Since When do Heretics Care What the Bible Says?

Have you noticed that heretics only seem to care what God says in His word when they are,

  1. Eisegeting the text to support their pet heresies, or false teacher.
  2. Telling you not to judge them/their heresies/their teacher.
  3. Telling you that you can never truly know the truth, so their teacher’s teachings are true.  You just haven’t matured enough yet to get them.
  4. Telling you that you are the one causing division, and not seeking peace, and unity.
  5. When they are playing the martyr for everyone to see.
  6. When they are playing the Pharisee card on you.

They arm themselves with the typical list of verses like arrows in a quiver to shoot your way when you expose them.  We’ve all seen the verse torn out of context with a brand new meaning attached to it that it never had in context.  Purgatory for instance, when you call it out there will be someone who cites 1 Corinthians 3:12-15.  When they are telling you not to judge them they pull out the old trusty Matthew 7:1-2.  Get ready for a mind blower.  You can’t know the truth because, Isaiah 55:6!  Here is the big unity one folks, 1 Corinthians 1:9.  I love it when they apply this one to themselves, Matthew 10:20.  You can basically take any verse that speaks negatively about Pharisees, and apply them willy nilly to your theological foes.  They are basically get out of jail free cards for many different losing positions because the person on the receiving end is a legalistic meany!

One thing you’ll notice if you look into their eisegetical abuses is that the scriptures they cite often times refute the point they are trying to make when you honestly read them in context.  Don’t expect to get them to change their minds when you demonstrate that.  Many of these folks are so concretely convinced that it will take a miracle from God to open their eyes, and ears.  If you run in to that situation, the quicker you realize it the better.  Then you can pray for them, and stop arguing.  Please don’t say, “I’ll pray for you.” in that snarky tone of voice.  Just pray for them without telling them.

They don’t want to hear what God says in His word if any of what you are quoting takes away from what they are teaching.  They use the Bible to attempt to shut up attacks against their heresies, or golden calf of a teacher.  Being a Reformed Baptist, I get called a heretic, and have many of these things said about me.  I don’t accuse someone of heresy lightly.  Heresy is more than heterodoxy.  Heresy is when you are teaching something that negates one of the primary articles of faith.  Heresy is heterodox, but not all heterodoxy is heresy.  A false teaching that doesn’t address one of the primary articles of faith is heterodox.  If a person teaches that Jesus was not God incarnate, they are teaching a heresy.  If a person teaches that Jesus was solely a man, they are teaching heresy.  If a person teaches that you should go to Church on Saturday, they are teaching a false teaching, but it isn’t heresy.

We have all been in groups on social media where we have encountered horrendous abuses to God’s word.  Due to my Bible reviews, I’ve been in many groups that were supposed to be solely about the material features of a particular Bible.  I don’t know how many times some actual heretic has come in, dropped a heretical statement on the sly, and then when people like myself mention that they are teaching heresy, and need to stop, they play it off as if they were actually asking something else.  Due to the rules of the group, I, or people like me get scolded by the admins.  Well, I am shrinking my presence in those groups.  My echo chamber is getting smaller.  One day it might be so small that there is no echo, it will only be the sound of one man’s voice.  I hope it won’t be mine, but that of Christ, from His word.   Remember, Salvation is of the Lord.  Repent of your sins, and trust solely in Christ for your justification.  Persevere in the Faith, and we’ll be with Christ in eternity.  Sola on my brothers, and sisters!

Taking Requests!

Hello, If anyone out there in the Christian blogosphere would like to read an article on X topic, (where X is a variable that represents your suggested topic.) write  a comment on this post with your request.  Who knows, maybe I’ll know something about it or it will cause me to learn something new.  Either way it is a win win.

The Noetic Effects of Sin, and How it Affects Our Reasoning.

      I know it sounds complex, but trust me it isn’t… or perhaps it is? The word, “noetics” means; the science of the intellect or of pure thought; reasoning. So what we are talking about here today is how our ability to reason has been corrupted by sin. See, I told you it wasn’t that complex, but wait, there’s more! When we start getting into the concept I think we will all be amazed at how affecting this problem is.

brain

      Adam and Eve were made with good minds. They functioned free of sin. Well, then came the fall. They sinned, and God punished them, and their progeny. (us) Part of what happened is that we gained the knowledge of good and evil. We also gained the corruption of our ability to reason. We became spiritually dead and enslaved to sin. God says in His word;

9What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;

10as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;

11THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;

12ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVEBECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”

13“THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,” “THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS”;

14“WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING ANDBITTERNESS”;

15“THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD,

16DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS,

17AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.”

