“But speak the things which become sound doctrine” Titus 2:1
“Holding fast the faithful word, as he has been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers – for there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers ….” Titus 1:9,10
In my previous post I mentioned my belief that so much deception has been allowed to invade the church because of a lack of trust in and obedience to the Word of God. Of course, I recognise that church Leaders would not agree with that suggestion because they all , without exception, say they use and take their authority from the Bible - but the question is – which one?
I think, as a result of all the many different versions [and paraphrases] now in use, the green light has been given for preachers and teachers to make the Word of God mean just about anything they want it to mean. Who’s to say anything is truly right or wrong when what it all comes down to is a simple matter of man’s interpretation?
I write this as a lay person with no authority or qualifications – it is just my humble opinion, drawn from my own observations, experience and research. My contention being that we need to have the utmost confidence that the Bible we read is indeed the infallible, inerrant Word of God, preserved and protected by Him and not a hit and miss exercise of translation and interpretation.
If we don’t have that confidence, it inevitably de-stabilises our firm foundation, so that we then turn to other sources for our spiritual security. Our ‘leadings’, experiences and trust in personal prophecies become on a par with and even supersede Scripture in our daily walk….. it’s miraculous, it feels right – so it must be right. The danger is that we can then be led by seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. 1Timothy 4:1
I was first alerted to a ‘problem’ with the Bible when I began to hear preachers throwing out casual comments that a certain word or passage in the KJB was a ‘mistake’ - it either was translated wrong or it shouldn’t be there at all. It bothered me then and it bothers me now that the reliable Word of God wasn’t so reliable after all!
So, gradually, the KJB has fallen out of favour, not simply because its language is now considered [wrongly I believe] archaic and hard for people to understand, but because its accuracy has been discredited [ironic when you consider the errors and cumbersome language in the other versions]. So -it’s goodbye King James – welcome The Message ! [For a Defense of the King James Bible see my Blog archive.]
Add to this the sentimental/mystical RC inspired tv series ‘The Bible’ and the latest portrayal of Christ in the film Son of God [not to mention The Passion of Christ] and the vain imaginations of man are complete. Naive and gullible Christians fall for it hook,line and sinker!
Anyway – I digress ….. To illustrate what I mean by preachers making the Bible say what they want it to say, I will give just three examples of what I came across, almost incidentally, while looking up other things. I have named the last one as he is so well known.
The first was a sermon on Healing by a young visiting preacher on an Australian AoG church web site. He claims the Holy Spirit is his friend and quoting from the Message Bible, apparently when Jesus returned to Heaven after his resurrection ‘ the Holy Spirit greets Him with ‘Great job!’ and Jesus replies ‘Now it’s your turn’ and gives Him a ‘high five’![my summary]
He relates [correctly] how in a certain place Jesus could do no miraculous works because of their unbelief, but then goes on to advocate prayer and taking authority over that unbelief to ‘break’ it. But where did Jesus ever do that?
Regarding Jesus telling some people he healed not to tell anyone, he seems to impute manipulation on the Lord’s part by likening it to when God said to Eve – ‘Don’t eat that’ – she went ahead and ate ! In other words – Jesus knew what people are like and that they would do the exact opposite to what He told them, so He could be certain of their publicity …. How much of that idea this young preacher got from The Message , I don’t know, not having read it myself. Maybe I should enlighten myself ….
Anyway – as I see it in John 2: 23-25 the reason the Lord told people not to publicise their healings was because he knew men’s hearts and that they were just seeking after ‘signs’ and not commitment to Him.
My next example happens to be another AoG preacher – this time a young woman. Her sermon was titled ‘The Great Involvement’ - immediately changing the commission for the church to preach the gospel of repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ into ” go to hurting humanity” – a Humanist Social Gospel.
She relates the story of Paul and Silas [Acts 16] , quoting from The Message Bible and using the ‘visual aid’ of a young lady from the audience and wrapping a rope around her. She says Paul ‘bumped into’ the slave girl but chose to ignore her. So ” this chick says, ‘ok – you’re gonna ignore me, so I’ll follow you. Not only that - in her messed up state she yells out: ‘ He knows the way’ – I’d like him to help me find my way – but – he knows the way!”
She goes on to say – ” This went on for several days. I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around that. Paul – do you not see that this girl is troubled, she is possessed, she’s messed up, she needs someone to involve with her? But Paul went about his way”
She continues – ” after following them around for several days – finally- fed up with her [ruining his nice, polished sermon] - I love it – it wasn’t even spiritual! The fact is – God doesn’t care how you get there – just get there! He doesn’t care.
After saying a few words about us getting involved in other people’s lives, she refers to ” a few verses earlier, when Paul came across a woman called Lydia, who asked him if he’d stop, get involved and come to her house, Paul said ‘yes’ to Lydia, but ‘no’ to the slave girl. Lydia was a wealthy woman and didn’t look as messy as the girl. She had a nice home and food she could give to Paul- she had benefits attached. Sometimes we have selective involvement. If I involve with you there’s a benefit here for me. There was no benefit with the slave girl”
Well, I hope you are as appalled as I am at this imputed partiality of the Apostle Paul – what a hypocrite she makes him out to be!! She also appears to rejoice at his supposed lack of ‘spirituality’! Her complete lack of understanding is aided and abetted by her use of The Message.
My last example is notorious Mark Driscoll. He claims his ‘Resurgence’ movement is anchored by a theological foundation of
1. Jesus -centred Theology 2. Jesus – modelled Leadership 3. Jesus – empowered living 4: Jesus’ Mission
Sounds impressive doesn’t it? Till you hear his preaching….. I won’t go into detail here but would direct anyone interested in his treatment of the Scriptures to visit http://www.driscollcontroversy.com where you can read his take on Gideon and Noah. Talk about turning the truth into a lie!!
must sign off now – please – if you see any mistakes, inaccuracies , untruths , I would welcome your correction. If you simply want to comment or add anything else relevant – feel free to do so. God bless …. Maranatha!