Rebellion and Contention
This hub originated after posting a hub which produced a comments section ‘par excellence’ from some of our more studied believers, folk that I respect for their inquisitive attitude to biblical interpretation.
(One of them immediately accused me of slander for crediting them in the hub, so those names are now removed.)
There are always some comments that, in their own way, seek to dismiss the bible as literal, a common trait these days when folk are all challenging the veracity of scripture, which is well and good, and it’s better that folk do this openly and can discuss things, rather than we burn them at the stake for daring to read what God gave us to read, and think their own thoughts about the interpretation.
Discussion and even dissention is good, when it is for the pursuit of truth.
If it’s from a rebellious or contentious spirit, then it’s bad for them and boring for those of us who know about those things, rebellion and contention I mean.
I certainly have been both rebellious and contentious in my walk over the years, always frustrated that those in authority over me could not see the relevance of whatever I was studying five hours a day to learn about, convinced that I had found THE revelation that would transform the church.
Did I mention that in my secular life I had been a compulsive addictive personality?
Anyhow, I always KNEW that I was right, I mean it was obvious to me that the others were just pew warming and docile, content with the milk they were fed weekly and expecting acceptance by God just for mouthing the words on Sundays.
Then one day I realized that if I looked back, there were many differing aspects of belief that I had adopted and then abandoned as error, at least error to me, and that in these rejections in search of a better truth, I had only rejected them in favor of new truths that were now just as imperative to be shared with all who would listen
The internet has been a wonderful tool for study and research, but equally it has made instant experts of most anybody who can construct a Boolean search term and has enough brains to hit return, and I do not discount myself from that category.
But I started my search with ONE distinct advantage; for I truly KNEW that I was in the clutches of what I will term the enemy, when I sought refuge in Christ.
Now why do I call that which I sought to escape from the enemy, and not just Satan or Lucifer?
Simply put, there are many today who would flood the comments box with denials that either of these names were applicable to any evil connotation or demonic source, and frankly I cannot be bothered to answer those protestations, so I will call IT the enemy, as that is what it is, our (humanities) enemy, seeking to devour who it may, whilst persuading many that it does not exist.
Now was that PC enough for a raving fundamentalist believer’s description of THE enemy, after all why bother with names or designations when it is only a figment of our imagination or a corrupt translation of some bible scholar with malicious intent to deceive even the elect if he could…. Sorry, that was the enemy wasn’t it!... anyhow, I digress, which is often the intention of those who seek to deny the enemies existence, to cause one to falter from the course.
One writer presented a plethora of bible quotes, conveniently copied and pasted from a website that they also linked to (in my comments box, someone else wondered why I am so tolerant!) which I imagine were supposed to refute the vision of John, and which were supposedly NOT a vision of the last days, but in fact a description of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD.79.
Now I always thought that John wrote Revelation under divine guidance form Christ, and I thought that because it opens with the words:
"[THIS IS] the revelation of Jesus Christ [His unveiling of the divine mysteries]. God gave it to Him to disclose and make known to His bond servants certain things which must shortly and speedily come to pass in their entirety. And He sent and communicated it through His angel (messenger) to His bond servant John....."
I replied to their question “Did Jesus REALLY say that” with what is reproduced below, I may not produce full new fresh copy tonight, for I have been working these last 10 hours at a screen already, and frankly the only reason I am replying is that in one hour it is weekend and I will be trying to ignore the screen.,
Anyhow I wrote:
“Sounds pretty much like Christ is claiming this book as His own, and I would hesitate to think that ANYBODY would claim Christ had told them to write these words AS CHRISTS' if they were just a vivid dream or (more like) nightmare.
If you believe that these words are nothing more than mans words, then you have rejected a major book of the bible, and coincidently the one referring to these days.
That's abridge too far for me to swallow, so I must disagree if you say that the bible was NOT divinely inspired, though I can agree that there have been some dire interpretations made from Gods word, like I said before ALL TRUTH is in there to be found.”
And I stand by that, or “That’s all I have to say about that” as Forrest Gump would state.
I hold no argument with anybody cutting whatever sections of the bible they feel inadequate out, after all they must assume that it is arbitrary which bits we subscribe to and which bits we chose to ignore, and obviously once they realize that what they are reading does not make sense to them, why would they put any store in what some early Christian wrote after a lifetime of devoted study, without any internet connection to rely upon.
Most of these old time scholars had to rely on a total memory recall of a learned book which they knew by repetition and many years solitude with nothing but a bible to read.
Having to write each page by copying the last page written, and having to get each dot and title correct or do it again, probably led to some desperate attempts to corrupt the text without 10,000 churchmen realizing it.
No wonder they were so fanatically intent on stating that what God presented by divine inspiration, (WHOOPS SORRY, what man thought up to keep the masses in servitude), was literal and 100% God given.
I can imagine them now, shuffling forward on calloused knees whilst chuckling merrily about the confusion they would cause we modern folk by their devout writings, and what organization that they managed to get the scriptures they invented to actually correspond with prophetic events down the ages, amazing stuff, and all without benefit of an iPhone or Blackberry between them.
If I sound sarcastic it’s because I am tired and having to run spellchecker over each sentence in order to stay readable, I am also plain fed up with folk challenging my right to have finally resolved my differences with God and reach agreement that He WAS capable of giving us a bible that was relevant and totally able to give understanding to all who sought to understand, or produce confusion amongst all who sought not to understand.
What I am being presented with by these fellow writer is a basic move towards Preterism, which basically states that what was predicted to happen has already happened, so why wait for it any longer.
I have always found the argument futile, for it is self defeating.
If we have already had the Rapture and have been misreading all the verses that tell believers that they will be gathered up with Christ, then we also managed to miss the Antichrist and a whole lot of other stuff that somehow managed to happen without anyone making a note about it.
I feel for folk who are attempting to reconcile what they view as a defective bible with their belief that Christ is in their life and the promise of eternity with God.
I don’t profess to understand all the bible, and I certainly cannot say that I agree with everything which the bible tells me is truth, but I DO stand on the fact that God gave us humans EVERYTHING we needed to have in order to decide whether He was God or just an invention created by greedy power hungry men to control the masses.
I will also shorten the comments box again by accepting that the message of Christ HAS been taken and corrupted by greedy power hungry men to control the masses, or more precisely in today’s world, their pocket books, but I will draw the line at giving any succor to any believer who seeks to persuade me of anyone else that the bible is NOT the word of God.
Countless men and women of faith have died to honor Gods word and refused to deny Him when tortured and killed, yes it's true that yesterdays heretic may become a leader of faith, it was true for Luther, it was true for Christ, both were called heretics for what they stated, but I think we may be past the time for fresh revelation, the next point on the agenda as I read things will be the rise of New Age religion and Universalism, and as THOSE evils have been prophesied centuries ago, I am hesitant to accept new concepts which involve denying the veracity of scripture.
History is also littered with those who found Gods word unpalatable to them, so they changed it to suit themselves, Russell comes to mind, with his new religion, which became the Jehovah's Witnesses, David Koresh's Waco was another example and perhaps in living memory Georgetown was the worse excess of new thinking.
The fact is, it's NOT our right to make the Word of God fit our lives, it;s our OBLIGATION to make our lives fit the Word of God.
I used to play this song a lot when I was in a deep dark night of the soul, lack of faith trip, so it reminds me that whilst I may not have always been in the right place with God, I have always belonged to Him, and He has always cared for me, so I put this song up, because it's a fine song and Johnny Cash was a good believer, even if like me he was a bad Christian at times!