Sheer Theological Nonsense

Jul 2 12:21 2005 Doug Krieger Print This Article

What George Davis and Michael Clark are saying in their piece, HOW ARE THE MIGHTY FALLEN (the tribnet highlights the article) strikes at the core of today’s COMMERCIAL APOSTASY afflicting the Church. Moreover, drunk with the wine of wealth—they (the false prophets and teachers overwhelming the Church) now seek political power which replaces the empowering of the Holy Spirit.

Beneath the crust of today’s “religious commercialism” lies a religious arrogance and pride,Guest Posting coupled with spiritual superiority, that has become the bane of the Church. This is NOT news—for the “Scribes and Pharisees” in Jesus’ time were plagued by this pathology.

They specialized in straining at gnats and swallowing camels (Matthew 23:24), while all the time heaping religious contempt upon the suffering masses. Their specialty, amidst their horrific hypocrisies and superlative distortions of the very Word of God to which they boasted they so rigorously adhered, belied their true condition: “Inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence . . . . Inside you are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness . . . . Inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness (Matthew 23:25b, 27b, 28b).

The depiction given by Jesus of the religious leaders of his day is perhaps one of the most intense diatribes ever recorded in Holy Writ (Matthew 23). Jesus spares utterly no contempt, no derisive expression, in deploring their blindness—using the word “blind” in His description of these insightful “fools” – another word descriptive of their condition (which Jesus uses in connection with the word “blind” – as in “Ye fools and blind!” – Matthew 23:17, 19).

The “Scribes and Pharisees” who sat in Moses’ seat (Matthew 23:2b) had evolved into an elitist cabal of self-righteous religious bigots whose external cups were clean—but whose insides were full of religious filth; whose whitewashed tombs radiated outward beauty, but inside were full of dead men’s bones and corruption; whose outward righteousness simply concealed the travesty of their hypocrisy and rebellious condition.

They wore broad phylacteries—while bashing people over the head with the Law of Moses itself! Theirs was a world of OUTWARD religiosity and hyper-spirituality, full of superficial pomp and complicated circumstance which few, if any—especially themselves—could attain. Alas! They had become “Serpents, offspring of vipers!” incapable of escaping the condemnation of hell itself (Matthew 23:33).

Well did Jesus declare of them:

“Whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers” (Matthew 23:3-4).

Indeed, like a blindfolded dolt who grasps the tail of a rat and declares: “I have within my hand the immensity of an ELEPHANT!” Even so, these “blind leaders of the blind” had extrapolated the Law to include all manner of extraneous duties and responsibilities, while they “neglected the weightier matters of the law; justice and mercy and faith” (Matthew 23:23).

Again—straining at the GNAT, they swallowed the CAMEL! In sum—and to this I refocus upon the title of this article—these short-sighted, pharisaical enforcers of their own religious standards, had TWISTED THE SCRIPTURES to such an extent that their original intent had become the furthest thing from the Almighty’s plan and purpose for His people. They had become, as Paul later explained to Timothy: “Desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm” (I Tim. 1:7). What they were so adamant about is precisely of what they knew the least.


Most assuredly, at issue here is NOT the “spiritual meat” of God’s Word that will “nourish” His people—but the ABUSE and HANDLING of His Word which leads to “disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith . . . (for) the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith” (I Tim. 1:4b-5).

Today, the Holy Spirit is after an INWARD TRANSFORMATION of the heart—not an OUTWARD expression of religious compliance having nothing to do with the original intent of SOUND DOCTRINE!

I don’t know if you can follow my rambling here—but remember the guy holding on to the rat’s tail and declaring the discovery of his elephant; even so, they who extract “bits and pieces” of God’s Word and extend their discoveries into doctrinal absurdities for their own purposes are guilty of the very charge to which Paul bespeaks in I Timothy chapter 1 and of which the Apostle Peter derides in II Peter:

“No prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation” (II Peter 1:20).

The word “private” in the Greek connotes “one’s personal interpretation” as in “idios” (from whence the word “idiosyncrasy” is derived). Here, we discover that the prophetic Scriptures are not only isolated one from another—they become the “personal fiefdom” of those who manipulate them for their own idiosyncrasies; and, thereby obscure both their meaning and intent. Is there any wonder that Peter follows up this explanation of the prophetic Scriptures with the following exhortation:

“But there were also FALSE PROPHETS among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber” (I Peter 2:1-3).

In sum, the “Gospel of the Grace of God” has been turned into a “system of outward works” having absolutely nothing to do with “the Lord who bought them!” Instead, these FALSE PROPHETS/TEACHERS “blaspheme . . . the way of truth” and for “covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words.” I hate to beat a dead horse (or donkey)—but if you carefully read II Peter 2, you will discover these FALSE TEACHERS inevitably covet “yours not you.”

“They have a heart trained in covetous practices . . . they have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who LOVED THE WAGES of unrighteousness (and we’re talking about MAMMON here—money!) . . . but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever” (II Peter 2:14b-17).

“The Way of Balaam” is nothing more than a “prophet gone false” for he has “sold his soul to the devil” for filthy lucre—having been bought by the wealthy to perform whatever services deemed appropriate (in this case Balaam was “hired” to prophesy against Israel and to do so under the idiosyncrasies of Balak, King of Moab (Numbers 22-24) (Note: “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more” 22:18). This strange and contorted couple (Balaam and Balak) conspired to curse Israel—instead all the gold and silver could not keep Balaam from blessing Israel and foiled the “Way of Balaam.”

Notwithstanding Balaam’s claims that “he could not be bought” – “The Way of Balaam” would be forever denounced in Holy Write, especially in the context of prophetical Scriptures: WOE TO THEM! FOR THEY HAVE GONE THE WAY OF CAIN, HAVE RUN GREEDILY IN THE ERROR OF BALAAM FOR PROFIT . . . .” (Jude 10).


Tragically, history past and present is littered with the WAY OF BALAAM.....

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