AGAINST LIBERALISM AND REVISIONISM

By: The Rev’d Fr Larry Winslow

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

“The vital question was how we were to keep the Church from being liberalised? There was such apathy on the subject in some quarters, such imbecile alarm in others; the true principles of churchmanship seemed so radically decayed, and there was such distraction in the councils of the clergy.”[i]

“I conclude this notice of Liberalism in Oxford, and the party which was antagonistic to it, with some propositions in detail, which, as a member of the latter, and together with the High Church, I earnestly denounced and abjured.

1. No religious tenet is important, unless reason shows it to be so.

Therefore, e.g. the doctrine of the Athanasian Creed is not to be insisted on, unless it tends to convert the soul; and the doctrine of the Atonement is to be insisted on, if it does convert the soul.

2. No one can believe what he does not understand.

Therefore, e.g. there are no mysteries in true religion.

3. No theological doctrine is any thing more than an opinion which happens to be held by bodies of men.

Therefore, e.g. no creed, as such, is necessary for salvation.

4. It is dishonest in a man to make an act of faith in what he has not had brought home to him by actual proof.

Therefore, e.g. the mass of men ought not absolutely to believed in the divine authority of the Bible.

5. It is immoral in a man to believe more than he can spontaneously receive as being congenial to his moral and mental nature.

Therefore, e.g. a given individual is not bound to believe in eternal punishment. {295}

6. No revealed doctrines or precepts may reasonably stand in the way of scientific conclusions.

Therefore, e.g. Political Economy may reverse our Lord's declarations about poverty and riches, or a system of Ethics may teach that the highest condition of body is ordinarily essential to the highest state of mind.

7. Christianity is necessarily modified by the growth of civilization, and the exigencies of times.

Therefore, e.g. the Catholic priesthood, though necessary in the Middle Ages, may be superseded now.

8. There is a system of religion more simply true than Christianity as it has ever been received.

Therefore, e.g. we may advance that Christianity is the "corn of wheat " which has been dead for 1800 years, but at length will bear fruit; and that Mahometanism is the manly religion, and existing Christianity the womanish.

9. There is a right of Private Judgment: that is, there is no existing authority on earth competent to interfere with the liberty of individuals in reasoning and judging for themselves about the Bible and its contents, as they severally please.

Therefore, e.g. religious establishments requiring subscription are Anti-christian.

10. There are rights of conscience such, that every one may lawfully advance a claim to profess and teach what is false and wrong in matters, religious, social, and moral, provided that to his private conscience it seems absolutely true and right.

Therefore, e.g. individuals have a right to preach and practise fornication and polygamy.

11. There is no such thing as a national or state conscience.

Therefore, e.g. no judgments can fall upon a sinful or infidel nation. {296}

12. The civil power has no positive duty, in a normal state of things, to maintain religious truth.

Therefore, e.g. blasphemy and sabbath-breaking are not rightly punishable by law.

13. Utility and expedience are the measure of political duty.

Therefore, e.g. no punishment may be enacted, on the ground that God commands it: e.g. on the text, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed."

14. The Civil Power may dispose of Church property without sacrilege.

Therefore, e.g. Henry VIII. committed no sin in his spoliations.

15. The Civil Power has the right of ecclesiastical jurisdiction and administration.

Therefore, e.g. Parliament may impose articles of faith on the Church or suppress Dioceses.

16. It is lawful to rise in arms against legitimate princes.

Therefore, e.g. the Puritans in the 17th century, and the French in the 18th, were justifiable in their Rebellion and Revolution respectively.

17. The people are the legitimate source of power.

Therefore, e.g. Universal Suffrage is among the natural rights of man.

18. Virtue is the child of knowledge, and vice of ignorance.

Therefore, e.g. education, periodical literature, railroad travelling, ventilation, drainage, and the arts of life, when fully carried out, serve to make a population moral and happy.

All of these propositions, and many others too, were familiar to me thirty years ago, as in the number of the tenets of Liberalism, and, while I gave into none of them except No. 12, and perhaps No. 11, and partly No. 1, before I begun to publish, so afterwards I wrote against most of them in some part or other of my Anglican works.”[ii]

It would be very easy to assume that these two quotation have come from a recent discussion concerning the satanic heresies that have been attacking the Christian Church of the Twenty-first Century. However, in point of fact, they come from the English Divine who was a prime mover in the Church of England (Anglican Church) re-reforming Oxford Movement of the Nineteenth Century. Father Newman was to eventually become so disenchanted with the liberalisation and destruction of the Church of England by the Latitudinarians and the progressively Deistic and/or Agnostic “thinkers” of the day that he felt compelled to enter the Roman Catholic Church and was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest in 1847 and made a Cardinal of that Church in 1879.

 

Of course, as the current leadership in the heretical Church of today would be, the Latitudinarians along with the liberal Broad Church and other liberal factions were quite happy to see this “troublemaker” adherent to the Divinely Inspired Holy Word of God leave. They saw this as being conducive to the success of their ends. This is similar to the expressed thoughts of Bishop Michael Ingham of New Westminster who said on CBC Radio that it would be better if these Orthodox Conservatives were to simply leave and let the Church (whatever such would be a church of) get on with its agenda.

 

But, amazingly, Newman’s thoughts and definitions still stand despite the intervening nearly two centuries.

 

To this is now added the statements of people like Bishop Lee of Virginia who is recorded as having said that when faced with a choice between heresy and schism the Church must always choose heresy. Bishop Benison of Philadelphia has stated concerning the Divinely Inspired Holy Word of God upon which the Christian Church is founded, “Man wrote it, man can rewrite it.” Bishop John Spong, retired Bishop of Newark, and his seeming understudy of lesser quality Bishop Michael Ingham of New Westminster, have openly denied the Virgin Birth of Jesus, the miracles of the Gospels, the physical Resurrection of Jesus, etc., and have accused any who still hold to what they call fables as being superstitious, unlearned, fundamentalist, etc. An even lesser understudy, Bishop James Njegovan of Brandon Manitoba wrote to his clergy “the Bishop determines what a Diocese believes,” and in his first Bishop’s Charge at the Synod of 2002 stated, “As long as a person is Baptised and receives Holy Communion, it does not matter what he believes beyond that.”[iii]

 

Further, also now is added the concepts of revisiting and revising the understandings of the teachings of Holy Scripture as they have been accepted by the Church for over two thousand years. This Revisionism, using heretical scholarship of the past one and a half centuries, allows its proponents to redefine the meanings of words and thoughts. Then such man-made redefinitions emanating, not from the mind of God, but from the fallen intellects of those who would be God, are implied to be Gospel truths.

 

Conditions have now developed to such a point that it is absolutely essential that those who are intending to remain with the True Body of Christ founded upon the Divinely Inspired Holy Word of God need to take a stand and vocally respond to the evil that is intending to masquerade as an arm of that body. This problem is permeating most of the mainline Christian denominations. It appears as though a major adjustment in the True Christian presence will come as a result of those who are determined to continue to act as “blind guides” in attempting to lead people into the jaws of Hell splitting away from the True Body of Christ that remains faithful to the Holy Word of God, The Traditions of the Apostolic Church, and in accordance with the Apostolic Reason in effect for the past two thousand years.

