By James W. Adams

All of us to one extent or another are creatures of prejudice, or “predisposition.” While imagining that we are independent thinkers, studiously logical, and quite objective in our appraisals, we have strong dispositions toward certain views, procedures, and organizations. These dispositions result from many things: rearing, custom or tradition, popularity of the thing in question, innate personality traits, etc. The cause may differ with different individuals, and whatever the cause the practical result is the same, but we all have predispositions. This fact should cause every man who desires to spend eternity with God to re-examine the spiritual ground on which he stands. Am I what I am and do I believe and practice that which I believe and practice because they are right and true, or because they are what I want to be right and true?

One of the universal tendencies of mankind has been to worship a God of his own creation. This can and is done without constructing a graven image of wood, stone, or precious metal. Many individuals professing to be a New Testament Christians who would consider it quite heathen to bow down to a graven image worship a God of their own creation. The Psalmist warned against this tendency when he quoted God as saying to the wicked: “These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself . .” (Ps. 50:21). Do we worship and serve God as He is revealed to us in His word? Or, do we worship and serve Him as we desire Him to be?

Frances Bacon wrote: “What a man had rather were true he more readily believes. Therefore he rejects difficult things from impatience of research; sober things, because they narrow hope; the deeper things of nature, from superstition; the light of experience, from arrogance and pride, lest his mind should seem to be occupied with things mean and transitory; things not commonly believed, out of deference to the opinion of the vulgar. Numberless in short are the ways, and sometimes imperceptible, in which affections color and infect the understanding ” (Novum Organum via Logic and Language).

Jesus impressively taught in the “Parable of the Sower” that the “good seed” -“the word of God”-takes root and grows to fruition only in the “good and honest hear” (Lk. 8:11-15). The more strongly therefore we desire to believe a thing, the more carefully we should guard against being deceived by our own predisposition!

Truth Magazine XIX: 45, p. 716
September 25, 1975