by Mike Ratliff
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? (Galatians 3:1-3 ESV)
In yesterday’s post, Fool, we looked at the Greek word ἄφρων or aphrōn, which in noun form means ‘fool’ or in adjective form describes one who is not necessarily lacking in knowledge, but acts without wisdom or sense. In this post we will look at another New Testament Greek word that is translated as fool or foolish, which is ἀνόητος or anoētos. This is the word used twice in the passage I placed at the top of this post (Galatians 3:1-3), however, it is often translated (in various Bible translations) as inconsiderate, unintelligent, unwise (Luke 24:25; Romans 1:14; Titus 3:3), or even brutish in 1 Timothy 6:9). Just as ἄφρων has a very direct meaning for what is going on in the Church in our time, so does ἀνόητος.
Those who are continually attempting to redefine Christianity away from its historic Orthodox Christian Doctrines must also, through that process, deny those doctrines as being valid. They attack their very foundation, which is the Word of God. I have seen preachers like Steven Furtick preach with his Bible open before him, but I have often wondered why he does that since the text he uses in his sermon is lifted out of context so far that it no longer has anything to do with it was really talking about in God’s Word. For instance, in his book Sun Stand Still he used Joshua’s prayer for the Sun to stand still so he can have more time in the day to finish a battle and God answering the prayer by giving the Israelites the victory as a clear sign, according to Furtick, that all we have to do is pray and believe like that and God must answer our prayers and use us like that too because we are displaying audacious faith.
The fool who is all about redefining Christianity must seek to deny the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Rob Bell does this all the time. He isn’t alone in this of course. All liberal christians do this, that is why they are liberals. They attack the true Gospel message and the Word of God as the Word of God. I believe as we go through these points you will be able to apply faces and names to each one. The type of fool we are discussing here can be described in several ways.
First, the fool is concerned about the abstract instead of the absolute. Why do they do this? They believe that facts get in the way of unity. They believe, “Doctrine divides and Love unites.” This is home base for foolishness because this creates the environment of “no absolutes” and “nothing being sure.”
Second, the fool is concerned about wants instead of the Word, Many churches being built today, even so-called evangelical ones, are not being founded upon a ministry of the Word of God. Instead, they are being founded upon what people want, such as entertainment and every appealing program imaginable. However, Scripture does not teach us to do any of this.
Third, the fool is concerned about transient feelings instead of true faith. Tragically, feelings drive many people’s belief systems; facts aren’t the issue, faith in what God says in His Word is not the issue but rather how it makes them feel is the issue. It’s not the intellect that rules, but rather it’s the impulse that rules. There’s great zeal, but nothing real. This has even kicked open the door to the growing frequency of mysticism, which teaches finding God through visions and revelations.
Now for an example of one of these fellows in good form, a video for you from Steven Furtick titled Hey Haters
Soli Deo Gloria!