 

In order to accomplish this there must be an understanding of the differences between True Christian Faith and that presented by the revisionist liberal heretics who are attempting to redefine what they are purporting to be Christian Faith. This study will commence with the real source of True Christianity. From this definition the discussion will proceed to searching out the major attacks upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ over the 2000 year history of the Christian Church right up to the modern day. Then the current status of this attack in the mainline denominations of today will be discussed. Finally, the work of the True Church in facing up to the Satanic attacks and maintaining the truth of the Salvation offered to mankind by the One True Loving God!

 


THE REVEALED FOUNDATION OF CHRISTIANITY

 

Any discussion of the Christian Faith has to begin with a consideration of the source of it tenets. Christianity is not a religion that has been developed from the mind of the human race. Many would like to present their concept of Christianity as a completely comprehended set of concepts and values that are totally understood by the human mind. Further, they would like to reduce Christianity to a behaviour pattern and a system of performing good works to the betterment of mankind.

 

Yet, the truths of Christianity are based upon an Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Infinite, All Loving, yet totally Just, Creator God Who, in the full reality of His Being, cannot be known or discovered by the faculties of the finite human mind. This Awesome God is seen as One Who desires to exist in communication with His special Creation – Humankind! And, in order to accomplish this communication He interacts dynamically and personally with humanity.

 

However, this God is determined to interact with humankind on His own terms and not those dictated by fallen humanity. This Loving God reaches out to all and any of humanity who is willing to hear Him and receive Him as He gives of Himself. In doing this He respects the freewill of humanity and does not force Himself upon anyone who does not wish to accept Him upon His terms. While maintaining the consequences of such human self rejecting of the offers of God He is maintaining His Love by allowing such rejection along with its chosen consequences.

 

But the problem that enters the human mind is, if humans are to communicate with this God who is in Himself unknowable, how is His person to be understood in order to enter into such communication. And this is where the human mind must make a concession that is beyond the normal capability of such an egocentric conceited intellect. The human must concede that he may only know of this magnificent God that which He would reveal. The human must understand that such otherness of being as is found in the Wondrous God can only be known through that God’s self-revelation.

 

Hence Christian faith must be founded upon that which God has revealed of Himself. And this leads to the next question; if this God has revealed Himself to humankind, how has He accomplished this in the past, and how does he continue His self-revelation – if he such continuation does occur?

 

This Creator, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Loving, Caring, Totally Just, Personally Present and Imminent, while being totally Unknowable and Untouchable God has chosen to make Himself known to humankind through direct communications with individuals and through encounters with humankind via His Holy Spirit. These encounters have been recorded by these inspired individuals in written documents that have been passed down through the ages.

 

Such recordings have been of historical events, divine theophanies, divine interventions, prophetic utterances under the power of the Holy Spirit, recordings of human interaction with this awesome God, poetic Spirit guided utterances about this God, etc. have been written down in what is known today as the Old Testament under the continued guidance of the Holy Spirit. The New Testament documents begin with revelations of the Good News of Jesus Christ from Apostolic Witnesses of the Christ event in history as recorded by these Apostles or one closely associated with the Apostle (St. Matthew’s recording of witnessed events; St. Mark recording the witness of St. Peter, St. Luke recording the Life of Jesus from personal witnesses told to him by involved and eyewitness individuals and as preached by St. Paul; St. John’s [the beloved disciple] recording of witnessed events with each told according to the witness of actual events in the life of Jesus required for the audience of the specific author. Together they provide humankind throughout all time with the necessary witness of Jesus required for the self-revelation desired by Almighty God. The Acts of the Apostles is the historical record by the highly qualified historian St. Luke of the progress of the infant Church of Jesus with emphasis upon the work of Sts. Peter and Paul. The letters of Sts. Paul, Peter, John, James, Jude (brother of Our Lord), and the Writer to the Hebrews (one-time attested to St. Paul). Finally the Book of the Revelation to St. John the Divine closes out the New Testament. All of these New Testament works, as with the Old Testament, were, by self-testimony, guided by God the Holy Spirit.

 

This Old Testament “canon, though somewhat fluid up to the early 2nd century BC, was finally fixed by a council of rabbis at Jabneh (Jamnia), now in Israel, c. AD 100.”[iv] The New Testament canon was stable with some fluidity from the early second century AD and was essentially finalised in 383AD under Pope Damasus  with the production of the Gospels in St. Jerome’s Latin Vulgate (work commissioned in 383 AD). The work continued with the translation of the Septuagint version of the Old Testament followed by a translation from the Hebrew texts in 405AD. – And the work which continued to be updated until his death in 419/20 AD.[v]

 

The Canon of the Holy Bible was determined through the work of the early Church leadership guided by the Holy Spirit. There had been several New Testament lists (the subject of another study) which had been essentially consistent with the exception of a few books that were under suspicion or controversy in various circles. While The Revelation to St. John the Divine was finally accepted along with the Letters of Sts. Jude and James, such works as The Gospel of Peter, The Acts of Peter, The Gospel of Thomas, etc. were rejected. In all this the work of the Holy Spirit is clearly evident.

 

The only subsequent controversy and modification came at the period of the Reformation. While the Roman Catholic Church held the books known to non-Roman Catholics as the Apocrypha to be canonical, the Protestant Churches rejected them, and the Anglican Church accepted them as being “valuable for teaching” but not to be considered Word of God on a par with the Old Testament and the New Testament canonical books.[vi]

 

It is from this Divinely Guided Source that Christians of today find the past self-revelation of the Loving, Caring, Saviour God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Divinely Guided Holy Word of God (The Holy Bible) is the one true source from which humankind can find the foundations of their faith. Since this God is just, true, and consistent, it is impossible to develop any “modern doctrine” that would contradict the Eternal Word given in the Eternal God’s self-revelation.

 

The question then arises concerning this God’s on-going self-revelation in the two thousand plus years since the Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus the Christ. How does humankind of today know how this God wants it to respond to twenty-first century situations and circumstances? How can the Christian know whether or not that which is being taught or told is from Almighty God or emanating from the mouth of the Evil One – Satan, the Devil – via the corrupt human intellect?

 

Of course, the obvious response would refer to the Holy Spirit never contradicting Himself which automatically eliminates any concept that violates the established Holy Word of God.

 

A second response would refer to the teachings from such passages as Hebrews 1:2 where the finality of the Word in Jesus is established (eláleesan = has spoken). In this introduction to the Letter to the Hebrews the Divinely Inspired author is showing how God spoke “in times past” through the Old Testament prophetic figures but now has finalised His witness in fulfillment of these prophesies in the person of Jesus the Christ.[vii] Further, later in this same letter the Spirit-guided writer states, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”[viii]

 

And, Jesus Himself states, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”[ix] St. John the Divine states in the Book of the Revelation given to him, “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”[x]

 

St. Paul makes it clear in his Letter to the Galatians that there can be no modification or aberration of the Gospel as he had delivered it to them. He clearly states, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel- which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!”[xi] Here St. Paul is not simply suggesting that the Galatians should not listen to alternative preaching. Rather he is stating that anyone preaching any form of Gospel other than the Divinely Inspired Gospel he had delivered they be “Eternally Condemned!” It would be difficult to be more emphatic or clear than this concerning the intended truth of the Gospel he delivered to them.

