Absolute Morality and Truth Vs. Human-Generated Morality and Opinions
Compiled: 9/26/04 - 1/9/05; Revised: 2/12, 3/2, 10/11/05; 8/11/09; 9/7/09; 3/5/10; 4/9-4/17/10; 9/7/10; 5/6/12
This letter was written and compiled specifically to confront liberal philosophies that endangered an otherwise considerably dedicated church internship in Gainesville Florida that I was a part of in 2004. After being somewhat publicly opposed by a false brother1 carrying spiritual cancer to pollute this group of believers, I wrote this to defend Jesus’ Truth.
[1. Compare: Gal_2:4-5, and the rest of the book of Galatians as well]
To all those who name the name of Christ and dare to Love the Truth and so be saved from this wicked and perverse generation that we live in. Most of its perversion and cancer being found in those groups of people once called the Church, which are now scarcely more than religious social organizations (its only hope being those dispersed grains of salt that have retained, and still retain, their saltiness). To those who would aspire to make the world (including most of what we call the church) unworthy of them. To those who will be vexed and anguished by its perversion and to those who will be blessed by salvation from it, I write:
[I was somehow helped to write this in one sitting in the month of September 2004, and it now contains minimal insertions]
The spiritual realm is a tricky thing, because in the physical there are practically no absolutes, but in the spiritual, there is nothing but absolutes. Sadly, we observe our need for a balanced diet and balanced activity in the physical and wrongly desire to impress it upon our spiritual lives.
We who follow Jesus hold that there are moral absolutes. This we must insist upon all the more because of the pervading religion of humanism that our culture blindly embraces. We seem to understand this far, but we fail to apply the reality of such implications.
If there are moral absolutes, then there are also those things that are absolutely not moral. And if we say that there are some things that we do that are not absolute then we are saying that morality, which is supposed to be absolute, is not absolutely applicable. In this we say two things out of the same mouth.
Morality is absolutely applicable because there is no morality apart from God, and God is absolutely over all.
God is absolutely good; therefore whatever specific things there are that He does not approve of are shown to be absolutely bad, for there is no goodness apart from God.
[Not that all sin is equal in its severity. Not all sin is absolute in its severity nor in its punishment, but that all sin is absolutely sinful is established in Scripture. If I have a chair and a table that are entirely made of wood, the chair is as much made of wood as the table, but they are not equal in weight: Deu_21:22 (esp. MT); 22:25, 28-29; 25:2; Eze_16:52; Mat_7:3-5; 10:14-15; 11:21-24; 12:31-32, Mat_12:41; 23:23-24; Mar_6:11; Luk_7:41; 10:10-16; 11:32; 12:10, 47-48; Joh_19:11; Heb_10:26; Jas_3:1; 2Pe_2:20-22; 1Jo_5:16-18. Also compare 1Co_7:38].
God is absolute and has an opinion on everything, even in the areas that we think are gray. What He says causes one to stand and another to fall. "God is no respecter of persons" [Act_10:34]
[Though He is a respecter of righteousness that is manifested in humility]
God is not indecisive about what He likes and what He dislikes, but is in every way fully persuaded about everything. If then we will derive our morals from Him, then we will obtain no amount of "gray morals." It is only at the limit of our sight that we are unable to distinguish clear lines, and it is only by means of poor vision that we mix black and white in our vision to behold gray. God never desires this, nor is He ever at fault for this. But our perception of gray-ness is always due to our human imperfections and our inclined estrangement from the perfect vision of God’s eyes that He sees and defines morality with. This is why no amount of bad can produce good, but that only good working at the expense of bad produces good for God’s elect.
When we seek a spiritual "balance," we fail to realize that nothing that is bad for us can by any means be beneficial for us in smaller amounts.
We will say, "God is all I need." If He is, then we need nothing else to balance against His weight. And if we seek to balance something with Him, then it is sin that we seek.
The Bible says, “...man will not live on bread alone, but on every word that goes out of the mouth of God.” [Mat_4:4 Jos.Trans.; from Deu_8:3, and also found in Luk_4:4]
If this then is how we live, shall we then attempt to only take in limited quantities of God’s life? Or shall we also attempt to make it partially into Heaven? Will we hope to find "a balance" of having part of our soul in the lake of fire and the other half in Heaven? If then we would not be so ridiculous in these, then let us no longer be so in our cravings for a balanced spiritual walk.
You know as well as I that we need as much of God as possible. Let us take Him head-on and not seek a balance with the devil, for we know that this is not possible. But we theorize it to be so when we propose that there are gray areas that are not black and white. We affirm it to be so when we label people as "going to the extreme" on an issue, and not being "balanced."
