I Don’t Buy It!

I’m slowly coming to the realization that documented facts don’t matter to those who have already predetermined what it is that they have decided to accept. Even if you can provide them with tonnes of documentation, videos where denial cannot be exercised or detailed studies that clearly refutes whatever it is that they have decided to pursue, all of it can simply be waved off with hardly a glance, with the statement “I don’t buy it!”. 

If one was to paraphrase “I don’t buy it!”, one could replace the meaning behind that statement with “I don’t care what you show me, because it does not agree with what I have already determined is the manner in which I choose to view this particular topic, and consequently, I categorically reject whatever it is that you are showing me!” Or, how about “you believe your facts and I will believe mine!” Or the ever popular “your believe your sources and I will believe mine!”

When one is looking for unbiased truth (which is no small feat in itself), one must look at all the arguments and painstakingly take nothing for granted. Unbiased truth, can be at times, extremely difficult to find. And sometimes, because of the complexity and highly technical nature of the subject matter, and our own untrained comprehension of this subject matter, the best we can achieve is a guesstimate. That’s why we have specialists in so many professions. As a “general” rule of thumb (meaning even here there are sometimes exceptions), when researching, I try to find the general consensus of the majority of the specialists in that specific profession.

I used to think that the vast majority of people exercised discernment before they formulated a reasonably informed decision. The word “discernment” can be defined in its simplest definition, as nothing more than the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong. Discernment is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth. In other words, for a Christian, the ability to think with discernment is synonymous with an ability to think biblically, which in itself means thinking that would agree with the whole counsel of God, as declared in the Holy Bible.

And why is this important? It is vitally important because we do need to be able to discern between that which is biblical truth and that which is not biblical truth. The hallmark of the Reformation and the New Testament are the five “alones” (or most commonly known as “the five solas” in Latin) of Protestant Christianity: “Scripture alone” (Latin: Sola Scriptura), “grace alone” (Sola Gratia), “Christ alone” (Solus Christus), “faith alone” (Sola Fide), and “to the glory of God alone” (Soli Deo Gloria). If you haven’t taken the time to understand why these five “alones” are important, especially in Christian history concerning doctrines, you’re missing a lot.

I indicated that I used to think that the vast majority of people exercised discernment before they formulated a reasonably informed decision. I don’t hold that perspective any more. In fact, I would have a tendency to say, especially with regard to what is put out there as “Christianity”, the exact opposite is true.

Is Mormonism Christianity?
Is the New Apostolic Reformation movement Christianity?
Is the “Name it and claim it, Word of Faith perspective” Christianity?

And this short list above, could with very little effort, easily be made very long.

The thing is, “discernment” takes time and diligent study of all the subject matter, especially God’s Holy Word, considering that it is our final authority. Reading books that support one perspective or putting yourself under someone’s teachings without first having spent a significant amount of time earnestly studying and praying over God’s Holy Word, gives you nothing in which to compare what you are reading or being taught. Without first putting in the time and effort of studying God’s Holy Word, you have no benchmark of measurement from which to discern. You’re like a ship without a rudder, blown about by which ever way the wind happens to be blowing. And there is a lot of wind out there that does not want to see you reach your anticipated destination.

Considering that Jesus (Matthew 24:10) and Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:3) told us there will be a great falling away (as opposed to a great awakening) before He returns and notice that the falling away comes first, and that there will be many false prophets (with false signs and wonders), and wolves that will lead many astray (Mark 13:22), does it not seem prudent to really get a grasp of what things in particular “must take place” (Matthew 24:6-8) and how we as Christians should react to them? 

And about these things that Jesus told us about that, “must take place”, do you get any indication at all that Jesus is telling us that we can turn them around? You can correct me if you think I misunderstand but “must” does sound pretty concrete to me. But what specifically does Jesus tell us to do? How about . . . “See to it that no one misleads you …” and “See that you are not alarmed …” (Matthew 24:4-6). That would be “not alarmed” as in not fearful. And then we have Matthew 24:13 which states: “But the one who endures to the end is the one who will be saved. I would ask that you read the entirety of Matthew 24.