 

Thus, the New Testament writers clearly intend that the Word of God to Salvation presented therein is final and complete with no intended adding to or subtracting from. The Divine Self-Revelation is completed in the Person and Message of Jesus Christ.

 

St. Mark makes this clear in the first verse of his rendition of the Preaching of St. Peter when he writes, “The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”[xii] In this statement, St. Mark makes it clear that the object of the Gospel is Jesus Himself.[xiii] Here the Person of Jesus is seen as more important than the teachings of Jesus. It is indicative of the primacy of His primary purpose to, as the one perfect high priest after the Order of Melchizedek,[xiv]  offer Himself on the Cross to pay the penalty for sin for all mankind who would accept (receive) Him and to rise on the third day in victory over sin and death (the penalty for sin). This Jesus, Who is “the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being,”[xv] is not only the full representation of God but is also the Second Person of the Holy Trinity[xvi] whose sole purpose is to reconcile humankind to Himself.

 

It is in this intent that the real meaning and significance of the Holy Scriptures is found. Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc. all spoke in the Name of Almighty God (YAHWEH or one of the parallel derivatives). In their utterances and recorded writings is found the Self-Revelation of the Divine Creator God. In their recordings is found the Nature God in all His Creative Will and Desires. God’s Loving Law is clearly established defining the boundaries of Creation. God’s interactions with humankind and the latter’s failure in response are clearly delineated. YAHWEH’s Loving promise of a Messiah (Saviour) to provide humankind with the opportunity of Salvation is also made clear.

 

It is in this intent that the New Testament writers presented the Messianic Person of Jesus the Christ – Perfect God, Perfect Man, Perfectly united in one Perfect Human Being! The clear intention is to present a Loving God Himself providing humanity with an opportunity to receive Salvation and enter Eternity with Him through His reconciling humanity to Himself. This Self-Revelation is to be seen as the pluperfect fulfilment of  all the promises of the Old Testament. Yet, in accordance with the words of Jesus, this New Covenant is not intended to replace the Old Covenant; but rather to fulfill all of righteousness.[xvii] Hence, it is clear that the whole of Holy Scripture is to be seen as the component constituents of God’s Self-Revelation. And, it is for this reason that the Reformed Anglican Church’s Thirty-nine Articles of Faith state that one portion of Scripture cannot be used to disprove or supersede another portion of Scripture[xviii] – the whole is part of the Self-Revelation of God to His Special Creation – humankind!

 

The meaning of these Holy Spirit Guided Holy Scriptures is found in the intentions of the writers and in the understanding of those who first received them. It is in searching out these two sources of understanding that the real meaning of Holy Scriptures is most reliably discovered.

 

Thus, the Revelation of the otherwise unknowable God is effected through the interactions and recorded writings of human beings. These individuals have provided a Holy Spirit Guided picture, in Sixty-six individual books brought together by the Holy Spirit Guided Church of God, of the Creator God Who truly loves and cares for His Special Creation – humankind – with whom He wishes to restore the special communicative relationship that existed in His Creation of these beings and before their fall and withdrawal from living within the Divine Will.

 

The Christian Church has recognised this work of God effected through His human servants. In fact, the Christian Church has no real firm and irrefutable knowledge of the unknowable God other than that which is contained in His specific Self-Revelation - the Holy Scriptures. It is in understanding this that the True Christian finds faith founded totally upon the witness of the Holy Bible and rejects any thoughts or teachings that differ from, or contradict in any way, the completed Revealed Truth and Will of Almighty God.

 

This concept begs the question of the purpose of human intelligence. If, in the Act of Creation, God has established the boundaries of moral or ethical behaviour that is seen and found in His Divine Self-Revelation in His interaction with humanity as recorded in His Divinely Guided Holy Scriptures known as the Holy Bible, what need is there for human intelligence other than being able to know God’s Rules? Should not humanity simply act as robots in following God’s rules and dictates? What is the purpose of human intelligence if God has set the stage and the script – so-to-speak?

 

The point is that God has endowed humanity with the Gift of Freewill. This Freewill allows the human being to decide for or against Almighty God. In it, God has acknowledged that the only true acceptance of His Divine Gifts is a free choice whereby the human being freely chooses to accept God’s Covenant and reject the walk away from Almighty God and into the domain of Satan.

 

However, this free use of intelligence has its dangers and deceptions. This God-given Gift used in the freedom of human choice can lead a person to walk away from Almighty God. This is not God’s intention in the Gift. Rather, He intends human beings to use the Gift of Freewill to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit in growing in the knowledge and understanding of the Creative Will of God and His Self-Revelation so as to move closer to God as He has shown Himself in Jesus Christ. The intention is that this growth will be undertaken under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit and lead to further growth in the Gift of Wisdom such that the Christian can apply His God-given knowledge and understanding appropriately to the world situations that surround him/her in the day-to-day living in the world around. But, this intended usage of Intelligence can easily be perverted to lead the human being away from God.

 

The fallen nature inherent in humanity, the natural inclination to sinful rejection of Almighty God and replacing Him with some semblance of godliness based upon something other than the One True God, allows the individual to claim religious faithfulness while rejecting Truth and Reality. And, sadly, often the one being so deceived does not realise that such is occurring. This is accomplished by the individual, whether via personal egoism or Satanic suggestion, becoming so impressed with that which he/she calls personal intelligence that the free thoughts of the human mind are seen, in themselves, to be expressions of Godliness. If one thinks something to be true, regardless of how it relates to the revealed truths of God, then it must be true and good – even if it needs to supplant God’s Revealed Truth. In this latter case the claim is made that “new revelations” from God are being received. It is a simple step from this point to begin to see one’s thoughts, or even the individual self, not only as being good and godly but also the individual beginning to perceive that self as actually being equal to God – or even being a god or the god.

 

Such idolatry of the self establishes a religion or cult of self that is based upon the individual or group of individuals. These then form themselves into groups of likeminded individuals that base themselves upon majority (read democratic) vote as the means for determining the truths of that which they perceive to be God. The “experience,” “knowledge,” “understanding,” and “wisdom” of the human being is seen as supplanting the Revealed Truth of God as being the true representation of the Christ. The revealed Truth of God is seen as passé, non-intelligent in this day and age, full of superstition, and the acceptance of such is assigned to the uneducated populous. The truth of this faith is wrapped up in human “knowing.” The religion of the Gnostics that was relegated to the realm of heresy in the early days of Christianity once again becomes the in vogue form of faith.

 

What is needed to both enhance the Gift of Free Human Intelligence and to keep it in control and focused upon Almighty God is the maintaining of faith focus in the Revealed Truth of God and its application to the real world of the Creator God! It is the straying from this source of truth that one finds the reality of 2 Timothy 4:3f[xix] coming into being. The Truth of the Godly Revelation is too demanding to be accepted so those who uphold human truths are revered over those uphold Godly Truth.