Haven’t we learned from the Scriptures that, light has no fellowship with darkness? As it says, "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership does righteousness have with lawlessness? And what fellowship does light have with darkness" [2Co_6:14 LITV and also see 1Jo_1:5-7]?
How foolish of us to say otherwise by thinking that light has somehow mixed with darkness to make gray light! Indeed, how foolish! We must realize that the spiritual kingdoms are not about variations of pigments that can artistically be mixed but about light and darkness, which cannot be mixed. For they truly ‘have no communion or fellowship with one another’.
Oh foolish and blind man! When will you ever see that God never goes halfway on any call that He makes? And if indeed you will admit this, then why do you try the patience of God by saying that His council cannot be known? If then God makes calls on all things (especially concerning morality) according to His absolute morals, then we must also believe that He is gracious to reveal these things to us as we ask Him. So if all things will be judged in the council of His light, then we should fear and tremble to know His councils that we may be found in his morality, as it says, "…that you may approve the things that are excellent…" [Phi_1:10 EMTV; Also see Eph_5:10], which includes a disdaining of those things that are not excellent. And as it says again, "Hate what is evil and cling to what is good." [Rom_12:9; Also see Amo_5:13-15]
Let us no longer endure men’s opinions, for it is impossible to hate and yet respect that opinion which is deviant from that perfect nature of God. For if we do not hate it, then we derive our morals from an imperfect god. As it says, "The power of death and life are in the tongue."
The effect of the tongue is not as morally neutral as we thought. Ultimately, either we will speak of God or of Satan. Our opinions are never morally neutral. Either they speak life or death to the souls of the hearers. And if we give respect to that which is of the prince of demons, then we allow his morals to have a place in our lives. In such, we certainly do not "hate that which is evil" by giving credence to it.
We see that the law was given "…that every mouth may be stopped…" [Rom_3:19]. If this then is the power of an old covenant, how much more will the Truth of a new and better covenant subvert every lie? Who has an opinion, and who has something to say? God will stop up his mouth with judgment who gives opinions that are not from Him. This is also confirmed in this scripture, "… that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty1 before God." [Rom_3:19 CAB]
[1. “guilty” – Greek: “ὑπόδικος” (hupodikos): “under” (hupo) + “justice” or “righteousness” (dikos), or “under sentence, that is, (by implication) condemned” (Strong’s)]
And the fact that the new covenant, which brought Grace and Truth [Joh_1:17], also stops mouths is also confirmed by Scripture:
Tit_1:7, Tit_1:9-11 WEB For the overseer must be… 9 able to exhort in the sound doctrine, and to convict those who contradict him. 10 For there are also many unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped; men who overthrow whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for dishonest gain's sake.
And as it says again, "… every idle word men may speak, they will give account [λόγον (logon): that is, a verbal answer] of it in the day of judgment."
[Mat_12:36 EMTV; These two verses were written because of the Truth of Pro_18:21 (quoted above)]
We ought not to promote but oppose those whose mouth brings about the judgment of God. And please don’t be so ridiculous as to think that I mean that we should make a habit of being wroth with those in the world. There is a time for this, but it is in the vast minority. Indeed, judgment begins in the house of God! As it says, "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God…" [1Pe_4:17 KJV]
We should be more harsh with those inside the church than those outside, when it comes to subverting idle words, such as men’s opinions that bring about God’s judgment. We church people must ‘first remove the beam from our own eye’ that is spreading cancer in the church before we can properly instruct the world against such opinions. Ultimately, we may do this in the church or in the world, but either way, whether it be "showing compassion on some" (being gentle) or "snatching them out of the fire with fear," (being harsh) we are to ‘make that distinction.’ Hopefully, you may remember this verse, "…having mercy on some, making a distinction [between persons], but others be saving with fear, snatching [them] out of a fire, hating even the tunic [or, garment] having been polluted [or, defiled] by the flesh" [Jud_1:22-23 ALT].
We must not deal with all cases of opposing false opinions the same, though they are all ungodly beliefs. If you believe the Bible, then you will also believe that the person in whom the opinion is housed determines (by their actions) whether to oppose with gentleness or with harshness. We must "make a distinction" and that we must do in general between Truth and lies, not giving respect to opinions, as well as situationally whether to treat the opinioned person harshly or gently, (the default being gentleness). Whether with harshness or gentleness toward people, let us not give respect to opinions, but rather let us, "...hate and abhor unrighteousness..." [Psa_119:163 CAB; Also see Psa_119:29, Psa_119:128; Psa_119:113, Psa_101:7; Amo_5:15]
[Let us also cry, "Remove vanity and falsehood far from me..." Pro_30:8 CAB; Also see: Eph_4:25; Rev_22:15]
And if we truly do this, then that which is left over from our hatred is the good that we are to "cling to."
