The only thing that cannot be improved in this universe is truth, which remains to be what it is. Things that can be observed and generally accepted as truth, today, become revealed as having been false. There are many things that get discarded later—when having not been true, after all. It is sad that conservativism is embraced more by Christians, unwilling to check the veracity of what would be currently believed.
Christians do so, under the false belief that faith means blindly believing, without verification. Yet truth lies in verification, before obtaining certainty in understanding. Faith is premised on certainty from the source, rather than from the second-hand informants. See [Truth needs verification].
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now, we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:11-12) (NIV).
To obtain the Certainty, in understanding matters of truth, one requires a willingness to learn, more than maintaining dogmatism on old beliefs. Willingness to always examine every piece of new information, in comparison with what is currently held is paramount. Without a willingness to examine new information, against currently held datum, one is susceptible to being under deception. The apostle Paul further commented:
“None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:8-10) (NIV).
Notice carefully, that it is the Spirit that searches all things, including the deep things of God. It is, therefore, wrong to get fixated on physical matters. The rulers of this world cannot believe spiritual things, due to their limitation to physical things. The only sign that differentiates between spiritual and physical persons, lies in the unwillingness to search all things.
Faced with scientific evidence in the fifteenth century, Christianity became defensive. As represented in Catholicism they could not be in conformity with Paul’s advocacy of upholding spiritual matters. “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21) (NKJV).
They embarrassingly scorned brilliant Scholars like Nicolaus Copernicus, an astronomer who proposed a heliocentric system that the planets orbit around the Sun; that Earth is a planet which, besides orbiting the Sun annually, also turns once daily on its own axis; and that very slow changes in the direction of this axis account for the precession of the equinoxes.
Copernicus’ scientific discoveries were confirmed by Galileo. Later to be designated with the title of the “father of observational astronomy”, the “father of modern physics”, the “father of the scientific method”, and the “father of modern science”. Galileo invented the thermoscope and various military compasses and used the telescope for scientific observations of celestial objects in the seventeenth century. Those discoveries remain undisputed up to this day.
Truth, therefore, requires objective analysis. Rather than blindly dismissing everything, based on loathsome feelings, against the informant. The Doctrine of True datum, keeps no track of what is later discovered to be false. This should be the principle guiding Christianity, as founded upon Jesus.
“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (John 8:31-32) (NIV).
The only reason for discarding past concepts of the structure is its unworkability. All facts are functional and scientific, supported wholly and completely by laboratory evidence. James Clerk Maxwell’s mathematics were postulated and electricity was widely and beneficially used long before anyone had any real idea about the structure of the atom.
Nevertheless, the spirit ought to be regarded as senior to physical things. The scientists are junior to the spiritual humans. Christians ought to have been the first in appreciating the works of Copernicus and Galileo, based on Paul’s teaching to prove all things, holding fast that which is good (Thessalonica 5:21). Those Scientists ought to have been regarded as true friends, by the Christian community.
By attempting to block the works of Galileo, those Christians were practicing the opposite of what Jesus taught. The only people that Jesus castigated, were the Pharisees, regarded as the religious authorities of that time. The Pharisees held Scriptures that bore the truths of God. But they were unwilling to scrutinize the significance of those Scriptures.
The reason for their inability to scrutinize, is not difficult to understand, as maintained in two maxims of evil. Firstly, without God’s Spirit, one’s limitation is in the fear of the unknown, due to cowardice, rather than reason. In my writings, I have observed the manifestation of cowardice among ordinary Christians. They may agree with what I write, but unwilling to go further than just acknowledging.
Most of the so-called Christians, prefer abiding by what comes from Christian leaders, rather than what comes from Jesus Christ. They cannot adopt new information without approval by their denominational leaders. They prefer being followers of human leaders, rather than being followers of Jesus Christ. Paul had to contend with such pseudo-Christians, even during his time. (1 Corinthians 1:10-17).
The idea of coalescing around human leaders provides false security. This syndrome portrays the behavior of humanity, possibly initiated during the times of Nimrod, recorded as a mighty hunter (Genesis 10:8-12). Those people needed security from the marauding wild animals. Nimrod, as a mighty hunter, must have provided them with needed security.
