How would you define ignorance?
I would define it as informal cluelessness.
Ignorance together with pride must be the worst combination one can find in any one human being – especially those of the religious persuasion.
Pride : ego. Self-flattery, patting oneself on the back.
Amour propre – self love.
It therefore goes without saying that one can “medicate” or treat ignorance with information and knowledge, but when it’s combined with pride, there’s no solution, it’s untreatable.
It’s pervasive and corrupting. One only needs to look at mainline Christianity to confirm this.
2 Timothy 2:
Profane in this instance refers to preaching and conversation that does not relate to Pauline truth. It’s ungodly, and total disrespect for the truth – it’s unbelief.
Vain in this context means pointless or worthless – useless, nugatory.
Canker – an ulcerous condition, a fungal disease.
The profane and vain babblings Paul is specifically referring to here is that some say that the resurrection is past already, which inevitably overthrows the faith of some people – it takes away their hope, what they believe is rendered pointless. They give up.
Ever had that feeling when dealing with some people who deny Christ’s deity; others who don’t see all men on an equal basis due to the colour of their skin; those who have no respect for God and celebrate pagan holydays, consume alcohol regardless of those weak in faith because of their “liberty in Christ” and those who dumb down the truth because they have more reverence for men than God? Take a look around you.
I have come to the conclusion that some people are embarrassed by the truth of God’s word, (the Bible), they are embarrassed to be seen as good or different, they have to fit into the world somehow. Criticism makes them cringe, it makes them run and hide – they can’t face strife – the war they fight must conform to the cult of personality. Everyone looks at the person – how they’re dressed, how they pronounce words, how they speak and not what the person is actually saying. Is it any wonder that the majority are taken in by lying politicians (ever come across a politician who is honest? I haven’t – they all have the same motives : power and money). And what is the root of all evil? Money? No. It’s the love of money. Money = power.
Is it any wonder that hardly anyone believed the Lord Jesus Christ when He walked this earth? He wasn’t handsome for a start, nor did He give everyone their earthly desires – He didn’t fight a political war, nor did anyone get a super-deluxe new chariot with two horses either (there were no cars in those days), He turned away Gentiles who sought his help unless they professed that the only way to Him was by blessing Israel or admitting that they had to go through Israel for salvation. He called the Pharisees and Sadducees vipers, He overthrew the tables in the temple. He was so popular. Not. They made Him suffer and crucified Him in the most cruel way, treated Him like garbage.
The irony of the matter is that almost two-thousand years later most are now following Him according to His earthly ministry and claiming blessings that aren’t even theirs for the taking. They claim that John 3:16 is the gospel that saves men’s souls today, and conveniently ignore John 4:22 because this verse in essence confirms that salvation was of the Jews, in other words, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that those who believed might have eternal life – but that they had to go through Israel in order to obtain it. What a quandry. So they conveniently sweep it under the carpet. Israel today is a secular state filled with Atheists, Gnostics, Muslims and Roman Catholics, so if you had to go through Israel today in order to obtain salvation it would be difficult because the Jews as a whole deny Christ and that He is the Son of God.
When these folk come to Paul’s epistles, there’s another major quandry in store for them – how do they fit 13 Apostles onto the 12 thrones in the New Jerusalem, and why does the Apostle Paul’s epistles wholly contradict what the 12 say? Silence is golden. Shut up and get rich?
First of all, they refute the fact that the Bible contradicts itself – to them that’s utter blasphemy because God doesn’t contradict Himself, i.e., He doesn’t lie. (They’re correct, God doesn’t lie, but they’re wrong about the Bible contradicting itself because in their ignorance they don’t understand that the Bible is progressive revelation. God works differently with people during different ages).
Then they go about making Paul’s epistles fit into the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, not to mention the books between Hebrews and Revelation. And make it fit, they do – by wresting scripture and proof-texting. A good example would be the guy who runs the Jesus is Savior website – a fundamental Baptist website – where he makes Romans 4 and James 2 fit by saying that Romans 4 is the root of one’s faith, while James to is the fruit of that faith.
