It happens. It always happens. Someone styles themselves a prophet, or a teacher. They teach some aberrant doctrine that flat-out contradicts the Bible. Or they bring in AC/DC Satan to minister to the people. They use all kinds of newfangled methods to make people feel comfortable in their sins while not teaching them the necessity to repentance. They gain a large following, people begin to be attracted to their methods and teachings.
We (and others, such as Ken Silva or Ingrid Schlueter) warn others to avoid these people, since their doctrines are capable of leading people away from Christ, and into destruction. We obey the command given to us by the apostle Paul in Romans 16:17-18—“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.” And guess what happens? Those folks with the itchy ears get all upset because we are exposing the wolves who are preaching “peace and safety! Peace! Peace!” When there is no peace. And, like the Israelites–to whom God sent prophet after prophet, finally sending His own Son whom they killed–they buck back against the warnings, they continue to follow the wolves who are spoiling the flock, they let their itchy ears guide their thoughts. And then they whip out…
THE PHARISEE CARD!
Go over to Extreme Theology, and listen as Chris Rosebrough tears apart the fallacies of the ones who call us “Pharisees.” You may be interested to learn that the ones who are actually more like the Pharisees…are the ones who are calling us “Pharisees.”
May God be glorified and exalted as you continue to warn those who may fall subject to the damnable heresies of the wolves!
I for one am thankful that you [and DefCon] stand on the Truth at all costs.
I am probably about to be labeled as a Pharisee or a heretic at my church. I have questioned my small group leader about a book we will be using in our class and I am waiting on a reply. The book is about evangelism and it has many things I disagree with in it. An error about the crucifixion and it is for using the ol’ Revelation 3:20 ask Jesus into your heart technique.
Lord willing I am about to ask my pastor what he thinks about the doctrines of Grace. The Baptist Faith and Message is a little Calvinistic so I will have that and Scripture on my side. I want to know where my wife and I will stand in the church and hopefully his reply will give me an answer. Because what I believe angers a lot of people. I don’t want to cause a division in my church. Who knows where that question will take me in conversation with him. Maybe all of this will bring some reformation there but, it probably will not. It will probably end up with my wife and I having to leave.
What you and your wife have going for you is dedication to God’s word above that of any man, church, or organization. God will bless and honor your faithfulness first and foremost to His word, no matter the consequences. And if you should be labelled a Pharisee, hypocrite, trouble-maker, or any similar sentiment, remember Matt. 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
My wife and I went through the same thing a few years ago at our church. It was a Baptist church that I had been involved in for 23 years. I lead music for the youth. They hired a guy who brought with him emerging teaching and emerging “theology”. To make a long story short. We spoke to the Pastor about it and the Elders and nothing was done so we ended up having to leave. We were persecuted (if you can call it that when people are dying for Jesus in other countries) and our name was smeared we were called Pharisees. We lost many “friends” and years later people still wont talk to us. I telling you this to say IT WAS THE BEST THING WE HAVE EVER DONE! We have grown to love the Lord so much more through this trial. We grew in ways that might never have happened if the Lord didn’t allow us to go through what we did. We now go to a small church that preaches His Word and His Word only and have made many great friends who live for the truth.
Stand firm my friend and get ready for the Lord’s working weather it be He calls you to leave or uses you to get your church back on track.
“To make a long story short. We spoke to the Pastor about it and the Elders and nothing was done so we ended up having to leave. ”
It happened to me, too.
But……..5 months later I see signs of awareness in the congregation coming on. One elder and 2 congregants have called me regarding my objections since my ‘Don Quixote’ moment.
So, don’t lose heart, you just never know how things turn out.
May the LORD bless you as both you and your wife seek to be obedient to what is revealed in Scripture.
It may get tough – stand lovingly strong and never comprimise on the gospel.
Bless you as you contend for this amazing grace!
I have just emailed our pastor and explained to him about how I came to believe the Doctrines of Grace and asked him where he stands on them. Because my wife and I would like to know if we will be compatible with the vision of the church. Now it is just wait and see.
