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Featured Bad theology springs from bible selectivity.

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by GingerBeer, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. GingerBeer

    GingerBeer Cool and refreshing with a kick!

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    An example of bad theology springing from selective bible reading follows:
    Bad theology:
    Every single individual human being has sinned (EXCLUDING original sin).​
    Selective bible reading:
    as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God. All have turned aside, together they have gone wrong; no one does good, not even one." "Their throat is an open grave, they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips." "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness." "Their feet are swift to shed blood, in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they do not know." "There is no fear of God before their eyes." Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For no human being will be justified in his sight by works of the law, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
    Romans 3:10-20
    Antidote to selective bible reading:
    Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
    2 Corinthians 5:17-21

    By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was attested as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
    Hebrews 11:5-6

    There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God, and turned away from evil.
    Job 1:1
    ...
    Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, "Whence have you come?" Satan answered the LORD, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it." And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?" Then Satan answered the LORD, "Does Job fear God for nought? Hast thou not put a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth thy hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse thee to thy face." And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only upon himself do not put forth your hand." So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
    Job 1:6-12
    Bad theology can be countered but first it must be recognised for what it is and then the antidote can be administered. Jesus knew no sin so it is both bad theology and bad hermeneutics to interpret the passage from Romans (which quotes a psalm) as teaching that every single individual who has ever lived has sinned. It ought to be noted that original sin does in fact implicate all the natural children of Eve and Adam but the Virgin birth of Jesus Christ excludes him from the category of "natural children of Eve and Adam" inasmuch as his Father is God. And the idea that all (excluding Christ) are implicated in original sin does not imply that all have committed sins themselves. Infants who die in infancy or who die before birth have committed no sins even though original sin implicates them. And since God himself testifies that Job was blameless & upright (more accurately "perfect and upright") it appears that the only one who accuses Job of sin is Satan. Yet some who adhere to bad theology follow the thinking of Satan and accuse Job of sin on the basis of the passage in the psalms that is quoted in Romans. Enoch is also accused of sin yet God says he was pleased with Enoch and "took him". "Took him" implying that God received Enoch into heaven without Enoch ever dying. What sins can Enoch be accused of if God himself received him?

    Other examples of Bad Theology springing from selective reading of scripture can easily be cited. The example given above is one that ought to be obvious to any who read scripture more fully and with their wits and eyes fully operative.

     
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  2. Friend-of-Jesus

    Friend-of-Jesus Well-Known Member

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    I love your post. Yes, I see it often when bad theological dogmatism springs out of selective verses. It's very bad!
     
  3. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    The idea in the thread title is exactly the real and needed truth -- selective reading is the way to error.

    But on the question of who has sinned -- that is going to be a unnecessarily complex and controversial example to try to use, ha ha.

    On that complex hot topic, pray! Like pray the Lord's prayer for example. With faith, because you will need that aid if you try to discuss such a hot topic (if it gets noticed by many). And also we all should always be humble to learn of course.

    I think my view isn't important in itself. But I do think reading Hebrews chapter 11 could be helpful, in that the righteousness of many in the Old Testament, Paul is writing here, is from their faith.

    I take that to mean instead of something else like being unsinful. In other words, perhaps Job sinned at times prior to the story given in the book, but then repented in that prior time, causing forgiveness and maintaining 'righteousness'. And crucially, Job always continued in faith.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  4. Hammster

    Hammster Buckeye Newshawk Award Winner Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    If Job was blameless (which means without blame, not perfect), then we will have to conclude that Jacob was also blameless in the same way. Genesis 25:27

    I'm not sure anyone wants to make that argument. So to counter bad theology (that some folks were sinless like Christ) it's good to understand how words are used, understand the context, and understand how the original authors meant for the original readers to understand.
     
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  5. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    Another great example is over in the egalitarian folder. Member Zoii has made a drawing of a young girl bowing before the cross with all kinds of scriptures telling her how bad she is for being female.

    Is Christianity Bad News for Women?
     
  6. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    Plus looking at ALL applicable scriptures from both testaments. For instance what do you do with this statement:?

    Phil 3.5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.
     
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  7. OrthodoxyUSA

    OrthodoxyUSA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If they had been sinless. They would not have aged or died.

    Forgive me...
     
  8. GingerBeer

    GingerBeer Cool and refreshing with a kick!

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    You'd be right. No one wants to make an argument based in Gen 25:27. It says:
    When the boys grew up, Esau was a skilful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents.
    Genesis 25:27
    Maybe you had a different verse in mind?
     
