Archive for June, 2013

27
Jun

Strange Fire: Biblical Inerrancy

   Posted by: Caleb Motupalli    in Christian Life

We posit:

Scripture is infallible (but not inerrant) in that it is able to accomplish the thing for which it is intended (Isaiah55:11).

Inerrancy says, “No error in scripture.” Infallibility says, “God’s errors are more potent than man’s best strength.” Therefore it is written:

“For what seems to be God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and what seems to be God’s weakness is stronger than human strength” (1Cor1:25).

Bible is a picture of the dealings of a perfect God with imperfect men. To say it is “inerrant” is like saying, man is perfect. Suffice to say a portion is greater light. But not inerrant.

By ‘Scripture’ we mean the meaning of the inspired Word and not the translated word, containing translation errors. By this we are NOT denying whatever the scripture affirms is true.

If those who claim inerrancy in the original, why aren’t they also furnishing an inerrant translation of the same? Because it is another one of those cop-outs!

There is no scriptural basis for inerrancy. But there is for infallibility–Isa55:11. Scripture supposedly for inerrancy is John 17:17 (Your Word is truth). But Jesus says: “Earth and sky will pass away, but it is certain that My words (not the entire Bible) will not pass away” (Mt24:35 Weymouth New Testament).

You might question: How can something infallible have the potential for error?

The Law is perfect but weak as it were through the flesh (Rom8:1-3). If God is Almighty (omnipotent/infallible), he can fix things caused due to any errors that have crept in due to flesh.  But Gen6 is another matter where God is said to have “goofed”? It is not that God is prone to error! It was man, who was given the freewill that goofed and got what he deserved.

Why did God have to “regret” (Gen6) if He is inerrant, in His supposed hypostatic union with man, who is under His sovereignty and control? Answer: There isn’t any hypostatic union, which precludes better management by local lords/gods. God has granted some degree of laissez faire within some set boundaries to show that He trusts man. For the sake of His love He gives us freewill to some degree.

A small digression to God’s supposed omniscience is essential here. It is said of Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” (Jeremiah 1:5). But that’s not the case for all because he has to be just to all even as He gives freewill to all, which means He does not know all except those who rent their hearts like David of old, to His searching eyes, which explains Rom8:29 as God being one, who foreknows only those who rent their hearts whom He later predestines. God can be omniscient if He so chooses, but since He is omnipotent, He chooses not to know your heart unless you rent your heart. Sodom & Gomorrah too is about God’s omnipotence (sovereignty) and our freewill in display together. Luke 12:2-3 says, “But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops.” This tells you that His knowledge is effectively complete–no circumstance can be hidden from Him; there is no motive or thought process that He CANNOT discern. But that does not mean He will encroach into your privacy. He has placed boundaries for man. Only when we cross those boundaries, He exercises His omnipotence and corrects anything when strayed. Because He is omnipotent, He has no need to be omniscient, let alone be inerrant. This means that indeed we have freewill. We are not puppets or automatons. What that means to His Word is stated at the beginning: God’s errors are more potent than man’s best strength.

We may have been in the image of our federal head, the fallen Adam at one time. But we now wear, as it were, Christ in our new-creation. So it is not idolatry to envision the image of God, which is Love (1Jn4:8) and then derive from that, what His thoughts and plans may be and manage accordingly as local lords and gods with some degree of laissez faire policy by the Father. Therefore He says: “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to HIM.” And moreover, He entrusts all judgment to Him (Jn5:27) just as the Son entrusts some to us as He lets us be seated on His own throne (Rev).

You may ask: Isn’t Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today and forever as per Hebrews13:8 (immutable)?  That isn’t true because the disciples saw him as a fully human but fully possessing the Holy Spirit when he walked the earth. A better understanding of Heb13:8 would be: He remains as LOVE.

Adam is also son of God (Luke). So there is a difference between Son-of-God and God-the-Son, as the Jehovah Witnesses–of whom i am not ashamed–teach us. He is the legitimate begotten TRUE Son of God–the Logos without any corruption and becoming flesh.

Now, 1Jn4:1-6 is about what it takes to be an anti-Christ, namely to deny that “Christ came in the flesh”, which means to deny that He is man only. To prop Him up by saying equal-to-God or God-the-Son, is effectively following the sin of Uzzah or Lucifer himself.

The Lord Jesus Christ has the possession of 100% God in Himself (Colossians 2:9) and He Himself, the Arm (Isa53:1), has become 100% man ONLY. This is the correct hypostasis. Check out my other blog post on The Mystery of Christ: Revealed!

Jason Massey poses an important question: how much of the black and white text do we honour over Truth (Logos having become flesh)?

But greatly, Bro. Bakht Singh has said: “Even if it is written in the Bible that a whale lived in the stomach of Jonah, i will believe it.”

