18
Oct
17

Giving Heed to Fables or to Sound Doctrine?


The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

 

How naïve the Pentecostal church was back in the late 70s when, as a new Christian, I was getting my first taste of end time teachings. We were all convinced that things were so bad in the world that The Lord could possibly return to snatch us away during the next few minutes, (in a pre-trib rapture), or if not, then at least before the end of the week.

 

40 years later and He still hasn’t returned, and those days seem so tame compared to the present day.
Clearly we’ve never really understood the potential depth of mankind’s depravity.
I wonder how much worse things are likely to become in the world before the Lord does come back.

 

One thing that has clearly changed is the increasing fulfilment of Jesus’s prophecies about false Christs and false prophets; and how they have increasingly become part of the mainstream.

 

In a comment on after earlier post, my friend Roger recommended an article here:
http://herescope.blogspot.co.nz/2017/10/selling-out-blessed-hope.html

Towards the end of the article examples are given of several books related to “biblical prophecy”. I found one of them stood out when I read the description. That particular book:

asks whether God raised up President Trump as a fearless leader to guide America and the free world through a series of major crises as the biblical end-time narrative unfolds, as many people with prophetic gifts are predicting, and shows why everyday Americans and evangelicals have rallied around Trump as their last hope of saving America and averting the horrors of the Apocalypse

 

I feel I should be able to ask “need I say more”?  – Surely that brief description is sufficient to expose that book’s premise as being deeply (and demonically) flawed; lauding Trump as a God endorsed saviour, who will basically nullify God-given biblical prophecy about end time events. But I suspect many “evangelicals” will eagerly lap up its claims.

 

I’m not sure that, back in the 70s, any Bible believing Christian could have believed that such attitudes would be ever held by anyone within “the church”, particularly the “evangelical church”. Could we have ever believed that things within the church would become so off-kilter?

 

Of course, there were books and teachings of the time that I can now see (with hindsight and significantly more awareness of what the Bible actually says) were highly flawed.  But those that I came across at least made a token effort to present a Biblical viewpoint, and kept the gospel in mind, even if they added far too much personal interpretation and speculation to their Biblical content. Today, books like the one mentioned above, seem more intent on pushing a different agenda, far removed from the genuine Gospel of the Kingdom.

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10 Responses to “Giving Heed to Fables or to Sound Doctrine?”


  1. 1 Marleen
    October 19, 2017 at 4:43 am

    Down near the end of the page at the herescope selling-out link, I lifted the following:

    36. Ibid. McGuire book description on Amazon. Note that “averting” the Apocalypse is an agenda of Dominionism, which seeks to bypass the return of Jesus Christ in the flesh (including Judgment Day) and institute its own agenda of building the kingdom of God on earth (paradise). See “What Is Dominionism?” by Sarah Leslie, http://apprising.org/2011/01/26/what-is-dominionism/

    I didn’t go and read at the suggested link. I understand what dominionism is, and it does fit the wording in the quotation above (yet is not simply the idea of God’s kingdom on earth — which is to be brought with Jesus’ return — which is not of itself dominionism). I’m not vouching for (nor detracting from) the larger offered description or discussion given at the Sarah Leslie link. My point is the wording “… and institute its own of agenda of building the kingdom of God on earth (paradise).”

    A lot of Christian wording has been co-opted, such that we can’t just exhort people to focus on the kingdom of God (when they won’t see that as different from what they ARE doing). Many leaders know they have done this with the vocabulary understanding, but many followers are unaware… although, too, some are aware of the matter* of fact. Of course, some people see the change or alternative as revolutionary or loving or whatever positive characterization they like. What other people are cognizant of is that this all is quite utilitarian, which gets to what I said under the previous thread. Distraction.

    * (but are not apprised of the significance)

  2. 2 Roger
    October 19, 2017 at 6:26 am

    The book you reference, and others spoken of in that article, all appear to emphasise the strength of man in the future war against evil. The ‘blessed hope’ of that conference seems to (falsely) be a pre-trib rapture rather than (accurately) the person of our Lord Jesus Christ and His return. Scripture tells as that at that time He will destroy that evil by the breath of His mouth.

    The Church has lost its first love. The bride, tired of waiting for the groom, has been seduced by the world, and adulterated herself, looking to the ‘strength’ of man rather than the power of God.

    Our experience is similar to yours through the 70’s – looking to a rapture at any minute. At that time we didn’t understand anything of an end-time ‘remnant’.

    So much has changed since then – looking through the list of speakers at that referenced conference, I see yet more who I’d thought were strong in the truth, now seemingly drifted off of the right path into error and mysticism – although I sincerely hope that some were there in an attempt to speak truth in the midst of confusion?