[Rom_12:9 CAB Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil. Cling to that which is good.]
So let us keep a right and accurate view of God, not allowing space in our minds for the so-called "gray areas," which are a devilish pretense to appeal to our carnal nature and understanding instead of trusting in the immutable, immortal, absolutely wise and moral God.
"A little leaven leavens the whole lump" [1Co_5:6-8/ Gal_5:9. Also see Mat_16:6-12; Mar_8:14-21; Luk_12:1; 2Ti_2:16-17].
And so does a little falsehood, even if it be disguised as though it were "only an opinion." Do not be deceived; it has the intent and purpose of corruption. Foolish philosophers will try to blur these distinctions, which I exhort that we withdraw ourselves from, (from them and their philosophies).
Those who seek a god of relative truth will be condemned. But may those who embrace the fullness of His perfect Truth be blessed.
This short section mostly highlights and clarifies some of the things already discussed. The parts together do not completely carry a consistent theme, as the title indicates, except that they all concern Absolute Truth. Notwithstanding, I think that they expound God’s Truth in this condition on this subject.
Remember this verse?
Jud_1:22-23 ALT …having mercy on some, making a distinction [between persons], but others be saving with fear, snatching [them] out of a fire, hating even the tunic [or, garment] having been polluted [or, defiled] by the flesh.
At a time when I was grading Bible projects, Sarah Lastinger [now “Sarah Evans”] wrote about Jude 1:22-23 in a "Meditation Verse" assignment:
It is hard… I usually stress one side or the other way too much, and that is not good. But with God’s guidance sometimes I am able to feel strongly about and walk in both.
The second part of the verse is neat too. "Hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh." I take that as saying that though you love the people who don’t know God and are very deceived by Satan. You should Hate (extreme dislike) Satan’s lies, and how he has stained peoples lives. Hate sin, hate falsehood, hate evil, hate injustice, hate oppression, etc… It is ok to be extreme when it comes to hating sin. (Sarah Lastinger 9-6-03, used with permission)
I wrote back:
-I agree. I would say that you can never be too extreme on any good thing. The answer to feelings of condemnation is not to stop seeing GOD as your judge, (that would be a perversion of who GOD is). You will never find the balance on any issue of Godliness because there has never been any such thing! Anything that throws you in to an unhealthy extreme can by no means help you in smaller quantities! That would be as foolish as saying that ‘you need to sin a little every day, or you will not be balanced.’
But any unhealthy extreme is made up of a counterfeit substance unrelated to the original. Let me use an analogy:
If I put chocolate syrup in my car because I thought that it was oil, and mess up my engine to a degree, then I should not say, "I need to stop trying to add so much oil!" The answer is to stop putting syrup in my car and get some real oil. But if I become disillusioned with attempting to add oil and only focus on putting water in my car, I haven’t solved a thing. I still have a counterfeit lubricant being pumped throughout my car, and it’s in desperate need of the real thing. In the same way, people often hear bad Hell-fire-and-Brimstone sermons, and become disillusioned with GOD’s judgment, and try to "balance" it by only focusing on God’s grace. This solves nothing but worsens the problem.
In the case of my car, I never addressed my need for oil because I never had the right substance, and now my motor is doomed to burn up because I was trying to "be balanced." Oil and water are both needed, and one doesn’t seesaw down in quantity when I add the other.
Extreme views of GOD’s judgment are BIBLICAL and indispensable. Foolish is the one who tries to balance them with "grace"! Any substance that diminishes such views is demonic, because it is against the BIBLE. BIBLICAL Grace only reinforces our view of GOD as a judge. Extreme views of GOD’s Grace are BIBLICAL and indispensable, because whoever does not have them is a slave under the law, in whatever area he does not have them. Anyone who tries to balance their view of grace with an understanding of God’s judgment is still in need of Grace, because only by Grace do we stop sinning. Anyone speaking GOD’s Judgment without any Grace is speaking the words of the devil, because all of the judgments of GOD necessitate GOD’s Grace to those who are not condemned.
Harsh speakers are not prophets as we wrongly deem them. -People who here the declarations of GOD are prophets. Sometimes they are to rebuke, and sometimes to encourage. But no one ever needed any special help from GOD to get up and vent on people.
So the conclusion is this: be as absorbed in knowing GOD’s judgment as possible; in other words be strong in GOD’s Grace, (if you know what I mean).