 

Thus, the only True Christian Faith is that found in the Holy Bible understood in the light of the intentions of its Holy Spirit Guided writers as understood by those who first received it. No other form of faith can rightly be called Christian! Extrapolations, conjures of human experience, the self-guided thoughts of the human mind can be called anything their authors may wish to call them. But in the light of Almighty God’s Self-Revelation in the Truth of His Divine Word – written in the Holy Bible and Living in the Person of the Crucified, Resurrected, Ascended, and Glorified Jesus the Christ – is the only True Christian faith to be found. None other can or will be accepted by Almighty God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!

 

 

THE REVISIONIST LIBERAL MOVEMENT

 

The writer of Ecclesiastes (traditionally ascribed to Solomon as written before his own fall), in his Divinely Inspired treatise based upon the “worthlessness and vanity of human life” stated “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”[xx] While True Christians understand the intrinsic and wonderful value of human life when lived “in Christ” in accordance with the Creative Purpose of Almighty God, the total and utter repetitiveness of depraved human striving to avoid the Will of God while appearing to act in a righteous manner is unavoidably clear and repetitive. Such is the lot of the Revisionist/Liberal school of so-called “theological thought” in the 21st Century.

 

If time and space would allow such could be traced in detail right back to the beginning of time. Clearly, Adam and Eve thought they had a “better idea” in participating in that which had been forbidden by God but seemed experientially appealing to them. Those living at the time of Noah were undoubtedly functioning in the belief that their way of life, while being in apposition to that which Almighty God had directed in His Creative Purpose, believed they had found a better way. Throughout history there are clear examples of humankind, either acknowledging its rejection of, or trying to rationalise its way around, the Divine Will in attempting to live “the good life” under the direction of their own “intelligence and wisdom” based upon their own mind and experience. Such caused the Almighty God to speak through the prophet Isaiah, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.”[xxi]

 

Such forms of “liberal thought” throughout the ages have taken a similar range of thought processes. Some have attempted to take God’s Word and revisit or reinterpret it in attempting to pervert its original intention and meaning in a manner that would “more appropriately fit” the then “modern” understanding of life. Others would take the stance that God’s Word was applicable to the particular time and space in which it was written but does not understand the stance of the “now modern” era. Still others would go so far as to make statements such of those of the previously referenced 21st Century Bishop of Philadelphia in “authoritatively” stating that “human beings wrote Scripture and human beings can rewrite Scripture”[xxii] thereby removing God completely from the process and setting up humanity as its own God.

 

Early in the Christian era there were continuous debates concerning the understanding of God’s Holy Word. Two primary forms of thought developed known as the Alexandrian and the Antiochian (Antiochene) schools. The former, based primarily upon its Platonic sense of the reality of the spiritual world,[xxiii] aside from the effect of this philosophical background upon its understanding of the Holy Trinity and the Nature of Jesus the Christ, looked for hidden and spiritual meanings in Scriptural text.[xxiv] On the other hand, the Antiochian Theological system, following more upon the Socratic philosophical system, tended to look for the sense intended by the inspired writer.[xxv] Of course neither “school” was perfectly correct and both schools produced its faithful and its heretical forms of thought. It was only through the Church Councils and their findings that the Truth of the Christian Faith was ferreted out and brought to humankind.

 

While many persons throughout history have tended to reject the Authority of Almighty God and His Written Word totally out-of-hand, the Christian Church herself has, until the 19th Century through to the 21st Century, tended to centre her discussions upon the understanding of The Divinely Inspired Word of God. And, in this traditional debate, the concepts of what were once the Alexandrian and the Antiochian schools would often be resurrected. The point is that discussions were centred upon God’s Word and the human understanding of the same.

 

Gradually this understanding became centred upon the perceived intentions of God through the intentions of those who spoke in terms of, “Thus saith the Lord,” or “This is the Word of God,” etc. And it is this comprehension that the theological heretics of the 19th century began to attack.

 

The Latitudinarians stood for free understanding of the Holy Word and the free conscience of humankind. To the liberalised understanding of God’s Holy Word they added the concept of “experience” as being a driving force in the determination of right and wrong. Cardinal Newman took issue with this line of thought when he said, “The fault here spoken of is the giving to our “experience” a more prominent place in our thoughts than to the nature, attributes, and work of Him from whom they profess to come, - the insisting on them as a special point for the consideration of all who desire to be recognised as converted and elect.”[xxvi] Further, in talking about the Latitudinarians, Cardinal Newman stated, “Liberalism, then, is the mistake of subjecting to human judgement those revealed doctrines which are in their nature beyond and independent of it, and of claiming to determine on intrinsic grounds the truth and value of propositions which rest for their reception simply on the external authority of the Divine Word.”[xxvii]

 

Essentially this expression of liberalism did what earlier forms of thought that contravened God’s Word had done. Adam and Eve played God in allowing their own desires to supersede those of their Creator God. Throughout the period of the Old Testament God “spoke in many and various ways”[xxviii] through the law and the prophets in trying to call His Special Creation back to Him. Even after the Cross and the Resurrection heresies developed based upon the mind and logic of humankind held in apposition to and the suppression of God’s Divine Communication of His Creative Plan and Will. The multitudes of heresies (e.g. Gnostics, Nestorians, Arians, etc) were brought before the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit through Whom Holy Scripture had been written and the Truth was revealed to the True People of God. But, such idolatrous self-worship continued within the Church through individuals who were willing to place themselves in judgment of God and His Word. Cardinal Newman saw this in the Latitudinarians. The work of self-aggrandisement continued in the German Tubingen Schools. Developments of heretical thought came through such persons as Graff and Welhausen who openly questioned the veracity and authenticity of the Torah. These “critical” attacks on God’s Word continued into the 20th Century in which Rudolf Bultmann developed his system that denied the majority of the sayings of Jesus as actually emanating from the Saviour of All Humankind.

 

Theological onslaughts against the Holy Word of God and its universal application to all of humankind began to intensify in the closing years of the 20th Century. In the 1960’s the rogue Bishop J.A.T. Robinson produced his “Honest to God” in which he denied key doctrines of the Church such as the Virgin Birth, the Miracles of Jesus, the Physical Resurrection, etc. That same decade saw the publishing of Joseph’s Fletcher’s “Situation Ethics” which attacked the absolute values of God and declared them to be inapplicable to all situations. Rather, he declared that right and wrong was determined from both subjective and objective criteria and determined according to each situational circumstance. Hence the liberal school of thought was completing a modern assault commencing with Darwinism, passing through the Tubingen thought, into the outright heretical declarations of those who were in positions of leadership within the Christian Church.

 

The progression from this point into total and yet generally received heresy. The educational institutions doted upon these concepts of “rational” thought. The upcoming clergy were subjected to an education that held adherence to God’s Word as being simplistic, non-intellectual, superstitious, and pure foolishness. The probability of anyone who held to these traditional 2000 year-old beliefs of the Christian Church being automatically ostracised was rapidly becoming fact in many locales. Even if they could get work in the Church, they were all but guaranteed to be kept from the higher offices in the hierarchy by the controlling liberals.

