Gary continues his response to his questioning critics. Listen to Part 4 here.
Jesus was not declaring a new set of rules for the church to obey by discounting what had been written in what Christians know as the “Old Testament.” He was simply holding His first-century audience accountable for how they were misreading Scripture and urging them not to rely on what they had heard was written. For example, if you read Matthew 5:38–40 and compare it to Exodus 21:22, you will notice that Jesus did not replace capital punishment with a turn-the-other-cheek ethic. Exodus 21:22 clearly states that “judges” are to decide what punishment is to be imposed. Victims could not take personal vengeance (cf. Rom. 12:18–21; cf. 13:4). There were some in Jesus’ day who were taking a law that was meant for civil authorities to adjudicate and carry out and were applying it to personal situations. The consequences can be devastating (James 4:1–2). Jesus appears to be concerned with two things: overthrowing erroneous traditions, and indicating authoritatively the real direction toward which the Old Testament Scriptures point.
These misreadings led to misunderstandings which resulted in creating a mythological tradition that had the effect of nullifying what God’s Word actually said and meant. Over time, the traditions were used by religious authorities to supplant the truth and misdirect the people down an unbiblical path. Jesus said the following to the Scribes and Pharisees: “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men… You nicely set aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition” (Mark 7:8–9).
Like the Bereans of Paul’s day (Acts 17:11), Christians should check the veracity of all opinions against the only reliable standard of authority that God has placed in our hands: the Bible. This may mean a change in belief systems. There is no novelty in this. God confronted Peter directly about the inclusion of Gentiles into the household of faith (10:9–16). Paul confronted Peter “to his face” on a similar matter (Gal. 2:11–14). There are times when we all need to be knocked off our horse of mistaken opinions (Acts 9:4). “Testing” is a biblical mandate (2 Cor. 13:5; 1 John 4:1).
Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths
Takes a closer look at God's Word and applies it to erroneous misinterpretations of the Bible that have resulted in a virtual shut-down of the church's full-orbed mission in the world (Acts 20:27). Due to these mistaken interpretations and applications of popular Bible texts to contemporary issues, the Christian faith is being thrown out and trampled under foot by men (Matt. 5:13).Buy Now
Gary continues his response to his questioning critics. This time he looks at several passages in Acts (17:30-31 and 1:6-11) mentioned as proof texts in the Unorthodox Eschatology statement. In Acts 17, we have three groups of people: the Thessalonians, the Bereans, and the Athenians. One group was mentioned as being “more noble” for their reception of the Apostle Paul and his teaching. Which one are you?
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