(Response to "Sarah Lastinger 9-6-03," -Slightly Clarified-)
Historically, the church has reactionally swung from one unhealthy extreme to the other, every swing leading to another perversion for people to swing away from in future generations. But we were never called to be a pendulum but a pillar in God’s house. Paul says, "I write these things… that you may know how you ought to behave in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth," (1Ti_3:14-15 MKJV). And Jesus says, "Him who overcomes I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God…" (Rev_3:12 MKJV).
Unfortunately, to counter this swinging, the church has started incorporating the pagan concept of "balance," and this too is a perversion. Reacting against reactionalizm is not less reactional.
It is not right to be like the one who will run from one end of "the scales" to the other frantically trying to keep things "balanced" when he hears extreme statements. He will make this part of his religious mission, always uttering one statement to balance another that he hears, but his statements are as perverse as the ones that he tries to correct. May you not be like either of these examples.
If we will know the Truth, then we will be free, and we will need neither of these counterfeits.
Some people say that they respect a person for standing up for what they believe. I am glad I do not. I respect a person for standing up for what is right. This is a thing worth being zealous for! There is nothing respectable before God, about standing up for what is wrong no matter how much you believe it, because Paul says, "For you heard my manner of life when I was in Judaism, that I persecuted the church of God with surpassing zeal, and ravaged it," (Gal_1:13 MKJV).
God speaks against wrong zeal in this way:
Rom_10:2 KJV For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
Gal_4:17-18 MKJV They are zealous for you, but not well. But they only desire to shut you out, that you be zealous to them. But it is good to be zealous always in a good thing, and not only in my being present with you.
A Truth is only notably significant if its reverse is also True. So we will just as confidently say: "It is not good to be zealous in a bad thing" as its context affirms.
This is the conclusion: Your zeal and boldness about your beliefs does not justify anything, but the Truthfulness of them justifies both you and your beliefs.
From other papers I wrote
Truth needs no balance because it in no way ever does any harm for the humble. Only the perversion of Truth does people harm whether that is by means of a speaker or the listener who is under the Law and cannot accept the things of God. Truth is perfectly good and needs no help to be more Truthful. Even when it is not understood, it still stands just as good and in no need of change. Jesus shows this over and over by example. He told us to Take up our cross, chop off our hands, eat His flesh and drink His blood, and hate our parents, but in none of these cases did He feel any anxious need to explain what these Truths meant though many misunderstood Him.
As soon as we put one True thing as an opposing balance against another True thing, we have then left Truth and gone on to balance perversions of Truth. The only way to describe the things of God as though they were opposing each other is to use perverted concepts of them.
This life is full of balances in areas such as our diet, time, etc. But the things that are incorruptible can by no means be over-emphasized.
Spiritual "balance" is a pagan concept where fleshly, unregenerate, demonized people try to apply corruptible concepts to spiritual things. Yoga, and other religions like it, teach us that we need to be balanced (and these religions are lies). I hope you are paying attention. Where have we gotten our concept of "balance"? It is not found in the Bible.
Some churched people will tell non-christians their "personal christian opinion" when witnessing. If God is your opinion, then He is not your God, He’s your opinion. The sun is not an opinion, but a fact. It is not my opinion that there is a sky, but a fact. More so, God is not an opinion, but the fact of all facts. Whoever wants to preach his opinion about God to others is practicing heresy, because they are preaching qualities of a god other than the factual living God and His factual qualities.
Many times throughout this paper I say that, in general, we need to be gentle to outright sinners and strict toward hypocrites. It seems like I could say this 100 times more and inevitably someone will come up and oppose me citing how Jesus treated certain people who were in sin. They will not cite how He rebuked hypocrites but they will instead mention certain Scriptures such as the following:
The Woman at the Well Joh_4:7-29
The Woman Caught in Adultery Joh_8:1-11
Joh_8:3 WEB The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman taken in adultery. [and then later…]
Joh_8:10-11 WEB Jesus, standing up, saw her and said, "Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?" 11 She said, "No one, Lord." Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go your way. From now on, sin no more."
[Many people emphatically remember that He said "Neither do I condemn you" but forget that He said, "sin no more"]
The people who bring up these Scriptures to oppose me are woefully blinded to the things that are obvious to those who would set themselves to have understanding. If you will care to have understanding then please note the following:
So we see that to use these verses to contradict harshness is biblically dishonest. These people use Scripture out of context, to teach the opposite of what Scripture teaches. As it says,
2Pe_3:15-16 MKJV Paul also has written to you… 16 …in which are some things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable pervert, as also they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.
And satan will do this to all whom he perverts because it is his perverse nature to quote Scriptures to encourage sin (as he did to Jesus in the desert -Mat_4:1-11-).
How offensive it is that it is not only the world, but mostly the church, that is perverted in this way. And how much more sorrowful to the point of tears that this at times includes legitimately saved people.
