Tuesday, August 28, 2012

False Prophets & Destructive Opinions - 2 Peter 2 1-9

So today's post comes from 2 Peter. I was working on Romans but couldn't bring myself to concentrate, and then I saw this verse posted and it struck a nerve. I just read another post yesterday where all one commenter had to comment was that the writer was a false prophet - but he wasn't a false prophet because his points did line up with the context of scripture. His points just didn't line up with what said commenter had been taught.

"But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive opinions. They will even deny the Master who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Even so, many will follow their licentious ways, and because of these teachers the way of truth will be maligned. And in their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words. Their condemnation, pronounced against them long ago, has not been idle, and their destruction is not asleep."

 The message states it like this:

" 1-2But there were also lying prophets among the people then, just as there will be lying religious teachers among you. They'll smuggle in destructive divisions, pitting you against each other—biting the hand of the One who gave them a chance to have their lives back! They've put themselves on a fast downhill slide to destruction, but not before they recruit a crowd of mixed-up followers who can't tell right from wrong.
 2-3They give the way of truth a bad name. They're only out for themselves. They'll say anything, anything, that sounds good to exploit you. They won't, of course, get by with it. They'll come to a bad end, for God has never just stood by and let that kind of thing go on."

Sound familiar? Sounds like a prophecy to me that has been fulfilled in our society today. Look at a large part of religion around us today.  Destructive opinions, lying religious teachers, destructive divisions... putting you against one another.

Let's look at the first one - what are some of the things that several of the Christian church's today are preaching, and are not what the Bible actually teaches us? (Note, I said several - not all church's preach these negative opinions.)

1. First off, most religions constantly pushes that they are the only way. Faith in God is the way. Religion is not. (Romans 4)
2. Many folks would put their person religious beliefs at a level of "importance" over human rights for other individuals or groups. They do this because they are taught this in "church." But if one studies the biblical passages closely, they will learn this is not God's way. Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:31

Human rights are often held to include the individual's free access to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It includes equality before the law. Also important are the freedoms of thought and expression -- including religious freedom. Religious freedom, religious tolerance and human rights are interrelated. Countries that exhibit religious tolerance will generally extend religious freedom and rights to persons of all faiths. - ReligiousTolerance.org

Another thing to look at is lying religious teachers - these false teachers typically interpret the bible in a loose or "authoritarian" sense. An example is the TGC (The Gospel Coalition) who admits openly to "loosely translating" scripture, and admit to doing so inconsistently (only when it suits them.)

Next we'll look at the concept of destructive divisions and putting us against one another. Look at the divisions within the church. The number of denominations with different beliefs that no one can agree upon, the number of times individual church's split and go opposite directions for negative reasons. Look how many Christians are against other people or groups who don't meet their lifestyle expectations or match their belief system... and they twist individual bible verses to validate their intolerance.

This is what people see - and this is a terrible misrepresentation of God and faith, giving the way of truth a bad name. And as the bible states, these people are out for themselves - to exploit you. And Peter continues...

"4-5God didn't let the rebel angels off the hook, but jailed them in hell till Judgment Day. Neither did he let the ancient ungodly world off. He wiped it out with a flood, rescuing only eight people—Noah, the sole voice of righteousness, was one of them.
 6-8God decreed destruction for the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. A mound of ashes was all that was left—grim warning to anyone bent on an ungodly life. But that good man Lot, driven nearly out of his mind by the sexual filth and perversity, was rescued. Surrounded by moral rot day after day after day, that righteous man was in constant torment.
 9So God knows how to rescue the godly from evil trials. And he knows how to hold the feet of the wicked to the fire until Judgment Day."

False prophets who preach judgement, intolerance, criticism of others... who preach the gospel in a loose sense, out of context... who divide us and cause us to argue and bicker through childish debate... they will be held accountable by God. They are no better than those who were destroyed with Sodom and Gomorrah - isn't that irony... a clobber passage these false prophets use to judge and criticize others is actually who they are compared to by Peter.

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