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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How to Avoid Heresy

Just finished reading through Lamentations 2:1 – 10.  I am reading in the first Bible I bought after I trusted Christ.  It has been rebound twice.  It is the only Bible in which I have ever marked.  Next to Lamentations 2:5, I wrote, “When you disobey the Lord even if you are chosen he becomes your enemy.”  I wrote that because, as you read in the passage the Lord became an enemy of His chosen people, Israel, because they had disobeyed His commands.  When I wrote this I had in mind a connection here between chosen in the Old Testament and chosen or elect in the New Testament.  I did not think much about it at the time just made the connection and moved on.
Just because something in Scripture may get our attention, sound really good, it may lead to some conclusions that entangle us in a web of heresy...
However, that connection may not be valid.  I assumed that chosen has the same meaning and force when applied to Israel and the Church.  You are aware of the results of assuming.  What I should have done is to validate my observation by turning it into a question, “Does chosen here mean the same thing as it does when applied to the Church?”

I do not have an answer to that question.  Yet.  I stuck my toe in that water for a few minutes this morning in Logos by doing a surface word study on the use of chosen in the New Testament and the Septuagint, looking at what Hebrew words were translated with chosen.  There was a significant amount of data.  To answer the question more accurately, I need to evaluate that data.  It is a whole lot like work, albeit work that I love.

Too often I have approached the scripture like I did with the note on Lamentations 2:5, I have also observed many believers doing the same thing, pastors and leaders included.  2 Timothy 2:15 tells us that we are to be diligent with the Word of God.  There is a process here.  It is like a journey; encapsulated in my experience with Lamentations 2:5.  I need to remind myself daily to hold what I “know” to be true lightly, always being ready to turn that knowledge into a question, which answer is dependent on the data in the Book that has no bottom.


  1. How can I avoid errors when studying/reading the Bible? I cannot! The Scriptures are inerrant, but I am not. Neither is my group/ denomination. Therefore I MUST assume I will make mistakes in understanding the Bible - and rely upon my friends to argue with me, to disagree with me. If I assume I will make mistakes then I will be far more humble toward others. The better question is, "Am I the kind of man others know they can approach with correction in mind?" -- or have they learned, through experience, never to challenge me.

    1. Absolutely. You nailed it. We have to open to correction. Proverbs 9:8 - 9 leaps to mind. Great response.