Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pagan Christianity - Chapter 10


Be advised that this post will be dominated by my own commentary.

I've made many a "fundamentalist" blood boil and red-faced when I inform them that I do not believe in the "inerrancy" of the bible. Of course I mean one thing, but they hear and knee-jerk to another thing. Hear me out if I've gotten your dander up.

Most who stand by the concept of "inerrancy" will qualify what is meant. They have no choice but to. I will paste a very common statement that I copied online to demonstrate.

Inerrancy. I believe that the Bible is inerrant (Psa. 19:7-8). By this I mean that the original autographs were completely free from any error, contradiction, or human corruption.

See the qualifier - "the original autographs?" That means the very piece of papyrus or stone or skin that was used to scrawl characters in Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek, communicating what God revealed - all of which are now inaccessible to us. How ridiculous and narrow to hang your hat on something that is not available! This falls into the pagan influence of superstition noted in an early chapter.

Such a notion begs the questions: "Where are they? How did they get lost? Is it possible that errant human beings were responsible? Is it not amazing that despite frailty and brokenness, God's truth is still preserved and revealed to humanity?"

When I tell someone I believe there are errors in the bible - I also qualify it. I say: "Noah was in error to get wasted on wine and expose his nakedness after God judged the world, yet God revealed pure truth to and through him. Moses was in error to murder a man in a fit of anger and rage, yet God revealed pure truth to and through him. David was in error in being a voyeur as Bathsheba bathed and then having sexual intercourse with her and then conniving to cover it up by pre-meditated manslaughter of Uriah, yet God revealed pure truth to and through him." There are many others in scripture.

I have no problem using the word "infallible" as this term suggests the functional aspect of what God reveals.

This 10th chapter can be accused of being self-contradictory as it is analystic of our fixation on analyzing, but the criticism is aimed at training as a neccessary credential before one can function with certain gifts.

The idea that a Christian worker must attend Bible college or seminary to be legitimate is deeply ingrained - so much so that when people feel a "call" of God on their lives, they are conditioned to begin hunting for a Bible college or seminary to attend.

OUCH! There's no "or" in my life. I went to both - from 1978 to 1985.

Such thinking fits poorly with the early Christian mind-set. Bible colleges, seminaries, and even Sunday schools were utterly absent from the early church. All are human innovations that came hundreds of years after the apostles' death.

How then, were Christian workers trained in the first century if they did not go to a religious school? Unlike today's ministerial training, the first-century training was hands-on, rather than academic. It was a matter of apprenticeship, rather than of intellectual learning. It was aimed primarily at the spirit, rather than at the frontal lobe.

...The teaching of the New Testament is that God is Spirit, and as such, He is known by revelation(spiritual insight) to one's human spirit. Reason and intellect can cause us to know about God. And they help us to communicate what we know. But they fall short in giving us spiritual revelation.

...God's thoughts belong to the world of spirit, man's to the world of intellect, and while spirit can embrace intellect, the human intellect can never comprehend spirit.
It is fitting to conclude this chapter with 2 morsels of God's truth:

"...then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it."
-Eccl. 8:17

"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."
-1 Cor 2:14

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