I do not say we should regularly be harsh even with many who set themselves in opposition to God’s Truth when it is spoken. But I say on the contrary, we should be slow to be harsh. At the same time there are many hypocrites and when it comes time to speak anything significant to them, it often calls for some severity.
I think that it is beneficial to make a distinction between two words: Tolerance and Patience.
It is a very post-modern religious belief that says we should herald "tolerance" toward all people, especially meaning toward their "diversity" of beliefs. The problem is that God (being the essence of morality) is the most intolerant being in the whole universe, (Ex. Lev_10:1-3, Neh_13:25, Mat_5:48, Jas_4:4, Rev_21:8 – just to name a few-). But we also learn through the Scriptures that God is patient, (Rom_15:5, 2Th_3:5, Rev_1:9). "The Lord is …patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance," (2Pe_3:9 WEB). Is this a contradiction? No! But we see that the purpose of his patience is not for people to remain the same but for them to repent (or "change") from evil.
"Tolerance" could simply be defined as, "Putting up with something undesirable," whereas "Patience" is "the prolonged endurance threw undesirable things, based upon the hope for change." As God says, "…Jesus…for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…" (Heb_12:2 KJV). That is, He endured the cross because of the hope of the reward.
Jesus praised the Church at Ephesus by saying, "I know your works, and your toil and perseverance, [or "patience"] and that you can't tolerate evil men…" (Rev_2:2 WEB).
Now if Jesus praised them for being intolerant why do we dare go about thinking, under the persuasion of the world, that we should aspire to be tolerant? But on the contrary, He rebuked the Church at Thyatira saying, "But I have this against you, that you tolerate your woman, Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess…" (Rev_2:20 WEB).
If any philosophy asserts a code of conduct as though we "should" do something, the implication is that it is because of moral obligation that we are called to this conduct. We have already established that morality is non-existent apart from God. Therefore, if we say that we "should" be tolerant, we are liars by asserting a moral call that is against God. Morality itself, after all, is the conforming of one’s self to God’s nature.
So then, "Be patient with everyone, (1Th_5:14)," so that they may be saved. But if you tolerate any thing evil, it is an insult and hatred against God.
A Step By Step Teaching That Sets Out To Compile and Exposit What The Bible Says On Opinions.
Please note that the following sections have a specific purpose. They are not meant at all to stomp on those who are seeking the Truth. Some may be hurting and truly wanting the "real deal." This is not any attack on you at all. But it is an attack on the lies of this age, to violently pull down the foolishness by which they stand. I hope these sections bless those who are humble.
A fool will value his own foolishness demanding his "right to have an opinion."
But the Bible says, "…don't lean on your own understanding, (Pro_3:5 WEB)."
So to avoid such foolishness we must not put any weight in our opinion, or our understanding from which it springs.
"Don't be wise in your own conceits," (Rom_12:16 WEB; Also Pro_3:7).
If you have conceived something in your understanding (such as an opinion), don’t let it be to you as wisdom. If God conceives something and lets you in on it, then count it as wisdom. But we must disdain human opinions because they are not wisdom but only unwise conceptions (as mentioned in the above scripture).
Those who continue in their own wisdom are disobedient to the Bible and are rightly rebuked when they are corrected. Please keep in mind that harshness is for those who think that they are O.K. There is no harshness or judgment against the humble, in as much as they are poor in spirit because, "theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven," (Mat_5:3). But at some point we have to come to terms with the condemnation of those who are not pour, because they publically prove their hatred against God with their many words:
Ecc_10:14 CAB A fool moreover multiplies words…
_. And what did Elihu say? -"I am full of words." What is Elihu unknowingly saying of himself? [It may be hard to make this correlation at first because translations vary in wording].
Instead of submitting to God’s Words, people like this say, “…we will pursue our perverse ways, and we will perform each the lusts of his evil heart,” (Jer_18:12 CAB; Also Jer_23:17).
In the Gospels, it says:
Jesus answered them, and said, "My doctrine is not my own, but His that sent me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it is of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaks of himself seeks his own glory: but he that seeks His glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him." (Joh_7:16-18 KJV-Based)
Jesus said that His Words were True because they were not His own. If we say and promote our own words, then they have no validity and cannot be counted as Truth, and we are not walking as Jesus did.
Please have ears to hear what Jesus is saying! If you choose to promote your own opinion, then you are speaking of yourself and ‘you seek your own glory.’ This is sinful. This is dirty. This prideful rebellion is disgusting in God’s sight and is not permissible for Christians to practice.
If the last clause of this verse is True, then the reverse is also True. If "he that seeks His glory that sent him… is true, and no unrighteousness is in him," then "He that… seeks his own glory… the same is untrue and there is unrighteousness… in him."
