Starting Points#8. “Disagreements over Facts.”

Starting Points#8. “Disagreements over Facts.”

General Eisenhower, when seeing the horrors left behind by the Nazis at the Ohrdruf Concentration Camp, was determined to make sure that there would be as many eyewitnesses as possible. It is said that the citizens of the nearby town of Gotha claimed they did not know what was happening in the camp. Obviously unconvinced, Eisenhower ordered all the able-bodied citizens of Gotha, Germany to go to Ohrdruf and dig graves for the hundreds of bodies left behind. After witnessing the camp first-hand, the mayor of Gotha and his wife went home and hanged themselves.

Eisenhower raced to ensure that there would be no disagreement over the facts—but it didn’t work! To this day some completely deny the horrors of the death camps, despite the overwhelming evidence.

Disagreements over Biblical facts suffer the same fate. The common problem is a refusal to accept that Biblical truth stands independent of all other convictions. Jesus, The Author of all Truth, needs no man to support, justify, or judge his Words.

I have preached long enough to know that even the best of Christians have default settings when it comes to disagreement over facts. Even those, decades from their baptisms, settle on their “essential doctrines and practices” and shrug off anything else that comes forth from the pulpit as if an “optional extra.”

Many consider this default setting to be either appropriate or harmless. I assure you; unteachableness is cancer in the soul of the church. Dismissing Gospel facts as if opinion may be nothing new in churches, but that doesn’t make it any less anathema.

Years ago, I buried a man whom I considered to be a better man than I in many ways. But to his dying day, he refused to believe in the deity of Christ. God is his judge, as He is yours and mine, but tragically, any man who argues against “The Essential Truth” cannot be saved. And for me to suggest otherwise is to promote falsehood.

Disagreements on facts must be sorted out. Agreeing to disagree on “Truth” is not an option.

John Staiger

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