Bible Teaching aimed at helping you enjoy the Scriptures which are the Word of GOD!
Preaching by: John J. Malone, Sr - JABSBG*
Author: John Malone
Date: 3rd April, 2008 @ 01:53:05 PM
Sometimes you can be correct in your conclusion, but completely wrong in how you get there. When it happens to a preacher or one writing about the Scriptures, this is symtomatic of isogesis as compared to exegesis.
Exogesis, the practice of precisely disclosing something, is a man of God with the Word of God is supposed to do. It is the art and craft of being a workman, cutting straight the Word of God. The Lord Jesus Christ “exegeted God” to us.
In short, isogesis is the practice of bringing a conclusion about a matter to the table, and then finding Scriptures to prove it. It’s dangerous. It’s a faulty approach. It disqualifies the practitioner from claiming God’s unction.
Well, the news is in that Kenya now has a new government signaling peace! There was dancing and shouting in the streets of Western Kenya as Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki finally promised to cede substantial power to Raila Odinga by creating the Prime Minister post he refused to create following his election in 2002.
As has been discussed here before, there are no good guys in this whole picture. But there ARE right and wrong acts. What has happened in Kenya in the last few days is that they have suspended their multi-party democracy to appoint Raila Odinga Prime Minister, and “share power” between “the government,” and “the opposition.” Of course, there has never been a true “opposition” in Kenyan politics unless one sees that the government itself is in opposition to the people of Kenya.
When a sentence against evil-doing is delayed , the Bible tells us, men embolden their hearts for evil.
If you have read this blog much, you realize that in 2003, the corrupt new government of Kenya expropriated our assets there in a feeding frenzy akin to the Israelites under Saul when they ate the Philistine cattle,
blood and all
. This corrupt seizure was neither clever nor subtle. It didn’t need to be. When Kibaki assumed the presidency in Kenya, he brought with him a gaggle of he Mount Kenya mafia, who simply believed “it is our turn to eat.”
I received Christ, and therefore eternal life, in 1975. When 1976 rolled around, Jimmy Carter was running for President, it was the Bi-Centennial, and the Cincinnati Reds were the “Big Red Machine.”
Carter more or less shocked the country with his declaration that he was a “Born Again Christian.”
My little world got rocked at that time because I was President of the student body of the university I attended. The campus newspaper decided I was news because I was being baptized as an adult.
At that very time, the Lord called me away from the life of a politician, despite having a warm invitation to pursue that career by the Governor of Nebraska. Ever since that time, I have been somewhat of a student of the correct relationship a Christian – including a Christian preacher – should maintain with respect to temporal government.
The Leaven of Herod.
The first problem with temporal government for the believer is the “leaven of Herod,” about which the Lord warned. While it is not the only leaven – there are two others: of the Pharisees, and of the Sadducees – it is a peculiar one, for it is a teaching that improperly weds the believer to the world system.
These three leavens have “leavened the whole lump,” just as foretold in the the parable.
The directive that we are to be in the world, but not of the world, is difficult to navigate, but by grace through faith , the Spirit of God will lead us through.
The leaven of Herod is the teaching that we need to be part of the world’s political system in order to be faithful before God. It teaches that God wants his people to occupy important positions of leadership in the world system. It teaches that it is the agenda of God’s people to ” make the world a better place.” It teaches that the greatest good for the greatest number is the guiding principle of Scripture.
The Lord warned us to beware of this leaven, but we also know that it has successfully leavened the whole lump. It is now a matter of personal governance to be faithful in the matter of avoiding this leaven.
God Provides Human Government.
Because we are in an age, designed by God, wherein he tolerates much evil-doing in order to, in his mercy, allow the proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ to reach his enemies, many overlook God’s superintendence not only of His creation, but of the affairs of men.
Rest assured that God will do all that is necessary in this present age to hold up the dispensational framework necessary to afford that proclamation. Part of that framework involves the “ powers that be” – human governments – which are ordained of God in order to secure God’s purpose. Nothing escapes His planning and arrangement.