People have frequently opposed me saying, "If you do not respect other people’s opinions, then why should they listen to your opinions and what you have to say?" Firstly, if indeed I’m talking to someone who is proud and it is the time to be harsh, I don’t want them to listen to what I’ve got to say. I’m practically as sinful as they in the moment that I give them my opinion. Let me first know the Truth, and then let me speak. If I have my own opinions, why should I sin against God and pollute others with such filth?
Secondly, there is a vast difference in disdaining people and disdaining the falsehood that is killing them. A Spiritual man, (one who is controlled by the Holy Spirit) can Love the person and treat them with respect, while hating the suicidal pistol in their hands.
If they have ears to hear, then let them hear the Living God and not a man when I speak. And if they don’t have the ears to hear, then let it Truly be because of "the offense of the cross" (Gal 5:11) that they "stumble" (1 Pet 2:5-8) and not because of my rash disrespect. Then I may pray with a clean heart like Jesus did,
I thank You O Father Lord of heaven and earth that you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them unto babies: even so Father; for so it seemed good in your sight. (Luk_10:21 KJV-Based / Mat_11:25-26)
[And He said this rejoicing (Luk_10:21)]
For indeed, whatever Truth that I may speak had better be counted as offensive foolishness by those who are perishing (1Co_1:18) or else I am preaching a counterfeit message. And if I am propagating my counterfeit, I preach my own opinion and not the Truth of the cross.
Yes, may I never hold back God’s inherent offensiveness and so fulfill Gal_5:11 in my life, because "then is the offense of the cross ceased," (KJV-Based).
Opinions are part of our fleshly, human selves. They are self-generated thoughts, of which we both had and lived in before we came into any state of regeneration. Their correctness depends upon us, and thus they also come from US and not God. This is that category of which Paul spoke of when he said,
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss because of Christ. But, no, rather I also count all things to be loss because of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them to be trashG4657 [σκύβαλα (skúbala)], that I might gain Christ.
Literally: that which is thrown (“bala”) to the dogs (“kú…”).
If we consider our opinions to be valuable, then we have not counted all things loss to obtain Christ. We have instead counted them as something to be retained. But what does he say?
"I… count them to be trashG4657 [or "dung"], that I might gain Christ," and are we not clearly doing the opposite by valuing them?
For what it’s worth, Word Study describes this word as:
“…refuse, what is thrown away as worthless. Spoken of the refuse of grain, chaff, or of a table, of slaughtered animals, of dung, and figuratively of the filth of the mind. In the NT, meaning refuse, things that are worthless…” (Word Study)
When you think of human opinions, do you have a sense of disgust, as though they were something you wish to flush down the toilet? If you answer like most people you will say, "No." And if this is your answer, then you have not counted all things as loss. Instead of gaining Christ, we forfeit Him (especially in this area) by counting the flesh as though it had value.
Peter says by the Spirit of Jesus, “…If anyone speaks: as words of God…” (1Pe_4:11 Jos.Trans.), or more functionally, “…[let him speak] as [the] oracles [or, inspired utterances] of God, (1Pe_4:11 ALT).” But instead of obeying this verse we have defiled our neighbor by speaking our own words and beliefs. By exalting our own words to some level of importance, we have disqualified ourselves as those who speak the Words of God. We don’t think of it as a big thing to exalt our own words, but we fail to realize that by this very fact, that we use our own words, we forfeit the opportunity to use those from God.
God says, “There is a way which seems to be right with men, but the ends of it reach to the depths of hell,” (Pro_14:12 CAB/ Pro_16:25)." And do we think that opinions are morally neutral?? What if we are indeed wrong in our opinion? Do we then say, "We have a right to be wrong"? -No! Not if we call ourselves "Christians."
You have no right whatsoever to propagate the way of death. Wrong opinions are not without consequence. If then they can send someone to Hell, we have all the more reason to forsake our opinions. Some will be so foolish so as to oppose this reality. Don’t you remember that, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue…” (Pro_18:21 CAB)? And that it also says that the Antichrist will come,
2Th_2:10-12 KJV …with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
In short, these verses say "That they all ["that… believe a lie"] might be damned who believed not the truth"
How dare you lie against the Truth and say that opinions can’t send a person to Hell? Are opinions really neutral? But we can clearly see that they are not neutral at all. And that which condemns people must never be respected!
Col_2:4, 8 MKJV And I say this that not anyone should beguile you with enticing words… 8 Beware lest anyone rob you through philosophy and vain deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ.
We see that "enticing" opinions can and will "rob us," if they are indeed "not according to Christ."
