Description: The fact of Israel's history up to our day illustrates how history and fantasy differ. Fundamental criteria for truth demonstrate what is real and what is not.
HOW DO WE DETERMINE HISTORICAL FACT FROM SUBJECTIVE FANTASY?
Video clip transcript extracted from the talk: ISRAEL-Romans 9:4a
By Rev. Ernest O’Neill
The continued existence of Israel as a nation is one of the greatest arguments for believing that
our Creator is as He is described in the Bible. Those of us who have begun to allow the Spirit of
Jesus to run our lives, and certainly those of us who have not, all of us occasionally wonder, “Is
this a perfect description of reality?
Is this a perfect description of the Maker of the universe? I listen to it Sunday after Sunday, but
there are other scriptures–the Koran, the Buddhist scriptures and the Book of Mormon–that claim to
tell us what the Creator of the universe is like. Why should we believe that this one is the only
perfect picture? Why should we believe that Moses is
right in what he says about God, and Joseph Smith, Mohammed and Buddha are wrong? After all, they
all spoke about miraculous events and they all said that God spoke to them.” Why believe this Moses
above them? Why believe he is right and they are wrong?
Of course, the real issue is what really did happen when Moses said that God spoke to him. Was it
actual fact or was it subjective fantasy? When Buddha sat under the bow tree, was it just a
subjective vision or was it solid historical fact, God showing himself in a way that was undoubtedly
God? When Mohammed had a vision, was that a historical fact or
was it a subjective fantasy or illusion? When Joseph Smith claims to have received those golden
plates that the Mormons base their religion on, is that historical fact or just a subjective
fantasy? Loved ones, in our present age we are tending more and more towards irrationality. More and
more men and women are saying there is no rationalism anywhere, there is no reason anywhere. All you
can have is some kind of experience under drugs, or some kind of experience that is hedonistic; that
is all a man or woman can hope for for reality. You can’t find reason anywhere now in our universe.
You can’t find reality by reason. At a time like this it is really important for us to hold solidly
to reason. If you do, it will become clearer and clearer to you that the God who is behind our
is exactly like the God who is revealed in the Bible.
Let me share with you what one of the old theologians said, a man called Leslie. He said there are
certain common-sense guidelines to help people to determine what is historical fact and what is
subjective fantasy. There are four criteria that a fact ought to satisfy if it is a historical fact.
First of all, it should be such as can be judged
by the senses, by eyes and ears. That eliminates all purely subjective visions that people have.
Secondly, it should be something that is done publicly before the world. It should not be something
that is done only in the presence of a small group who have a vested interest in believing
it. It should be something that is done publicly for the world to see. Thirdly, and this is kind of
interesting in regard to ancient history, there should be not only monuments and memorials to this
fact, but there should be acts that have been performed down through the centuries to insure that
the public memory has never been distorted. That eliminates most of the myths and legends that
gathered around the non-Christian religious leaders down through the centuries after their deaths.
Fourthly, these memorials and monuments, or these customs, habits and practices should have been
present ever from the time when the original fact took place. If you examine these books in this
Bible under those four criteria, you will become convinced that the revelation of
our Creator that you get here is the truth and the things actually happened as they are recorded
Full Sermon: ISRAEL-Romans 9:4a By Rev. Ernest O’Neill