The Hermeneutic of Humility’s gospel is false

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 more times than I can count 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 to 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, social justice, et cetera. 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!

5 thoughts on “The Hermeneutic of Humility’s gospel is false

  1. The truly sad thing about this is that, in many denominations, this problem is put forward in the study materials supplied for Sunday School classes and church sponsored Bible studies. It sometimes feels like we’re trying to shout over the roar of a large waterfall. With all the emphasis on ‘Social Justice” and other distraction events going on, we ask ourselves if anybody is hearing us! I am, however, comforted by the knowledge that our words ARE heard by some, that the SEED of the Word is, indeed, falling on fertile soil and is taking root and growing! God’s Word ALWAYS produces fruit, ALWAYS! So do not fear, do not hesitate! Speak that which God has given you and, if like Paul, you are reviled or attacked for speaking the Gospel, Like Paul, ‘knock their dust from your sandals’ and walk away. BUT, be sure, be VERY sure, that your words are the Truth! Remember the parable of the sower that Jesus taught. Even Christians can be stony ground or thorny briars.

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  2. I remember when scripture was just Words on a page. I forced myself to read because i thought i had to. Not everyone can hear as the Master said “some fall on bad soil”. Our ears have to be opened for us to be able to hear.

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  3. Nailed it, Mike. With the accusation of being INTOLERANT ringing in their ears, many church leaders have responded with this false humility as a compromise to be accepted by the prince of the air.

    And we have Baptist churches lining up to host Jesus Culture from Bethel with Church of Christ speakers! How humble it is, to bring new age and legalists to your people with enthusiastic approval!

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  4. A question to ponder: Who is a part of the Body of Christ? Is it limited to a single denomination? Were you taught that the denomination you joined is the one and only? Can you honestly and joyfully shout “We are the church!” and hear a chorus of “Amen!” for every corner of your church?

    Of course, the answer is obviously that there are only those that declare that Our LORD Jesus Christ is our personal Savior in the Body. It would surprise some that all denominations have members that fit that description. we may worship a bit differently, sing different hymns, celebrate comunion differently, baptize differently, but, when it boils down to the belief that God sent His Son to Die on the Cross for OUR Sins, we all have a common rock to stand upon.

    If THAT is not common between denominations, there can be no communion with them. I know it sounds harsh, but we are taught via Scripture to not be unequally yoked.

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