Dichotomies

There is a debate within the church by some concerning the nature of truth.  Some are saying it is objective and propositional and some say that it is a Person.  Are the two approaches to truth at odds with each other?  Is the sum of our faith built exclusively upon objective, propositional truth or is it placed solely in a Person?  The truth is that one leads to the other.

I met Jesus Christ as a young adult.  At a point in time, I called out to God through His Son Jesus Christ, and He met me.  He made a covenant with me, exchanging His life for my life.  I didn’t see a form and I didn’t hear a voice, but this is the spiritual transaction that took place between Jesus Christ and me.  I was in no way, shape or form instructed in the doctrines of the faith.  However, once I met Jesus Christ, I wanted to go to church, read the Bible and pray, practices that I had never considered doing before.  As a matter of fact, I had been a committed sinful atheist and enjoyed attacking the faith of Christians, but after I met Christ I called my husband and told him that I wanted to be a Christian, although I was a little uneasy telling him about it because my father had taught us that religion was a crutch.  However, my husband responded in the positive and said that many people were Christians.

From that point on I had a strong desire to know God.  I turned to “Christian” television programs and “Christian” radio programs.  They were exciting and encouraging at the time.  I was a changed person, but the fare I was feeding on wasn’t leading me into the growth that God had for me.

I desired fellowship, but the fellowship I found was with those who based their faith upon experiences, signs and wonders.  They spoke about the Holy Spirit, but didn’t focus on the Word of God, or the Spirit’s work in our lives through the Bible.  I read popular books.  I was warned by a believer at the local Christian bookstore that one book I bought and began reading was based upon dubious experiences and questionable doctrines given by an angel.  I read the book.  I continued in fellowship with those who were not grounded in the truth of the Scriptures.  Things started to become dark and bleak.

I have had many trials and tribulations in my life, but what I experienced at this point was the most difficult hardship I had ever experienced.  It was as if I was in a dark tunnel with no light at the end.  That may sound dramatic, but that is exactly how I felt.

I remember one evening crying out to God, “Please, help me!”  with all of my might.  It was shortly after that fervent prayer that I started questioning what I was hearing and reading, and started comparing it to what the Bible had to say.  I knew that one had to be right and the other had to be wrong.  By God’s mercy and grace I chose the Bible.  A little later, the Lord led me to a crossroads decision.  Who was I going to trust?  Was I going to trust God and His Word, the Bible, or was I going to trust the opinions of men?  I got down on my knees in my daughter’s bedroom and said a simple prayer, “Lord, I am going to trust You and Your Word.”  From that point on, it was if a veil had been removed and I had a greater understanding, appreciation, and love of the Bible.

It was also around this time that we were attending a nondenominational church started by a “pastor” who had been a Bible study leader.  Although, he wasn’t really qualified to teach the Bible since he doubted the deity of Jesus Christ and was enamored with spiritual experiences.  I just started talking about the wonder of God’s Word and the simplicity that is found Christ Jesus and following Him.  As with so many churches, they weren’t really studying the Bible during Sunday School, but were studying a book.  My husband and I took notice of that and it bothered us.  The pastor and his wife were for some inexplicable reason growing aloof towards us.

It was during this time frame that as I was praying to the Lord, He assured me that He was with me Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  I was thankful for His assurance, and told a couple of people about my experience.  I had no idea what the Lord had in store for me.

One Sunday morning, as I prepared for the day, I asked the Lord to use me and allow me to speak at church.  After we sang some choruses at church, the pastor said, “If anyone would like to share, please feel free to come up and share.”  I took that as answer to prayer, went up and spoke about God’s Word, God’s Son, God’s love and following the Lord.  A few Sundays later we noticed a drop in attendance and many who had been regular attenders were no longer there.

Since things were becoming increasingly strained between the leadership and us, my husband and I asked the Lord to show us what we should do.  We made an appointment to meet with the pastor to let him know about our concerns.  At this meeting, the pastor told us that we could leave and we wouldn’t be missed, so we took that as answer to prayer and left.

