Always Right?

I have been accused at many times in my life of being a “know-it-all.”  I have been criticized by others who say that I think I am “never wrong.”

Socrates said “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.”  Will Durant said “Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.”  The more I learn about the world, the more I realize that I don’t know or understand.  I know what I know, but I also know that there are tons of things I don’t know.  Example:  I just replaced my water heater. I called it a “hot water heater,” and someone I know corrected me.  He said, “There’s no such thing as a ‘hot water heater.’  It’s just a ‘water heater.'” I acknowledged that I had it wrong, and I have to keep correcting myself now.

I am wrong about things as much as other people are.  I am not perfect in any way, and I do not mean to give the impression that I am perfect, or even better than other people.  All of that being said, when I learn something, I try not to forget it.  I believe that there are certain things in this world that are absolutes, things that are always true.  Two plus two always equals four. Diamonds are hard.  Jesus Christ died for my sins.   And that brings up another topic:  my fallibility versus the infallibility of God.  I believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, and that means that if the Bible teaches something clearly, it’s something that does not change. Ever.

There are things the Bible is clear on: Salvation is by faith alone, and not by works.   Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  Adam was the first man.  God created the world in six days.  There are other things that I believe the Bible teaches are right and wrong:  be loving to others. Don’t disrespect your parents.  Nothing in your life should be as important as God.  Murder is wrong.

When I hold a position on something that isn’t mentioned in the Bible, I will allow that I can be (and frequently am) wrong.  I don’t like being wrong, so I try hard to make sure that when I say something, I have verification.  If I’m not sure about something, I say so.

However, when I hold a position on something that is clearly taught in the Bible, I refuse to give way.  Abortion is murder.  The “reproductive rights” of women are not more important than the right of that baby to live.  Homosexuality is wrong.  Moses said so, Paul said so, John said so, and more importantly, God said so.  I don’t waver on things that God says are so.

If you don’t like the fact that I refuse to budge on things God says are true, then I do apologize, but I’m still not budging.  I know I am wrong about some things, but God is going to have to be the one to tell me I’m wrong about the things He has said.

And before you accuse me of refusing to admit I’m ever wrong, maybe you should take a look in the mirror.  You might disagree with something I say, but why does that give you the right to accuse me of “not admitting I’m wrong” when maybe it’s YOU that are wrong?

For instance, if you believe that abortion is perfectly acceptable, and you attack me because I fight against abortion, then we are on opposite sides of the issue.  I think I’m right, and you think you’re right.  That’s it.  But people argue with me when I don’t agree with them, and they tell me I “always have to be right.”  Well, don’t THEY have the same attitude about that issue?

I’m just trying to live my life for God and do what is right.  I mess up frequently.  But God picks me back up and helps me find my way again.  Will people still disagree with me? Yes.  Will I lose friends because of my stand?  Yes.  Jesus said in Matthew 10:34, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” The following verses go on to say that if your family disagrees with God, you should stick with God. And that’s where I stand.


About Steve Picray

I am a conservative Baptist Pastor in the midwestern United States. Every day I commit my life to Jesus Christ. This blog is my view on life. My prayer is that, by reading what I write, you will learn more about me, more about God, and be assisted in becoming the person God means for you to be. If you have a question, just e-mail me at spicray AT gmail DOT com. God Bless!
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9 Responses to Always Right?

  1. Mari says:

    Wow! Go, Steve! You couldn’t have said it better.

  2. “There’s no such thing as a ‘hot water heater.’ It’s just a ‘water heater.’”

    Ummm… the function of a “hot water heater” – as opposed to a steam boiler or steam generator, is to heat water until it is hot (the operator gets to define “hot”), but not past the point of becoming steam. Thus the distinction between a “hot water heater” and a steam boiler for instance.

    So the term “hot water heater” (as opposed to a room heater) is the function of the unit. It heats water until it’s “hot”. Thus it can properly be called a “hot water heater.” Due to entropy, already heated water will cool to ambient temperature, thus causing the unit to heat the already heated water until it reaches the temp you set on the control, so it will heat the already hot water in the tank more, so it is also a “hot water heater” because it heats hot water as well as any other temp water below the setting on the control.)

