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More from Tim…
As is his wont, my King James Bible believing Dispensationalist libertarian Christian co-blogger Tim tagged me in his post (of the above image) on Facebook. 🙂
Be sure to get your doctrine from the Bible, not the traditions of man! (Colossians 2:8)
I really do appreciate the pro-tip. It’s just that there’s a whole lotta problems with this instruction. At least one of which renders Tim’s advice utterly useless!
One problem is that the cited verse, Colossians 2:8, does not even mention the Bible.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (KJV)
See! What this verse is really saying is be sure to get your doctrine from Christ, not the traditions of man! I agree! But let’s be clear. There’s no mention at all of the Bible in this verse. And I’ve made it quite clear in previous blog posts what my view is. It is that Jesus is inerrant, but the Bible isn’t. The Word of God is inerrant. His scribes, not so much. Yes, that’s right. I basically equate the Bible with “the traditions of man”. I don’t equate the Bible with Christ. The Bible as we know it hasn’t even been around a couple of thousand years yet. Whereas
In [the] beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (DARBY)
Believe it or not, another problem is that the KJV mistranslates this particular verse. And don’t believe it or do, so does the NIV. But of course! 😉
Which is why I always have recourse to Young’s Literal Translation for times like this when it matters exactly what the Bible says.
See that no one shall be carrying you away as spoil through the philosophy and vain deceit, according to the deliverance of men, according to the rudiments of the world, and not according to Christ (YLT)
It’s clear that “spoiled” is a KJV mistranslation of “spoil”. Yet at least the NIV has the good grace to provide a footnote (see above) to the effect that it has construed “the basic principles” (rudiments) as “the elemental spiritual forces” of this world.
But here’s the fatal flaw with Tim’s advice—be sure to get your doctrine from the Bible, not the traditions of man!—which renders it useless. Which Bible?
Tim’s telling me to be sure to get my doctrine from the Bible, but which one? As we all know, Christians (e.g., Protestants vs. Catholics and Orthodox Christians) can’t even agree on which books belong in the Bible, let alone which translations of the canonical books are themselves canonical.
Which Bible? Tim will, of course, answer the Authorized King James Version of 1611. Which is a fair answer to a fair question. But if I accept this answer, one thing’s for sure. I’m now getting my doctrine from the traditions of man, and from the traditions of one man in particular, viz., my co-blogger Tim Wikiriwhi! And not necessarily from either the true Bible (if, indeed, there even is such a thing) or Christ.
It comes down to this. When all is said and done, we must decide—each of us individually must decide—in what and/or in whom to trust.
I trust in Jesus, the Son of God, whom I know from the first-hand accounts of his ministry by the original gospel authors, from his work in the lives of my brothers and sisters in Christ, from his work in my own life, and from personal encounter.
I trust in the deliverances of my own God-given moral compass when (not often, just occasionally) they conflict with what’s in the Bible.
So the Bible. What’s it good for?
Why, it’s profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works, of course! 🙂
Jesus is inerrant, but the Bible isn’t.
Anyone who’s spent any time in serious study of the Bible (or even someone who’s only delved into it intermittently) will have discovered, for themselves, apparent contradictions, of which there are very, very many.
Just for example, Ezekiel 33:11 (and Ezekiel 18:32) and Psalm 37:13 seem rather at odds.
Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’ (NIV)
but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming. (NIV)
How should a Christian respond to such apparent contradictions? It’s not easy maintaining contradictions. Maintaining a contradiction is surely the very essence of cognitive dissonance, and cognitive dissonance is something we all naturally seek to minimise.
The inerrantist response is to hold that the Bible is inerrant. On the premiss (due to Douglas Stauffer) that
God will preserve His word, and not allow it to pass away.
And then try to explain away the apparent contradictions. All of them. One attempt to do this (with particular emphasis on what the Bible says about salvation) is the doctrine of Dispensationalism due to John Nelson Darby.
Now, I can see that the above premiss has merit and that Dispensationalism is, in some sense, a reasonable response to the apparent contradictions in the Bible.
But doesn’t God operate according to the KISS principle?
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (NIV)
Dispensationalism is complicated. Doesn’t God’s fundamental message have to be intelligible to little children and simpletons? Because Dispensationalism isn’t.
The errantist response is to hold that the Bible is not inerrant. To concede that it’s full of contradictions, some of which cannot be adequately explained away. But that, nonetheless
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (KJV)
and that Jesus’s fundamental message remains intact, which it does.