So when someone says “they don’t buy it”, on a predetermined choice they have made on what they believe, while neglecting the necessity of exercising discernment to make that decision, based on God’s Holy Word, there is very little that we can do because ultimately, this is what they do not buy:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB: ALL SCRIPTURE is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man or woman of God may be FULLY capable, equipped for EVERY good work.” Emphasis is mine. This is the starting point, not making a decision and then finding the “facts” or “Scriptures” that support it.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

50 comments

  1. A very sobering definition of the lines regarding discernment Bruce. It reminded me of a couple we were friends with through church who were into Joyce Meyer and Benny Hin in a big way; no amount of discussion with them could break the chains they chose to be shackled to. Their total devotional reading was from these charlatans and not from the Word of God, there was nothing we could do for them. Thank you for this post brother.

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    • Hi Alan, Oh I know, the layers that these deceptions cast draw far far too many in, even to the extent that God’s elect could be mislead. That’s heavy and speaks of the confusing complexity that Satan can weave towards his intent. Self pride seems to be a major factor (I will be like God). Sobering and scary when you consider how vulnerable we can be. Blessings brother! OH yes, forgot to tell you, I listened to one of your short videos, LOVE your accent! Just saying!

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  2. It’s not just error that trips people up, but the sheer volume of false information is overwhelming! As far as folks believing what they want to believe-no matter what-it appears the eyes of some are blinded. The Bible also speaks about people being held captive to do the devil’s will. My point is, there is a spiritual component to all of this—especially when it comes to the things of God. We are literally in the middle of a celestial battle between good and evil, but many don’t realize they are simply pawns in the game. I hope this makes sense, Bruce, as it is early and I am typing under the influence of only one cup of coffee.😌

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    • Hi David, I understand you. I woke up early and haven’t even had my first cup of coffee yet! You’re absolutely right, the complexity around some of these deceptions can be astounding and sometimes I believe the real objective is just to cause division and descent. Diabolical when you get glimpses of it and definitely spiritual battles with us as pawns. Now, second priority is COFFEE! Blessings!

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  3. Bruce, you are spot on with your conclusion regarding the loss of the Bible and its perceived authority within mainstream Christianity. Just like those old family Bibles sat on the coffee tables dusty and unused, the same is true in many churches and Christian groups, even ones called Bible Studies. The latter instead often depend upon books and study guides cranked out by mainstream false teachers who have abandoned the truths of the word for more popular human thinking, barely touching on the book they are supposedly studying, and in many cases misrepresenting biblical truths and even sending folks to hell.

    While we cannot understand the Bible spiritually apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, if we do not read it and study it and pray over it regularly we will not develop discernment, as you said, and will not be equipped for every good work. We don’t have to be scholars to understand the Bible, but we have to read it. Then we can know the truth that sets us free.

    In this world full of lies today, we have no such source of truth. It does not reside with the majority, not even the majority of experts, as you rightly said. Worse, our own learning has been flawed over the years, as we have followed others who have not told us the truth, but who have helped build a foundational belief and trust system within us that is at times unreliable.

    Many if us are not smart enough nor clever enough to navigate the webs of lies permeating our world today without being tripped up here or there. The is no reliable worldly source that contains the truth. That is why we must, as strangers and aliens here, know God and his voice and his Word, so we can discern what he wants us to know, and obey him in what he wants us to say and do.

    These times seem to call out from the Bible as the end times. The Bible paints a general picture of what will happen with much symbolism. God in his wisdom chose such a presentation, perhaps as much to confound the worldly powers under Satan as to motivate the saints of all generations to return to him and to remain faithful.

    Whether or not we can change the course of history in our time is not clear to me. But we can live more wisely if we see clear signs. For instance, we can be sensitive to what might be the mark of the beast, if that is a literal mark, and not take it nor trust those giving it or forcing it on everyone. We can look for red flags and take them to the Lord for wisdom.

