They are not trendy, but they are truthful.

Humility and Gentleness

If God grants that someone enters into conversation with you about an unscriptural statement, let your humility and gentleness mark you as a follower of Jesus.
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. (Colossians 3:12)

Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. (Colossians 4:5-6)

It’s likely that today an abundant stream of words will wash over you. Keep your Bible filter operational!
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
(2 Corinthians 10:5)

Let us gird up our minds to be “…children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life. (Philippians 2:15-16)

Question Mark Cufflinks

Questions to Ponder

1. Do you think it’s effective to voice a challenge when someone spouts a meaningless or fallacious platitude in your presence? Why or why not?
2. Instead of merely saying, “We’re all in this together,” what short saying of Truth can you prepare to briefly encourage others?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday July 1, 2020 A.D.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

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Responses

  1. We can all unite truth. And truth is from the Bible.

    Liked by 1 person


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