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (KJV)
My reason for writing this post is my concern that those who hold that the Bible is inerrant are fooling themselves. In a bad way. Notwithstanding that Douglas Stauffer (already quoted above) tells us that
Satan has reveled in creating doubt concerning the authority of the words of God.
the simple fact is that there is doubt concerning the authority of scripture as it has been handed down to us. Not to acknowledge and to express doubt such as this is to deceive oneself and maybe others too. It’s my considered opinion that those who persist in maintaining that the Bible is inerrant are involved in more convolutions and contortions than David Bain trying to explain his movements on the morning of 20 June 1994, more turns than a sluggard on his bed, more preposterous suspensions of disbelief than an atheist proclaiming that this blog post is an anticipated result of the Big Bang. They’re playing the exegetical version of Twister—the game that ties you up in knots.
The Gospel is that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose from the dead showing his victory over sin and death and guaranteeing our salvation and justification before God.
Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord *Shall* be saved.
For by grace are ye saved, through faith… it is the gift of God.
Not of works lest any man should boast.
For God commendeth his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ.
You cannot *add* or take away anything from this…. God’s ordained prescription for salvation in this age.
You cannot deny Christ’s Sacrifice and resurrection and be saved.
You cant say “I’m a good person.. I dont deserve to go to hell”…. for there is none Righteous no not one, For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.
If you deny that it was necessary for Christ to shed his blood for you…. you reject the gift of God.
You cannot *Add* to the finished work of Christ as preached to us by the Apostle of the Gospel of Grace St Paul.
False preachers of the Law say that a person must keep the Law to be saved…. ie they add *works* as necessary for salvation.
They prove they dont understand the Gospel of grace at all!
They fail to ‘Rightly divide’ the word of truth and so twist the scriptures to say what they want…. by mis-applying the old testament, the Kingdom preaching of Christ, St Peter, St James, etc…. and corrupt the Gospel of grace into Slavery under the Mosaic Law.
They add things like baptism, like keeping the Sabbath etc as necessary for salvation.
These ‘additions tend to enslave those whom they deceive into obeying *The Church hierarchy*….. ensnare them in tithing etc.
This is to deny the Liberating Power of the Cross, which sets us free from the Law.
If all this seems confusing….. Satan Laughs and spreads his wings…. He created this confusion to keep you from the Simple truth.
That Christ has paid the penalty of our sins and that if we simply ask God to save us in Christ’s name…. we will be saved indeed… no ifs…. no But’s….
Christ came to save us Sinners.
No matter who you are or how evil you have been, or what your personal struggles and vices are.…. Christ s Blood can save you!
Rejoice in the Love and GRACE of God our Heavenly Father.
Protestant King James Bible believer Dispensationalist Libertarian Independent.
Read more from Tim….
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” (NIV)
A while ago on Facebook I saw this: “The day you stop asking God for help … is the day you start asking for trouble.” It stuck in my head. It’s catchy. But it didn’t seem right at the time and it still doesn’t seem right.
I don’t ask God for help very often. I generally don’t ask for more than is in the Lord’s Prayer.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our trespasses (as we forgive those who trespass against us)
Lead us not into temptation.
Deliver us from evil.
Haven’t I asked for enough already? I’ve asked for more than a socialist with a serious entitlement mentality. And what does the Lord’s Prayer, which is how Jesus told us we should pray, ask of me? Nothing.
It seems almost gluttonous to ask for more. I have what I need in abundance. I am blessed. My problems in life, such as they are, are first world problems. We’re supposed to pray, not whine. Jesus makes clear that there is simply no need to ask God for any further assistance.
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Praise God and give thanks! Show some gratitude! In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Paul instructs us to
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I don’t always thank God, but when I do I feel glad. 🙂
“The day you stop asking God for help … is the day you start asking for trouble.”
Really? This advice is promulgated by The College of the Open Bible.
Note the reference to scripture. 1 Thessalonians 5:17. I think they spin a lot out of “pray continually,” don’t you? Just now I visited their Facebook page. They call themselves The College of the Open Bible. Where the Bible is the only authority. And they advise Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. 2 Timothy 2:15.
I think they need to study a bit harder. The day you stop rightly dividing the word of truth is the day you start making things up. Not judging. Just sayin’.