Also on the brighter side, I just found out that the pastor of a Baptist Church a couple miles down the road from our current church is a friend of the Founders Ministries. I sent him an email with several questions about his churches beliefs. Could this be Gods providence at work?????
As others have exhorted, stand firm and grow not weary. After several years of confronting seeker sensitive cancer in my former church, my wife and I left for a solid, reformed, SBC church. Our 13 months here have been a glorious refreshing time of excellent preaching that keeps the flesh humble and the soul rejoicing. My only regret is not making this move 2 years earlier, when I first visited Grace Family Baptist Church.
Praise the Lord for men who hold to Scripture (I agree with Spurgeon in his description of Calvinism as shorthand for Biblical truth)! I love the Founder’s Ministry – great stuff that will not allow one to be comfortable in false doctrine.
My former church pastors held a condescending perspective of “lay people” and one called me a legalist because I believe in the regulative principal. I had to leave when I found myself having lost respect for the men who were acting in the office of elder.
One thing about my the church I attend has been bothering me for a little while is the “raise your hand decision for Christ”. Then when the pastor invites those that raised their hands to come to the front no one does. Every once and while they might but, it is rare. It makes me question if that person that raised their hand was truly giving their life to Christ. It seems to me that if the greatest thing to happen to a person really happened to them, they could at least have enough boldness to standup in front of fellow believers.
One of the questions I asked the pastor at this other church is if he believed in using the “raise your hand decision”. I figure that if he is a friend of Founders he probably will not.
It makes me think about the analogy Paul Washer gives about being hit by a logging truck.
I feel kind of like when I left the pent/char movement. I began to see the errors and asked some questions. The people I asked were oblivious to them. So I figured God was saying it is time to leave. It has been a wild ride for me. Praise God.
Spiritually dead people can’t raise their hands to choose/accept Christ. It pleases men to see a response – it does not align with Scripture. As Steve Farrar told one time at a rural men’s retreat: “I was told as a kid that getting saved was like drowning in the sea, needing someone to throw out a life ring. Jesus throws out the life ring and all you need to do is reach out and grab it. That’s a nice story but it’s a lie. I was dead in sin and a dead man can’t reach out and grab anything. Christ saves sinners – He doesn’t make salvation possible.”
That last sentence is what Scripture does tell us: Christ saves sinners. Not might, not tried, not failed. He saves. Ain’t nobody cooperates with the Lord until AFTER he’s been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Man has no choice in the matter, same as when we get physically born. That, too, would be a good analogy – perhaps even in the Bible 🙂
My prayers that all goes well in your dialog with these people. If they do whip out the “Pharisee Card,” ask them if they can explain what they mean by calling you a “Pharisee.” This will give you a good opportunity for you to show them that they are the ones who are substituting their own beliefs and traditions to the word of God–which was Jesus’ argument with them all along.
Yes I might have to ask them why I would be a Pharisee. I listened to the message above. I have never thought about it that way.
The pastor from the other church I have been talking with ansered the questions I asked him. They were what I wanted to here. Excites me a little.
Christ saves sinners – He doesn’t make salvation possible.”
From time to time in my studies I will take my notes and thoughts and write a paper from them. Last week I decided I would send one of them to the people in my sunday school class and let them read it so they could tell me what they think. I haven’t heard back from any of them. I normally don’t let anyone read them except for my wife. I decided I wanted a bigger audience. Anyways it was 1John4:10 and Jesus being a propitiation. My wife said it is probably too deep for them. Coscidering no one has said anything about it yet, I would say she is probably right. I think a lot of people don’t udnerstand what being a propitiation means.
I think salvation is more like someone laying dead on the bottom of the deepest darkest part of the ocean and rotting covered in muck. Then Jesus pulls us out and places us on land and gives us life.
I am glad you are getting encouraging answers from the other church. Before I moved to my current church, I emailed a couple questions to the elders and received answers that blew me away. Rather than coyly avoiding the question, these men openly answered and invited such! 15 months later, I am most thankful to the Lord for these men, who walk humbly before man and God and know their role includes serving the body of Christ – not commanding it.