18“THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.”

19Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;20because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

      So God says there are none who understand or seek God. Think about this, if our reasoning wasn’t corrupted we would objectively reason through problems without pride or anger affecting those conclusions. Have you ever been so angry you couldn’t think clearly and made a bad decision you regretted later? Well that wouldn’t happen if we weren’t sinners. Imagine a mind operating free from sinful influence. Do you know who has a mind like that? I’ll give you a hint, the answer is what every kid in Sunday School says when they don’t know the answer… If you said, “Jesus” you are correct. So if you are not God, then you have the problem of sin affecting the way you perceive, process, understand, and apply everything that comes into your head. That’s right kids; we are all under the curse of original sin.

      Here is another example, have you ever been so enamored with a person that they could do no wrong according to you? Most of us could say yes to that. The problem is that they are just as much a sinner as everyone else. They aren’t the person you perceived them to be. The mind was not able to properly understand and judge the information available because of sins affect on reason.

      Our perceptions are affected by sin. We see what we want to see. We don’t see what is actual. Our reasoning of what we see is affected to. We run everything through a filter that is changing what goes in so that what comes out is not actual. When we are processing the unreal perceptions through a conduit that affects those perceptions we come up with flawed conclusions. These flawed conclusions are then applied to our situations with varying results, none of which are founded on actuality.

      We are so deeply corrupted by sin that we would never be able to repent and have faith in the God of the Bible without His direct intervention in our lives. So think about how you think and if you think the way you thought you thought or if you think the way sin makes you think if you think of sin as a thing that can affect the thinking of thoughts you think. smiley

Omnipresent

Omnipresent, is the quality of being present in all places.  God is omnipresent.  God is the creator of everything.  He keeps everything from being destroyed.  He makes the natural laws that we rely on to make sense of our world.  Not only does He make those laws, He also keeps them enforce.  God exists independent of the creation.  Time and space are part of the His creation.  He is not.

God is not, some unconscious universal force that permeates everything like what the pantheists believe.  His presence is not, limited to any one time or space.  He can specifically reveal Himself during a time, in a specific location, without ceasing to exist above all time and space.

Here is something we have heard Christians say from time to time, “Yeah man, like… God is everywhere…  He is in the trees, the rocks, the water, and in us.”   This in something a pantheist would say.  We as Christians are not pantheists.  A pantheist believes that God is literally permeating everything, and that everything, collectively is God.  Kind of like the force from Star Wars.

star-wars-yoda-luke-that-is-why-you-fail

God is present in all places, even Hell.  He will pour out His wrath on sinners in Hell for all eternity.  God is present to the person in the deepest, darkest, cave in the most remote mountains.  He is present to the drowning person in the ocean.  He is present, not because He is in them, and they are collectively Him, but rather He is above all things, in all things, and outside of them.  It speaks to His sovereign will.  He is present as a matter of His will, not due to it being in bondage to the creation, but because of His lordship over it.

Don’t be confused by what I just said.  “How can God be outside of creation and in it at the same time?” you ask.  In the sense that He is not bound by His creation, or subject to it, He transcends it.  This is what is meant by He is outside of it.  Of course to be everywhere He would need to be, well… everywhere, and He is.  It is that He is sovereign, and transcendent.  I hope this makes it clear

Theology

Doing-theology1Theology

Theology is a Greek word that means, “The study of God.”  The first part of the word is, “Theo” from, “Theos” (Θεός) which is Greek for god.  The second part of the word is, “logy” from the Greek word, “logia” (λογία) which means, “The study of.”  So to the Christian the word, “theology” specifically is the study of God.  This is different for the lost person.  They look at theology as a study of some deity that may or may not exist.  In the secular world there are colleges and universities that have classes teaching this, dare I say, “Study of god.”  Their sources are like ours, as far as many of the texts go, but they don’t know the true God, and as such study Him with incorrect presuppositions.  It is imperative that Christians start with proper presuppositions.

