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It Is Okay To Test God?

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No matter what Bible verses are used to support what theological position those who have a 180-degree difference of opinion can always find a verse to support their position.

Once that is done, the conversation becomes a confrontation akin to, “My dog is better than your dog!”, “My dad can beat up your dad!”, or “My Bible verses are better than your Bible verses!”   To continue in that kind of confrontation is a colossal waste of time and energy.  You are talking to a stone wall.  In the end, neither of the participants change. It always ends with, “I’ll go my way and you go yours.”  

Stop using the Bible as proof text for your position.  Determine what your selected verses expose about your position, state that position and make the person you are speaking with respond to your stated position, not your opinion of the meaning of your selected Bible proof-text verses.  Opinions about the meaning of Scripture can always be challenged with other opinions.  Your conviction of right or wrong can easily be agreed with or disagreed with but is hard to challenge or debate a conviction. “This verse means abortion is wrong” is a statement that is open for debate.  “Abortion is murder” is a statement of conviction that has to be accepted or rejected but it is hard to debate.  If the person counters your conviction with a Bible verse that he or she uses in an attempt to prove you wrong, (if you want to) you can challenge his or her verses with your own selected verses or clarify to him or her how he or she is misinterpreting the verse.  If that does not end with the other person having a change of mind, then close the matter with, “I have my convictions and you have yours. So be it.”  And move on. Quit wasting your time and energy.  

I had a brief conversation with a fellow not long ago who held the position that it was a sin to test God.  He had his Bible verses that supported his opinion. I tried to share with him that there are various ways the Bible uses the concept of testing God; some were good and godly and some ways to test God are evil/ungodly. I tried to explain to him the distinctions between testing God and tempting God; he saw none.  He would have nothing to do with my attempted contribution to the subject. He continued to ignore my words, his errors in interpretation of his selected verses, and my selected Bible verses revealing the positive/good/godly ways to test God. He was content and driven to ignore my contribution and find more verses that he felt supported his opinion. 

That is not a conversation seeking the truth, that is ignoring any and all parts of the Bible that did not support his opinion and as evidenced by his selection of verses, ignoring the contextual understanding of the Bible.

To change the tone of the verbal exchange, I said to him, “If by testing God you mean to test or try his patience, certainly that is evil. If you mean by ‘test God’ to exercise our understanding of God’s will and way by doing what we believe is God’s will to see whether our understanding of God’s will and way is correct, that is a godly test. Do you agree?”  He did not respond.

That ended the (so-called) conversation. He became silent, seethed inwardly for a moment, then changed the subject.  He changed the subject because he was not looking for the truth; he was devoted to proving himself right and me wrong by attacking my view of my Bible verses with his view of his Bible verses and ignoring my contribution to the subject.  He was looking for a debate.  More to the point, he was looking for a theological fight.  Such people know they are wrong but are too immature to admit it or take your contribution with any seriousness for fear they will have to admit they are wrong.  

Either ignore their invitation to fight or box them in a corner with the method I noted above until they become negative towards continuing their antagonistic attack, change the subject or go away.   Why flush your valuable time down the toilet trying to help them understand the truth?  You cannot force a person to face the truth when they are hell-bent on believing a lies.  Pray for them and move on. 

Rev. Joda Collins

I make no claim that anyone else agrees with me.


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