    So – YOU were correct. Your friend was not. Tell your friend they don’t know nearly as much as they think they do.

    2+2=4? Maybe. What is “2”? What is “4”?

    Diamonds are also brittle (you can break them) and they burn, and except when used as abrasives or cuting tools, they are pretty much worthless. (ie they have functional value, but little to no economic value.)

    The Bible was/is the INSPIRED word of God – not the EXACT word of God. ie it is translated and written by men into human languages – who make mistakes sometimes, and who sometimes deliberately change things (add and subtract) that they want or things that they don’t like. I believe you often use the term “in the original autograph” – but that’s not possible to determine as no such copy exists. So we do the best we can, use our noodles, and trust God to lead us the right way to the right understanding of what He wants of us. The main tool we have for that is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit – who teaches us and guides us (IF we belong to God.) (ie Communication with God is a two way exchange. It’s a conversation, not a monolog with us talking and Him listening.)

    “Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

    Careful with that one! The JWs (and some others) believe that also – but they don’t believe Jesus IS God.

    “If you don’t like the fact that I refuse to budge on things God says are true, then I do apologize,”

    Why would you apologise? When it comes to the things of God, none is needed. Ever. 🙂

    • Steve Picray says:

      Well I can understand his point about the “hot” being superfluous. If you say “water heater,” that should be sufficient, especially since, at times, the device actually heats COLD water, so it isn’t JUST a “hot water” heater. Also, every website I found that sold these devices referred to them as simply “water heaters.” I think his stand that they are merely “water heaters” makes the most sense, so I’m going with that.

      This may be a semantical difference, but I believe the Bible is the inspired word of God in the original autographs. That phrase is important. What we have today, translated out of the original languages, is a reasonable facsimile of the original autographs. An appropriate illustration: Give a group of thirty people a one page personal letter and ask them to copy it onto another piece of paper. Then take back the original letter. Now collect the thirty copies and give them to someone that has never seen the original. That person should be able to reconstruct the text of the original almost exactly, with no major faults. That is what we have with our Bible today. The originals were the exact Word of God, down to each individual word.

      I have seen too many preachers make the mistake of thinking that Paul/Luke/Moses wrote in “the King’s English” and base their doctrine on the English word chosen to translate a Greek or Hebrew word that has nothing to do with their chosen doctrine. You can’t practice exegesis this way. That’s eisegesis (reading into the Bible what you want it to say).

      I would apologize in the sense of “I’m sorry you think I’m an idiot, but you’re still wrong.” I thought this was understood by my next phrase, “…but I’m still not budging.”

  3. “… Now collect the thirty copies and give them to someone that has never seen the original. That person should be able to reconstruct the text of the original almost exactly, with no major faults. ”

    You’ve obviously never played “telephone”…

  4. Steve Picray says:

    Telephone? You mean that game where ONE person passes a verbal message on to ONE other person, then that person does the same and so on down the line? Totally not what I said.

    • Michael E Picray says:

      30 copies, thirty different people, thirty different sets of mistakes to choose from…

      • Steve Picray says:

        Any analogy fails at some point. My example is just that: an analogy. The people who copied from the original texts of Scripture were very careful, and yet still, very small transcription errors crept in here and there on some manuscripts. When we take multiple copies of the same book, the odds that one scribe will make the exact same mistake that another scribe made are pretty low.

        There’s also the idea of “preservation.” This is the idea that God keeps His Word as pure as it needs to be. I haven’t read up on this one, but if you look at the times Christ quoted from the Old Testament, I believe his quotations came from the Septuagint, which (in my estimation) was not a very good Greek translation of the OT, but it was the best translation they had. And yet that was good enough for Jesus Christ to quote from.

        • As God in the flesh, I wouldn’t think that Jesus would need to quote from any human “translation.” Perhaps the apostles/Bible writers thought it appropriate to “correct” Jesus’ actual statements to conform with the Septuagint (which was itself a translation of Hebrew writings)? Translations of translations are prone to inadvertant errors… made by humans – who are and have always been imperfect and prone to such by their very nature. If humans had anything to do with it – it has errors.

          • Steve Picray says:

            II Peter 1:20-21 “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

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