  9. Hammster

    Hammster Buckeye Newshawk Award Winner Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    Not at all. The same word translated quiet man is the same word translated as blameless in Job.
     
  10. GingerBeer

    GingerBeer Cool and refreshing with a kick!

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    You provide another example of bad theology springing from selective bible reading.
    ָתּם
    tām: An adjective meaning integrity, completeness. This is a rare, almost exclusively poetic term often translated perfect but not carrying the sense of totally free from fault, for it was used of quite flawed people. It describes the mild manner of Jacob in contrast to his brother Esau, who was characterized by shedding blood (Gen 25:27; see also Pro 29:10). The term often carries a rather strong moral component in certain contexts (Job 1:1; Job 9:20-22; Psa 37:37; Psa 64:4). This word appears among a list of glowing terms describing the admirable qualities of the Shulamite lover (Son 5:2; Son 6:9).​
    The word has a range of meanings and the specific meaning in a particular passage is determined by the context. John1:1 & 8 use the term to describe Job's standing before God as "perfect and upright". That is obvious from the translation provided. In Genesis 25:27 the translators choose "quiet" but ignoring the context that the translators took into consideration helps to build bad theology. Clearly that is the kind of selectivity that produces bad theology.
     
  11. Hammster

    Hammster Buckeye Newshawk Award Winner Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    "often translated perfect but not carrying the sense of totally free from fault"

    ^^^This. Thanks for clearing it up.
     
  12. GingerBeer

    GingerBeer Cool and refreshing with a kick!

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    "The term often carries a rather strong moral component in certain contexts (Job 1:1; Job 9:20-22; Psa 37:37; Psa 64:4)."

    Selective reading of a definition is bad too.
     
  13. Hammster

    Hammster Buckeye Newshawk Award Winner Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    Job the perfect person?

    “Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes."”
    ‭‭Job‬ ‭42:6‬ ‭NASB‬‬

    Blameless? Yes. He repented. Perfect? No. He needed to repent.
     
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  14. Hammster

    Hammster Buckeye Newshawk Award Winner Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    But still not perfection.
     
  15. TheSeabass

    TheSeabass Well-Known Member

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    I would argue those that use the Rom 3:10-20 context to 'prove' original sin is using it selectively.

    1) if Rom 3 context proves each and every person sins it would implicate Christ and infants and the mentally disabled who did not/do not sin.

    2) context wise, in Romans chapters 1 and 2 Paul is proving that both Jew and Gentiles are sinners. Never does Paul say either group are sinners due to original sin but due to transgressions committed. Going into chapter 3 Paul tells us the Jews had it better than the Gentiles, an advantage over the Gentiles "because that unto them (Jews) were committed the oracles of God". From verse 7 onward Paul is addressing the Jews and their thinking they were better than the Gentiles (verse 9) to which Paul responds by quoting from the OT in verses 10-18. Then in verse 19 Paul says "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." It was the Jew to whom the law was given that Paul was speaking to here, so these quotes in context are being applied to specifically to the disobedient Jew and not everyone. Paul is essentially telling the disobedient Jew that your own law given to you says you are sinners, so this should stop all mouths that claim fleshly Israel is not under sin as the Gentiles.

    3) the wording used by Paul in his quotes "Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips...Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness...Their feet are swift to shed blood" Paul did not have infants in mind who cannot speak, use deceit nor walk to shed blood. "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one." Paul also does NOT say they are BORN out of the way or BORN unprofitable (again no infants in Paul's mind here) but Paul speaks to what men become not how they are born.
     
  16. stuart lawrence

    stuart lawrence Well-Known Member

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    It's bad theology to believe Enoch was taken to THE true Heaven to dwell with God:

    NO ONE has ever entered Heaven except the one who came from heaven, the son of man
    John3:13

    In fact, my Bible doesn't say Enoch was taken to heaven, only that he was taken.
    It says Elijah was taken to heaven, but if we read the Bible as a cohesive whole we accept that does not mean the one true Heaven where God dwells, but rather the heaven of paradise would be more appropriate in my view
     
  17. OrthodoxyUSA

    OrthodoxyUSA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Mat 11:11

    Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

    Forgive me...
     
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  18. GingerBeer

    GingerBeer Cool and refreshing with a kick!

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    Yes, it does mean "perfect" but maybe your concept of "prefect" is not biblical.
    There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and turned away from evil.
    (Job 1:1)
    And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a perfect and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?"
    (Job 1:8)
     
  19. Hank77

    Hank77 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    And Job knows he needs a Redeemer, someone to plead his case.
     
  20. Hank77

    Hank77 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Job made sacrifices for atonement, even for his children.
     
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