What’s the Big Deal?

It is rather shocking to see this man arrested with no warning while reading the Bible in a public place.

Here’s some further explanation from the Advocates for Faith and Freedom website—the lawyers handling the case for the Christians.

Initially, when Mr. Mackey was arrested, the CHP officer stated that it was illegal to “preach to a captive audience.” After the defendants were placed in jail and upon learning that no such penal code prohibits preaching to a “captive audience,”  the officer issued a citation for “impeding an open business” with threats or intimidation under Penal Code Section 602.1(b). However, the district attorney again changed the charges claiming trespass after the government realized the business was not actually open and, presumably, saw the video showing no threats or intimidation.

It’s clear that the arresting officer had never dealt with this type of situation before—and that he has no real understanding of the freedom of speech granted by the First Amendment. He fabricated a charge out of thin air. Perhaps, people believe that this type of activity is illegal, based on the fact that they don’t like it and they may have never seen anyone do it before.

I discussed this with a couple atheists in the comments on this YouTube video. They are biased against anyone preaching about the Bible of course; they also believe these preachers broke the law. They say they support freedom of speech, but they don’t seem to understand that the whole point of the First Amendment is to protect speech you may find offensive or annoying.

The legal issues remaining in this case are not whether anyone has the right to speak at that DMV to a captive audience. That is a given. The only issue remaining is whether they should have obtained a permit. Even if the courts determine that a permit must be obtained, the state won’t be allowed to discriminate to whom they grant a permit based on the content of their speech. So these men could be right back there preaching to their captive audience any time they want.

One of the many symptoms of Christians not doing their job in evangelism is that many Americans are ignorant of our God-given right to free speech. Even police officers don’t understand. There are enough Christians in California that preaching at that DMV—or any other ideal location with a captive audience—shouldn’t be a rare occurrence that causes everyone to flip out and demand their arrest. It should be old hat.

So many people today who are not Christians have multiple misconceptions about our faith and believe they are OK with God. I would prefer they say, “I know what the Bible says because everywhere I go Christians keep telling me; I just don’t believe it.”

28 thoughts on “What’s the Big Deal?

  1. Well! I am an atheist who supports the right for idiots to stand on public property and preach. This is America and the freest real estate in America is public property.
    I preached on the streets for many years. I was threatened with arrest dozens of times. I have been harassed by police more times than I can count. I stood my ground because the first amendment matters…for Christians and atheists.
    This means having to put up with people and speech I find offensive.


  2. James 1:2-4 NASB

    Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

    We in the lands of the free have a lot of catching up to do with our brothers and sisters around the world when it comes to the refining fires of persecution. Will we welcome our opportunities to truly be counted worthy to suffer for His Name? It’s coming soon enough.

    Thanks for sharing Bill. The first sentence of the last paragraph is an ironic statement. As we observe the increased pace of apostasy around us, so much more so will it be: So many people today who *call themselves* Christians have multiple misconceptions about our faith and believe they are OK with God. Thank God He promised all to be restored for His elect before His Return (Malachi 4:5-6)!


  3. “Well! I am an atheist who supports the right for idiots to stand on public property and preach.”

    Bruce – There are many problems with your alleged testimony. Let me ask you a question. Were you truly born again (met Christ not in word but in reality and power) and now turned away from him or did you have a mental belief in Christ, earn a living from it, and now your mental belief is changed?

    Kindly, Jim


  4. Normally Jim I would use a few choice words to tell you want I think of your comment but I will respect the fact this is not my house,

    Your use of the word alleged is offensive. It is my life, my story, my testimony and you don’t get to frame the storyline. I was every bit a Christian that you now are. I don’t care if that squares with your theology. It matters not to me whether or not you think or know I was never a Christian. I know. I give you this challenge…. Find one person who knew me as their pastor or a fellow colleague in the ministry who thought, at the time, I was not a Christian. Either I was deluded and an expert at deceiving people or your theologial premise fails when applied to real life.

    That said, what the **** does this have to do with the point of the post? I won’t discuss this further with you. Come over to my house and we can discuss it there.


  5. 1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.


  6. Bruce Gerencser, GOD says you were never his and you nor I get to “frame the storyline” HE DOES. There’s no such thing as being A Christian and then no longer being one.

    Jesus after talking about people who did great things in his name says-“Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ -“Mat 7:23

    “I NEVER KNEW YOU” means never.

    A person does not become born again of the spirit of God and become unborn. God’s word clearly says- “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.”-1 John 3:9.

    a person leaving and becoming a staunch atheist is evidence that you were one of the first 3 soils but never the 4th soil-good soil.

    Satan has mental assent just like many people have but never a full commitment from your heart where GOD reaches down to YOU and saves you. It is God who reaches down to us not us reaching up to him.

    No human decision saves anyone-John 1:13 only when we are born of God from above..


  7. What astounds me is he sees it as a badge he wears to brag about it! Any remorse for the sheep he sheared?
    Just wrote this the other day for another blog..sure seems to fit this one too!

    “A man blinded by God…a man struck deaf by God…due to His perfect judgement of the heart, cannot be made to see or hear by man. We may not even yet see their blindness nor deafness, for it begins at God’s descretion, due to sin in the heart, long before it manifest itself in their actions. This too explains the sudden change in the behavior of those who walked the path uprightly in days gone by.
    It’s not how you ran the race, but how you run the race, and finish a winner in Him.”

    Having put his hand to the plow and looked back …

    Perhaps this will help him and those who relate to him get a cleare picture, it is good for all of us to read…

    Happy Resurrection Day to everybody!


  8. “I was every bit a Christian that you now are”

    That is my point, I could never say “I used to be married but now I dont believe that my wife ever exsited”. Such a statement would mean either:
    A) I only imagined I was married, however popwerful that imagination was (like I bought a second car to keep in the drive way, drew a picture of what I thought my wife might look like, etc)
    B) I was married and am now so angry or hurt that I deny my estranged wife even existed

    Either you were a false convert all along or you are an apostate and walked away from truly knowing Christ. This has nothing to do with theoolgy, just reality. I am not impressed with what people thought of you as a pastor either – modern church people are the easiest to trick into believing anything. If there is one thing I applaud it is you leaving the professional clergy that scripture knows nothing of. Maybe you will find Christ in the wilderness if you have never truly met Him. If not, I pray you find healing from what ever pain the religious beast system caused to you.

    Please do not be angry at me and treat me as someone who deserves a few choice words. I would actually meet up with you if you lived near Detroit? My email is repent_trust@yahoo.com



  9. Hi Bill,
    The comments by Flee Babylon, Jon Gleason, Linda MacDonald, and Mickie Merrie are insulting towards Bruce Gerencser. They allow their theological presuppostions to judge Bruce’s conversion experience, without ever knowing what Bruce was like prior to his deconversion. They are so certain that Bruce was never a Christian.

    I find this appalling behaviour on their part, especially since Bruce visited your blog to defend tour right to free speech. As a liberal Christian, I do not think that their attitude reflects much of the graciousness of the God they say they believe in.

    John Arthur


  10. John Arthur—The word of God judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. God’s word has clearly been presented here-1 John 3:9,John 1:13, Mat 7:23, 1 John 2:19 and it’s clear from what God says ~

    “I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.”-1 Cor.4:3-4


  11. Hi, John. Bruce’s comment (including the word “idiot”, if we’re talking about insulting) cleared moderation, so the site owners respect his free speech, too. And yours, for that matter. Free speech is a great thing.

    As for my comment, I just quoted Scripture. “Christian” is based on Scripture, not feelings or opinions of others. “Christian” is about a person’s relationship with God, so we start with what He says about it.

    We can accept Bruce’s testimony about himself, or we can accept the Scripture, which says something different. I’ll take the Scriptures. Bruce may be telling the truth but he never really understood Biblical Christianity, or he may be lying. It’s not my business to try to figure that one out. It’s my business to look at what the Bible says and evaluate things in that light, just like I need to evaluate myself by what the Bible says. I hope you do the same. Eternity is a long time, and we can’t afford to get this wrong, so we need to take God’s Word very seriously.


  12. Here are two thoughts….
    The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
    Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Or you will also be like him.



  13. Hi Jon,

    Three Points:
    (1) You did quote scripture but the bible is variously interpreted, even by Evangelicals. Most Arminian Evangelicals have no problem with the idea that a person can be genuinely converted then deconvert. It is mainly Calvinists who disagree with this. Even if you believe in an infallible bible, no-one has an infallible interpretation.

    (2) If someone “insults” a Chrisitan does that give us the right to act ungraciously towards them and belittle their former Christian experience? Is it not better either to not comment or give them the benefit of any doubt you may have?

    (3) Bruce’s use of the word ‘idiots’, I think, was referring to foolish behavior by those who were arrested. He was not calling the people on this website “idiots”. In fact, he likes one of the writers as a person, even though he disagrees with just about everything he says. I think he might be referring to Jungle Missionary. Just visit his website and see.

    I appreciated that the people who run this blog posted both my and Bruce’s comments. Jon,
    you may have been well intentioned, but try to look at how it appears to others. I do not bear you any ill will.

    John Arthur

    Hi Linda,

    I would have thought that you would know better than to quote isolated verses from bible without looking at the form, strucure and setting of these verses in their immediate and broader contexts.

    The bible says, therefore God says , can sometimes lead us astray in that we can confuse our interpretation of the bible with the bible itself and with God.

    John Arthur


  14. Ah the “interpretation” arguement AGAIN. “That’s YOUR truth.” “This is MY truth.” Blah, blah, blah. “Your interpretation is wrong…if you were as smart as me, then your interpretation and understanding and (non)belief would be as ‘advanced’ as mine.” Blah, blah, blah.

    Anti-Christian, A(nti)theists are all the same. Arrogant. Elitist. Dead in their sin. Blind to truth. Under the wrath of God. Destined to spend eternity in a place created for Satan and his angels. Just like all others who’ve not been given the gift of faith and conversion.



  15. Hi, John, thanks. To your three points.

    1) I didn’t interpret, I quoted. You (in your comment) interpreted those words as meaning Bruce was never a Christian — so we can discard the “interpretation” argument. It’s obvious, as even you conceded.

    2) “Christian experience” can never be the standard for truth. Extreme case: David Koresh’s “Christian experience” was false.

    3) I did not insult Bruce, nor defend doing so. He used insulting language towards those who aren’t even here. My point is you’ve chosen the wrong target.

    Bruce knew of this site previously, so he knew what people believe, and posted things contrary to that, using non-charitable wording. Now he’s feeling hurt? Really?

    He’s very intelligent. He posted things that would elicit replies, and then wrote about it. More blog traffic for a few days, and he and his friends can feel self-righteously better than those Christians.

    No one said anything terrible — people said what he knew they would say. To think he’s surprised or dismayed by the responses is to insult his intelligence. I’ll pass.


  16. @ Liberal John Mac Arthur. I will take your honest heartfelt rebuke under consideration………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. No, I am not taking your putrid bait……………………………………………
    You would have been better off arguing that I was too liberal and assuming he had lost or given up his salvation. That would have played much better! Go re-read my comment and see if your original assertion holds water.
    I went to your blogsite. Did mom make you take it down?


  17. Hi John Arthur—thanks for the correction on 1 Cor.4:3-4

    John, as far as it goes for interpretation,,, there’s only one correct interpretation because the Holy Spirit is the Author of Scripture and HE interprets what the word of God actually teaches not us. 1 Cor. 2:13, these are-“Words which the Holy Spirit teaches”. Not the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but the WORDS which the “Holy Spirit teaches”. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words”.vs.16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. The word of God is not a waxed nose. There is no “Armenian, Calvinism “you have your interpretation and I have mine”. Someone is right and someone is wrong. That’s implying that God speaks with a forked tongue and he does not.~

    And Scripture is clear when it comes to a person being born again. You cannot be unborn physically and you will forever be your mother and father’s child. Same goes with the Spiritual supernatural glorious birth by God’s amazing grace. We cannot be unborn or denounce our birth once God gives us the Holy Spirit. I even gave Scripture to prove that once God’s “seed is in you which is the Holy Spirit it ~”REMAINS in you.-1 John 3:9.
    Jesus said ~”I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”-John 10:28:29.. You’d have to be greater than God the father to even snatch yourself out of his hand -that ain’t going to happen ever. And I know the arguments, we can leave. No you can’t leave because our relationship with God when he DOES make an everlasting covenant with us is is based on God’s faithfulness and keeping his word. Jeremiah 32:40 is a beautiful passage that describes the covenant he makes with all he saves.