 

And yet, the liberal movement still held that it was merely functioning in an enlightened understanding of God’s Word – not denying the value of the Communication of God. They were merely “interpreting/reinterpreting” it in the light of “modern” scholarship and understanding as required to be applicable to modern circumstance. Their projected position to the world was one of sincerity and faithfulness. They could not admit to their utter denial of the Teachings of Almighty God.

 

However, as the 21st Century drew near it became clear that Liberalism was walking away from the traditional teachings of the Holy Church. While many in that school of thought could not or did not change from what they had been taught in the latter part of the 20th Century, the more intellectual began to realise the untenable nature of their stated position. The simple concept of “reinterpreting” God’s Word always fell short in its logic. Further, it did not fit into the traditional concepts of faith outlined in Holy Scripture, Apostolic Tradition, and Apostolic Reason.

 

It was now necessary to admit that the liberal stance did not hold to the teachings of Holy Writ. To counter this it had to be determined by the school of thought that the author(s) of Holy Scripture (with no conception of the author being God Himself through the influence of the Holy Spirit) did not understand the situations of the 20th/21st Centuries. Thus, their tenet is that the Eternal God Who proclaims Eternal Values did not understand the whole of His Creation. Writers such as Dr. Walter Wink[xxix] admit that “modern teachings” in a “post-modern” world do contradict the Scriptural stance but that such revisions of teachings are necessary to be relevant to the current world circumstances. On the other hand, persons like Dr. Walter Deller of Emmanuel St. Chad College find the Holy Scripture provides “Wriggle Room” for changing the understandings of the past two thousand years of Christian history.

 

Further, under the tutelage of such persons as Bishops John Spong, Michael Ingham, and Charles Bennison, in supporting heretical liberal doctrinal statements, the notion of “Experience” has been brought into the equation as a “new” concept. Despite this having been a tenet of the Latitudinarian movement and being far from new, the concept being put forward is that humankind has to be largely governed by how it “experiences” the world around them in determining the actions acceptable to Almighty God. In the ultimate of perversions, they even equate such a form of thought to the concept of “experience” found in the teaching of the great Christian evangelist The Rev’d. John Wesley. In this New and Revised vision of theological thought this concept of “experience” is held in conjunction with what the Liberal thinkers call Holy Scripture, Tradition, and Reason.

 

However, in their Revisionist thought forms, Holy Scripture is relegated to a reference book containing “humanity’s understanding” of its interaction with the Godhead. Reason is downgraded from the content of Apostolic Reason to that of modern human reason. Tradition becomes the tradition of critical heretical thought processes over the past couple of centuries. And modern “experience” is added as a factor that provides guidance from how the secularized world around is sensually understood by the modern human. Also, whereas the traditional understanding of the interaction of Holy Scripture, Apostolic Tradition, and Apostolic Reason provides for the latter two to be under the judgement and tutelage of the former the Revisionist/Liberal school of thought variously presents the four factors as being at least co-equal but most often having “experience” as the predominant factor informing the understanding of the other three.

 

Hence, the 21st Century Revisionist/Liberal feels totally free to negate Holy Scripture by either “reinterpreting” it or “revising” its clear teaching. Reason is subject to the modern human intelligentsia and their understanding of the “modern” or "post-modern” world – sometimes deceptively defined as “Jesus doing new things today.” Tradition is seen only in the light of the liberalisation of the defined teachings of God’s Word and is open to redefinition as the situation requires and generally refers only to the past one hundred and fifty years or so. All this is under the experiential subterfuge of human self-deception.

 

The Revisionist/Liberal position will also hang its hat on several outside thought forms that are predominant in the secular world around the Church. One of these is the concept of “multi-culturalism.” The other is that of a perverted form of inclusivism and tolerance.

 

The first of these seeks to reduce the faith based concepts of various cultures to a synthesised faith base whereby all religions are equally correct and provide a way to salvation. It is held that, in modern society that embraces so many differing cultures within single societal groupings, it is necessary to relegate all to correctness without any concept of any one being right or wrong. While such clearly defies the teachings of Holy Writ that teaches the exclusivity of Jesus Christ in His being the only way to Salvation and entry into the Kingdom of Heaven, the proponents of such unchristian teaching point to the new and improved understandings of modern scholarship as showing a “new way in the spirit.” There is a complete dismissal of the communication of the Holy Spirit and His determination not to contradict Himself. Thus, it is totally unclear what “spirit” is being followed in the “revised” understanding” communication of some humanly developed god of the creaturely mind and intellect.

 

The concept of tolerance has been “revisited” and “revised” to take into consideration the modern myth that there is no such thing as absolute right and absolute wrong. Traditionally to be tolerant meant the acceptance and right of an individual to hold differing opinions from that which one holds to be the truth and intrinsically right. But such did not imply any concept that the differing opinion was, in any way, true. The new tolerance, in holding that there is no such thing as definitive truth, requires that all concepts of truth be held in equal position to one another. Each is to be treated as being equally true and no opinion can be treated by any other as being wrong. Hence, no Christian, despite the exclusive teachings of Jesus, is able to publicly state that the only way to Salvation and Heaven is through Jesus, the Christ as such, under the new tolerance, is intolerant. To be tolerant the Revisionist/Liberal requires the Christian to hold that all religions are equally correct and hold “a way” to some conceived form of all-inclusive eternal paradise that has very little relationship to that which is taught by Jesus. Such a view holds no concept of sinfulness along with the need for repentance and forgiveness through the Cross of Jesus and His Victorious Resurrection. The only view not tolerated by the supposedly “all-inclusive” view of Revisionist/Liberalism is that of True Christianity. The Doctrine of the Tolerant Inclusive Relativist/Liberal church is totally intolerant when it comes to the proclamation of True Christian Doctrine.

 

Dr. Brett Cane put it this way, “In addressing the subtle but effective challenge to our faith and practice brought by the "new tolerance", we need to unmask the faulty thinking behind its assumptions. One of the positions of the new tolerance is that we Christians do not practice what we preach - by disagreeing with a person's lifestyle or views, we are told that we are not accepting the person, not loving them as Jesus said we should. This argument has carried a lot of weight with Christians - it sounds so plausible. But all we have to do is think for a minute. When the child in my care runs out into the road, I tell him or her off. I disagree with the child, not because I dislike him or her, but because I love them - I am concerned their activity will lead to their harm.”[xxx]

 

 

Essentially, the goal of Revisionist/Liberalism is to bring the Church into being a meaningless microcosm of the secular world society. And such is seen as being contradictory to the true purpose of the Body of Christ. Dr. John Stott says, “Insofar as the church is conformed to the world, and the two communities appear to the onlooker to be merely two versions of the same thing, the church is contradicting its true identity. No comment could be more hurtful to the Christian than the words, 'But you are no different from anybody else.'”[xxxi] Jesus established His Church through the Holy Spirit guided work of the Apostles to be different from the world in that it was to be “His Body on earth” proclaiming the one way to Eternal Life through His Cross and Resurrection. Becoming one with the world and attuned to the world is totally anathema to the purposes of Almighty God. His design is to call the world to Him – not to conform the Body of Christ to the world.