    Brother Bruce, I appreciate you a lot and your hard work and faithfulness to God’s Word. Keep digging there for the truth and teaching to a broader audience than you might ever have imagined. And thank you for continuing your battle against your pride (one I know all too well) and for responding with God’s grace and love. Many eyes are on you and draw hope from you, here, and hopefully those living near you who know you best. May Jesus become what others see in us as we die to self and sin.

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    • Hi Rick, thank you for the kind words, pretty sure most of them are undeserved but all we can do is follow where God’s grace leads us as part of the body of Christ. Fran, a very wise Christian sister reminded me recently that we are living stones built up into a spiritual house, but I’m thinking I’m more in the pebble category. Anyway, thank you for the encouraging thoughts, sincerely appreciated. Please say Hi to Sue for me and know that I continue to hold both of you up in my prayers. Blessings Rick!

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  4. You are reaffirming how desperately wicked (down to the last molecule) the human heart is Bruce. People in Jesus day were plotting to kill Lazarus after Jesus raised him from the dead…Hearts trump brains. We could win every argument and change zero hearts. Yet the almost incoherent dying breath with a prayer for a lost son or daughter with the help of God’s spirit can soften the hardest heart. We live out but do not understand the totally revealed mystery of the gospel where faith trumps anything man made.

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  5. Good thoughts, Bruce. The previous pastor at the last church we attended would periodically refer to the Reformation and the 5 Solas. After he retired, the youngster who replaced him (and who always sported a $100 swag haircut and skinny jeans with holes in the knees) never referred to the Reformation or the 5 Solas, because I guess that information wasn’t hip enough.

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  6. Amen and amen! Thanks for writing this word of encouragement for those of us who are burdened by the lack of discernment in churches today. This is the same subject I have addressed in my blog scheduled to go live in the morning. Blessings, Bruce!

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  7. Bruce,

    I have some food for thought regarding Jesus’ words that “must take place” in Matthew 24. No doubt these things WILL take place; however, this mustn’t necessarily mean we cannot try to reach those caught up in false teachings. Witness Jude’s words (NASB1995):

    22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.

    Since Jude’s epistle is centered on combating false teaching, it appears to me the “them” in “snatching them out of the fire” refers to those caught up in said false teaching.

    But, also, on the other hand, a comment by Paul, from 2Thess 2 (NASB1995):

    9 …the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

    So it is God Himself who places “a deluding influence” upon these individuals who chose not to the love of truth.

    And, finally, I have a comment regarding your thoughts about trying to find a majority consensus from individuals in a particular field: Keep in mind Galileo stood alone, and was “wrong”—until he wasn’t.

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    • Thanks Craig, I’m aware that the majority consensus isn’t always necessarily correct, Darwin’s Evolution and Creationism would be another example. I probably should have stated that as a “general” rule of thumb because even there, there are exceptions, and I will change that. Thanks for catching that! With regard to still defending Christianity against false doctrines and other faiths such as Mormonism, New Age Mysticism or the Islamic faith etc, heartily agree. I was thinking more in the line of propagating conspiracy theories and engaging in destructive civil disobedience because I think that detracts from our witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Good eye, always appreciate your comments. Keep ’em coming! Blessings!

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      • Please bear with me here.

        I didn’t know you were referring to “propagating conspiracy theories and engaging in destructive civil disobedience”. Since I don’t know exactly what you mean by “conspiracy theories” and “destructive civil disobedience”, let me provide food for thought relative to this (understanding that I don’t know exactly what you mean by these phrases).

        Playing the ‘devil’s advocate’, so to speak, what are we to do, assuming we’re alive at the time, when ‘the beast out of the earth’ requires all to take the mark in order to buy and sell (Rev 13:16-17)? Backing up a few verses, what do we do when we are forced to worship the first beast (Rev 13:12)? Those are, of course, rhetorical questions; but pondering these may cause some reflection on the matter(s) of your concern.

