What Happens When the Authority of Sacred Scripture is Ignored?

by Mike Ratliff

12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.  (2 Timothy 3:12-17 NASB)

The Great Down Grade Controversy in the latter part of the 19th Century was between Charles Spurgeon and a few orthodox ministers who stood against the trend towards modernism that was sweeping through England. This also coincided with the last years of Spurgeon’s ministry. That conflict had many similarities with the battle we are in the midst of right now with the movement into “relevance” and “the new evangelism.” Just as in Spurgeon’s day, there seems to be only a remnant that is standing against this onslaught against the truth for the sake of being man pleasers. 

Another similarity is that those who appear to be progressives declare that those who point out their errors using scripture are being divisive. The Baptist Union, which had become more and more apostate, censured Spurgeon when he took his church out of that association. He did so because his warnings against false preaching and teaching within its member pastors were totally ignored. He was cast into the role of the divisive one.

What causes apostasy to overtake every movement of the spirit, seemingly nullifying all of the good work that came before? The Protestant Reformation was followed by a period of apostasy, which brought about the Puritan movement. The Puritans were devoted to the Sovereignty of God in all things while those who opposed them simply wanted religious power. A slow movement into spiritual coldness followed the Puritan era. The First Great Awakening in the mid 18th Century was next. It was a great movement of the Spirit, but it was quickly followed by a period of hyper-Calvinism. This cycle seems to continue over and over. What is the root cause?

When the authority of God’s Word is seen as anything less by professing Christians and their leaders, compromise soon follows. These compromises come in many flavors and they always seem to be innocent enough at first that few see the danger. It seems that it is as more and more leaders take their flocks into apostasy that it is the few who remain faithful who raise the alarm. Look at the passage below.

12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.  (2 Timothy 3:12-17 NASB)

What is the contrast here? Those who are evil and seducers always wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. They are the ones who persecute those who stand on the truth. The ones persecuted do not compromise the truth from God’s Word while those they oppose do that very thing even to the point of ignoring clear teaching from the Bible so they may continue in their rebellion.

1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.  (2Timothy 4:1-8 NASB)

If that statement doesn’t describe what is going on the Church today then I don’t know what does. We must preach the truth. We must reprove, rebuke and exhort no matter who opposes even when we really don’t feel like it. Doctrine and Creeds are good if they are scriptural. Guess what those in apostasy say about that. Yes, that’s right. They say, “We don’t need no stinkin’ creeds!” Why do they say that? It is because the truths within them rebuke what they say and do. They do not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. In other words, they have their favorite preachers and teachers who tell them what they want to hear and never rebuke them.

These fellows ignore the authority of the Word of God. They have created another gospel and serve a god of their own making. We must never cease rebuking them until and unless they repent. Also, we must stand firm here never moving because to give ground in any direction is a move into darkness and that is compromise and with each compromise we simply get used to living in that darkness until we find ourselves like Lot within the walls of Sodom instead of outside calling all will hear to repentance.

Soli Deo Gloria!

 

14 thoughts on “What Happens When the Authority of Sacred Scripture is Ignored?

  1. Pingback: ¿Qué sucede cuando la Autoridad de la Sagrada Escritura es Ignorada? | Bautistas Reformados en Peru

  2. Once again thinking of how the verses of John 10:4,5,27 come into play here with this subject matter.
    A short testimony of my experience:
    It was the Lord Himself who led me out of denominations and the various systems and “isms” 5 years ago now after allowing me to experience various groups and sub-groups of many of these for approx 13? years.
    I was born again for one year studying at home before I entered my first “church”, if you will. I thought then that it was part of maturity to go find a local “non-denominational” church to join. Of course, this advice was from a “religious” acquaintance who advised me of Heb 10:25, manipulated out of context :( After careful research I had ruled out the local denominations for the various doctrinal reasons as I understood them back then.
    If a born again believer sticks to reading and studying the Word of God, they cannot be led astray. It is the various false teachings/doctrines, of which we are warned repeatedly throughout Scripture, man-made that get us off track. We need to ask ourselves “Did Paul say that or teach that?”
    The various “ism” and “ist” groups…whatever it might be, add to the Word of God by changing and putting a new twist on Paul’s and the other Apostles writings. This leads us into sin and law, not grace and freedom to be found only in Christ Jesus.
    We are called to deny self and follow Christ, not be known by “I’m a follower of Calvin” or “I’m a follower of Jacobus Arminius”, but a disciple of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Man’s ways of picking, choosing and then following a particular theology is easier than going to the Word itself and allowing for His Spirit illuminate and give us understanding as to the only one explanation of what the author intended through His Spirit.
    Recommend this sermon as the Lord has used it to help me understand:

    [audio src="http://www.masteringthebible.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/romans07.07-12L26wk2p892-893.mp3" /]

  3. Paul observes that many believers are quickly removing themselves from the grace of the Gospel of Christ and turning to perverted forms of the Gospel, which are bringing them into bondage. To expose these false teachers and teachings, Paul presents the standard by which all teachings are to be judged. He says that if something is not what he, Paul, has preached, then that teaching is not the true Gospel of Christ. Both Paul and Peter would later use the word αἵρεσις to classify these false teachings as “heresy.”
    In warning believers that the church will be attacked from within by people who are false teachers secretly bringing in heresies of destruction, Peter first tells how these false teachings will be brought in. He uses the Greek word παρεισὰγω (Strong’s #3919), which means to lead something in secretly or undetected. He says that these heresies will be embedded in some form of truth in order to keep them from being detected. Next, he uses the word αἵρεσις to represent false teachings that produce destruction (ἀπὼλεια, Strong’s #684) when followed.

    http://www.studylight.org/ls/gt/

  4. Amen Kelli, that is exactly how it works and I have witnessed it in action as I am sure many of those reading this have as well. What’s our part? We must be wise and discerning. I pray for that every day. Any attempt to do that within my own abilities or wisdom or knowledge is foolish. When what I have written here or what I teach comes under attack I most often do not react right away, but seek the face of our Lord first. When I take time to examine these attacks it is easy to see why they are wrong and that they are based upon lies, et cetera, but it is often amazing to see how intricatly they are woven together with truths and half-truths so that the process to defend against them would simply take all my time and effort. Also, most of the time, these attacks have been addressed by the men of God in the past and so I acknowledge that God is not requiring me to fight to the death on that particular battle and so I don’t. I humbly recognize that God is sovereign and totally in control and is allowing these wolves to attack. My part is to stand firm and defend the faith as He directs. Sometimes we are obedient by not giving the enemy the platform to expound their lies, which I exercise with extreme prejudice at times. Other times I allow those who want to pick a fight to actually comment, but I will then contrast what they say with God’s Truth knowing that the Holy Spirit will work through that. It’s all a matter of not overracting and prayerfully responding to them or not responding to them at all.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  5. Mike,
    I do not always respond right away either or sometimes not at all to differences concerning His Word. God has to permit us to move on to maturity and or whether we are casting pearls before swine.

    Here is an excerpt of part 2 of hairesis and the link provided to read it entirely:

    In 1 Corinthians 11:17-19, Paul presents that αἵρεσις is necessary in the church.

    17)
    Now while commanding this, I do not praise you, because you do not come together for the better but for the worse.

    18) For indeed first, while you are coming together in the church, I hear that there areF1 divisions among you,F2 and in some part I believe it;
    19) For it is also necessary that heresies (the plural of αἵρεσις) should beF3 among you,F4 in order that the approved ones might become manifest among you.F5
    In this text, Paul is about to give commandment concerning the proper approach to Communion, but first mentions the divisions taking place among the Corinthians, calling them “necessary.” He explains that heresies are necessary so that those among them who are approved by God might be made manifest to them. The word translated “approved” is δὸκιμος (Strong’s #1384) which means “to approve of something after having put it to the test.” John uses the verb form of this word in 1 John 4:1 where he says,

    1)
    Beloved, do not be believing every spirit, but be testing (δοκιμὰζω, Strong’s #1381) the spirits, if they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    Those who teach the Word of God and those who present an historical approach to the Scriptures must be put to the test in order to prove that their teaching or doctrine is correct according to the Scriptures and the facts of history. It is important to receive ministry and teaching that is inspired by the Holy Spirit, all other teaching will cause destruction in the life of the one embracing it.

    http://www.studylight.org/ls/gt/index.cgi?a=63

  6. Pingback: What Happens When the Authority of Sacred Scripture is Ignored? – by Possessing the Treasure Mike Ratliff | Truth with Snares!?

  7. Pastor/teacher/brother Bill Klein said in this study that he will continue on in this study taking verses that people use to defend man’s system of theology in comparison to His Word. :)
    Lesson 26 covering Romans 7:7-12 pages 892-893 Continuing the discussion on Calvinism vs. Arminianism and the Five Points of Misunderstanding

    [audio src="http://www.masteringthebible.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/romans07.07-12L26wk3p892-893.mp3" /]

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