If a Nazi has the opinion that all Jews are scum, does his opinion deserve respect? Why do we take a double standard on other falsehood? It can and will at times destroy as much and more than that of the Nazi.
It is True, "Honor [or "value"] all [people]…" (1Pe_2:17 ALT). (Yes this verse does even apply to the Nazi who believes in annihilating all Jews, because it says, "all" people). But we should never respect that falsehood a person may have because it is as serious as people’s salvation, just as a Nazi’s opinion kills people. But one may say, "As long as an opinion does not hurt someone else, then we should treat it with respect." This blindly and foolishly ignores the last three Bible verses quoted above and countless others like them. Death and Life are in the tongue, whether we see it taking affect or not.
Many try to interpret and obey the above verse by "being nice to all people." If you are to believe the Bible, then you have to accept that it does not contradict itself. If it be so that the Bible is in perfect agreement with itself, then the above verse certainly does not exclude harshly rebuking Pharisees A, or other deserving people such as heretics B, or even lazy people C:
[We will not go on to list the volumes of references were the Prophets rebuked those called by God’s name for their spiritual (and physical) adultery, which category and situation most of the church certainly fits into today].
Truly the Spiritual man knows how to "value" all people, yet still be harsh as needed for the sake of Loving God and being zealous for Him. Because it says,
Psa_69:8-10 CAB I became strange to my brethren, and a stranger to my mother's children. 9 For the zeal of Your house has eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached You have fallen upon me. 10 And I bowed down my soul with fasting, and that was made my reproach.
Welcome to the healthy standard of a real Christian’s life. You are reading the words of one who has many times been a stranger with his own family, for the sake of believing the Truth.
But we have gone another way. Instead of becoming estranged from our families and closest friends for the sake of the (real) Gospel, we have become estranged from God, for the sake of our counterfeit love for people.
Because we as the church have not known Jesus as the Truth, having missed who He really is as well as the chance to Love who He really is and know Him, we have neglected the importance of the Truth from the abundance of our adulterous heart. We dare to think that not loving the Truth, is a separate issue from Loving Jesus. And because of these secret things hidden in our hearts, we are lead astray into spiritual adultery without even realizing it. We disrespect Jesus without knowing it. And we forget the verse that says, “...I will only honor them that honor Me, and he that despises Me shall be despised,” (1Sa_2:30 CAB; Also see Pro_4:8).
I see a life fully zealous for God without compromise that is ready to forsake anyone for the sake of Jesus, that has a heart fully gripped with care and passionate Love for people. I say that it is possible to pour out your life to Love and save people, and still be estranged from your family for the sake of Jesus. I say that the Bible is True, and it is possible to obey it. I say that it is only right to hate that which kills people, and yet to Love the people who use it to kill.
What examples does the Bible give us when it comes to how to treat people’s opinions?
David did not respect the atheists’ opinion but calls him a fool by God’s Spirit:
Psa_14:1/ Psa_53:1 CAB …The fool has said in his heart, There is no God…
God & Jonah
God did not command Jonah to respect the opinions of the people of Nineveh, but to preach the Truth so as to turn those of that great city away from their sins. And does He not do the same (and more) for us?
Act_14:15-16 MKJV …God… 16 in past generations [or "in times past"] allowed all nations to walk in their own ways.
Act_17:30 WEB …The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked. But now he commands that all people everywhere should repent.
So we see that God used to let people go their own way, in the opinion of their own heart. But now, more than ever, He does not invite tolerating their opinions but "commands… repentance."
Jesus did not respect the Pharisees’ opinions (such as saying that the gold on the alter was more important than the alter), but called them "fools" and "blind guides." Nor did He respect their philosophy that a son could get out of his obligation of honoring and helping his parents, but openly rebuked them, calling them "snakes" and "brood of vipers," (As cited above: Mat_3:7-12;12:34; 23:1-39; Luk_3:7-9).
Psa_94:11 CAB The Lord knows the thoughts of men, that they are vain.
Please note the obvious, that God does not respect their thoughts (or “opinions”), but calls them "vain." And it also says,
Pro_3:34 CAB The Lord resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.
And it says again,
Isa_66:2 CAB …to whom will I have respect [ἐπιβλέψω – lit. look upon], but [ἀλλ᾿ – Sronger contrast] to the humble and meek, and the man that trembles at My words?
In this last verse, the LXX has the word “ἀλλ᾿” (a-ll) and this contrasting word shows that God only acknowledges people who meet the above qualifications. Exclusivity is a strong thrust in this passage, and no one who is self confident has any room in such descriptions. The promises quoted above of grace and acknowledgement from God exclude the one who is full of his own “personal opinions” and not to mention everyone else who does not fit the above requirements.