    So some important questions to muse would be beneficial: Who earned our Salvation? Did you or I deserve it? Who deserves it? Did you or I pay for it? Who paid for it? How can you LOSE what you/I did not even Earn, pay for or Deserve? You can’t. Jesus paid it all at the cross and those whom he has chosen and saves will never perish-his blood is efficacious

    The death of Christ redeems us and the life of Christ preserves us— Romans 5:10 “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life”

    It’s all about God’s grace. It’s all about HIM not us. It was Jesus’ job to earn, provide, and keep God’s favor and he did it all at the cross. Jesus knew ALL the horrible sins I’d commit before I was even born and he STILL died in my place and loved me by paying for my sins and the wrath of God placed on him that should have been on me. It is Jesus who is the substitute who lived and died for sinners. He is the one who makes an angry God propitious (Rom. 3.25). There is no other way to experience the favor of a holy, just, righteous, good God apart from Jesus Christ(Acts 4.12; 1 Tim. 2.5).

    hope this helps not hinders all for God’s glory and honor

    Simply passing along the truth to Bruce is not me judging him or you but it’s the word of God that judges. “The word of God is living and active sharper than any double-edged sword”,, piercing to the dividing of soul and spirit joint and marrow judging the thoughts and attitudes of the heart”.


  18. @ Micky Merrie:

    My friend, I urge you to please refrain from personal slights. The last sentence of your last comment is demeaning and is not productive to the discussion. This is not the kind of discourse we want to encourage or foster here. Please refer to our Rules of Engagement for further.

    – Pilgrim


  19. You go girl! Nice work Linda! I appreciate your comments on this blog, and my spirit bears witness with your spirit! We are inone accord! Thanks sister!!!


    “I give you this challenge…. Find one person who knew me as their pastor or a fellow colleague in the ministry who thought, at the time, I was not a Christian. ”

    A man says “I used to be married but now I dont believe that my wife ever exsited”.

    Such a statement would mean either:
    A) He only imagined he was married, however powerful that imagination was (like he bought a second car to keep in the drive way, drew a picture of what he thought his wife might look like, etc)

    B) He was married and am now is so angry or hurt that he will deny his estranged wife even existed

    Would it really be a sound defense for such a man to then say “Find one of my former co-wokers who thought at the time I wasn’t married”… we are entering into the twighlight zone here. Either you were born again and validate you knew the living Christ though you have walked away from Him or you never knew Christ and your testimony is a lie. This is not rocked science.

    “Either I was deluded and an expert at deceiving people or your theologial premise fails when applied to real life.”

    I have no theoligical premise so that only leaves one option Bruce… one your pride will not allow you to accept.



  21. Hi Jon,

    Thanks for your gracious reply. I actually think that Bruce is genuine about his conversion experience and his years of service as a Baptist pastor. Most Arminian Christians and Open Theists among the Evangelicals would have no problem with the idea that a person can denconvert and they would claim that they have scriptural support (possibly from the Epistle to the Hebrews). Moreover,if they saw the fruit of the Spirit in Bruce’s life, they would say he was a Christian.

    Personally, I believe that Bruce was a genuine Christian who has deconverted and , if you read his story on his blog, the main reason he has deconverted is that he no longer believes that the bible is the Word of God. Like me, he is no longer a Fundamentalist.

    Peace and well-being to you,

    John Arthur


    Hi Linda,

    You say that there is only one correct interpretation of the bible and that this is the one given by the the Holy Spirit and that there is no such thing as Calvinist and Arminian. One of them must be wrong since “God does not speak with a forked tongue”.

    Either the Holy Spirit is doing a pretty poor job or most comitted Christians are not listening to him properly, if your proposition is true. So if, for example, Calvinist Covenant theology is the correct interpretation of the bible because one believes it is given by the Holy Spirit,, then Arminianism, Open Theism, Dispensationalism, Anabaptist theology among numerous others held to by Evangelicals are clearly wrong and, by your reasoning, they are not listening properly to the Holy Spirit. I suppose, in that case, John Wesley was not listening to the Holy Spirit, since he was an Arminian.

    Can’t you see that once you start quoting the bible by lifting passages out of their context or without talking about the proper context and applying them to today, under the pretext that you and those who agree with you are the only ones who are listening to the Holy Spirit , you end up running the risk of thinking that what you are sayng is infallible, because you believe God is saying it.