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      • Hi Craig, went to bed early last night so I only saw this comment, this morning. There are actually two streams of discussion that we can have dialogue with others on. One has to do with Christianity and the other would be secular concerns. Problem being, frequently the secular is dovetailed into the Christian dialogue where conspiracy theories end up being interwoven into the stream. Generally speaking, I try to avoid online discussions with regard to secular topics and focus rather on Christian related discussions. Topics that are related to QAnon or the Great Reset, as examples, would in my mind, qualify as a Conspiracy Theory. And, interestingly enough, the reality of or denial of Covid 19, not to mention, the purpose of, also factor into these two conspiracy theories. Again, as a rule of thumb, I do not enter into these “discussions” online as I believe they detract from the spreading of the Gospel, not to mention, our own credibility, which has a direct correlation with the credibility of our message.

        Adhering to the Rule of Law as long as it does not violate our conscience with regard to following God’s will for us, is another aspect that I believe is supported by Scripture so I would not condone riots in the streets where individuals are harmed or property is damaged. Lawful assembly is acceptable. Again, as a general rule, I do not personally engage online in discussions that are aimed at justifying civilian unrest or general population health care concerns because I believe that it also detracts from our mission of spreading the Gospel.

        However, that does not mean that I do not do my own independent research so that I might obtain a relatively informed opinion on controversial subject matters that are prevalent within the general population at large in our societies.

        You indicate that you do not know what I mean when I use the terms “conspiracy theories” or “engaging in destructive civic disobedience”. Maybe I should have defined those terms or given an example of each in our side comments but I assumed that generally speaking, you and I would be of like mind with regard to their general definitions. QAnon would be a prime example of a conspiracy theory in my mind, and what transpired in your nations capitol on 6 Jan 2021 would be a prime example of destructive civil disobedience, neither of which I would condone the pursuit of.

        As per my personal decision not to engage online in discussions pertaining to conspiracy theories or destructive civil disobedience, you will very rarely find posts on my Christian Apologetics blog which address these specific issues although I have provided links on fact checking resources and recommended standard documentation validation processes.

        When the beast that is spoken of in the bible arrives as a one world leader and if I am still here, I would NOT be taking any “mark” which would indicate my allegiance to him, nor would I advocate any Christian take the mark or render allegiance to him. And that would be the prime example of not obeying a ruler due to a conflict with our conscience of obeying God’s clear will.

        What concerns me IN THE INTERIM between now and when the beast makes his demand, is what and who we focus on and I would put forward that I believe the bible clearly indicates our focus should be on Jesus and His specific directions on what our mind set should be.

        I don’t know if this response clarifies or provides insight into the pondering you think I should consider, as it relates to this post, but it is my hope that it does. God’s continued blessings on you and yours Craig.

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      • Oh, I forgot that one you said about the majority being right. That is not right, especially since it is few who travel the narrow road and the majority are traveling the broad road which leads to destruction. Jesus was in the minority and so were the prophets and the apostles. So, the majority being right is deceptive, and it isn’t biblical.

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      • Hi Sue, you’re correct, Darwins Evolution and Creationism is a case in point and there are others. What I was thinking of had to do with the reality and consequences of Covid 19 and in that particular case, I tend to try to consider the majority consensus of highly qualified epidemiologists. From a Christian perspective, you are absolutely correct. From a secular perspective, there is some validity to considering the highly qualified in there specific professional fields but even there, in some specific instances, it is not always necessarily a slam dunk. I have “amended” that particular statement in the post. Hope this helps. Blessings!

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  8. Bruce, are you speaking purely of Biblical truth here? From what I am reading of what you wrote it sounds like there is a mixture of both biblical studies and resources that are secular, and a mixture of biblical discrepancies and differences of opinion with regard to things going on in the world. If it regards the Scriptures we are to point people to the Scriptures and show them what they say in context, but if it regards things going on in the world, we can certainly again point them to Scriptures which predict the things we are seeing, and scriptures which teach what our biblical response should be to such situations, but we can’t 100% prove what we believe is going on in the world because there is so much contradictory evidence out there. Videos can be doctored. Anything can be altered and faked and made to look like one thing while it is another. Deception abounds. The only real source we can trust is the Lord, and so we need to pray for discernment. Where what is happening contradicts the Scriptures we can show that, but we cannot rely on other humans to tell us the truth because too many liars abound. Lots of news sources lie to the people, as do government officials and fact checkers and the like. Anyway, all any of us can do is to read the Scriptures prayerfully, obey our Lord, walk in his ways and in his truth, and pray for spiritual discernment regarding the world around us. And pray for all eyes to see the truth. Sue