This became a culture, making it necessary to coalesce under a human leadership, rather than under God’s protection. The Israelites, considered as God’s people, succumbed to this terrible idea (1 Samuel 8:4-7). Ordinary humans feel secure under human leaders, rather than under God’s protection. This has manifested clearly in Zimbabwean politics.
All Zimbabwean troubles are left in the hands of politicians. Having been exposed under the clueless leadership of ED, most Zimbabweans have now put their hope on Nelson Chamisa. If unwise, (I hope this is not the case) Chamisa could, actually, allow this kind of infatuation into his head and feel deified.
Jesus taught His disciples a new way of behavior, where no-one exercises authority over others. He taught a leadership principle that meant carrying other people’s burdens, rather than taking advantage of them. True Christians are answerable to God only:
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Matthew 23:8-12) (NIV).
The apostle John made this vividly clear. One cannot entertain being identified as a Christian, when unable to apply this principle. It is unchristian to put one’s faith in another human being, rather than in Jesus. All problems of Christianity come from the idea of coalescing around “trusted” leaders, for security reasons. This is caused by cowardice—due to the inability to stand for truth.
“This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment: In this world, we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:17-18) (NIV).
The second reason for the apparent Christian failure to appreciate God’s truth is pride. Regrettably, this one appears more deadly than the first handicap. Ordinary people without God’s Spirit are egotistical, thereby, not willing to acknowledge good things coming from those considered as newcomers.
They confer to themselves the custodianship of truth. Like the Pharisees, they become offended when the truth comes from other angles. It seems impossible for those without acceptable credentials to ever be taken seriously, regardless of how truthful the information such newcomers may hold.
While the Jews could not find fault in the teachings of Jesus, they struggled, with having to honor Him. Without the acceptable academic credentials, regardless of truthful information proffered, rejection is always the only answer. The Jews rejected Jesus, although unable to confront His superior knowledge.
“Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?’” (John 7:14-15) (NIV).
If Jesus had been one of the Scholars, like Gamaliel, I suppose they would have easily capitulated. Their only problem lay on how they would have to confer recognition on a man as despised as Jesus, elevating Him above everyone else? That would have, also, meant finding no reason to crucify Him. The simplicity of Jesus, especially His undecorated educational background is what disturbed them.
Instead of appreciating the divine message, those Jews got preoccupied with Jesus’s questionable educational background. That kind of behavior confirmed their being of an adulterous generation. It had never been God’s idea for anyone to be acceptable, based on credentials:
“Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:38-40) (NIV).
The Jews had been the custodians of the principles of Godliness. The Scriptures they held carried everything necessary for them to be regarded as God’s children. But, they had all along adopted the gentile customs. Hence, Jesus said they had become a wicked and adulterous generation.
Sadly, the same malady affecting those Jews, is the one that has made Christianity a mockery. Preoccupation with worshipping Jesus is a misnomer that makes people assume that Jesus is impressed by that kind of behavior. Without the understanding of how human nature is like, one would assume that such worshippers are driven by God’s love. Far from it. It is all about self.
To understand this, one has to observe how some people jostle to praise dictatorial rulers. Like everyone else, they may not like such dictators. But for the sake of their own benefit, they would be used as pawns, attacking those considered to be the enemies of the dictator. This explains what, actually, happened at the time of toppling Robert Mugabe from power. Those having zealously been Mugabe’s supporters, turned out to be his erstwhile enemies, overnight.
Such is a behavior of hypocrisy, as also manifested by the Jews, whose hypocrisy was viciously exposed by Jesus. Proud people think more about their own interests before they think about others. Hence, the supporters of a dictator, spend most of their time, worshipping a dictator, and doing everything to display their zealous support.
The idea of praising one section of humanity, while invalidating others, is not from God. All humans were created in God’s image. There cannot be any folly that surpasses the idea of taking comfort in being praised, when assuming that others were born inferior. No-one can do that without despising God:
“We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister” (1 John 4:19-21) (NIV).
The apostle John was referring to such hypocrites, who were castigated by Jesus, among the Pharisees. There is no way a person can claim to love God when despising those created in God’s image. It is impossible for such Christians to apply what Paul recommended:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8) (NIV).
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99
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