    John Arthur


    Hi Todd 3588,

    “A(nti) theists are all the same. Arrogant, elitist”.

    I simply think that you are mistaken here. Sure, there are some arrogant, elitist atheists/antitheists just as there are some arrogant Christians. I might note (for those of you who are Calvinists) that John Calvin pointed out that non Christians are capable of laudible deeds. He talks about the “laudible deeds of the unbeliever” in his Institutes of the Christian religion. Since I have not got a copy, I am unable to quote the exact reference.

    John Arthur


  22. Hi, John. Matthew 7:21-23 tells of people who apparently really thought they were Christians but weren’t. One doesn’t have to think Bruce dishonest to believe he is sadly mistaken. I don’t need to question his honesty, only his spiritual assessment of his experience.

    It is not only Calvinists. Many non-Calvinists / anti-Calvinists believe a new creation in Christ will never turn back into an old creation. I’m glad you mentioned Open Theism. Why would God give eternal life, forgiveness, etc. if He knows you will chuck it all? It makes no sense, unless God doesn’t know (Open Theism). Then it makes sense, but Open Theism fails so badly Scripturally I can’t really call it Evangelical (I’m not alone in that assessment).

    Of course, I believe the Bible is inspired & inerrant. You perhaps don’t believe that, which will lead to many differences. It really does come down to Scriptural authority.


  23. Thank you Pilgrim, for your godly rebuke.
    I apologize and retract the last sentence as a childish attempt to bait him back.


  24. Not that this isn’t interesting (I have a few thoughts on it myself; maybe Pilgrim can get a post about it), but I’d like to bring this back to the original topic, which is how the video shows true Christian persecution in America. This is a soft persecution, but persecution nevertheless. This should be humbling to those who feel they’re persecuted because the cashier at Wal-Mart said “Happy holidays.”


  25. @Mickey Merrie praise the Lord, and all glory and honor to our Lord Jesus Christ. Thanks for the reassurance of the Holy Spirit bearing witness that’s just so precious~
    John Arthur I do appreciate your kind responses and decorum on public forums-thank you

    you said-“Can’t you see that once you start quoting the bible by lifting passages out of their context or without talking about the proper context and applying them to today, under the pretext that you and those who agree with you are the only ones who are listening to the Holy Spirit , you end up running the risk of thinking that what you are saying is infallible, because you believe God is saying it.”—

    I’d ask that you’d show me how a passage that is self explanatory 1Cor.2:13 has been taken out of it’s context?

    I said-“the Holy Spirit is the Author of Scripture and HE interprets what the word of God actually teaches not us.” Is that not what the passage says??

    read the verses

    1 Cor. 2:13, these are-”Words which the Holy Spirit teaches”. Not the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but the WORDS which the “Holy Spirit teaches”. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words”vs.16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?”

    The word of God is “LIVING and ACTIVE”-
    I’m not infallible but the word of God is infallible and that has to always be taken into consideration and with much prayer and respect for the Holy Word of the living God- Shouldn’t we tremble before his word?

    Isa 66:5 “Hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at his word: “Your brothers who hate you, and exclude you because of my name, have said, ‘Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy!’ Yet they will be put to shame.”

    Psa 18:20 The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.

    Psa 18:25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
    Psa 18:26 to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.
    Psa 18:27 You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
    Psa 18:28 You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.
    Psa 18:29 With your help I can advance against a troop [fn]; with my God I can scale a wall.
    Psa 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.

    when a person is born of the Spirit— the word of God is NOT just words on a page and the bible is not simply a book we are following that we just read without thoughts or inspiration from the Author or just mere words with no authority behind them. this is a supernatural book. To unregenerate people they are,, because it is just the letter that KILLS if you are NOT born of the Spirit. “Because the man without the Spirit DOES NOT ACCEPT the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

    They are words that men have written but clearly show that God is the Author and inspiration behind the words and humans. Conversely, the man without the Spirit cannot accept the things that come from the Spirit of God regardless of his mental prowess. (1 Cor. 2:14) This is why we hear of people who tried to read the Bible as non-believers and found they couldn’t figure it out, but as soon as they were born again it began to make sense. They didn’t suddenly become more intelligent, they simply gained the supernatural insight of the Holy Spirit who teaches us all things

    When God truly speaks to us who are born again- the word of God becomes “inspiration of the Thoughts of God and not of the “words themselves”. AND until we are born again, you cannot know the Bible beyond mere words because you do not have the mind of Christ and the Letter KILLS –death dead but the SPIRIT-Holy Spirit gives LIFE. The natural man cannot ACCEPT the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. Only the Holy Spirit gives life to the word of God and it is the Holy Spirit which is our Teacher, Counselor and Comforter within us . Jesus said, “these words I speak are spirit and they are life.