On occasion, this is a very difficult concept to accept and hold. We know from Scripture “the whole world system” lies in the hands of the evil one. But holding the thought of God’s superintendence of the age, His planning of the ages, and the consideration that these ages are framed by the Word of God , with the expressed purpose of revealing the Lord Jesus Christ to an unbelieving world – finally visibly – and at the same time understanding the heavenly conflict against that disclosure, is required for Christians to be effective witnesses and soldiers in that conflict.
I had thought I was finished with the matter of the doctrinal errors and heretical behavior of Bob Wilkin, Zane Hodges, Bob Bryant, and others who hold the banner of the rapidly declining Grace Evangelical Society (GES).
To briefly summarize the latest position of the GES – regarded by very many, including me, to be a false “gospel” – is that the minimum content of saving faith is that “Jesus is the guarantor of eternal life.”
This position has been taken and held by Zane Hodges since at least 2001. It has been increasingly advanced by the GES in their conferences and papers since that time. In 2005, Bob Bryant advanced the position at the annual national conference in a “workshop.” At that time, the leader of the GES – and now heretic – Bob Wilkin said that Bryant’s position was not the position of the GES.
Why is it a heresy? I have dealt with that question elsewhere, but the short version is because “guarantor” has replaced the Biblical term “Christ, the Son of God.” Hodges’ position has distilled down to this much: that someone can fail to believe or deny the following, and still have eternal life:
Since that time, however, not only has it become the position of GES – an organization doctrinally dictated by Hodges – but the mainstay of its doctrinal push. As this heresy has began to preoccupy its focus, more and more brothers and churches have abandoned the GES, substantially marginalizing it.
Today, the GES is busily attempting to eliminate all public discussion of its errors – on their part because it is losing plenty of mind-share and support – but in a larger sense because those who foist such errors never want a public forum where the work of conviction can take place.
Conviction is that work of the Holy Spirit that brings men to their personal awareness and responsibility for sin. All Christians are also free and commanded to bring about conviction of others. Indeed, in certain instances they are commanded to. This is, essentially, the work of prosecution. When your brother sins against you, the Bible teaches, it your responsibility to go privately to him in order to bring him to conviction. The hope at that point is to win him, but the commitment from the outset is to prosecute him as is necessary until he turns from the sin, or the church turns from him. This process applies to sin against an individual.
But when matters are NOT personal, but public, it is the work of the man of God to bring the offender or offenders to public conviction. This is a large topic for another day, but just know this: it is completely unbiblical and non-Christian to maintain a public forum where this conviction becomes impossible.
It is the content LEFT OUT by the “faith statement” of the GES that has now troubled so many. There are those to whom I have spoken who have taken a “middle ground” position, holding that someone may indeed be born again, and yet not concluded that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, or is the Son of God, but that they will most certainly not deny either of those truths, but come to them, or else they were never truly saved.
This becomes what I claim to be the “Doctrine of Doctrinal Persistence.” It’s a trap. It is a similar error to the reformed position which holds that “true faith” will work. It’s a slight modification, that “true faith” will come to certain later conclusions.
This is a potential trap that, if not avoided, will lead to an unhealthy position that will no doubt hinder the faith of others.
“Fundamentalism” has taken a serious beating by people to whom faith is not serious.
In fact, we hear about “fundamentalists” of every stripe – Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, Christians – as a pejorative, meaning, essentially, someone who is non-sensical, fanatical, and anti-social.
On the other hand, if we hear that a baseball coach, or a football coach is focused on “fundamentals” we consider him prudent, right-minded, and properly focused.
In the Bible, there are a collection of “fundamental truths” – predominately concerning the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ – that are sometomes singled out. It’s a risky business, to be sure, to single out certain truths as “fundamental” unless the Bible does it for us.
I’m a bit surprised at how poorly my brothers understand about how to deal with a heretic. It could be there is too little shepherding to go along with their teaching, and the lack of “laboratory” experience is paralyzing – even crippling – them.
I am up against being sorely misunderstood – not that I will allow that to deter me – in the matter of the Hodges-Wilkin-Bryant-Niemela (HWBN) heresy, which is sometimes known as the “Crossless Gospel,” as dubbed by Tom Stegall (a brother of like mind and like background with me – we were each formerly in the Roman Catholic Organization (RCO)), a pastor in the Milwaukee area.