An axe to grind - Willful Blindness
Whole Bible Old Testament New Testament Theology Denominations and Disciplines
APsit190, on 08 Sept 2013 - 9:21 PM, said:
"I have to admit that in all my years of studying hermeneutics, I've never come across a definition of Exegesis and Eisegesis as this. It certainly is an original take on it.
That said, usually when statements like this are made, the author tends to have an axe to grind, or is on some sort of crusade to prove himself to be right (correct) and everyone else is wrong, and therefore when differing thoughts come along, though not incorrect (or in error) still will not be listened to. They become paralyzed in their own particular world view or perspective."
Several years ago I was challenged by my then 18 year old son about some core doctrines of the Church, doctrines that transcend denominational boundaries. The things he was questioning were so foundational to the Church that I figured I could quickly put this young upstart in his place! I would use my new best friend e-sword version 7 to do the research! I assumed that these foundational doctrines would be so prevalent that it would only take a few minutes... It became painfully aware that MANY of these core doctrines were either not very clear, taken out of context, completely missing from scripture, or simply added by men. This was a discovery that I didn't expect or want to make.
Unlike the person you describe as "trying to prove myself to be right" I tried the opposite, I desperately wanted to be wrong! The more things I discovered, the greater my need to disprove them with a logical cohesive explanation. Believe me, nothing would have pleased me more than to have proved myself wrong... I could have gone back to sleep on the back row of our big beautiful mega-church. I soon realized that once something is "seen" it can't be "unseen."
My quest to prove myself wrong led me to two unmistakable conclusions:
- There has been a centuries long epidemic of willful blindness at work... All the clues are there - hidden in plain sight; some subtle, most are blatant, all had been clouded in an attitude similar to "don't ask don't tell."
- This willful blindness has been propagated via seminaries, bible colleges, missionaries and churches and codified as indisputable fact.
Every denominations will make a very similar argument to this these:
We are doctrinally sound because:
- Hundreds of years of theological study can't be wrong.
- Hundreds of Pastors and evangelists can't all be wrong.
- "x" number of Seminaries and Bible colleges are all sharing God's Truth!
- Church history validates our claims.
- We are reaching the world through radio, TV, and the Internet.
- "x" number of Churches are a powerful force for the "truth."
- The LORD is validating our message! See how He has blessed us!
- Our thousands of Missionaries are bringing light to a darkened world.
- Pray for those other denominations that they will see the light.
- The LORD wouldn't let US teach anything in error!
- We pray for the heretics that don't see the light as we have it.
The axes I have to grind are with those who are willfully blind and brainwash those that are seeking the truth. Here are some axes hidden in plain sight:
If Paul teaches us not to follow the Old Testament Law - then according to Jesus in Mat 5:17-19 Paul will be least in the Kingdom.
If Peter's vision of the sheet was about food, why did Peter say it was about men? Acts 10:28-29.
When a preacher teaches that Jesus taught against the law or nailed the Law to the Cross, don't they realize those are only subtle variations of lies that killed Stephen, (Acts 6:9-14) and imprisoned Paul? (Acts 18:12-13 and Acts 21:27-28.)
According to Jer 31:31 and Heb 8:8 the “New Covenant” will be with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not with “the Church.”
Why should the "anti-law" teachings of Paul take precedence over the "pro-law" teachings of Jesus, his Apostles, and Paul?
The new covenant is not in place yet! Everyone doesn't know the LORD yet, and sin still exists. Those are prerequisites of the New Covenant. (Jer 31:34)
Since Jesus didn't teach his own doctrine, he taught the Father's (John 5:30, John 7:16, John 14:10, John 12:49-50, John 10:37-38) and the Father doesn't change (Mal 3:6, Jas 1:17, Heb 1:12) and the Father only reveals things through his prophets (Amos 3:7) where and by whom is it prophesied that the law would be set aside? Or that Israel would be replaced with the Church? Or Sabbath should be ignored or changed. Or that abominable creatures should be eaten? Or, or, or …
In order for the pre-tribulation Rapture doctrine to be true; the “last trump” of 1Co 15:51-52 must sound before the trumpet of Mat 24:29-31, which occurs AFTER the Tribulation!