 

 

WHAT IS REQUIRED TO UNDERSTAND TRUTH IN SCRIPTURE

 

Of course there is a disagreement between the Orthodox Conservative Christian Church and the Revisionist/Liberal scholars. While the former claims the Truth of the Infallible Word of God the latter points to “scholarship” and “new understandings of truth” as the foundation for their “modern” or “post-modern” faith. And the secular general public and the average Christian sitting in the pew are left to wonder what the “real Truth” is.

 

Current twentieth/twenty-first century society tends to reject the concept of real or absolute truth. Everything is held to be relative to both the prevailing circumstances and the vision of truth held by the specific individual. The relativistic fallacies of Joseph Fletcher[xxxii] have permeated both the religious and the secular world. Within this ungodly system nothing is intrinsically right or wrong regardless what the Word of God, written or Living, may directly or indirectly state. Rather all is to be humanly determined based upon personal will and value systems along with the consideration of what attains to the “greater good.” Interestingly, within the educational and judicial environments, acceptable values are to be developed based upon the language of sociology that is, in itself, a valueless base.

 

Hence, even amongst those who would like to be called Christian there is an ambivalence concerning the definitive nature of God’s Truth. The pressure of “political correctness” makes it difficult and uncomfortable within society to openly and honestly stand-up for the teachings of the Holy Word of God as being absolute inviolable Truth against which all else is to be judged. Yet, Jesus makes it very clear where the vault of all real truth lies when he declares in His High Priestly Prayer, “Thy Word is Truth!”[xxxiii] Here Jesus asserts God’s Word to be The Truth – and this Word is to be further defined throughout Scripture as being the written Word in the Scriptures and the Living Word in Jesus Himself.

 

Further, in the general halls of Learning, and even within the realm of theological studies, the machinations of the human intellect and the developed process of human knowledge founded upon human “study and proclamation” have superseded God-given Knowledge and Wisdom as provided from within His Divinely Guided Holy Scriptures as understood by the Church since their having been penned. The concept of the intended meaning of the Holy Spirit Inspired author and the understanding of the initial recipients of these documents as being the real Truth of God has been outmoded. The modern intelligentsia place “new findings” and “new understandings of words and situations” in judgment over that which has been from the time of their authorship. In this “modern” concept, the intelligence of humanity stands in judgment over the Holy Word of God instead of the Holy Word of God standing in judgment over the intellectual understandings of humankind. Thus, the educational processes of today scoff at, ridicule, and minimalise any attempt to base conclusive argument upon God’s Word as it has been received throughout the ages.

 

St. Augustine found himself responding to the same kind of circumstance regarding knowledge and education when he wrote, “ Behold, O Lord God, and behold patiently, as Thou art wont to do, how diligently the sons of men observe the conventional rules of letters and syllables, received from those who spoke prior to them, and yet neglect the eternal rules of everlasting salvation received from Thee, insomuch that he who practises or teaches the hereditary rules of pronunciation, if, contrary to grammatical usage, he should say, without aspirating the first letter, a ‘uman being, will offend men more than if, in opposition to Thy commandments, he, a human being, were to hate a human being. As if, indeed, any man should feel that an enemy could be more destructive to him than that hatred with which he is excited against him, or that he could destroy more utterly him whom he persecutes than he destroys his own soul by his enmity. And of a truth, there is no science of letters more innate than the writing of conscience-that he is doing unto another what he himself would not suffer”[xxxiv] In this statement St. Augustine is clearly perplexed by those who would place human thoughts and values in priority to those determined by Almighty God despite such clearly and irrefutably leading to the Eternal condemnation of the individual’s own person

 

The Holy Word of God holds that the presence of Almighty God in His Indwelling Holy Spirit is necessary to understand Truth. Real Truth can only come from God. Real Truth is that which is revealed by Almighty God in His Divine Self-Revelation. Real Truth will not contradict the Truths found in Almighty God’s Divinely Inspired communication with humankind.

 

The Holy Bible presents Almighty God’s self-revelation together with His Loving Purpose in Creation. In His Creative Purpose God has defined the parameters of Creation and the boundaries within which humankind finds perfect happiness and fulfillment. Yet, secularised society, Christian and non-Christian, fails to comprehend the Divine Revelation and Teachings contained therein. Those who would be religious but cannot understand the Holy Word find it necessary to “revisit, revise, and reinterpret” this Word in order to massage it into a form that will satisfy their own longings to be godlike. And, in so doing, find themselves recommitting the sin of Eve, setting themselves up as idols and objects of worship, and, as a result, serving Satan rather than God.

 

The solution is found in truly coming to Christ. It is a denial of self-will and a submission to the Divine Will of God found in Jesus Christ. Jesus clearly told Nicodemus that  “no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again.”[xxxv] Further, it is necessary to be “born again” in order to receive the Gift of the Indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit of God. And it is this Holy Spirit, the full indwelling presence of God, Who guides Christians into all truth. The Holy Spirit speaks the Truth of God taking that which belongs to Jesus makes it known to those who are communication with Him.[xxxvi]

 

God, speaking through the Prophet Isaiah, says, “…. the wisdom of the wise will perish,

the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”[xxxvii] St. Paul continues to expound upon Almighty God’s communication with humanity in further developing this thought delivered through Isaiah when God, speaking through him, states, “Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.”[xxxviii] God, still speaking through St. Paul, continues this teaching in pointing out that the Wisdom of God is not understood by the world in general. Rather, it is only revealed to those who are “in Christ” and have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.[xxxix]

 

Throughout His earthly ministry Jesus treated the then accepted Scriptures in what is known in the Christian era as the Old Testament as being truly God’s Word. Jesus firmly stated, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”[xl] God, speaking through St. Peter, further states, “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”[xli] And St. Paul, speaking in the Name of Almighty God, wrote to St. Timothy, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”[xlii] Thus, it is well attested that God has supplied His Word in a manner that can only be fully comprehended by those who are “in Christ” and have become, through this unconditional self-commitment to Him, Temples of the Holy Spirit.[xliii]

 

God also spoke through the brother of Our Lord Jesus, St. Jude, when he said, “For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the Grace of God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”[xliv] And later in his letter he writes, quoting the Apostles of Our Lord, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” And he carries on, “These are men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.”[xlv]

 

It is in this understanding that the total ignorance of, and refusal to accept, the Godly principles of Creation by the secular world and the Revisionist/Liberal scholars of the Church becomes comprehensible. All of Holy Scripture deals with those who reject God’s Will in favour of their own will and desires. God clearly outlines the conditions of the last days in His speaking through St. Paul in the latter’s writing to St. Timothy, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-  having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”[xlvi] He later continues, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”[xlvii] It is clear that the last days will be characterised by a coming together of all the fallacies and aberrations of the world, the flesh, and the devil. And, false teachers will be gathered who will provide comfort and a form of intellectual understanding that will justify the same as being normal, correct, and good to the uninformed and those who would reject God and His Will in favour of the comfortable political correctness and compromise with worldly values. The church of this sinfulness will be told that all is well and it is godly will that they be conformed to this world. Such become totally anaesthetised against such statements of God through St. Paul, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.”[xlviii]

 

Thus, it becomes clear that those who are walking away from Almighty God can be very sincere in their directions. In fact, they can even be convinced in their delusion within themselves that they are serving God. However, ignorance does not excuse them as they are following such heresy in denial of the Holy Spirit of God. And they will have to face their Creator Judge for this fallacy.