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    • Hi Sue, you raised some very good observations and I thank you for doing that. I had an interesting discussion with Craig on this particular post and I would ask you to read my response to him. And it is precisely because of issues that you raised that I answered Craig as I did and I would hope it answers your concerns too. It’s the “in the interim” between now and the arrival and the demands of the beast that concerns me. That straight and narrow path has far too many off ramps on it and I personally think we do error when we take our eyes and reliance off of Jesus and dive into our own reasonings. I personally don’t see anything wrong in trying to ascertain an understanding of the secular issues that occupy much of the media within our societies, but that is not our focus and I generally endeavour to keep my own conclusions on these matters to myself. I’m thinking you and I are of like mind but you can correct me if you think we aren’t. Blessings Sue!

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  9. Bruce, sorry, but one more. This morning I sat down to write another devotional and the first thing the Lord did was to lead me to read something on your site. He led me to read this particular writing of yours and to respond. And then I went to write what the Lord wanted me to write, and when I finished writing it, I sensed the Lord leading me to share it with you. So, I pray you will read it prayerfully, that you will pray over it, and that you will inquire of the Lord if there is something he wants you to receive from this. Love you my brother in Christ. Sue

    https://runwithit.blog/2022/02/05/put-your-trust-solely-in-the-lord/

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    • Hi Sue, I read your post and I couldn’t agree with you more. Actually I find that encouraging because although we sometimes say the same thing differently, that is exactly where our Lord has been leading me more and more. In these difficult times we are in, there is only one source of guidance and trust. Actually that is the way it has always been but even more so now, than ever. So your post was a confirmation to me that the essence of taking our lead from Jesus and all that the bible tells us, is to literally trust explicitly in Him. Don’t know if that is what you were expecting but that is what it tells me from my end. Hope this is the answer you anticipated. Blessings!

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      • Bruce, thank you. I had no expectations nor did I anticipate what your response would be. I just followed the lead of the Holy Spirit and trusted the Lord to use it in the way he intended. So thank you for your thoughtful response. God bless you.

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  10. Bruce, You asked me to read your second response to Craig, so I did. I have a couple of questions for you and then I would like for you to read the following blog post prayerfully before responding to it. I asked some of these questions in the blog post, but how do you think you will know the beast when you see him? How can you be sure you would recognize him (or it)? What would you be looking for to identify him (or it) as the beast? How can you be sure you are not following him in any ways now, or that you are not being influenced by him (it) now? Okay, so here is the post:

    https://runwithit.blog/2022/02/05/the-beast-is-deceiving-people/

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    • Oops, didn’t finish…. As I wrote in my most recent post, the only way someone can truly be saved is through the work of the Holy Spirit. We can reason with them, but we can’t make them see the truth unless the Lord opens their eyes. There are a number of people in my life that I don’t try to convince any more. They know what I believe and why, so I am doing the best thing I can do for them now – praying for them DAILY, hoping someday soon the Lord will get tired of my nagging and open their eyes. 😏😉

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      • Agreed Annie and I have a few that I nag God on, myself. When I was in Cyprus with the UN I had an opportunity to witness to each of the men that I worked and lived with, except one. He wanted nothing to do with me and told me so. The night before I left to fly home the next day he knocked at my door and asked if he could come in. He said he thought I was crazy but he had a dream where he was told that it was he was crazy. We talked for three hours and hugged one another as he left. He was French and from Quebec and they have quite a history there with the RC Church. I’ve never forgotten that because I thought the door was closed but God showed me that His timing and my timing aren’t always one and the same. And He has resources that I don’t have. So yes, I keep knocking too! Blessings Annie!

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