Biblical Grounds for tossing out the “F” word – part 2

In my previous post, I took a quick stroll through the pseudes/pseudo word group in the New Testament and looked at the term “false” in its various usages and manifestations.  Now I recognize that seems like I’m on a mission to make myself the most fringe Bible-egghead out there, but I honestly and sincerely do those sorts of things unto a serious and necessary end.

Egghead(I’m fighting the urge to toss out a few dozen egg puns right now…)

So, in an eggshell, the idea of the last post was that a “false prophet” isn’t so much a technical category as it is, quite simply, a prophet who falsely claims to be a prophet.  This then begs the question: if every prophet who wrongly claims the title us a false prophet, aren’t there tens of thousands of false prophets out there?  Aren’t there then also millions of false teachers?  What about a guy who thinks he’s a prophet and is simply mistaken due to ignorance?  Isn’t there room for an innocent misunderstanding with a guy who’s simply untrained about prophets, teachers, apostles, etc.?

Well, that’s where we need to take a comprehensive look at the concept of false prophets in the Bible.  That should help us hammer through these secondary questions.  Let’s rock!

Fett Accordion Continue reading

Quick Thoughts on some sad, but not uncommon news

Thinking-Man

Just made aware of the story of Rachael Slick; Matt Slick’s daughter from the Christians Apologetics and Research Ministries (I’m WAY behind on the news).  Here’s her “apostasy testimony”

2 Thoughts regarding Matt Slick:

1.  I don’t know Matt Slick and I don’t know the situation, but from what Rachel reports, it sounds like he started his own “ministry” and forgot that his main ministry was his family.  No matter your gifting, no matter your sense of “calling”, you do what you do at the expense of what you do, not at the expense of your family.  The fact that they haven’t spoken since she ran away from home when she was 17, and he apparently just “let her go”, makes me have a whole lot of questions for Matt.  I can imagine it must tear his heart out, but the Bible still says what the Bible says with regards to men and their households (i.e. 1 Tim 3:3-5).

2.  There’s a good reason God made the defense of the faith a commission to the elders of local churches (Titus 1:9-11).  The older I get, the more and more skeptical I get of all the “apologetics” ministries that aren’t a “ministry” of any actual specific church (which is, well, almost every single one).  You can have all the structures and whatnot in place, but if you’re not doing God’s business his way, you are on SCARY ground.  If you’re not an elder of a church working under and on behalf of a church, you’re taking up a job that isn’t offered to you.  The only reason I’m not a professional apologist right now is because my church hasn’t given me that commission and my conscience won’t let me.

2 Thoughts about Rachel:

1.  She didn’t leave Christianity because she couldn’t get the answers she wanted (and 1 John 2:19 says she didn’t actually “leave” Christianity, only the morality taught her in her upbringing).  I have a lot of friends who’ve abandoned Christianity, and I’ve never even seen an exclusively rational departure from Christianity; nobody says “well, Christianity is a load but I’ll still keep living the way I was living”.  Everyone leaves Christianity because they want to sin, and Rachel was no different. She searched for an unanswerable question because she wanted to sin but couldn’t get past her biblically informed conscience without overthrowing the Bible.  Notice how she explains her time immediately following her”departure from the faith” by talking about how long it took her to sleep with her boyfriend without feeling guilty…i.e. “I had to beat my conscience with a rake for a year before I could sin without guilt”.  That’s commitment.

Beyond that, look at how she describes “freedom” – “freedom from a life centered around obedience and submission, freedom to think anything, freedom from guilt and shame, freedom from the perpetual heavy obligation to keep every thought pure.”

i.e. – Freedom to sin her head off.

She maybe is fooling the “desperate to disbelieve” atheist crowd, but she’s not fooling any biblically informed Christian.

2.  Her reason is feeble.  Here’s the quote:

“If God was absolutely moral, because morality was absolute, and if the nature of “right” and “wrong” surpassed space, time, and existence, and if it was as much a fundamental property of reality as math, then why were some things a sin in the Old Testament but not a sin in the New Testament?”

Well, morality isn’t absolute apart from God.  It’s absolute because it’s an expression of God’s absolute moral nature.  It’s not a “fundamental property” of reality; it’s a fundamental expression of the internal moral consistency of God.

As for the Old and New Testament question, that’s also easy.  The Old Testament law was given to the nation of Israel, not the world.  The Philistines sinned against God’s universal moral law as revealed in nature and the conscience (i.e. Rom. 1), where as Israel sinned against God’s revealed moral law to Israel alone (i.e. Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy).  In the New Testament, God’s revealed moral law to the Jew/Gentile church was different than his revealed moral law to national Israel, though there was much overlapping because both were expressions of his universal moral law.  That’s why some things were sins in the OT and not the NT.  The specific moral law given to Israel was kept in Christ and Christ gave a new moral law to the Church.

Take Home:

– Family first, pastors.

– Get a biblical office, “apologists” (and meet the requirements of that office).

–  Your kids need to hear and understand the gospel, not theology.

– Nobody ever leaves the faith for rational reasons.

Just some quick thoughts.  My heart does go out to Matt Slick, and I pray that he does whatever he needs to do to work things out with his daughter, and I pray that the Lord grants Rachel a return to her senses.

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “Praying daily for my little ones too” Unger

Team Pyro weighs in on Contemplative Prayer…

Yup.  Finally.

In case some people have wondered if I’ve been lightening up on speaking out against the problems of certain forms of contemplative spirituality popping up in certain Mennonite Brethren (and non Mennonite Brethren) churches, I figured that I’d toss up a link to Phil Johnson’s latest post over at Team Pyro.

For those of you that don’t know Phil Johnson or Team Pyro, Phil is the director of Grace to You (the media ministry of pastor John MacArthur) and John MacArthur’s book editor for almost 30 years now.  He has been pastoring the Gracelife group at Grace Community Church since before I was in high school, and runs the Spurgeon Archive, being one of the world’s foremost authorities on Charles Spurgeon.

Anyway, where I toss punches, Phil drops bombs.  Phil posted a link to this e-book, entitled “From Mysticism to the Gospel: The Story of the Reformation within the Eastern Orthodox Church and Why Contemplative prayer is a sign of apostasy among evangelicals

That’s right.  Apostasy.

If anything, Phil doesn’t beat around the bush…

…heck.  I don’t think Phil’s ever even seen the bush.

Sound interesting?

I don’t know about you, but something with such a long title is either crazy or fantastic.  Either way, it should get people talking.

If you’re into the contemplative prayer/mysticism stuff, I’d encourage you to go over to Team Pyro and let them know what you think.  That place is always bustling with heated opinions on all sides and I’m sure they’d love to hear from you.   Dialogue is how we grow and learn, right?

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “Get RID of these candles and that stinking incense!” Unger