mercredi 25 juillet 2012

A Response To A Cessationist - Part I

Last year, i wrote a series of post on a yahoo forum (JC) as a response to some views that i have always found difficult that some intelligent christian who dearly love the lord still uphold those views. Hear it is:
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A good friend of mine sent me a letter from a christian christian who seem to believe that the miraculous act of God through the Spirit has stopped when the Bible was completed. So as i read it, it made me laugh and i thought since it doesn't take any effort whatsoever to refute his view i decided to take a break from my busy schedule and relax in responding to his letters. I want as a disclaimer to mention that i do have a healthy respect of the Bible and that i do use the scripture for my personal life quite intensively and i do also use it when i exhort, teach or evangelize. So whatever you may think while reading my numerous intervention, i am not denigrating the value of the scripture, i am just attacking in deconstructing the evangelical cessationist argument advanced in the letter i read.

 I like evangelical and i learnt a lot from them in the past and i am still learning. But when they come against the move of the Holy Spirit as conceived in the pentecostal/charismatic theology, we depart company. And i have to say that not all evangelical churches have that discomforting view on the Holy Spirit move. Some are quite indistinguishable from their distant cousin: the Pentecostal/charismatic church. I was in such evangelical church this morning. So this ain't an attack to any church but to a view that i guess need to be confronted merely because though it claims to be pro- biblical, they argument is far from it. Sadly!

So enjoy. It comes in three part ... so relax and take it slowly. If any question arises, i'll be delighted to try to comment on them to the best of my ability when i have time.

Cheers and have a great and blessed week in Jesus name, 

A) "As I said to being the study, it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense for Paul to be telling us when these things are going to stop (1 Cor 13) if they are going to stop at the end of the world “ that would go without saying, all things stop then."

Incorrect! the argument we made was not that all the spiritual gifts will stop at the end of the world but when their ultimate purpose in the body of Christ will be fulfilled, meaning at the perfection of the church, which is not yet the case! Unless, some proof is advanced and shown that the church is already perfect at the perfect stature of Christ (without blemish). (Eph 5:25-27) there are no logical reason to believe that the spiritual gifts such as prophecy and else are no longer active nowadays.

B) "Remember that God's word (the Bible) is called "the perfect law of liberty" in James 1:25.  Thinking about how we knew yesterday the "part" refers to part of the body in Luke 11:36 (because the part and whole will be of the same nature in such a contrast), then by that same reasoning we know the perfect of I Cor 13:10 must refer to the means by which God gives his complete New Testament revelation/law, since the "part" is referring to the means by which God gives his New Testament revelation/law in parts.  A part of a cherry pie comes from a whole cherry pie.  And the means by which God gives his complete New Testament law is the Bible, the written New Testament “as we have it today in our hands."

First of all, James wasn't writing his letter after the completion of the New Testament (N.T). He was writing the christian scripture himself when he wrote about the perfect law of liberty to his audience in his epistle. Hence, he was N0T speaking about the Bible since the New Testament wasn't even completed, nor was the rest of the chapter in his epistle that followed the first chapter were the term 'perfect law' was written. He was speaking of something else than the Bible as we know it today to his readers who apparently knew what that perfect law of liberty was all about, even thought they may have not been able to apply the principle. Secondly, it is just bad scholarship to say that 1 Co 13:10 refers to the mean by which God gives his complete N.T, since the text doesn't even refer to a mean or a mechanism of the NT writings.

C) "First let's look at John chapters 14-16.  Examine 15:16a, 27b, 17:6, 12, 18, 20 and see if you don't agree with me that Jesus is talking about the apostles being guided into all the truth (16:13), not every Christian.  This guiding into all the truth is referring to the inspiration of the New Testament books.  So they would be guided into all the truth in their lifetime; the revealing of God's New Testament law is not an ongoing thing."

Fascinating and hilarious! No, Jesus wasn't just saying that the Holy Spirit was the helper and teacher of the Apostles only and not the rest of the Christian community during the generations to come. And second, it refers to the inspiration of the future scriptures also certainly but not only that. See it this way, there were 12 disciples who received this message from Jesus, but we only have the writings of only three of them, namely, Mathew, Peter and John. So were are the other revelations that came to the other 8 remaining apostles (i left Judas Iscariot out)? If that was just to the 12 apostles before Christ crucifictions, then where is the other truths and revelation from the others? or do we have to assume that they recorded them and it got lost? if that is the case, we certainly have an incomplete revelation of the truth then? Unless one want to argue that only three of them received the Holy Spirit privy teachings, there is no way we can explain the absence of the other apostles writings. And that makes it again weird since the new testament have other writers who weren't from the original 12. So why is their writings part of the NT? Paul, Luc, Jude, Mark, the author of Hebrew and probably James. What on earth were they writing in the New Testament (NT) and why was their writings in the NT?

James who might be another James, not the one of Acts hence not an apostles - but i'll concede and grants him as an apostle just to have fun, which makes the writings of the original apostles of Jesus of John 15-17 on the ratio of 4 to 7 - if James is added! Still not the majority!

D) " The scriptures (written word of God) is intended to make the man of God perfect (complete), throughly furnished unto all good works.  Not the Scripture is given that the man of God may be almost perfect, partially furnished unto most good works (so we need our feelings and extra Biblical revelation)."

Unnecessarily pedantic! This verse of 1 Tim 4:17 doesn't explain how the scripture will make the man of God perfect. The mechanism is explained in Ephesian 4  where it is clearly said that it is those who have the gifts who are the ones who will be used to make the Body of Christ perfect. Simply said, the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists,  the teachers and the Pastors uses the word of God through their respective gifting to perfect the Church of Christ. The scripture can be at time a milk for babies and a solid food for spiritual adults. So it is not self learned! It is learned under the supervision of those who have been called in the ministry! So he missed the point of 1 Tim 4. It is not a counter argument, but a supporting argument to Ephesians 4 and to Ephesian 5:25-27

E) "Consider that Rev 20:12 teaches we are going to be judged by the things written in the books (of the Bible), not by our feelings or supposed modern day revelations."

Incorrect commentary! Judgement will be done in many ways: "Mat 7:2  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." .. Even Jesus said that 'by your words you will be judged!' Moreover the book of Revelation did not speak of the Bible since the Bible wasn't even canonized at that time! It happened few centuries later (4th century)! It refers to "the book of this prophecy" (Rev 22:19) meaning the book of Revelation itself, it is in the singular. As for Rev 20:12, one has just to read it to realize that someone has been misreading the scripture. 

Rev 20:12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in THE BOOKS, according to their works.
This verse talks of Books in the plural. And it says that there was one book of life, so among all the 66 books of the bible, which one is the book of life according to your theology? Is it the Gospel of John? or the epistle of Jude? or is it the book or Ruth?

This is why i find this view wanting.

More on that in the next part.
Check My Book here or more here.

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