“I think we are forgetting that as the second Adam, he was a son of God as the first was. And through Him, man is restored back to their relationship with the Father.” (Jason Massey)

Tradition has indeed outweighed the Word of God over Truth itself. But we must never forget that the best canon we have is the Bible, which is sufficient for salvation. Let’s not place another yoke on people that we ourselves have not been able to bear. Confer with the Judgements of the First Christian Council at Jerusalem (Acts).

A useful verse to know if some forth-telling by someone is of the Lord is to see if it aligns with “the Testimony and the Law” (Isaiah8:20). And test his spirit (1Jn4:1-6) whether it is of the Lord.

But let’s not discount the fact that the tradition of “Jesus being God Himself” was useful insofar as to enable the breakdown of all of idols as per 1Cor15:24.

As for Isaiah 9:6, it was fulfilled during the time of the first Church itself when Thomas called (Heb: וַיִּקְרָ֨א) Him, “My Lord, My God” (John).

When David tried to build a temple, God said, “heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool, are you going to contain me in a man-made temple?” but He approved of David anyway. God was only testing to see the heart of David. For, God is not limited by space and time. “All things are possible with God” (Mt19). Today we know from Moore’s law that an increasing amount of information can be contained in a chip.

That we who are recipients of the sap/Word/Spirit directly from God is proof that we too are gods (Jn10:35). But according to 1Cor11:3 and 1Cor12:28 there is an orderly relationship among the gods. This also speaks of the epitome of the revelation that came through Jesus Christ.

Jason Massey says: “The fact that this brother was called into question showed a spirit of error. Why was he not received? Could we not see the Spirit of the Truth. Yes, Christ said to the Pharisees, Scribes and lawyers that the scripture cannot be broken, true (infallible) but you do err not knowing the scriptures therefore it is not ‘inerrant’. The scriptures are not without error. The truth: even the law is spiritual. The text itself may have flaws, especially when compared to it’s original language”!

Like Uzzah, let’s not try to prop up the Truth, saying it is without error, when in fact we do see that there are errors. Let’s speak the Truth like it is. If there is error let us not shy away from acknowledging it. You don’t need to protect scripture or prop it as if it is going to lose its balance and fall to the ground. As i said it earlier: Infallibility is more potent than Inerrancy, which is a newly invented theory. “Will the Lord find faith when He returns” is a refrain we must contemplate.

Theologians who propose the theory of Inerrancy use the word Scriptures to refer to the very original script; in the original languages. It’s the meaning, they say, of the Scripture that is inspired and not the print, for, it’s impossible to translate void of error. They assert that inspired scriptures were given by divine authority and quote 2 Timothy 3:16, and say that God does not make mistakes.

But the truth is that the one who says there is no error in scripture even in its meaning, has not read the scripture.

Of course, when Jesus said, “Blessed is the one who does not stumble/take offense on account of Me (Truth)”, it is not because He makes mistakes, but because we make mistakes in understanding, scribing and hearing. But the fact that it is written in Romans9:33 saying:

 “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

goes to prove that there are stumbling blocks (errors) right in scripture that throw a person off if he is the nitpicking self-righteous type. So effectively, Jesus’ statement in Matthew5:18 is true, and scripture is infact inerrant, if you look at it that way (Edited by Caleb on March 14, 2014).

There are four versions of the Gospel, not one version, for a good reason. This alone strikes down the argument for inerrancy even in the original language. It is these later so-called “learned people/theologians” who know little but want to be seen as ones exalting the Word who make the blunder of propping it up. What happened to Uzzah is something for us today to reckon with. When a person of faith is in search of truth we should not put a stumbling block before him, such as one like Inerrancy, which will make him dismiss all scripture outright when he does find some errors.

The problem with the doctrine of the Inerrancy of Scripture is that it pits every writer of scripture with the Son of God Himself, who is the epitome of Truth. Therefore, it is not coincidental that some good bibles intone the truth and have Jesus’ Words in red.

The Glorified Lord has retained His Limbs with the nail prints. God Eternal is in a fleshly body. That is not a paradox. Jesus is currently Man-Almighty seated at the right hand of God. God is spirit (Jn4:24). So we cannot say something which is not spirit is God. The resurrected Jesus Himself said: “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Luke 24:39).

What’s to be understood is that God need not “change Himself even after taking the Human (Finite) form because Man was already made in the image of God and human nature (originally given) is compatible with God’s nature” as Prakash Gantela, rightly observed.

That is why i said: Jesus is currently Man-Almighty seated at the right hand side of God.