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1Co 15:51-52)
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Mat 24:29-31)
The Bereans of Acts 17:10-12 became convinced that Paul and Silas' message of the Messiah was correct. How? They were in a Jewish Synagogue, they wouldn't have consulted anything other than the "Old Testament," the New Testament hadn't been written yet. They surely didn't consult Paul's letters, "If you will consult my latest letter you will see that I said I am right..." They studied the Scripture daily, and were convinced by the Old Testament only! If Paul and Silas were teaching against the Old Testament Law - in any way – the Bereans had a mandate from the LORD in Deu 13:1-5 and Deu 18:18-22 to kill them as a false prophets, and reject the teaching.
If the Law was not to be followed, then why did James and the Jerusalem Council tell Paul to pay for himself and four other men to complete their Nazarite vow in order to convince the crowds that Paul was following the Law? Oh and the completion of the vow included burnt offerings: a lamb for a burnt offering, a ewe lamb sin offering, a ram for peace offerings, and a basket of unleavened bread. (Num 6:13-20.)
Why is the New Testament definition of sin ignored? "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." (1Jn 3:4)
Paul Said: "Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ." (1Co_11:1) Jesus never broke the law, and Paul also said: "While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended anything at all." (Act_25:8.) If we are to imitate Christ as Paul did - why are we taught NOT to keep the Law?
If the Sabbath was changed, why did Jesus worry that their flight might be on a Sabbath during the Tribulation? (Mat 24:20)
If the feasts aren't to be kept why will all nations come to Jerusalem for Tabernacles in the millennial kingdom? (Zec 14:16-18)
Why did the LORD punish Israel and Judah for breaking his laws specifically the Sabbath of the Land only to abolish them a few hundred years later?
I was once told "you are dangerously close to becoming a Heretical Judiazer!" ust for asking these types of questions. No substantive answers just accusations, and name calling...
APsit190, on 08 Sept 2013 - 9:21 PM, said:
"... So, when it comes to these kind of things, well, someone's gotta be wrong, and someone's gotta be right. Not everyone can be right, and not everyone can be wrong. So how do we make those determining factors? What is error, what is heresy, and what is the right doctrine that we are to believe in?"
I believe that the key is being like the Bereans and apply some simple yet powerful guidelines to our study:
o God Never Changes! –
§ Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
§ Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
§ Heb 1:12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
o God’s Word is True! –
§ Psa 33:4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.
§ Psa 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
§ Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
o God’s Word Cannot Contradict itself! –
§ Amo 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
§ 1Co 14:32-33 Indeed, the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets, 33) for God is not characterized by disorder but by peace. As in all the churches of the saints,
§ Titus1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
Because God never changes and his word is true - his word can never contradict itself. Simple and straightforward, any doctrine or system that causes one scripture to supersede another is false. If a scripture appears to contradict another passage then the problem is with the understanding of the context. Apparent contradictions are a clue that it's time to dig deeper into the context: be it cultural, religious, political, or linguistic.
Some will argue that this is too simplistic and naive, how can it be?
Is God's word true only part of the time? When? Is it a secret? Who would know? How would we know?
Is some of God's word only true for a season? Which season? Who would know? How would we know?
Does God remain the same - except when he doesn't? When? Who would know? How would we know?
Would God allow one part of his word to supersede another without telling anyone? Which ones? Who decides? How would we know?
APsit190, on 08 Sept 2013 - 9:21 PM, said:
... it looks like everything Scripture teaches is really important and relevant.
So, we have a huge task on our hands on determining what is truth against what is error, and what is orthodoxy against what is heterodoxy.
Yes we do...
Everyone that I have ever shared this simple, straightforward concept with has agreed with it wholeheartedly! Until they start the process of examining their own doctrines… most of the time the process stops abruptly, and to them - I become the heretic, not their doctrine. I just keep trying to get out of the way of the baggage cart(s).