We found out later the church had been led into the false teaching that Christians can be demon possessed.  The impact upon those still attending the church was very significant and very negative.   Another woman, whose family had left the church, and I started praying for those who were still attending the church and we saw many of them leave this false teaching.  I know at least one of the women got grounded in the truth of God’s Word, praise the Lord.

This was the first time that Jesus Christ called me to stand for the truth.  He called me to that work when He assured me during prayer that God was with me Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  I saw a fruitful outcome, as in many were led to leave that false church and were rescued from that false teaching that was perpetrated by a former Baptist preacher by the name of Wen Worely.  I was led by the Lord to write an expose’ of this false teaching, print copies, and have it available at the local Christian bookstore.  I was disappointed though with the pastor of the new church we were attending at that time when he refused to expose this false teacher and warn his flock.  We left the church shortly thereafter.

Years later, after moving to a new area and finally settling into another congregation, I had that same experience with the Lord.  I was driving to school, praying and worshipping the Lord, when He let me know that He was with me Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Did I realize what was happening?  Did I understand that He was calling me to stand up for the truth?  Of course not!  But again, I thanked Him and continued on my merry way.

While attending school, I was also participating in a women’s “Christian” book club.  We had a different book to read each month.  One month we were supposed to read  Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis.  When we met after reading the book, we talked about it.  The Holy Spirit had me turn to a place in the book that I hadn’t even read where Lewis talked about purgatory in relation to our purity.  We read that passage at least three times and concurred that it was about purgatory, although no one was particularly alarmed, not even me.

Then we read Hannah Hurnard’s book Hinds Feet on High Places, and while reading the book, a warning light kept going off in my mind.  I followed the leader’s suggestion and found her biography online.  I was surprised to find that she died as a New Age heretic.  I then read the prologue in her book describing how she wrote the story.  Basically, she was getting messages about God from nature.

As I drove from home to school and school to home, the Holy Spirit started opening my eyes to the fact that Lewis argued in Mere Christianity that we can come to know God unaided by our intellect.  Lewis never quoted Scripture in his work, although it is supposed to be about Christianity.  The Holy Spirit reminded me that we are by nature depraved and can only come to know God by His revelation of Himself to us through His Son and through His Word.  I then did some Google searches about Lewis and found that a very few considered him a false teacher.  I was shocked.  Here were supposed “Christian” classics that were written by those who were devoid of the Spirit, were not Christians and were promoting heresy.  These works were almost universally embraced and extolled by the evangelical church.   At the book club I raised the alarm, but it didn’t go well.

 Here were two authors whom Peter warned us about in his second epistle.  

… and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation-as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.  You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.  2 Peter 3:15-18 

I tried to alert the leadership to the threat, and although they were somewhat supportive, in the end they didn’t want to warn their congregants about these false teachers.  They didn’t want to take a stand for the truth.  They were too concerned about their position and pay.  After trying to work with the leadership in a non-confrontational manner and even getting some assurances that the lead pastor was in agreement with me, in the end it turned out to be a ruse and we had to leave the church because the leadership and the body loved a dead deceitful false teacher more than they loved the Lord and His children.

This is a long story to say, I met the One Who is the truth and He led me into the truth.  Jesus Christ Who is the truth will always lead us to His Word and reveal it to us by His Holy Spirit.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.  If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” John 14:6-7

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with your forever-the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:16-18

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.  He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”  John 16:13-14

Additionally, although I had that amazing meeting with Jesus Christ that was my initiation into the faith, it was the Word of God, the Bible that God used to convict me of my sin and bring about my assurance of forgiveness and eternal life.  The Lord used that amazing book, Romans, to reveal to me my sinfulness.  Praise God, I didn’t turn away from His expose’ of my wicked heart.  Specifically He used the litany of sinful practices in Romans 1 to get my attention.  But then He used the balm of His Word in Romans 4 and 5 to show me His provision for my salvation.  Praise God!  Specifically He used Romans chapter four and chapter five.