 

However, the stance of such individuals and groups, once recognised by True Christians, is to be used as a point of education. From this starting point, the True Christian must be motivated to undertake a new pursuit for understanding the purposes of God in the life of the true Body of Christ. This quest for knowledge and understanding must be undertaken under the guidance of the unique indwelling presence of God’s Holy Spirit Who will continue to release greater and greater comprehension of God’s Self-Revelation as the individual Christian grows in submission to the Will of God and desire to be so enlightened in the Life of Christ within him/her.

 

The significant point is that such knowledge and growth can only occur under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Christian must continuously search the Divinely Inspired Holy Word of God for deeper and deeper comprehension of God’s Self-Revelation. And work of the Holy Spirit is to illuminate that Word as the human spirit is ready to receive instruction. That same Holy Spirit will “call to mind” the Will of God as it is required in the life of the True Christian. The Holy Spirit is also the Comforter who will strengthen the human spirit when it is under trial or tribulation. And, since the Word of God is Eternal in nature, the Holy Spirit will never contradict Himself, reinterpret, or revise His Scriptural teachings. The consistency in this world is the Will of its Creator God and His directions for fulfilled life within the boundaries of that Creation!

 

The writer to the Hebrews clarified the matter from the outset of his communiqué. God, through this writer, made it clear how, throughout the ages before Jesus, He had reached out to His people “in many and various ways.” In these last days He has produced His final call and Self-Revelation in the Person of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus the Christ. This Jesus is the very effulgence or mirror image of God’s glory. Being Perfect God/Perfect Man Perfectly united in One Perfect Being while still being “like His brothers in every way,” this Jesus perfectly completed the work of Salvation offered to all who would accept God as He is revealed in Jesus.[xlix]

 

But while such is clearly illustrated throughout the Holy Scriptures in the prophecies of the Old Testament as fulfilled and completed in the very person of Jesus Himself,[l] and while the general tone of such can be seen by anyone who reads this material, only those who have been “born again” in Jesus Christ and have received the Divine Gift of the Holy Spirit can begin to comprehend the fullness of this Truth in God’s Love. The fact that this act in Jesus brings matters to the pluperfect state of completion establishes that nothing can be added or subtracted from the content of God’s Self-Revelation as contained in the Holy Bible. This brings into infinite clarity the statement of Almighty God, “I the LORD do not change;”[li] the Words of Jesus, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away:”[lii] and the Writer to the Hebrews, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”[liii] And the thought expressed by St. John in his Revelation, “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book,”[liv] which applies specifically to the Book of the Revelation to St. John the Divine and, in the Church’s Spirit Guided placement of the book at the end of the Canon, upon the whole of Holy Scripture, becomes extremely clear and emphatic in its significance.

 

Certainly, nothing stated in contradiction to the Holy Bible can emanate from God or be considered in concert with the wishes of the One True God.

 

Such returns the whole argument to that of Solomon in his work that we know as Ecclesiastes. Solomon completes this work in the following manner:

 

“Not only was the Teacher wise, but also he imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true. The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails-given by one Shepherd. Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

 

Now all has been heard;

here is the conclusion of the matter:

Fear God and keep his commandments,

for this is the whole [duty] of man.

For God will bring every deed into judgment,

including every hidden thing,

whether it is good or evil.[lv]

 

Solomon has begun with the understanding that all of life and creation is repetitive and, without the concept of God’s Love, meaningless. His search for knowledge and wisdom has given him much enlightenment. Yet, with thoughts and observations not illuminated by the Holy Spirit, it has also led to much frustration. The result is that he has understood that the totality of the awesome God will never be known to humankind. He realises that there are things about God’s ways that humanity will never comprehend in this lifetime on earth. He further has learned that foolishness is repetitive and, while many of its proponents pretend newness in their heretical thoughts and human based propositions, there is, in reality nothing new under the sun from this point-of-view.

 

Therefore, he concludes that humanity must learn all it can about God in His Divine Self-Revelation while submitting itself, even without understanding, to the Perfect Will of God in His Commandments and Directions.

 

However, the matter continues that, without the Holy Spirit, even the comprehension and willingness to follow God’s Will, is impossible. Since “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”[lvi] and since “the wages of sin is death”[lvii] the only route to Salvation is through “the free gift of God in Jesus Christ Our Lord”[lviii] and the ensuing Gift of he Divine Indwelling of the Holy Spirit as He is conferred by the promise of Jesus. Then the human has the open door to “THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life” and has the means of understanding and following the same.

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

The threat of Revisionist/Liberalism, while not being a new development in the history of humankind’s relationship with Almighty God, is certainly reaching a hiatus in the beginning of the Twenty-First Century A.D. The sociological and political indicators in secularised society are ideal for the corruption of True Christian Faith within the Body of Christ. A leadership that has been educated in the corrupt and perverted concepts of multiculturalism, political correctness, tolerance, and inclusivism is ripe for its role as “blind guides” in leading unsuspecting and unknowing would-be Christian people, who would be dedicated to Jesus if they really knew what that meant, into the abyss of Hell.

 

The problem centres around the understanding of the One True God Who is both near, present, knowable, loving, caring, involved in humankind’s daily existence and out there, unknowable, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, beyond human comprehension. The very existence of such a Creator God makes it abundantly clear that the only way humankind can really come to know this God is through His Own Divine Self-Revelation. And this One True God has chosen to accomplish this through the Holy Spirit Guided writers of the sixty-six books of the Holy Bible and the Living Word found in Jesus the Christ, Crucified, Risen, Ascended and Glorified. It is in this Self-Revelation of the One True Creator God that Truth and Boundaries of Human Life can be found.

 

The revealed exclusive route to receiving the Free Gift of Eternal Life in the Heavenly places with this God is through reception of this Jesus and His Godly Revelation. And since the revelation clearly defines the exclusivity of Jesus as being THE Way, The Truth, and THE Life, and the ONLY WAY to the Father, and this Jesus commanded His followers to take this message to the whole world, it becomes clear that exclusivity is found in the universality of the exclusive message. While tolerating and loving all of God’s Creation and offering God’s Gift of Eternal Life in Christ to all who will receive it, the True Christian Church must strive to receive Spirit Guided instruction in understanding God’s Word and holding firm to His prescription for life within the bounds of His Divine Creation and for entry into the Eternal Kingdom.

 

This is accomplished through the study of the Holy Scriptures and prayerful Holy Spirit Guided understanding of the same. Then the teachings of God’s Word are to be applied via by the Wisdom that emanates from the self-same Holy Spirit.