    I’m up to page 80 of Samuel J Andrews book: “Christianity and Anti-Christianity in their final conflict” that I referred to in an earlier post of yours https://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2017/10/10/travelling-the-right-path/ and would agree that it could have been written today with the spiritual insight, that man had, in where the Church would be in his future.

    Andrews didn’t know of NAR, Emergent Church, Toronto, Prosperity, WoF, etc., or any form of trumpocalypse – however, he DID understand the prophetic warnings given through scripture, and wrote an overview of an increasing apostasy and an appearance of a final individual who would be seen as a saviour by the world, and the apostate church, before the return of Lord Jesus, the only Messiah.

    More confirmation that in the last 100 years, and perhaps less, the Church has increasingly turned away from its first love, and suffered accordingly because the person of Jesus as Lord and Saviour is not seen through that apostate organisation…

    ..the True Church (Bride of Christ) is an organism – a body with a Head, Lord Jesus…. once that Church turns away from the Head, in truth cuts off the Head, it can only be an organisation, which is what we see today. ..

    ..excepting a remnant who remain faithful to Him – Praise God for that.

  3. October 19, 2017 at 7:15 am

    A lot of Christian wording has been co-opted, such that we can’t just exhort people to focus on the kingdom of God

    Marleen, the co-opting of terminology and concepts relating to genuine issues related to the Kingdom of God has led to a double pronged attack on the truth.

    Firstly, unwary people are led astray by the impression of legitimacy given by that co-opting.
    Secondly, others are turned off the genuine because they haven’t properly distinguished between the co-opted use and the legitimate us and therefore reject the lot.

    One case that comes to mind relates to prophecy and prophets. Many people are led astray by false prophets (as Jesus warned), but the presence of false prophets has resulted in many rejecting the whole idea of genuine prophets and prophecy.

  4. October 19, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Roger, that emphasis on the “strength of man in the future war against evil” is very much what so many of those groups you mention (NAR etc) are doing. It’s what Marleen’s comment describes as “the agenda of Dominionism”.
    They are looking to changing the world and having man set up God’s Kingdom here as preparation for Jesus’s return – so all He needs to do is take up the throne prepared for Him.

    Such a view of man’s ability to do so effectively sets the stage for a strong and popular man to lead the way for the setting up of another kingdom. Basically that’s exactly the kind of thing that Trumpocalypse book blurb suggests that Trump will do.
    I don’t think Trump is capable of settin up that counterfeit kingdom, but the incredibly high support he’s been given by “evangelicals” suggests to me how easily people (evangelical Christians included) will be deceived into supporting the man of lawlessness, described in 2 Thess 2, without hesitation.
    A man I suspect will present himself as a much more appealing leader than Trump did.

  5. 5 Roger
    October 19, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Agreed Tim. I didn’t mean to imply that Trump IS the final man of lawlessness – and I know you didn’t either – certainly ‘whoever’ will need to be more charismatic and appealing to the many.

    ***

    The whole Dominionism agenda, the ‘taking the kingdom for God’, assumes man has the power of God – doesn’t it? In this assumption they have bypassed who Lord Jesus is – as you share Marleen.

    My understanding of scripture is that we are to put on the whole armour of God, but as a defence against the attacks of the enemy – we are to stand in our faith in Him (Ephesians 6) – He alone has the power, our only defence is our faith and trust in Him, His Word and His Spirit are our defence.

    I don’t read anywhere in scripture that we are to attack, to take anything for Him.. we are to share His Gospel and make disciples for Lord Jesus.

  6. October 19, 2017 at 9:34 am

    I don’t read anywhere in scripture that we are to attack, to take anything for Him..

    In a sense Revelation portrays the opposite scenario, while the first part of the quote below speaks of “triumph”, the rest does not portray the kind of “triumph” expected by the Dominionist camp:

    They triumphed over him
    by the blood of the Lamb
    and by the word of their testimony;
    they did not love their lives so much
    as to shrink from death.

    Therefore rejoice, you heavens
    and you who dwell in them!
    But woe to the earth and the sea,
    because the devil has gone down to you!
    He is filled with fury,
    because he knows that his time is short.”

    “Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.”

    and

    “[The beast] … was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them.”

    and from Matt 24:

    “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

    As you say the actual role we have is that:

    we are to share His Gospel and make disciples for Lord Jesus

    Continuing the above quote from Matt 24:

    …this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

  7. October 20, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    “Agreed Tim. I didn’t mean to imply that Trump IS the final man of lawlessness – and I know you didn’t either – certainly ‘whoever’ will need to be more charismatic and appealing to the many.”

    Apropos Rogers’ comment, and previous discussion we’ve had about Trump’s unsuitability as anti-Christ, a New Yorker profile of Vice-President Mike Pence may be of interest.