First and foremost, is that God is the originator of all things, known and unknown to us.  This includes what can be learned.  All knowledge comes from the LORD.  Our ability to reason, use logic, remember, recall, convey, communicate and feel all comes from God.  We would not be able to know anything if He did not will it to be.  This seems basic, but there are books of theology that never assert this truth.  Think about this for a moment.  What does a tree know of God?  What does a child know of God?  What does a lost person know of God?  What do you know of God?  Read through those questions again and ponder the implications of each one of them, replace the, “what” with, “how.”  God is a communicative Creator.  We know this by His inclusion of the attributes essential to communication being integral to our faith and existence.  Without those attributes we could not know God the way He intended.  He planned to give us the progressive revelation of His word, in the form of the Bible.  He planned for us to be able to write, read, and relay the knowledge of Him and His good message.  We can know Christ the eternal God through what is written therein.   So it is supremely important that we ascribe God the Creator, primacy in originating all things, including theology.

We must not ascribe attributes to God that He Himself does not affirm in His word.  This would be a very dangerous endeavor.  We would be making a god for ourselves, which is not the same as the true God who reigns supreme over all creation.  Idolatry is, and has been, an insidious and cancerous evil.  It substitutes a counterfeit god who cannot save us.  The attributes or perfections of God that are taught in His word reveal to us the things that can be known by us of Him.  Let us study theology then, in true faith and repentance, humbly approaching the feet of God, giver of all things.

Near Death Experiences

Near Death Experiences

1) Do people really see things prior to death (NDE’s)? Yes and no.

Many of the people claiming to have near death experiences are like the people who claim to see Bigfoot or a spaceship. Many of them are just faking it for attention. Some of them are not faking it though. For the ones that are not faking it we can rule out what they are seeing as the effects of the dieing brain. Brain chemistry and electrical activity causes strange subconscious imaginings. Some people do experience spiritual visions near death. It is important to note that they are not dead as science would define death. If a person is clinically dead and then comes back to life with a miraculous story it doesn’t mean that it is from God. The Bible says, “…Hebrews 9:27 NASB And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,..” People truly die once as a rule. Pro-NDE people will ask, “What about when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead?” “…John 11:11-15 NASB This He said, and after that He *said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.”(12) The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” (13) Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep. (14) So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead,(15)and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.”..” So again as a rule people die once and then the judgment. So barring a miracle of Jesus when a person is truly dead they stay dead. Just because they have stopped breathing, pumping blood, and brain activity seems to have ceased doesn’t mean they are truly dead. Medical science says they are dead, but how many times have we heard of somebody waking up in the morgue or in a coffin? You are dead when God says you are dead. So people near death can have physiologically explainable visions.

2) Do some see angels while others see demons? Yes and no.

The Bible says nothing about NDE’s specifically. Some people abuse scripture and try to make Paul’s vision of the 3rd Heaven a NDE when it is obviously not. They are just so desperate to believe in NDE’s that they will pervert scripture to make it so. People can also experience demonic/satanic visions given to them to lead them astray and to misguide others. Anything a person claims about a NDE MUST NOT conflict with the Bible. If it does, it is from a lying spirit and should be discarded immediately as untrue. The person relaying the story must not be followed or believed.

3) Can this be scriptural? Yes and no.

The answer to this question depends heavily on context and claim. If the context is a vision or dream from God that someone experienced it must be accurate and consistent with the rest of the Bible. I don’t believe these types of things are happening right now in our time. Again, the Bible says nothing about NDE’s specifically. In the end times they are supposed to start back up. These are not NDE’s though. There is a big difference between an NDE and a prophetic dream or vision. You don’t have to be in a coma or nearly dead for a prophetic dream or vision. If God wants you to know something you are going to know it. Fortunately for us He reveals His will and word for us in the Bible and we don’t need to rely on dreams, and visions. Matter of fact the Bible is the primary way we hear from God.

To sum up I would say treat all NDE claims as nothing of consequence unless it meets the requirements of scripture. Here are some links to some very good articles from trusted ministries on the topic.

1. http://www.gty.org/blog/B121018

2. http://www.gotquestions.org/near-death-experiences.html

3. http://www.christianbook.com/heaven-randy-alcorn/9780842379427/pd/79422?event=AFF&p=1011693&

4. http://www.equip.org/articles/from-heaven-to-earth-with-a-story-that-sells/