Scripture is infallible as a whole because the revelation is dynamic. “Due to post-Babel corruption of the flesh” (as Bro. Jawahar Peter put it), it is overcome with later revelations, where the epitome of that revelation is the Lord Jesus Christ, whose Words are therefore in Red, not without reason. So if you take some verses by some authors, they do have error but only an error that does not render the ark fallible or out of balance that supposedly needs to be propped up.

Bitter Pill: “Opinions are like arseholes – everyone has one and everyone else’s stinks” ~ Clint Eastwood.

Past, present and future versions of truth, except that of the Lord Jesus Christ’s own Words, may have some minor errors. But for anything to be considered part of the canon it must align with the scripture that Jesus kept, that enabled Him to stay holy and rise from the dead. A dead man comes back to life to show that a man need not die if he is clean (Rom1:3-4; cf. Rom6:23; Gen2:17). That a totally innocent man needs to be put to death so that “his blood would be upon us and our children” and then for him to rise again from the dead to show that our sins have indeed been forgiven IN him, is self-evident, requiring no evidence to defend it. Therefore, for something or someone to be part of scripture, they must be aligned “to the law and to the testimony, if they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn” (Isa8:20).

Therefore, since we are discussing inerrancy/infallibility of scripture, the “YouVersion” of the Bible is condemned outright.

BTW, i don’t claim this particular post is inerrant.

Conclusion

Saying, “Scripture is Inerrant” is offering, strange fire!  We have made an attempt at the Word & of the Word becoming flesh in one post. We assert that the meaning of text itself in isolation from the epitome can be in error. A good version of Truth shows intonation, giving due respect to whom due. Therefore, a targum of the whole, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (Jn14:6), is the tree of life.

Excellent Related articles: ‘Inerrancy’ is not a victimless crime

7
Jun

Cry of God’s heart today

   Posted by: Caleb Motupalli    in Christian Life, Family, Social, Theology

It is indeed the cry of God’s heart today.  It is the tears of the saints. That part of Christ that remains on earth is still sacrificing for the sinner (Colossians 1:24).

The Lord spoke to me just now through the following scripture portion and affirmed once again that the Great Commission is our primary Agape Justice (Mercy) Ministry:

Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. “When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. “But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. “So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, `Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ “And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. “But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, `Pay back what you owe.’ “So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, `Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ “But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. “So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. “Then summoning him, his lord said to him, `You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. `Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ “And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

We need to reach the kind of people, who may not qualify to be the bait for milking $$$. For, there are many doing so for that very reason. People are multiplying faster than the Good News is delivered. Also, Carl Henry says, it is not a good news if it is not delivered in time. As you can see the task is overwhelming. This goes to show that we need to organize ourselves as One so that we can think as one and do the Great Commission without redundancy. We need both air support (macroscopic evangelists) and ground troops (door-to-door ministers) if we are going to win in this battle for the souls of men. Please consider joining, supporting or sending someone to Agape TiE® Ecumenical Tech-Mission to form dBride.ME — a GOD’S-WILL-DRIVEN church, 24×7.

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5
Jun

Real Yoga

   Posted by: Caleb Motupalli    in Christian Life, Family

The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’, which means: the act of being yoked, harnessed, joined, attached to God and come under His rule.

Jesus to Father God: I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.

All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Matthew11:25-30.

You can be yoked by anyone or anything. There are hard yokes (some of them of total control), then there is a Easy Yoke of Freewill (Matt11:29). The former ones are a shadow of what is to come. The later is the real. Which yoke are you carrying today?

Read and understand that with the former yoke, you get possessed by and lose control of yourself, sometimes even unawares, but with the later yoke you “take” it upon yourself and you do God’s bidding voluntarily.

Bro. Peter Daniel brought an important verse to light and wrote:

‘Yoga is to empty the mind and do the exercise. Please refer to Matt 12:43-45–“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”‘

When you empty your mind through the practice of conventional yoga, even evil spirits can yoke you and control you, unawares. But it is Christ alone whose yoke you take upon yourself, voluntarily. That is why i believe in Arminianism (which is about freewill), and NOT in Calvinism, which reduces us to puppets.

Prayer is not only the right posture before God but primarily the right attitude before Him. That is why in Christian culture (for there is such a thing) it is right to kneel before God than to merely sit down. The former speaks of humility before God, and the later, of pride. You know them by their fruit.

If someone obtained something through the back door, then that something is of no value (like black money). It is but rubbish and will soon be discarded, just as the children of Israel discarded even gold & silver as well as man, woman and beast belonging to the Canaanites.

When we embrace the things of the devil/enemies, we become weak before them and are defeated (Joshua 6 & 7).

The only way you can redeem something is when you throw it in the dustbin. It has to die first in order to be raised! But redeeming Yoga itself is like whitewashing tombs with dead men’s bones.