    In Hebrews 3:7 there is no reference to a human writer of the Scripture but only to the divine Author.

    I can’t remember who said this but here’s an illustration of why Christians (can) come to different views of what God’s word says:
    “one might liken the Holy Spirit to a radio station that is transmitting a perfect signal. Even though that radio signal is transmitted perfectly, there are all kinds of different quality radio receivers out there. Some have good reception; some have poor reception. Some have a good antenna; others have a broken antenna. Some have good batteries; others are low on energy. The point is, different radio receivers have varying degrees of success in receiving that perfect signal.
    Some people have better reception than others and their signal is stronger because they have more of God’s word in them. People who don’t even crack open their Bible’s or hardly have any Scripture memorized or God’s law hidden in their hearts have very poor reception or signals and thus don’t interpret, rightly divide God’s word correctly.

    Aren’t simply arguing against the perspicuity of the text? Nothing wrong with God’s word-Jesus even said the Scripture cannot be broken –infallible-john. 10:35-Jesus believed it is absolutely true and it cannot be set aside or annulled. Jesus said it’s Incapable of error. Jesus pointed out that the Error was NOT the Bible but that “people are in error. Especially if people are pitting verses against each other and do not rightly divide God’s word that it’s because people do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” -Mat.22:29.

    also in 2Pe 3:16 it clearly states that the reason many people come up with wrong interpretations are because -“As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

    hope this helps not hinders you


  26. Hi Linda,

    Thanks for your kind response, but I would prefer if if you did not send me a barrage of biblical quotations. This is not my website and I am not meant to provide long responses. However, you challenged me to say how you took 1 Cor. 2:13 out of context because you say its meaning is obvious. You think that Paul is referring to the bible. So I now take up that challenge and it will require quite a long response. You will know my reponse if the webmaster graciously grants me permission and lets this response through.

    One of the chief problems Paul is addressing in ! Cor. is divisions within the Church. He has received a letter from the Corinthians to which he responds. Chapter 2 is set against the background of Ch1 in which he mentions the divisions and points them to Jesus Christ as the wisdom and power of God. It is Paul who came to them in the demonstration and power of the Spirit and proclaimed Christ crucified (2:1-5)

    In 2:6-16, he outlines the true wisdom of God.The foolishness of God is now shown to be the highest wisdom. Paul does teach that the Holy Spirit teaches us (The community of God’s people) but he does not mention the Scriptures in this passage. I think he is talking about Jesus Christ as the wisdom of God. The Holy Spirits role is to point us to Jesus.

    Paul’s letters are usually addressed to churches undergoing specific problems which he addresses in their socio-economic and cultural context in the first century. Although Paul has a high regard for the OT, I do not see him taking the view in 1 Cor. 2:13 of an infallible bible. The whole of the bible had not yet been written and it took quite a while for Paul’s letters to be distributed around the churches.

    Put yourself into first century Christian shoes. When Paul wrote this letter abour CE 55, most of the NT had not been written. The gospels are usually dated later than this and probably only 1 Thess., Gal. and maybe James (on the early date presupposition) had been written. Also remember that most people in the first century could not read or write.

    These people had to rely on the oral tradition about Jesus and the leading of the Holy Spirit. The pastors who could read and write used the OT as a witness to Christ. Much preaching in the early days was from the Greek septuagint (The Greek translation of the OT).

    So I am not sure how you jump from this to assuming that Paul was referring to the bible is 1 Cor.2:13? If you read from verse 12 , “Now we received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God so that we may understand the GIFTS bestowed on us by God. And we SPEAK of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual”.

    This is my final response on this topic. our differences are over the inerrancy of the bible. but I have been upfront about being a LIBERAL.

    John Arthur


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