Written by John DeGroff on February 28, 2020

I know I’ve written about empiricism before, but I truly believe it’s becoming absolutely imperative that we all start to really pay attention to what is going on around us. This is even more crucial than ever considering that we have virtually an entire generation that does not know what socialism is.

So, as a refresher, here again is the definition of empirical: 1. originating on observation or experience 2. relying on experience or observation alone 3. capable of being verified or disproven by observation or experiment 4. relating to empiricism. (Point #4 further means all knowledge originates in experience.)

While Hebrews 11:1 says “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”, it does not take away from the practical application, and practice of, “hands on” spiritual principles. It becomes a question of balance. The entire N.T. book of James speaks of the application of Christianity as a way of life. This goes outside of the purely theological view and shows the balance of the divine with the everyday.

This balance is where the practical application of empirical knowledge comes into play. In other words, what are you actually seeing/experiencing and how do you respond to it as a Christian?

There’s a sort of reconciliation that has to happen between faith and practicality. This rests on one very basic truth as found in Job 5:7 “Yet man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward.” That is the empirical truth for all of us…we’re gonna have grief in this life.

At the start of Christ’s earthly ministry, He was tempted by Satan (Mt. 4:1-11) Christ didn’t ignore or deny what Satan attempted to do. Instead, He confronted Satan head on and used scripture to make his point (Lk 4:8)

Christ never denied what was going on around Him. His example shows us how to keep that balance between the spiritual and the practical.

One of the best examples of Christ using the knowledge of that which is experienced and/or observed to make a point is found in the entirety of John Chap. 9. Space doesn’t permit the entire chapter to be reproduced here, but in summary here’s the story line: Christ healed a man born blind. He even did so on the Sabbath, a major no-no to the Jewish religious leaders. These “leaders” were of course very riled that this happened on the Sabbath. They questioned the man healed as to whether or not he was even blind to begin with. They questioned the guy’s parents to make sure it was the right guy and he was really their son. They hounded him and tried to get him to change his story. All this effort was a waste of time, of course. The man gave all credit for his healing, which he truly experienced, to Christ.

This entire story is almost a comedy routine. It was completely ridiculous for the Pharisees to deny what they actually saw. This is not unlike what’s happening now in our country. People will loudly, publicly, deny what they’ve seen, experienced and know to be true, simply because it goes against an ideological or religious narrative.

Here are some other very applicable verses (presented in NIV) about the nature of wisdom gained through experience and/or observation.

Prov. 7:24 A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.
Eccl. 2:14 A wise man has eyes in his head, while the fool walks in darkness.
Ezek 12:2 Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see, and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people. (also see Jer. 5:21)

Keep paying close attention to what the Dems/progressives/libs/socialists/(whatever) are actually saying. If they’re talking about “democracy”, that only means they’re still pissed that they lost an election. Things are only truly “democratic” when they win. New Programs…? Listen very, very closely to how they plan to pay for anything. Chances are, they conveniently skip that part unless really pressed. Then and only then, will they talk taxes. And Russia…? This has become their fall back argument when everything else fails to gain traction. Too bad they can’t be charged with rhetorical cruelty to a dead horse.

John DeGroff
John DeGroff is the original bass player for the Christian rock band Petra. He currently plays for the band GHF which is comprised of other original members from Petra. DeGroff has extensive experience as a freelance music journalist and newspaper reporter as well as an on-line music reviewer. He is a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and lives in Warsaw, Indiana where he is employed as a care giver for mentally challenged adults.