Recently we discussed the tragedy of young, immature men in the ministry who have been drawn into errant theology by intellectuals who pretend to be loyal to the scripture. I have no obligation to protect those who are responsible for this moral crime and no obligation to protect those who allowed themselves to drawn into theological error. I have repeatedly demonstrated how the path to liberalism is a gradual process. Those who have chosen to abandon the one biblical hermeneutic may move along this treacherous route quite slowly, while others hasten to their fall from truth.

With a great deal of grief, I think of a young man who, by the grace of God, sat under the teaching of godly men and was shown the value of biblical text, but who later made the mistake of listening to those who have left the authority and sufficiency of scripture. Those teachers were intellectual and philosophical, and that combination often leads to an arrogance which allows folks to twist the text in such a way as to produce their own desired ends. It is simply a rewriting of the scripture. The end result was that the student, in a very short time, moved from a biblical context to a tragic end with the liberalism of amillennialism.

This heartache sent me on a search for an answer to the question, “How could this happen”?

ALMOST EVERY DAY

It dawned on me that almost every day I have contact with people who ought to know better, but who appear to be incapable of recognizing theological error. Some of these individuals are well educated, with graduate and post-graduate degrees. Some of them majored in theological disciplines, and others have spent a good part of their lives in some kind of ministry. So what went wrong? Why is truth not high on their list of priorities?

My pleasure, as well as my responsibility, is to read. My computer is filled with emails, messages from blogs, and notes from people commenting on all kinds of things. These folks talk about people, schools, missions, and ministries, but never seem to ask the question of what they believe. The latest gossip, idea, or opinion fills the pages; but there is very seldom a question about the theology behind all that. Don’t they know about a theology that is biblical? I can’t imagine that they don’t care. The crisis grows when someone does ask the question about doctrinal error. Such a sincere discussion is seen as an attack on some person, or a lack of love. Instead of searching the scripture to discover the truth about a subject, the person who asks a question is attacked personally. We learned a long time ago that a person who attacks the messenger instead of dealing with the message has a hidden motive.

COMING TO AN ANSWER

Jesus taught us that we are not to be respecters of persons. The Bible is about God. Man is spoken of throughout its pages, but the Bible is a revelation about the Sovereign Creator. That is how we are to deal with doctrine and theology – it is all about God. When someone teaches error, we should hasten to the Bible and the God of the Bible for answers. Instead we quickly go to the defense of some contemporary evangelical figure, even if he is speaking against the clear statement of the text. Others jump on the historical band wagon and defend some theological system or historical writer or teacher. There is not a human living who is not flawed. There is no movement, denomination, creed, or theological system that is not tainted with error, so why do they rush to defend everything but the scripture? Some say the scripture needs no defense, but it is that kind of cute talk that buries professing Christianity in error.

This approach doesn’t mean that we can’t have appreciation for people, organizations, and movements. On the other hand, though, all of these things call for us to ask questions. We cannot please God and actively cover error, nor should we ignore error. What kind of pride would ignore the responsibility given to every believer to compare scripture with statements and printed material?

YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING

Going back to the journey I described at the beginning, something became very clear. Every one of the statements that troubled me had one thing in common: those who ignored or covered error hold a flawed hermeneutic. To the person who is committed to the authority and sufficiency of scripture, a correct system of biblical interpretation is imperative. If there is no single system of hermeneutic, then anyone can make the Bible say what he or she wants it to say; and that is exactly why we have error. Many have chosen a system that allows them to insert whatever they want into the biblical text. I remind you that this is exactly what is being done with the constitution of our country. It is the practice of liberals, a way of thinking, and a mindset. That is the reason why, when someone abandons the one biblical hermeneutic, he can come up with any kind of theology or invention to replace it. That is how a well-intentioned student can leave the truth behind and rapidly take the journey from truth to the liberalism of a-millennialism. Not only do I have no obligation to protect those who are following this path, but I have no reason, either, to be silent about the evil – no matter how intellectual it may be – of destroying the futures of young men.

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