Grow not weary and be not ashamed. Appears you are preparing well and thanks be to God for your wife.
By the way. Thanks for the encouragement. It has been much, much, needed.
As nice as the scenery was, as opulent as the accommodations were, as expensive as the fare was… no one who disembarked from the Titanic in Cherbourg or Queenstown regretted their decision.
– Jeff H
that is a good one. gave me a chuckle
“Christ saves sinners. Not might, not tried, not failed. He saves.” ~ Manfred.
At some point, the Pharisee card will get overplayed. Then what? It will merely change names: “religious loser”, “Fundamentalist”, “hypocrite”, “bible-thumping ignoramous”, “creed-quoter”, etc. The name will change, but the intimidation technique stays the same. Let us be careful not to fall into the spirit behind it.
I’ve been called a Pharisee before and told; “Let’s face it, you’re a Calvinist” (as if it was a bad thing). I’ve been told that I would be prayed for as if I were getting involved in a cult because I was embracing God’s word and declaring His truth!
I have been hated and abandoned by friends for the sake of the truth but my Jesus has always remained faithful to me! I love Him; I love the truth; I love His word. I am grateful beyond words that He has saved a worthless sinner like me.
I’d lay my life down for Him if I could do such a thing but it’s not mine to give; I’ve been bought at a price; it belongs to Him to do with as He pleases so that His name might be magnified & glorified. We should take comfort in our humility for God chose the weak things to shame the strong (1 Corinthians 1:27) and He gives grace to the humble and opposes the proud (1 Peter 5:5). May all of you continue to declare the truth to give God glory and so lost men may be saved.
Praise His glorious name ALWAYS!
Grace & Peace
God did not call Aaron’s grandson Phinehas a Pharisee, and he was pretty extreme in his opposition to open sin. And when I say “pretty” extreme I am playing the understatement card.
My current pastor is wanting to talk about some of the issues that I have been mentioning above. Please pray for me. Hopefully we can get at least a Biblical evangelism program started. That would be a great first step. He talks like he would be very receptive. I had rather see true God lead change come to my current church than leave for another one.
I will first have to show them that “asking Jesus into your heart” or “inviting Him into your life” is not in the Bible. And that evangelism in the Bible was always a call to repent and believe.
Interesting times are ahead.
I have a request from the people here that I have been talking with. I have written a letter to my small group class with my reasons as to why I disagree with using the book we will be using in our class. The reaction to this letter will probably determine whether or not I stay at my current church.
Would any of you mind reading it? I want to know what some more mature Christians that see my point of view would think. If you would like to read it, how can I get you a copy?
Hey guys I decided to post part of the letter I have written on my blog. Would anyone mind reading and tell me what they think? I wanted to see if anyone that is more mature and learned than me thinks before I give this to anyone.
Might be because I’m in Taiwan right now, but I get an error telling me the page doesn’t exist.
shane i just tried to go there. it doesn’t exist
hey guys. I deleted the post. thanks for going there. Sorry I deleted it though. I can put it back up if you want to read it. I have had a few people read it and said they thought it was ok.
My wife and I have nursery duty for the rest of January so I know we will be there until then to fulfill that commitment unless God says otherwise.
In talking with others in my class I decided not to give the letter to them just yet. They have never been taught any different nor considered any of the points I make in my letter. My plan now is to address these issues as they come up in our class. Lord willing. So much needs to be done there. From some of the things I have heard there doesn’t seem to be a desire to do serious Bible study.
After we are finished with our nursery duty we will probably go visit another church, on Sunday evenings, up the road where the pastor holds the doctrines of Grace.
Maybe one of the editors of DefCon could delete the link above?
