This post popped up on Old Truth today and I thought it was timely considering the posts and comments from the last few weeks.
I’ve also been emailing a dear brother in Christ on the Doctrines of Grace…and everything was just peachy until I exegeted 2nd Peter 3:9 and challenged him to let me know if I was somehow in error specifically…
His answer was to restate his belief that God is too loving to send people to hell and wants all men to be saved.
I pointed out the context and all that pertained specifically to 2nd Peter and mentioned that “all” frequently doesn’t mean “everyone on the planet who ever lived or who will ever live without distinction” and gave several examples such as:
… “the whole world has gone after him”
“then went all Judea, and were baptized of him in Jordan.
“Ye are of God,little children”, and the whole world lieth in the wicked one”.
Of course these statements are to be taken in context…not one of them means that everybody on the planet “went after him” or that everybody on the planet was baptized in the Jordan, or that saved people “lie in the wicked one”….
The word “all” is used all of the time, like that…wait…I just did it! Did you see that? I used the word “all” in a “non-universal” application…here it meant “frequently.”
So I challenged him again with Mark 4:12, John 6, and Romans 9; specifically showing the passages that are pertinent to the discussion at hand that clearly teach God’s electing of individuals to salvation…
And what do you think happened?
Yep….he restated his belief that God is too good to do that and that we can’t “come to an agreement” on this.
I realize that we all have errors in our theology, I know that, I’ve been corrected more times than Carters got pills!
But to not even look honestly at the text itself, and to disregard the context, is just plain, bowing to traditions.
The False Peace of Truth-Compromised
There is an attitude pervasively present in evangelical Christianity today that says “We’re sick and tired of doctrinal debates and disputes that divide people and create disharmony, dissidence, hard feelings, split churches and all that. Why should we have denominations? Why do we have these differences? Those things aren’t important. All that matters is ‘Do you love Jesus?’” When that attitude prevails, you can kiss the church of Christ goodbye, because the desire for peace, which is a good desire, a godly desire, and the New Testament and the Old Testament frequently enjoin us to seek peace, to pursue peace, to live at peace, and wherever it’s possible – to not be argumentative, contentious, divisive. But when we win peace by negotiating truth, where truth is slain in the streets, what we have is what the Bible calls false peace, a carnal peace, a peace that has no substance.
Those are the words of RC Sproul, he goes on in this short audio clip to say:
Let me ask you this question: If Frank and Bob differ on a point of theology, is that okay? Yes, we have to be long-suffering, patient, have the love that covers a multitude of sins, and so on.
Is it okay ultimately?
What’s behind that difference on doctrine?
Let me say something that may sound outrageous to you.
Errors in doctrine are sinful. It is a sin to be wrong about theology. Its a sin to hold a wrong view. It’s an even greater sin to teach a wrong view!
Does that sound surprising to you?
Why do Christians differ as to what proper doctrine is?
Because the Word of God is so obscure, so muddled, so mysterious, that no virtuous person can ever really sort it out? Or is it because when we come to the Biblical text, we come slothfully rather than diligently, we come with our prejudices, we come with our biases?
Is there anybody [reading this] who since you got out of your bed this morning has loved the Lord your God with your whole mind?
Is there anybody in this room who has for one day given a perfect living sacrifice of your mind to the pursuit of God?
If you raised your hand and say you have, you’ve just betrayed the fact that you don’t understand the first principles of the perfect pursuit of the knowledge of God.
None of us have done this. Our errors, our distortions of the Word of God are sinful because they violate God’s truth and His character! We distort the reality of who God is by our errors and inaccuracies.
Here is the audio: