Am I Right Just Because I Think I Am?

Posted by Paul Suckling on May 25, 2011

We live in a world of contradictions and confusion—especially when it comes to the question of right or wrong.

As a boy, I well remember arguing with my parents over why something was right or wrong, and the final word was, “Because I said so; I’m your father.” Perhaps that answer is familiar to many readers.

What is the source of the authority to decide what is right and wrong? We’re not talking about opinions here. Of course you can like purple and I can like blue. Neither opinion is right or wrong.

But in matters of fact, there is a right and a wrong, whether most people believe it or not.

Can you be right if everyone thinks you are wrong?

An interesting obituary by T. Rees Shapiro in The Washington Post recently told the story of a Russian émigré and economist who predicted the implosion of the Soviet economy and the fall of the Soviet Union a decade before those events occurred. Igor Birman died April 6 at age 82.

The interesting thing about Dr. Birman is that he was a lone voice in the U.S. government where the specialists believed that the Soviet economy was stable and growing.

“I was alone in the world, saying the huge CIA is wrong,” Dr. Birman told journalist Ronald Kessler in an interview for his 1992 book Inside the CIA. “The wonderful American press has criticized the CIA for spy operations, but never for their analysis. I did. I knew I was alone, and if I say the truth, nobody would believe me.”

What about biblical facts?

What about questions of fact about the basis of many people’s religious beliefs—the Bible? Judging by the vast gulfs that exist between different churches’ teachings, there are obviously differences in interpretation of the facts presented by the Bible. And they can’t all be right.

Joe Kovacs, a journalist, stepped back from the teachings of the various churches and decided to try to take a fresh look at the Bible itself. Taken on its own, without the traditions and trappings of modern denominations, what does the Bible say? He titled the resulting book: Shocked by the Bible: the Most Astonishing Facts You’ve Never Been Told.

Shocked by the Bible has an interesting front cover evaluation by Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly. Mr. O’Reilly said, “If you think you really know the Bible, better think again. Joe Kovacs takes a close look at the greatest story ever told and separates myth from reality.”

Have you ever really compared what you think you know and believe to the Scriptures?

Have you really and truly tried to prove all things and to hold fast to what is right?

Mr. Kovacs concludes his eye-opening book with the following: “To this day, there are more people on the planet who do not believe in the God of the Bible than those who do. This will only change after the return of Jesus, when the knowledge of God will cover the world. … Meanwhile, let me pose to you the same question once asked by the prophet Isaiah: ‘Who hath believed our report?’ (53:1).”

Where I have been wrong in the past

Some of the shocking things Mr. Kovacs mentions in his book were things I had been shocked by years before. Some of you may be shocked by them today.

As a young man I believed that Christ was born on Christmas Day, Dec. 25. But if you study the biblical story, you find this is impossible. I was wrong.

I was wrong to believe that Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and resurrected on Easter Sunday. My minister at that time told me that Jesus thought He would be in the grave for 72 hours, but He didn’t realize He would only be there 36!

I was wrong to believe that Santa Claus came down the chimney with gifts for me if I was good. (Well, not too many adults believe this, but why do Christians lie to their impressionable children about this? Would Jesus Christ want us to do this?)

May I propose the following?

You may think, sure, many of the churches might have a few things wrong about the Bible. But what does it matter?

It matters because the Bible claims to be the Word of our Creator—the ultimate Father who truly has the right to decide what is right and wrong. It’s not just the facts that matter, but the moral principles that God laid out for our good. He made us, and He knows what is good for us and what is bad.

But don’t believe me just because I think I’m right. Please study the Bible yourself. Pray for understanding of what is right or wrong and then determine to live by God’s Word so that you do those things that are pleasing in His sight.

To help you in your exploration, we have biblical studies of some very interesting and challenging Frequently Asked Questions on our website.

Paul Suckling photoAs you study, you will separate myth from reality, and in that way, like the apostle Paul, be able to live with “a conscience without offense toward God” (Acts 24:16). And you’ll know you did the right thing.

Paul Suckling was born in England and is currently a pastor of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, in New England. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s