The definition of scrutiny is critical observation or examination. Whenever we have information in front of us, we should always analyse it so that we can make sense of it and put it to good use.
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In the same way that specialists examine data and doctors examine their patients, believers are commanded to examine themselves to see whether or not they are of the faith. Also, we are told by Paul that “... do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 1 Corinthians 6:2.
Scrutiny should be a part of any Christian community. Leadership should encourage it so that their people can cultivate critical observation by examining processes, policies and behaviour within their communities. What I will endeavour to do below is to give people my top four useful resources that will help cultivate scrutiny of traditions, leadership and society.
4: The Story of Civilisation by Ariel and Will Durant
In this book, The Lessons of History, Will and Ariel Durant helped summarise historical trends they discovered from their eleven-volume book, The Story of Civilisation. These lessons of history will give you a good overview of the past from a non-biblical perspective though it references the Bible for some of its materials. Without the proper understanding of history, we will forever be ignorant. In our observation and assessment of current affairs and societies issues, what is our reference point? Where do we get the data of right and wrong if not from the footprints of history?
The problem with our society is the lack of time travel to the past and our preoccupation with the present.
I have learnt that the past is a good medicine for soberness and humility. The further you look into the past the easier it will be to scrutinise present and predict the future.
3: Authority and Submission by Watchman Nee
In his book Authority and Submission, Watchman Nee outlines for us how we should exercise and submit to authority. Using important principles and examples from Scripture, Watchman Nee shows us how to exercise authority correctly and how to submit to it. Most people criticise authority and people in governmental offices blindly because they do not know the differences between an office and the person occupying it.
Because we don’t know the model nor what the characteristics of these offices should be, we, in turn, don’t know how to relate to them. Many are in open rebellion against authority by failing to submit and honour the offices of fathers, mothers, managers and other governmental positions. Authority and Submission by Watchman Nee, Shows us how to relate and deal with authorities even when that are not modelling their offices correctly.
2: The News by trusted sources
I was reluctant to recommend a credible news source for you guys, but I think one that is safe to recommend is Strategic Trends (https://www.khouse.org/strategic_trends). “Chuck Missler studies major strategic trends which will impact your country, your career, and your family in the coming months and years.” - K-House
I think reporters should be eyewitnesses and investigators, not spin doctors; they should give their audience an accurate summary of the truth and point them to the raw data or sources. The news media do not do a good job regarding the facts or using credible sources. I don’t blame the news media alone because if there is no demand for the lack of substance and reliable reporting, they will change the quality of service they offer.
The real problem is the people who are suffering from what is called LOFN, i.e. lovers of fake news.
Many have decided to settle for the lies, in turn, forfeiting the truth. Believers have also fallen for the lies by not understanding the times like the sons of Issachar 1 Chronicles 12:32 and neglecting their Berean duties Acts 17:11. I recommend that Christians find more credible sources like K-house and be diligent in scrutinising the information.
1: The Bible
My number one recommendation is the scriptures, the words of the eternal King of kings and Lord of lords. His opinions on the subject of judgement are all that matters. I would always recommend a reading of the first five books Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and my favourite book Deuteronomy to start with. Let me leave you with this scripture as you begin a life-long journey on critical observation and examination. “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life, and it is they that bear witness about me,”.
The reason we should examine the scriptures or any information is to discover in them, the eternal King, Jesus Christ. Other Recommendation: Pathway of Citizenship