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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Hostile Questions

I have spent a lot of time in 2 Peter.  I have lost count on the number of times I have read, analyzed, outlined, seen new things, etc.  The reason?  It is the book I use in my workshops to equip men with several Bible study tools.  When they read it, I do.
Hostile Questions
One of the themes in the Book is the reliability of the Word of God.  The theme is subtle.  Peter refers to the Word tangentially but refer he does.  In contrast to the reliability of God’s Word, Peter warns of the certainty of false teachers, people who will twist the Scripture to make it say what they want it to say.  Some of those are in our churches.  Paul warns us of this.  In Acts 20:30 he tells the Ephesian elders that false teachers will come from among them.

One of Peter’s warnings struck me a few days ago.  Look at 2 Peter 3:4.  Peter describes those who are questioning the promises of God.  Now remember in 2 Peter 1:3 – 4 he has declared that the promises are based on God’s glory and excellence, and that by them we can partake of God’s nature.  But because they are not fulfilled in what someone thinks is a timely manner they are questioned.

Essentially, what is happening is one who questions the promise of God is questioning the Word of God.  The start of any heresy, false religion, or sin for that matter, begins with questioning God’s Word; think Genesis 3.

But there is another challenge.

As I was working through this, it occurs to me that one of the things that is happening in the Church is that not only are those from among the Church questioning, but also those outside the Church with cultural agendas that do not align with what the text says.  The challenge is that some in the Church have embraced those questions and have worked hard to accommodate those who are challenging the Word.

James 4:4 seems to speak to this.  If I allow the world to dictate or change my theology or understanding of the Word.  Or if I modify my theology in order to coexist more effectively with the world.  Or if I work really hard to force the Bible to not mean what it says.  It seems, based on James 4:4 that I am engaging in open hostility toward God.

That may not be the best plan in which anyone has ever engaged.

1 comment:

  1. It is said that "eternal vigilance is the price we pay for liberty" (original source and exact wording unknown). Although not from the Bible, is seems to accurately describe the need to be diligent in our understanding of what the Word of God really says (seems related as well to yesterday's post on diligence and hard work).

    The most dangerous "false teachers" sound gracious, kind, using a warm and engaging tone and arguments. who claim stellar "credentials." There is likely a lot of truth, or apparent truth, woven in; reasonable arguments that appeal to some deeper desire or fleshly passion.

    You referred to Genesis 3 as a good example. The Serpent was a resplendent creature, and I can imagine his tone was so reasonable and engaging, appealing to the senses that God had given Eve for her enjoyment of His magnificent garden.... What could be the harm?

    As all ages we are awash with such "voices;" I don't have a TV, and I don't often listen to radio (esp. "Christian" radio). But when I do I am often astonished at what is promoted and proclaimed.

    The price of spiritual freedom is also eternal vigilance while we are on this earth. Thankfully we have the Author Himself to teach us - if we will dig and listen.

    Thanks for sounding the alarm, Mike, and calling us back to liberty; the only other "master" is some form of "law" which mediates death. It's the Truth that sets and keeps us free.