    He’s a “real Christian” (in Religious Right terms), with strong approval from the evangelical Republican “base:” and a close relationship with the billionaire ideologues of the Koch brothers’ network. In Congress, he identified with the Tea Party faction against Republican leadership. Intensely ambitious, he projects as “Midwestern nice.”

    Even right-wing maven Ann Coulter (author of “In Trump We Trust”) is boosting Pence as Republicans’ new savior. “Conservative Christians” I know have considered Pence “their” man on the national stage since Trump picked him as running-mate: and cited Pence as proof the current administration has a “Christian” influence at work amidst its chaos and corruption.

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/23/the-danger-of-president-pence

  8. 8 Marleen
    October 24, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    I agree that the anti-Christ might have to be more appealing. But it is also possible that it will not, in fact, be necessary for the anti-Christ to be more appealing.

    I had something longer typed in but accidentally deleted it. Here is a brief entry of notes I took a few days ago in response to the perceived need for being attractive.

    ~ There may be a mistaken sense those “attracted” are free, as people are often perceived this way but aren’t free.

    ~ There may be a mistaken sense those “attracted” have to be of sound mind or thinking straight or not deranged.

    ~ There may be a mistaken sense those “attracted” believe they are doing or being asked something true or right.

    Here are a few ways a country or the world or any people or person could be pushed into praising someone who insists on being called wonderful and brilliant and good (whether they really agree with that or not, and no matter how deeply they might or might not ponder the topic), the more so the more ruthless he is: bombs, military might, and what might happen anywhere in the world or in terms of war; our young people or husbands, fathers, mothers, sisters, and so on, in the military (their own well-being — and I think of Chad); (overblown or false) economic hope; greed; economic fear (well-founded or not well-founded).

    One specific to point out is the governor of Puerto Rico (smaller scale, not a country or the world), who apparently already knew his people would not get anything in terms of help if Trump got wind of statements he could take as not “positive” about himself. So the governor has been ridiculously flattering (ridiculous in light of what has actually happened to and for the island). But it hasn’t really paid off*; they have been treated like they aren’t part of the United States and like they are lazy minority people who somehow don’t deserve the same attitude afforded for Texas and Florida and other places hit by hurricanes.

    * Besides, no citizen should need to feel a call to do this and look for a payoff. (Trump, by the way, is also president to the U.S. Virgin Islands… despite his saying he talked with their president.)

  9. 9 Marleen
    October 25, 2017 at 8:21 am

    I forgot to include this in my list of “ways” above, and I’m sure there are more.

    … being enamored with him (Trump or Pence or whomever) plus domestic guns…

    (which doesn’t mean I think outlawing guns is a solution). Similarly, this came up today:
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/lynching-threat-made-rep-wilson-facebook/story?id=50684187
    ……

    …. he “cannot remember” if he threatened to lynch Wilson. Someone could have used some of the words he used “and made them into a meme,” he claimed. The image at the center of the threat appears as if it was a Facebook post, with two lines of text below Keevers’ name, photo, location and timestamp. The post reads, “Need ten good men to help carry out a lynching. Must have own horse and saddle. Rope will be provided.” …

    …..

  10. 10 Marleen
    October 26, 2017 at 10:56 am

    I looked up Huxley because, both, I remembered his name from a book on a literature class list in high school… and he was mentioned at one of Roger’s links in an earlier thread.

    https://www.huxley.net Written article arguing against Huxley’s vision of things
    I would say this has to be read in an analytical manner. I don’t disagree with the author on everything or agree with him on everything.

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=huxley&&view=detail&mid=E401435C1B7EAE34B87BE401435C1B7EAE34B87B&&FORM=VDRVRV
    6:05 duration interview with Huxley from decades ago on PBS

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=huxley&&view=detail&mid=3041EBE44E90852AF4293041EBE44E90852AF429&&FORM=VDRVRV
    10:21 duration video summation of BNW

    Whew. I have to say, as an adult looking back and, reviewing the story with the summation, I would not recommend this book to young people in high school (for a few reasons). There are other ways to get the ideas across. Gattaca is a good movie, for instance. I’m sure there are additional ideas. Anyway, clearly, there was good reason for Aldous, from his point of view, to write the story.

    Today, ironically for people who are fearful of bioengineering and excited about Trump saving what they want saved, there are rich people who are very exuberant about bioengineering and social engineering backing Trump enthusiastically (I’ve mentioned before that he has displayed support for them too)! Sometimes, it seems like he and his cohort have read or heard of the dystopian concepts and said to themselves something like Yeah, I can do stuff like that. At times I think there are moments Trump is mouthing true words: the moments he says looking into him (along with those conniving with him) “is a witch hunt.” I don’t mean it’s an honest moment when he says that… as witches are presumed to be not anything real.


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