I have been in similar situations on numerous occasions and have learned a universal truth: you cannot change a church from the “pew”. In other words, if the leadership is not leading the charge for truth, your cause is not likely to succeed. Trying to change things apart from the leadership being on board opens up the potential for confusion and polarization. You will most likely be labeled as divisive and disruptive (along with being labeled a pharisee), which in the end will detract from your purpose. It might be better to leave peaceably and relatively quietly and go to the other church for now. In time you can speak to your class/friends about your issues from a neutral vantage point. Forcing issues now may produce unexpected and lasting bitterness which, like the bars of Pro 18:19, will hinder future discussions.
Just a thought from one who usually learns the hard way. 🙂
Yes I have decided that just leaving would be the best thing to do. I have tried to get a Bible study going with the people in my Sunday school class(on how to study the Bible, something they truly need to know how to do) but, no one has been interested.
My wife and I have one more night of nursery duty there and then we are going to start visiting. Lord willing. There is a church up the road that I emailed the pastor some questions and the answers he gave were great. Planning on going there first.
It seems like there has been a massive shift towards man centeredness there as of late. Or maybe it has always been there and I am just now seeing it??? If I see one more Purpose driven/fluff program I think I will be sick.
No wonder the modern “church” is in the shape that it is in. No one wants to study the Bible and when they do, a lot of them just do a brief “devotional” reading or just a surface reading and never dig into it.
Which is the most important?
Jesus was asked twice, by two different men, the same basic question about which is the most important or greatest commandment in the Law. Here is how Jesus answered that question:
“One of the teachers of the law… asked him [Jesus],
‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “ is this: ‘Hear, of Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than THESE.” [Mark 12:28-31, Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Leviticus 19:18]
…an expert in the law, tested him [Jesus] with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’”
Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these TWO commandments.” [Matthew 22:36-40, Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18]
But in contrast with Jesus, Paul the Pharisee didn’t know the greatest, most important, first commandment according to Jesus. Paul made up his own rule. Paul wrote:
“The entire law is summed up in a SINGLE command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” [Galatians 5:14, Leviticus 19:18]
And again, Paul wrote:
“He who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not covet, and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this ONE RULE: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” [Romans 13:8-10, Leviticus 19:18]
Jesus said it’s TWO commandments, with the greatest, most important, first command to
.1) first, love God with everything you’ve got, and
.2) second, love people.
Paul said no, it ONE commandment- to love people.
This is very similar to The Beatles- “All you need is love. Love is all you need. Love, Love, Love.” (In other words, the second commandment, the love of man, without the love of God. Love as me, myself and I define love to be, and continuously redefined by sinful men.)
In essence, it is also the same principle as what Eve did in the Garden of Eden, forgetting about the Tree of Life, which is the first tree in the middle of the Garden, and instead referring to the second tree as “the tree that is in the middle of the garden.” [Genesis 3:3 & 2:9 2:17, 3:24]
Kind of like the Pharisees with Jesus, who were pushing the false idea that we can consider ONE commandment in the Law, alone in isolation, to be “the greatest commandment in the Law.”
Or like today, false teachers in the Chrislam – Purpose Driven – Seeker Sensitive – Emergent – Liberal – Ecumenical – New Age – world church movement pushing the false idea that the ONE RULE is “Loving God and Neighbor together.”
The Lord God Jesus the Jewish Messiah, Son of Yahweh the Most High God of Israel, said:
“All the Law and the Prophets hang on these TWO commandments.”
Not one. TWO.
Sometimes, Paul was wrong. Jesus is always right. I’m following Jesus.
Here are answers to 2 common objections:
.a) What about the so-called “Golden Rule”?
Jesus spoke the 3 chapters of the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7, including 7:12. Jesus didn’t make PART of this one verse out of context into “The Golden Rule” or “one rule.” Jesus did not use the term “Golden Rule,” it’s simply a tradition of men. The sentence begins with “So” in the NIV and Amplified Bibles, and “Therefore’ in the NASB and King James Bibles, which ties 7:12 to the previous sentences. So 7:12 cannot stand alone as One Commandment.
.b) What about the so-called “Great Commission”?