 

But the problem of hearing, seeing, learning, etc. the words of Holy Scripture (God’s Word) but not understanding their simple clear Truth is addressed by Jesus in His explaining the reason for His teaching in parables. Jesus told His disciples, “This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: "'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'”[lix] In this statement Jesus referred to the people of His time and those who would follow, including modern humanity, plus in terms of the Old testament in His quoting Isaiah 6:9f and clearly tells twenty-first century Christians of the problems experienced today by those who do not hold to God’s Word. In simple terms, their sinful commitment to human knowledge and understanding instead of that which comes from God makes it impossible for them to see the Will of God and its clear application to the world today.

 

A glaring example of this kind of blindness to the reality of clear and simple Truth that comes directly from God can be found on the WEB site of the Diocese of Brandon of the Anglican Church of Canada. The WEB master has the following unidentified quotation near the top of the main home page, “God writes in two books. One is the Bible; the other is daily events. In both, God’s hand is richly in evidence. In neither, normally, is God unequivocally clear.”[lx] It is simple to see herein the darkness and confusion that exists within the revisionist/liberal mind. In this case, the WEB master, who is purported to have had the misfortune to have studied under The Right Reverend J.A.T. Robinson (the episcopal author of the 1960’s challenge to authentic Christianity in his book “Honest to God”), makes it clear that, since he cannot accept Holy Scripture at its clear irrevocable face value due to his acceptance of the educational context of human based knowledge as standing in judgment of God’s Word, cannot but find ambiguity and “muddiness” in Holy Scripture. His integrity in commitment to his misguided conscience will not allow him to do so. Thus, when the Scripture is deemed unclear, it becomes impossible to clearly see the obvious lucidity of the Hand of God in daily events and/or to know how to apply God’s Will to such daily life. The ambiguity, haziness, confusion, and general muddiness of revisionist/liberal thought are, therefore, clearly demonstrated in this simple quotation. Because the lucid simplicity of the Infallible, Divinely Inspired, Holy Word of God is denied it is impossible for these individuals hear, let alone to understand, what Jesus refers to as THE Truth!

 

While human intellect and so-called wisdom will attempt to place God’s Word under its judgment, it is the work of the True Christian Community that is the True Body of Christ to stand firm and unbending within the Divine Self-Revelation of Almighty God. While the population of the Church will certainly go through the threshing mill during this crisis of heretical forces, human and spiritual, the remnant will then once again be the purified True Church of God, the Body of Christ, the sanitized Bride of Christ.

 

At times it will seem, like Elijah, that each individual faithful Christian is alone, such is not the case. God told Elijah there were seven thousand others who had remained true, so it will be revealed that there are tens of thousands in the persecuted and heretical regions of the Church who are standing firm against the work of the World, the Flesh, and the Devil. True Christians are being called to both prayer and resolute action to continue in the service of the One True God. The heresy of the current day that attempts to supplant God’s Word with corrupt human intellect and wisdom needs to be openly denied and refuted at every turn. At the same time the knowing or unknowing servants of Satan who are perpetrating the refutation of God’s Truth need to be prayed for. In the same way that those who are being led into the Abyss of Hell by the blind guides need prayer as well as teaching, so also the blind guides need the love and prayer of the True Children of God. Who knows what will be the effect of such prayer in bringing them into the re-born family of God?

 

Return to Writings Index

 

 



[i]  Apologia Pro Vita Sua, John Henry Cardinal Newman, 1865

[ii]  Ibid, Note A to Page 14, John Henry Cardinal Newman, 1865

[iii] Diocese of Brandon, Synod 2002, Bishop’s Charge, The Right Reverend James Njegovan

[iv] Encyclopedia Britannica, Article “Nevi’im”

[v] Ibid, Article “The Vulgate”

[vi] Thirty-Nine Articles of Faith, , Book of Common Prayer – 1662, Article #6

[vii] See The Epistle to the Hebrew (The New International Commentary on the New Testament), 1975, pp 1-3, F.F. Bruce

[viii] Hebrews 13:8, NIV

[ix] St. Mark 13:31, NIV (and parallels)

[x] Revelation to St. John the Divine 22:18f, NIV

[xi] St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians 1:6ff, NIV

[xii] The Gospel According to St. Mark 1:1, NIV

[xiii] The Gospel According to Mark (The New International Commentary on the New Testament), 1974, p 44, William L. Lane, Th.D.

[xiv] The Letter to the Hebrews 5:6, NIV

[xv] The Letter to the Hebrews 1:3, NIV

[xvi] St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians 2:5ff

[xvii]  The Gospel according to St. Matthew 5:17-19 (and parallels), NIV

[xviii] Thirty-Nine Articles of Faith, BCP 1662, XX

[xix] 2 Tim 4:3-4 “3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” NIV

[xx] Ecclesiastes 1:9, NIV

[xxi] Isaiah 5:20f, NIV

[xxii] Ibid

[xxiii] The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, “Alexandrian Theology,”

[xxiv] Ibid, “Antiochene Theology”

[xxv] Ibid

[xxvi] Lectures on Justification, John Henry Newman

[xxvii] Apologia Pro Vita Sua, 1864, John Henry Newman

[xxviii] Hebrew 1:1ff

[xxix] Homosexuality and the Bible

[xxx] “The Abuse of Tolerance,” The Rev’d Dr Brett Cane

[xxxi]  "The Message of the Sermon on the Mount," John R.W. Stott.

[xxxii] See “Situation Ethics,” Joseph Fletch

[xxxiii] The Gospel According to St. John, Chapter 17, Verse 17, NIV

[xxxiv] From The Confessions of St. Augustine, Book I, Chapter XVIII, 29

 

[xxxv] Ibid, Chapter 3, Verse 3

[xxxvi] Ibid, Chapter 16, Verses 12 thru 15

[xxxvii] Isaiah 29:14b, NIV

[xxxviii] 1 Corinthians 1:20-25, NIV

[xxxix] Ibid. 1:6-10, NIV

[xl] St. Matthew 5:17-20, NIV

[xli] 2 St. Peter 1:20f, NIV

[xlii] 2 St. Timothy 3:16f, NIV

[xliii] 1 Corinthians 3:16, NIV

[xliv] St. Jude 4

[xlv] Ibid., 18f

[xlvi] 2 St. Timothy 3:1ff, NIV

[xlvii] 2 St. Timothy 4:3f, NIV

[xlviii] Romans 12:2, NIV

[xlix] Letter to the Hebrews 1;1ff, NIV

[l] Gospel of St. Mark 1:1, NIV

[li] Malachi 3:6, NIV

[lii] St. Mark 13:31, NIV

[liii] Hebrews 13:8

[liv] Revelation to St. John the Divine 22:18-19

 

[lv] Ecclesiastes 12:9ff, NIV

[lvi] Romans 3:23

[lvii] Romans 6:23a

[lviii] Romans 6:23b

[lix] St. Matthew 13:13-15, NIV

 

[lx] Diocese of Brandon WEB Page, July 15, 2007