You cannot redeem something that cannot be redeemed. “Yoga is dead,” as Bro. Sujay Thomas alluded, “Jesus has already given and continues to give through simple prayer what Yoga promises to the proud, but can never deliver.” The desire itself of getting yoked under God is good and can be redeemed. It is far better than those who do not want to have, One Nation Under God.

Someone may suggest Ps46:10–“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth”–and use that to support their argument for redeeming yoga.

I can see how “cease striving” of Ps 46:10 is related to Yoga. In prayer, being yoked by Christ, we do cease from striving (trying to attain moksha by self righteousness) by depending on the Holy Spirit who counsels us to do or not to do something (imparted righteousness after imputed righteousness of faith in the work of Christ).

But the lure for Christians to “accept” and “redeem the practice of yoga” can be a die-hard one indeed. The easy route is the truth of the revealed will of God, which is found in the scriptures–the Bible. While we should not outright broad-brush everything like many preachers do, to their own loss, we need to understand the culture we live in and should show yogis the superiority of Jesus, the Good News and everything the easy yoke is about. But let’s not place the heavy yoke of the law of Hindus or Buddhists or Mormons when man has tested these yokes and found them wanting, not just for ease but also for being merely home-made faiths. Jesus came to lift, not just the yoke of the Law of Moses, but every other yoke out there. He gave us the easy one to carry, so that we can let go of all other hard ones. The First Christian Council of Jerusalem, did likewise (Acts15:1-29).

To practice Yoga, in general, is to take upon oneself the yoke of God by means of many asanas/postures. It is the right desire, but the wrong means. You cannot attain to God. To even think we can, is a sin of arrogance. It is He who comes down to us, dead and blind as we are. Simple child-like Prayer of faith/trust/belief, is the right means. And the Yogasana, if you will, is kneeling down. Burdens are truly lifted away in prayer, when we pray, as prescribed by the great physician through His own example (Luke22:41).

Bro. John George correctly pointed out: “So, yoga is not about mental gymnastics. It has a clear purpose of union with the divine. What Yoga promises to deliver is that through the practice of Yoga, the practitioner will be united with God. If that be true, I wonder if Christ died in vain.”

If we want to redeem yogis, we need to affirm this Truth:

Moksha is theoretically possible but practically impossible through Samsara but after Jesus came, He gives it to us on a platter without having to go through the cycle.

Now Hindus believe in Pantheism, that everything is God. So the yoga philosophy may seem as making no distinction between man and God. Pantheism actually affirms the omnipresence of the Holy Spirit. It is wrong only in degree. For the Holy Spirit does not come and reside in the gutters of sinful hearts. Satan is a deceiver who gives half truths and deceives gullible people. He takes what is holy and corrupts it with lies. We are actually playing into Satan’s ploy when we broad-brush the whole concept of pantheism–trying to reach for the moon but ending up going nowhere. Give everything their due. As for self-worship of looking inward, it may seem very good at first glance as it is of the Holy Spirit to do so who comes to indwell us to purify us. 1Cor11:23-34 is all about this introspection. Again, Satan’s ploy is to deceive in the same way, as i said earlier, with half-truths. Self-worship is deceptive. But self-examination is more accurate.

We are to imitate Jesus, who is inclusive of sinners (even yogis, who pride themselves of reaching out to God, the creator of the universe) and yet reject their sin. Dear fellow Indians, let’s acknowledge our poverty and not carry this baggage from our past. When we are even rejecting the very law of Moses on which the Law of Christ/Love is founded, why are we finding it so hard to consider everything as “dung” compared to the knowledge of Jesus Christ?

Mind you, i am not saying the Law of Moses is not perfect. It is weak through the flesh (Rom8:1-3). However, it is this very same Law, which was validated by the rising of Jesus from the dead who kept it.  It is this Law, which needs to be surpassed by Christians (Matt5:20) even as they carry the easy yoke, namely, the Law of Love, particularly of hearing & doing His will.

Why then is there such a proliferation of the false Yoga even among Christians? People do things just for the sake of difference.

It boils down to this: It is the simple lack of humility to enter through the narrow gate. It strikes at the very heart and basic understanding of what it means to be Born Again, that has been misconceived by many. Check out this article and let us get our basics right first: Be Born Again.

But there is a Big Sort going on. So, know this: Real blessedness is not in genealogy but in true yogic spirituality, which is your identity in the Ascended One, who is unseen, not in the Descended One, who is seen (cf. Jn20:29). “For what is seen is temporal, but what is unseen is eternal” ~ Apostle Paul.

In conclusion, people must abandon reaching for their nose by the convoluted way and consider the scripture from Romans 10:5-10:

For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law (such as the old way of Yogasana) shall live by that righteousness [if at all possible]. But the [poor man’s] righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

You see, salvation is from the Lord! It is by grace through faith that we are saved; not of works so that no one can boast (Eph2:8-9).

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