Jesus spoke the words recorded in Matthew 28:18-20, including “make disciples of all nations.” Jesus never used the term “Great Commission,” it’s simply a tradition of men. Yes I agree it’s a commandment given by Jesus, it’s not optional, and it applies to us today. We need to carry this out, with our own God-given abilities and talents, using the skills, and circumstances we have. But we don’t need to put words in the mouth of Jesus, we can let Jesus speak for himself, and we can listen to Him – and obey Him.
Evangelism is part of the Second Commandment given by Jesus, to Love people. Evangelism is not the most important commandment, and it isn’t the entire Second Commandment. So if our priorities are “The Great Commission and the Great Commandment,” we have our priorities upside down and confused, and we are not listening to the voice of Jesus. Never mind what Paul said. Let’s listen to the voice of Jesus first, and get our priorities straight.
The people who will protest most loudly against this truth are the modern “Pauls:” traveling evangelists, speakers, writers, abusive absentee mega-church pastors, Crusaders, and self-appointed “apostles” like Paul, who find it “profitable” to “be like Paul” rather than follow Jesus the Jewish Messiah.
“Sometimes, Paul was wrong. Jesus is always right. I’m following Jesus.”
You are embarrassing yourself sir. I will take Peter and Paul’s (chief apostles) exposition of Christ over the vain ramblings of your judiazed mind. You are warped and self condemned, repent of your self righteousness. You twist the word of God to your own destruction, reader beware.
2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures
You need to flee from the teaching of the Pharisee.
Paul was never appointed an apostle, or recognized individually as an apostle, by anyone in the Bible (other then himself.) His testimony cannot stand alone. “Beloved brother” does not equal apostle. It was more like the Apostle Peter putting distance between himself and Paul ;the Pharisee.
“What is an Apostle?”
Here is the answer based on the original sources:
The words and actions of Jesus and the Original Apostles in the text of the New Testament.
.1) Gospel of Mark – time lag between being appointed and being sent
“Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with him…” [Mark 3:13-14]
Three chapters later,
“Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits.” [Mark 6:6-7]
.2) Gospel of Luke – time lag between being appointed and being sent
“One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon…..” [Luke 6:12-14]
Again three chapters later,
“When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” [Luke 9:1-2]
.3) Gospel of Matthew – which is organized by theme, not necessarily in chronological order.
“He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal disease and sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon…” [Matthew 10:1]
Without any clear time reference, continuing on the theme of the Apostles, Matthew does record “These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions…” [Matthew 10:5] Matthew never said that the Apostles were “sent out” immediately after being appointed. If we didn’t also have the clear records in Mark and Luke, it would be a fairly logical assumption that Jesus sent them out right away, but it would still be just an assumption. In this case, that assumption would clearly be wrong. The Twelve Apostles were absolutely NOT sent out right away after being appointed Apostles, according to Mark chapters 3 through 6, and Luke chapters 6 through 9.
So being an Apostle of Jesus involves being sent by Jesus, yes. But that isn’t the only meaning, or even the first and primary meaning. The first thing was “that they might be with Him” personally, together, for His entire earthly ministry, from the time of John the Baptist until Jesus rose to heaven. Jesus poured his life into the 12 Apostles for 3 ½ years very personally training them to be the leaders of the church, and Jesus chose Peter as first among equals.
The NIV translation inserts the heading “Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas” for the passage Luke wrote in Acts 1:12-26]. The NIV headings were not part of the original text, and sometimes they can be misleading, but in this case I believe the heading is right on.
Jesus and the Original Apostles knew what an Apostle is better than anyone else in the world. Why is this a strange idea? Why do so many people frequently attack and tear down and dismiss the Original Apostles, particularly Peter, as if they were all incompetent, stupid, and wrong in so many ways, and they didn’t even know what an “Apostle” was? The answer to that question is, they have been listening to the voice of Paul, rather than the voices of Jesus and the Original Apostles.
As we consider the question “what is an Apostle”, we should carefully listen to the words of the leader that Jesus personally appointed as first among the Apostles, and trained personally for 3 ½ years, Peter.
