By Alan Bailey
Television seems to bring a constant stream of sure-fire diets, get-rich-quick schemes, cures for everything under the sun and advice on almost any topic. If the TV fails, try the Internet. It has more.
We hardly know what to do with it all. I mean, who can you trust?
The trouble is that so many lauded schemes seem to fail. You don't have to look far to hear of diets that don't work, cures that are no cures and grand schemes that are a rip-off.
It gets serious
How sad that a cancer patient can raise thousands of dollars to go to an overseas destination where he or she is promised healing, and no good comes of it. How sad that millions of people right now live with superstitious ideas that are valueless and dangerous. It has become a sad thing in our day that we can't even talk about such beliefs because it is politically incorrect to do so.
We champion pluralism and make tolerance the highest value. The test is not "Is it true or false?" but "Do you believe it and is it right for you?".
We forget history
Most people used to think the earth was flat. The consensus was wrong. In China, the feet of baby girls were bound up and not allowed to grow normally. It was the 'done' thing. As late as the 19th century, doctors saw no reason to wash their hands as they went from patient to patient, thus spreading disease. In India today, rodents are permitted to eat more grain than the populace. Outworn, outmoded forms of pagan superstition which date back many centuries have resurfaced in the Western world.
Sincerity is not enough
It is futile to say that as long as a person is sincere nothing else matters. How easy to be sincerely wrong. And it is heartless to watch a person walking into danger without doing anything to stop them.
An old proverb says "There is a way that seems right to a man but its end is the way of death" (Proverbs 16:25). All religions are not the same. Contradictions abound. The test of truth or falsity must be applied.
Listening to authority
We read in the Bible about Jesus: "The crowd was amazed at the way He taught. He wasn't like the teachers of the law; instead, He taught with authority." They saw Jesus was different. Radically different. Jesus Christ showed himself to be more than a mere man. He was God in flesh. So when He said "I am the way...no-one comes to the Father but through me" we had better take notice.
The Christian faith has no need to steer away from close examination and investigation. By its very nature it wants truth and shuns falsity.
The tides of human opinion ebb and flow but there is something lasting, changeless and trustworthy about the Bible and its central message—Jesus is Lord.•