 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.  But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:  “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven And whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”  Romans 4:4-8

For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.  And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.  Romans 5:6-11

 You know, I read quite a few “Christian” books, but none gave me the knowledge of sin and the reconciliation that is mine with God through faith in Jesus Christ that God’s Word, the Bible gave me.  Don’t you just love the Lord Who is the truth and His Word which is the truth?  And so the Word of God is confirmed in the heart and life of the believer in Jesus Christ, His beloved redeemed one filled with His glorious Holy Spirit.

But you continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.  2 Timothy 3:14-17

 So we can say there is no dichotomy between God’s revealed Word and His wonderful Son.  Jesus leads us to the truth, which is the Bible, God’s Word, and God’s Word leads us to Jesus Christ our marvelous Savior.  There is a dichotomy though and it is between God and His truth and man and his worthless opinion.  From the Lord’s instruction in my life in His righteousness I know the great gulf between the truth of God and the lie of man.  And I know the unity between Jesus Christ Who is the truth and His Word, the Bible, which is the truth.

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7 Responses to Dichotomies

  1. Brian says:

    We share the same testimony…many “Church Fellowships” today do not feed on the bible…they feed from man’s wisdom that is designed to cause “church growth” by giving the people what they want to hear…fulfilling end time prophecy…

    Great Read!

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    • Eliza says:

      Thank you! It is sad and dangerous that some many in leadership are not called of God to that position and are doing the enemy’s work by spreading false teaching and error. The few who do stand are not welcome. By God’s grace we are His and stand for the truth. God bless you:)

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  2. Pingback: Should Christians Be Concerned? | He Dwells -- The B'log in My Eye

  3. I never thought I would meet another Christian that worried about C.S. Lewis and his writings! I feel like I have met a true sister! Thank you for your courage and faithfulness……..I am afraid I haven’t had your courage. Pray for me that I will be faithful to stand up for the truth!

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  4. Eliza says:

    There is so much deception within the church and standing up against it comes at a cost. I have been told twice that the result of standing for the truth is rejection, the two women saying that I would be lonely. Outside of my family members, I don’t have Christian fellowship at this time. It has been costly, but when I compare my relative discomfort to Christ’s suffering for me and His glory that I share in, my problems pale. Since you have the desire, I pray that God will give you the opportunity and empower you by His Holy Spirit to stand for the truth and that you will see true repentance and commitment to the truth from those that you exhort. God bless you:)

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    • It’s always ironic when a Christian absolutely knows that he or she has THE truth and thus millions of people must be wrong – and doesn’t recognize, that his opponent has the absolute same feeling. But instead of stepping one step back and using this as a chance to ask critical questions, the personal feeling of knowledge MUST be upheld…

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  5. Eliza says:

    Thank you for taking the time to read this post and then for commenting.
    Assuming that one hasn’t taken a critical look is your first mistake. Your second mistake is assigning the truth to feelings. Objective truth is objectively verifiable. For instance, now that the evolution mindset doesn’t have an absolute strangle-hold on research, scientists are constantly surprised by nature all around us. The latest, that was side-tracked for a time because it didn’t agree with evolution dogma, is that plants communicate with one another via chemicals when under attack by pests so that adjacent plants can mount a defense against the pest. Now I want to ask you, how can anyone explain the complexity, purpose, order, and symbiosis by an undirected impersonal force? It is ludicrous. But that is the nature of mankind.

    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,…Romans 1:18-20

    That is why people are atheists. Not only do they have to ignore the evidence in creation, they also have to ignore the evidence for the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the impact He has had on this world. Obviously, the early church could have been stopped dead in its tracks had the Jews and Roman authorities just produced a body. They couldn’t and didn’t because Jesus Christ arose from the dead and appeared to many witnesses, and so we have the written evidence to all that He did and what it means in the New Testament.

    As far as the truth is concerned, many arguments brought against Christianity have legs because of those who went forth in the name of Christ but didn’t really belong to Him and did atrocious things. Those who are born again live lives to God’s glory and are motivated by His love, and hold fast to His truth.

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