“It is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” [Acts 1:21-22]
Neither Paul, nor James, nor Luke were with Jesus and the Apostles the whole time, so they were not qualified to be a “witness with the Apostles of Jesus’ resurrection”, which is what it means to be an Apostle. Matthias was qualified, appointed, and later recognized as part of The Twelve. No one except Judas ever lost his apostleship.
Responding to a question from Peter,
“Jesus said to them:
…you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” [Matthew 19:28]
We cannot prove that Judas was present at that time, and we cannot prove that Matthias was absent at that time when Jesus spoke those words. Even if Judas was physically present, as we all realize now, he was not a true follower of Jesus. And even if Matthias was physically absent at that particular occasion, Jesus is still establishing the basic qualification for having one of the twelve thrones as being “you who have followed me,” not someone who will follow Jesus in the future, like Paul, James, Luke or anyone else in the world.
At the Last Supper, Jesus said to His Apostles:
“You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred on one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” [Luke 22:28-30]
Was Judas present when Jesus spoke those words? Even if someone wants to be argumentative and say we can’t prove that Judas wasn’t there at the time, we certainly can’t prove that Judas WAS there. Judas obviously didn’t stand by Jesus in his trial, as the whole world knows. But that was the requirement Jesus gave to “sit on thrones:” “You are those who have stood by me in my trials.” “You”, speaking to His 11 Apostles who had been walking with Him faithfully for 3 ½ years. Not others in the future who will follow the risen Jesus Christ. Notice that at the Last Supper, when Judas lost his throne and Matthias was definitely absent, Jesus chose to speak of “thrones” rather than “twelve thrones” as he had previously.
The Apostle John recorded about the New Jerusalem,
“The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” [Revelation 21:14]
The Apostles are 12 faithful eyewitnesses who walked with Jesus during His entire earthly ministry, and Matthias is the 12th. That’s the short version of my definition of “what is an Apostle.”
2 Peter 3 There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures
Poem – What is love?
Two men came to Jesus
With different motivations.
They asked Him the same question
Relevant to all the nations:
Which is the Most Important?
The answer was the same.
Jesus did not manipulate
He was not there to play a game.
“Love the Lord your God” said Jesus
as He quoted from The Law –
to fulfill and not abolish
was His purpose, full of awe.
Jesus did not make all Scripture
Into one new great commandment.
He summarized The Law and Prophets
“First and Greatest” and “The Second.”
The Love of God is higher
Than the love of any man.
Receive from God, give back to God-
Then to others, that’s His plan.
The Love of God involves much more
Than simply “love your fellow man.”
Worship, trust, and pray to God,
and obey Him – that’s His plan
To worship and pray to neighbors,
Whoever they may be,
Or trust and obey our enemies
Would be idolatry.
The love of God is first and greatest,
And the love of man is second.
“All we need is love” are words
of dead Beetles on the pavement.
“The entire law is summed up in a single command”
are not the words of Jesus our Salvation.
It’s false teaching of Paul the Pharisee
an “accuser of our brethren.”
“Love” without God is Satan’s word through Paul
in his chapter to the Corinthians.
“I will show you the most excellent way”
is the road to eternal perdition.
Where is God in Paul’s chapter on love?
Nowhere in view of the eye.
Paul sings about himself like a Mexican Mariachi
“I, I, I, I.”
Jesus is The Most Excellent Way
Not the words of a Pharisee.
The words of Jesus are very clear.
Jesus said, “You must follow ME.”
You are so correct. Far too many in the leadership position are virtually idolatrous about “THEIR” control over the laity. They do see themselves as God’s gift to that body. They equate unquestioned loyalty and service to their leadership with loyalty to God. They equate their blessings with their superior sanctification. They are so sanctified that God must reward them 100 fold. Many have developed delusions of Papal infallibility. They practice a twisted form of a spiritual caste system. They are devoid of the kind of humility that would receive biblical truth and insight from a mere lay person. And all of this built upon the myth of a top elder known as a pastor. Sound theology does not build an entire doctrine upon a solitary verse. Pastor is mentioned one time in the entire NT. This man made tradition comes from the corrupt RCC not from scripture. Far too many modern pastors think and behave exactly like the Pharisees that Jesus blasted in Matt. 23: 1-11.
