The Hermeneutic of Humility

by Mike Ratliff

1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self- control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. (2 Timothy 3:1-5 NASB)

The lack of tolerance within the visible church for the exclusivity of the genuine Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is rooted in the “Hermeneutic of Humility.” Even amongst some pretty solid Christians that I am close to, I have noticed that pained or shocked look on their faces when they hear me succinctly define the Gospel the way our Lord Jesus did and the way the Apostle Paul did. These reactions are rooted in the “Hermeneutic of Humility,” which is a way of looking at our faith and interpreting the very Word of God through a filter that sees certainty as a product of pride and uncertainty as a virtue. It looks so humble to these people when they hear a Christian leader say that they don’t know the full truth about this or that, but as far as they know, “blah…blah…blah.” These people contend that to be certain divides people while uncertainty creates an environment of unity. I have been accused of being filled with pride over the last several years so many times by some people because I will not agree with their interpretation of scripture or whatever. My brethren, our God does not give us His truth in shades of gray. He tells us succinctly what is truth and what is not. The Gospel, for instance, is very well defined and those who insist on a variegated version of it do so because they view certainty as divisive and uncertainty as being truly humble and uniting. 

I contend that the “Hermeneutic of Humility” is that decaying point from which the godlessness in these days has become so manifest in the visible church in our time. Carefully read the passage I placed at the top of this post (2 Timothy 3:1-5). This is a warning of what happens in the Church when the Christian leaders forsake their true duty, which is to minister according the very clear commandments from God’s Word. When Christian liberalism in any form is embraced by those in control in our churches, the Gospel will be neglected. It will be watered down. Those who refuse to compromise will be attacked and accused of all sorts of things with claims that they are not Christlike because they preach the Word with no compromise. The gospel is then changed to something else like replacing it with doing good works or whatever. However, there is a cure for this and this is what we must do as we pray for God to turn the hearts of His men around to preach the Word again.

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. (2 Timothy 4:1-5 NASB)

You see, even if there are people calling the shots in our churches who will not endure sound teaching, we must not compromise. Despite what so many say in our time about the truth being unknowable, we must not give in to that lie. Let us continue to obey our Lord in standing firm, pointing the lost to that narrow gate, rebuking those who preach or teach what is false while we exhort the faithful.

Will this cause the faithful to be persecuted? Will people accuse us, slander us, and attempt to silence us as we do this? Sure, and this has happened before. Our enemy does not like it when we shine the light of God’s truth into the darkness he has created. That is what we are called to do though and I offer this short post up as a challenge and an exhortation to all who have been given the responsibility to rightly divide the Word of Truth. That challenge is to do so for God’s glory alone. Do what you are called to do regardless of who does not like it. Who are we to obey, God or man?

Soli Deo Gloria!

7 thoughts on “The Hermeneutic of Humility

  1. Amen. This is a dark and perverse society that we live in, and we must be a light to those that are still in darkness. The tragedy is that sometimes those that are in darkness do not know that they are in fact, in darkness. We in fact must stay “plugged in” to the source (John 15:1) in order to fulfill God’s will for our lives.


  2. Revelation 3:16
    As Gods ministers carrying His Gospel
    To the world , we have to make a decision to be His light and not smoke lost in the darkness leading the lost in confusion to hell, while we call it the Word of God and play it out in church
    On Sunday. The unclear (believer)
    Who wont hear,see and receive Gods Word…..will be the Christains in hell with the bumper stickers ,I love Jesus
    Being the Jesus of their imagination .
    I thank God for keeping His blood born again children to the end.
    Come now Lord Jesus !
    Sis KK 😇 Happy New Year


  3. Reblogged this on The love of God and commented:
    Have a good read of that Scripture passage this page begins with, and look up the word definitions. They are truly enlightening. 2 Timothy 3 has followed me for the whole of my own walk with the Lord.


  4. Amen!

    We must hold to our convictions firmly and preach the truth unwaveringly. If we don’t hold to the truth God gave us, we have nothing. The big battle ahead is around truth. Without the truth, it all blends into one big conglomeration of ‘ideologies’ and ‘philosophies,’ compromise, and eventually the one world religion. Jesus used the truth of God’s word to defeat satan at the temptation and that sets the model for us to follow. Remember what it says in 2 Thess. 2, God gave them over to strong delusion, or to believe the lie, because they did not love The Truth. It is the Truth that will be our anchor, our rallying post in the days ahead, our fortress in the storm to come that is already landing. It is Jesus, who also has the title ‘the Word of God,’ in Revelation. The truth is the dividing sword that draws the line between the saved and the unsaved. Without the gospel of truth, no one would be saved. Jesus said at his arrest that ‘all who are on the side of Truth listen to my voice.’ Pilate answered ‘what is truth?’ Here we see Pilates relativistic subjective jellyfish outlook. Sure, not everything is part of absolute truth, some things are subjective and relative. But the gospel and the bible IS absolute truth. Whose side are we on, Pilate, or Jesus?
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