by Mike Ratliff
Philip, however, one of those who had been ordained with Stephen to the diaconate, was among those dispersed. He went to Samaria and, filled with divine power, was the first to preach the word there. So great was the divine grace at work with him that even Simon Magus and many others were captivated by his words. Simon had gained such fame by the wizardry with which he controlled his victims that he was believed to be the Great Power of God. But even he was so overwhelmed by the wonders Philip performed through divine power that he insinuated himself [into the faith], hypocritically feigning belief in Christ even to the point of baptism. (This is still done by those who continue his foul heresy to the present day: following the practice of their progenitor, they fasten onto the church like a noxious and scabby disease, destroying all whom they succeed in smearing with the dreadful, deadly poison hidden in them. – Eusebius – from The Church History “Book 2 The Apostles”
My friend Chris Rosebrough informed our discernment group this morning of a “tweet.” Here is the content of it:
Your n good company if it bothers u that some Christians are quick to argue theology. Jesus didn’t die for correct theology…
Chris then asked the following question, “I wonder if this statement is theologically correct?”
Here is the link to my response. Here is the content of it:
Jesus commanded us to teach them to observe all that I have commanded you – Correct Theology – Matt 28:20
Let’s go back a couple of days to my post The Nature of God’s Word is to Fight Against Hypocrites. Here is an excerpt:
What is hypocrisy? Most dictionaries define it this way, “The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.” In the New Testament, one of best known examples of the Greek word translated as “hypocrites” is found in our Lord Jesus’ quotation of Isaiah 29:13 in Matthew 15:7-9, “ὑποκριταί, καλῶς ἐπροφήτευσεν περὶ ὑμῶν Ἠσαΐας λέγων· ὁ λαὸς οὗτος τοῖς χείλεσίν με τιμᾷ, ἡ δὲ καρδία αὐτῶν πόρρω ἀπέχει ἀπ᾽ ἐμοῦ· μάτην δὲ σέβονταί με διδάσκοντες διδασκαλίας ἐντάλματα ἀνθρώπων.” Or, “Hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you saying, “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts is far from me and in vain do they worship me teaching as commandments the teachings of men.” Remember, this was our Lord talking here.
The teachings of men are not the doctrines taught by the Lord Jesus that he gave his Apostles and the Church to teach to all they discipled until his return. The teachings of men are what the one who wrote that tweet would be comfortable with, which goes something like this, “Be the Gospel, don’t preach the Gospel.” He would also like this one in negative sense, “Doctrine divides!” On the other hand, those who take doctrine seriously know for certain that the doctrines of God, that is, God’s Word as it fights against hypocrites, most definitely divides truth from error. Those who demand unity at all costs also demand that all that causes division be put in the background or done away with so there can be unity despite theological differences. That’s not the unity commanded that the Church have in Sacred Scripture. No, we are to be united in the Spirit within the good doctrines of God.
Chis Rosebrough had his own response to that tweet here.
Soli Deo Gloria!