We somehow through the polluted teachings about the unconditional Love of God, have come to think that this means that God respects all people unconditionally. He certainly values all people, and commands us to do the same, but He does not respect people who don’t tremble at His Word! He does not respect all people, and He certainly does not respect the opinions of men. Sometimes I wonder if those who say otherwise even read the Bible at all, because they evidently don’t believe verses such as, "…that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God, (Luk_16:15 KJV)."
Do you think that God respects the devil? If not, then do you think that God respects the works of the devil (AKA "Abominations")? If not then answer this also: Is it better to conform to the foolish, worldly, lying, anti-scriptural, humanistic philosophies of post-modernism (where we get our idea of respecting others opinions) or is it better to conform to God’s image, (who is "no respecter of persons" -Act_10:34-)?
Notice that I have inserted the most important example in the middle of this section, but for all assurance of what His Word shows, and because of those who do not Truly respect Him, there are yet more.
Elijah did not respect the opinions of the prophets of Baal but openly mocked them for their beliefs because He knew the one True God. And on top of mocking their beliefs, he had them killed after God vindicated him with fire from heaven, (1Ki_18:16-40).
Notice: If you mock and then kill someone because of their beliefs, this is not respect!
It is True that we are not under a covenant that (at times) commands and allows killing, but as it says,
1Co_10:11 WEB …all these things happened to them by way of example, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come.
And we should aspire to be like the prophets and those Godly people of old, though we do not kill those we oppose (Mat_5:11-12; 1Th_2:15; Heb_11:1-12:2; 1Pe_3:3-6; Eph_6:12).
Paul did not respect the opinion of "Bar-jesus" but called him a "son of the devil" and prophesied against him that he would be blind for a season, (Act_13:6-12).
Paul did not show respect for the opinions of the philosophers of his time such as Plato, Socrates, and the like, that were necessarily included when he addressed those who lived in the Greek philosophical culture to which 1 and 2 Corinthians was written. Their culture praised such philosophers, and Paul emphatically opposed this repeating that such philosophy was foolishness according to God. (See 1 Corinthians, especially chapters 1 & 2)
Neither Paul nor Jesus respected the opinions of demons but instead cast them out. Is this overstating the obvious? I wish it was, but I continually find people saying that they believe in Jesus who think that we should respect people’s false opinions!
Paul did not command us to respect the opinions of the Circumcision or of lazy people but said they must be rebuked harshly to keep them in their place. For those of the Circumcision, Paul told Timothy to "stop their mouths" by rebuke (Tit_1:10-13; 3:10-11). Paul did not respect those in the Church who had given themselves to false ideas but called them "foolish" (Gal_3:1).
Should we go through the entire body of Scripture to show the unquestionable unanimous consensus that God gives us through His people concerning opinions? If you have not believed yet, neither would you believe if we did this very thing. The Bible is very clear:
2Ti_4:2 WEB preach the word… reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching.
We are not to give way to alternative ideas. We (especially the leaders) are to propagate the Word and to contradict everything that opposes it, "with all patience and teaching."
Follow Such Examples
To follow Jesus in this area, as He has displayed repeatedly throughout His Word, you must at least do these three things: Love people. Love God infinitely more. And completely hate the devil with all your might as well, including all that he is and says, whether it be directly to your mind or through other people.
Mat_16:21-23 WEB From that time, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must… be killed, and the third day be raised up. 22 Peter took him aside, and began to rebuke him, saying, "Far be it from you, Lord! This will never be done to you." 23 But he turned, and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of men."
I hope that as many as are able have understood these things that I have written here. I know that much of it is hard to understand, and in one sense, I am not sorry that it is. If you are hungry to understand and have not yet done so, then you can always re-read it, and/or feel more than welcome to contact me. I would Love to hear your response.
Those who seek a balance will find perversion, because it is a perversion that they truly seek. Those who seek the Truth will find Jesus, because Jesus is the Truth! May those who believe this Truly find Him, and know Him Truly. May they be blessed with this understanding, and may they be comforted by His assurance in this.
Copyright © Josiahs Scott, All rights reserved (see below)
The only reason I put this here is to avoid people misusing this work with bad motives. This is officially copyrighted to protect it from those with money in mind, and to preserve it for free distribution, especially in the unlikely event that someone might think to make money off of it rather than maximizing its distribution. You are permitted and encouraged to freely copy and redistribute this work in its entirety, via standard copy machine or electronic documentation as long as you make no money off of it. If you wish to reproduce this work on any larger scale, please contact me at Josiahs@trueconnection.org. You may also quote this document, by citing the reference as:
“[Name of Bible Study]” By Josiahs Scott, www.TrueConnection.org
, neither be
very wise , lest you be confounded