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T. I. Miller,
AMEN. And underlying the “twisted form” of leadership you describe here is PAUL. Paul’s example of leadership. They are following Paul, They are NOT following Jesus of the Gospels. They are preaching Paul’s false “gospel”, and Paul’s false “Christ” who supposedly “abolished the law.”
Many self-professed “Bible-believing Evangelicals” won’t listen to the words of Jesus, because they are brainwashed through reciting their “mantra” – “all scripture is God-breathed.”
This “Evangelical Mantra” has been accepted by the collective subconscious mind of “The Evangelical Church” without thought, question, reflection, or even 2 witnesses from the Scripture itself. It’s based on a misinterpretation, out of context, of one verse in one letter written by one man, Paul the Pharisee, who was unfamiliar with the personal ministry and teaching of Jesus.
But, “Once an idea has been accepted by your subconscious, it remains there and it governs your behavior until it is replaced or changed.” [ as a pastor named Bishop Dale C. Bronner observed in one of his sermons]
(Definition from the American Heritage Dictionary.) Mantra (noun) (Hinduism.) A sacred formula believed to embody the divinity invoked and to possess magical power, used in prayer and incantation.
When cult members repeat their mantra, it makes them deaf to the voice of God, unable to hear God. Instead, it puts their focus on their one “special man” above all others – his personality, words and teachings, character, life example, feelings, experience, intentions, mind, will, emotions, etc. Their cult leader is their hero – he is always right, could never be wrong about anything specific, and he must be obeyed in all things and never questioned. He will give himself a special title, write at least one special book, and claim special authority, with no need for a second witness to back him up.
Here are 3 examples.
.1) Fuhrer. The title of Adolf Hitler as the leader of the German Nazis, author of “Mein Kamph”. Mantra: “Heil Hitler.”
.2) The self-appointed Prophet Muhammad, author of The Koran. Mantra: …..”and Muhammad is his prophet.”
.3) Paul the Pharisee, the self-appointed Apostle to the Gentiles, whose 13 letters comprise one third of what, today, we call the “New Testament.” (The first, original “New Testament” was composed by the second century heretic Marcion, and he coined the term “New Testament.” His new “book” contained nothing except 10 of Paul’s letters and an abbreviated Gospel of Luke. There were no other “New Testament” books, and the Hebrew Scriptures were the “Old Testament” which was irrelevant, according to the heretic Marcion.) Mantra: “All Scripture is God-breathed….”
I got my Masters Degree at Dallas Theological Seminary. I was attracted to the school because they put Paul’s mantra of “All Scripture is God-breathed” above everything else, and I wanted to heed Paul’s command and “Preach the Word” like Paul….
This mantra is a misinterpretation out of context of 2 Timothy 3:16. It ignores the previous verse, 2 Timothy 3:15, which clearly indicates that Paul was NOT referring to his own letters when he wrote the words “All Scripture.”
Paul was probably making reference to some of the Hebrew Scriptures, quite likely including the Law and the Prophets. We cannot be completely certain exactly which “Scriptures” Paul meant in “All Scripture”, and what Paul meant by “God-breathed.” Why can’t we be certain?
Because we must establish a matter by the testimony of two or three witnesses, especially something as important as “What is the Word of God.” No one else in the pages of the Bible besides Paul ever said anything like “All Scripture is God-breathed”. And Paul only said it here, one time, in the middle of a personal letter.
The Apostle Peter made reference to “Prophecy of Scripture,” not “All Scripture,” and no it’s not the same thing at all. Jesus never said anything like that. And no one, not even Paul, ever said that all Scripture was equal.
I remember the general approach to the Bible at Dallas being that “every word in the 66 Books is the Word of God”….. and we should interpret it based on “the intended meaning of the author in the historical grammatical context.”
