Monday, March 13, 2017

CRITICIZING CRITICS


A recent post on Facebook praising the movie "The Shack" and criticizing its critics ended with these thoughts:
"But the same Spirit that was in Jesus was in the burning bush 😱.HE CAN BECOME ALL THINGS . Why was no one insanely critical of The Passion of Christ when Jesus was portrayed as a white male? IF YOU CANT SEE GOD IN ALL THINGS THEN YOUR FOCUS IS OFF! " (copied/pasted intact without editing 3/11/2017 4:30pm)

Though I do not know for a fact, I assume the writer is using 1Cor. 15:28 KJV - And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. I only show this in trying to give some legitimacy to the writer's thoughts here.

The writer's use is a misinterpretation, or misapplication of this verse, but since I am the one assuming, it would be wrong to unpack this verse in this article. The truth is, however, there are not too many verses in the Bible from which one may draw the writer's conclusion.

Regardless, any reader should sit up and take notice of the borderline pantheism being presented in the last shout.

I personally know the one who posted this. We were in the same church. I knew this one as mild-mannered, quiet and one who would ordinarily try to avoid confrontation. I would never have expected this type of manipulation to come from this vessel. This is a new side being presented.

The obvious intent of the final statement is to get the reader to favorably accept "The Shack" without criticism; but it goes much deeper than that. I am being told to "see God in all things" as something positive. Seeing God in all things means that we are not to be critical, because if God is in it, it must be good.

If that is true, then how am I to understand the many stories in the Old Testament where God's people were told to "utterly destroy" those who were considered wicked? 

Oh.
Okay.
Right.
That was Old Testament. Things have changed now with the New Testament.

Really?

While we do not know who wrote the Book of Hebrews, nor when it was written, we can be sure that it was written after Jesus ascended into heaven. We know this because of the content of the letter.

The writer of Hebrews, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote that a mature believer is one who has trained their senses to discern good and evil (Heb. 5:14). A simple definition of the word 'discern' is to perceive something. A mature believer perceives that there is a difference between good and evil, or at a finer level, between the good and the not-so-good.

In other words, a distinction must be made. An unreasoning, unthinking, naive acceptance of something because "God is in it" is the definition of gullibility. Proverbs calls this being foolish or simple (Pro. 8:5; Pro. 14:15) There are more than 20 verses in the Bible—both OT and NT—that speak to the issue of naivety, and never in a good light.

The remedy for gullibility is 
knowledge and discernment.

God speaks through Hosea and says that His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hos. 4:6). [see personal anecdote at end of article for a ridiculous thought on this verse] A lack of knowledge or understanding certainly leaves one in a potentially gullible situation, open to any shyster/huckster who happens by.

My bible—and I've admitted in the past that I must have a really weird translation, because I find things that others don't seem to have—says:
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (1Jo 4:1 KJV)
The first thing to notice is that John tells us to not be gullible. Don't just simply believe that every thing is from God. The second thing is that he also tells us to exercise judgement and test what we are seeing and hearing. Yet, according to this post if I even think that God is not in something then my focus is off.

According to the apostle, Paul, the Holy Spirit gives some people a gift called "discerning of spirits." (1 Cor. 12:10) While that gift is not explained, it is safe to assume—based on what we have seen so far—that it has something to do with being able to make distinctions of things in the unseen realm. Yet, according to this person, making distinctions is not of God.

This article is not about "The Shack," which just happens to be the cause celebre in our ongoing offense du jour. This article is about how we, as Christians, are being deceived. Keith Green sang that it is because we are "Asleep In The Light."

WAKE UP!!

Personal Anecdote—
A Christian leader recently posted something on Facebook following her line of New Age thought. A reader responded critically with a quote from Hosea 4:6. An immediate reply came back, "But that's old testament." The author of the controversial post responded immediately with, "Yes, and I am so glad we don't have to deal with that anymore."

I'm NOT making this stuff up, folks. There is a strong, subtle movement in the church to get you away from your bible, and it seems to be working for many.

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