April 12, 2024

How To Spot Deception and Prevent Yourself From Being Swayed by Illicit Arguments (Post 1)

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http://ibitedge.blogspot.com/search/label/deceptionAdding to the Scripture

If one does not hold the Bible as the ultimate authority and from God, there are greater concerns then what I’m about to address. However, I assume you hold the Bible to be foundational. I’m very concerned when people, Christians, elevate other concepts to biblical level. Or as Jesus put it “…teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Paul expressed it in Colossians 2:8 “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” This is a real concern of mine. To add insult to injury, those “extra” teachings usually become precedent over the Bible.

Many Christian factions have extra-biblical teachings, rules, books, leader’s thoughts and practices held at or above biblical level. When biblical command does not contradict these extras, outcry is absent. However, when contradiction does arise, novel beliefs and practices replace biblical authority. Consider the Utah based, so called Christian group, that holds another book to be at least to the biblical level, if not higher. Or consider the world’s largest Christian group, whose focus is on formality and tradition, feeling that is at the same level as scripture authority. Usually leaders pronounce their absolute authority, colliding with Scripture, their views taking precedent.

Biblical Precedent

Biblically, we see principles and examples where one should not conflate our thoughts with God’s. Paul was careful in this area [1]. In two places the Bible gives us the principles to not add and remove teachings from specific texts (but I think the principles applies in other areas as well) [2]. In fact this was the topic that Jesus railed the Pharisees about – adding to the Scriptures – especially when it contradicted God’s law [3]. Maybe Paul left the most important advice in his last letter, II Timothy, before his martyrdom. Verse 1:13 he says this “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” We are to guard the truth that Paul taught, not some new invention, rather go back to the old teaching, that is where it’s safe.

In other words, many leaders and groups today actively do what Paul (of all people) would not do. They ignore both biblical principle and Jesus’ tongue lashing of the Pharisees. But we can’t do that! My challenge is this, be different, be counter culture, walk the road less traveled – by making Jesus and his Word our foundation!

[1] 1 Corinthians 7:12 “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.” And 1 Corinthians 7:25 “Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.”

[2] Revelation of John 22:19 “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” and Deuteronomy 4:2 “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”

[3] Matthew 15:1-20

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