That is the basic idea of the heavy-duty seminary language we were being trained in. It sounds so right, so intelligent, so professional, so “godly”….. but it is fundamentally flawed.
When we look at Paul’s teachings and testimony about himself, (in his letters that make up 1/3 of the New Testament,) we should NOT immediately ask ourselves; “what did Paul say, what did Paul mean, and how does this apply to my life?” The fundamental question is NOT “what was in the mind of Paul?”
Before any of that, the FIRST question to ask is; “does Paul agree with Jesus, who came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets?”
Paul contradicted himself, and his teachings and testimony about himself don’t harmonize with the teachings of Jesus (or with Luke’s record of his life.) Let’s not waste our time with endless debates about “what Paul really meant” with his wacky teachings about “baptizing the dead” or “there is neither male nor female.” Paul was wrong. Jesus reminds us from The Law “at the beginning, the Creator made them male and female.” [Matthew 19:4, Genesis 1:27]
As to the question of “whether the Bible is ALL truly Gods WORDS”…
The underlying unspoken assumption is that “The Bible” (66 Books) was given to us by God as “one book” and it’s all “equal” in level of authority, priority, and importance. This comes from unconsciously believing Paul’s mantra, the “Evangelical Mantra”, that “All Scripture is God-breathed”, and falsely assuming Paul was referring to every word in the 66 Books of the Bible. Yet even here, not even Paul, not even once, ever said that “All Scripture is EQUAL” in authority, priority, and importance.
No one in the pages of the Bible ever said or wrote that “all Scripture,” or “the Bible,” is “all truly God’s words”. Jesus never said anything like that, and Jesus did not see it that way. Jesus did not see even the Hebrew Scriptures, what we call the “Old Testament”, as a whole unit or book that was all equal or “all truly God’s words.” Jesus spoke of The Law, or The Law and the Prophets, holding these 2 sections of the Old Testament above the third, least important sections the “Writings.” And Jesus held the Psalms, the first book of the “Writings” section, above the other books in the “Writings” section in importance, since some parts of some Psalms are prophetic.
Obviously, the New Testament Scriptures were not written when Jesus was walking the earth. But if we want to get closest to The Source, Jesus himself, it makes sense that we should look first to the eyewitness testimony of two of His appointed Apostles who walked with Him faithfully for over 3 years, Matthew & John. (Also to other eyewitness testimony, recorded by Mark and Luke.) This is more accurate, important, and authoritative than personal letters written by Paul the Pharisee, who never knew Jesus personally, had no part in His ministry, and had no eyewitness testimony.
We should follow the Jesus of the Gospel writers. We should not follow the “jesus” of Paul the Pharisee or Muhammad or any other man, who had their own ideas of who “jesus” was and what He did.
For those who have ears to hear…..
The message of The 11 (The narrow gate)
“The eleven disciples went to Galilee”
“Where Jesus had told them to go”
They heard His voice and obeyed His will
Despite uncertainty down below
Jesus spoke to them at length
He wasn’t really a Tweeter
Only 3 of them wrote Scripture
Matthew John and Peter
“Feed my sheep” said Jesus, for though
“Heaven and earth will pass away”
I have the words of eternal life and
“My words will never pass away”
“Enter through the narrow gate”
The voice of Jesus through the eleven
Believe in Jesus “through their message”
And “eat from the tree of life” in heaven
Jesus commissioned the eleven
With “everything I have commanded you”
“Teaching THEM to obey” Jesus
And “THEM” means me and you !
“The command given by our Lord and Savior”
Is not a Pharisee speaking alone
It came rather “through your apostles”
Matthew Peter and John
If a Pharisee boasts proudly
Those men added nothing to my message
He doesn’t speak for Jesus
His words are nothing more than garbage
All “quotes” in “quotation marks” are from the writings of the Apostles Matthew John and Peter in the Bible, mostly the “Red Letter” words of Jesus. [Matthew, John, Revelation, 2 Peter – NIV]