So in other words, the root of your faith is being saved by faith alone – our righteousness comes by faith alone, and then we should mature spiritually to show that faith with works in order to confirm what we believe which is a total contradiction when one considers Ephesians 2:8-10, as well as Philippians 3:9 and Galatians 2:16 – which they totally ignore.
Others can see the differences in the Pauline epistles and thus come to the conclusion that Paul must be a false apostle because he claims salvation without any good works added, therefore he must be a reprobate.
I’ll never forget being on a Pentecostal discussion forum and their reaction to being saved by faith in Christ’s finished work alone and unable to lose one’s salvation : “So one can murder, steal and rape and still go to heaven?” They called it cheap grace. To them faith alone in Christ’s finished work alone on Calvary’s cross is cheap grace. Now that is what I’d call blasphemy. God’s unmerited favour isn’t blasphemy – it reflects His love for mankind, it shows His fairness and intelligence in that He couldn’t give the Kingdom Gospel along with its promises to Gentiles because He had already promised it to Israel, who He in turn promised He wouldn’t forsake.
I also remember when I was an unsaved Pentecostal, I happened upon Sherry Shriner’s website – and I was shocked to see her calling the Apostle Paul a false prophet/apostle. In my ignorance I somehow couldn’t grasp why she was saying what she was saying because I believed that Paul’s epistles were in the Bible for a reason, that they were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Her words really scared me. I was inquisitive – but afraid. I mulled over her website for months on end – you could actually say I was grovelling around in the sewer, so to speak. I soon realised that Sherry Shriner is a tad mixed up – and that’s putting it politely.
In seeking the truth before I was saved, I was blown about by every wind of doctrine. I went from being a Pentecostal to Hebrew Roots Movement and I found I couldn’t keep the Sabbath even if given a kosher meal, a menorah and 10 free lessons on the Levitical Law. Try keeping the Sabbath when one has to do grocery shopping because there’s no food in the house because you forgot to do shopping on Friday, not to mention the fact that you still have to drive there and back.
Then I went on to try Calvinism, but couldn’t quite grasp how Calvinists knew they were specially chosen by God– what if they were wrong? Unlike them, I wanted to know for sure. To my mind, if God saved people, they would know, besides how could people specifically be saved without even believing the gospel? Their doctrine isn’t logical – it’s a total mess, and it’s elitist.
I looked into a few other churches – those that deny the Sonship of Christ and worship only God. What does the Bible say about them? They’re anti-Christ. Those who deny the son are anti-Christ. 1 John 2:18.
I then became a fundamental Baptist. I had previously been baptised in water at the Pentecostal church I attended, so I didn’t look to having it “redone” – once was enough for me – there was no way I was going to go through the trauma of being dunked into a pool of water with the Preacher raving like a lunatic and making me feel sheepish, “Now praise the Lord!” after you have finally re-surfaced, gasping for air…..
What did I learn from being a Baptist? That we were “saved according to the Kingdom Gospel” and believed that saints once saved, were always saved, and that Baptists could literally trace their roots right back to the church at Jerusalem, therefore they were currently the one and only true Christian church in existence today. I now laugh at the fact that I actually believed that. The church at Jerusalem is the church mentioned in Acts 2, and it hasn’t been in existence for two millennia now. Nice try, but no cigar.
The Baptist notion with respect to Romans 4 being the root of one’s faith and James being the fruit of one’s faith is totally false, because of the Apostle Paul’s words in Galatians 2:7-9 : James along with the other 11 apostles preached the gospel of the circumcision, whilst Paul preached the gospel of the uncircumcision, hence the reason why the Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 2:15 to rightly divide the word of truth, and Ephesians 1:13 tells us what the word of truth is : it’s the gospel of our salvation.
God’s word, the Bible, although multi-layered is really simple – if men would only take heed, but the majority prefer to listen to their Pastor / Pope / Reverend like he has a direct line to God, when in reality we’ve been living in a period of time where God is silent.
There was another time God was silent – it was the 450 year period between Malachi and Matthew. Yet men refuse to believe it because they walk by sight, not by faith. They want to see God doing things in order to believe – and when they believe, they believe the wrong gospel because they do not heed the Apostle Paul’s words, nor do they see the dispensational change after the book of John and after the book of Philemon.
The other thing I learnt from fundamental Baptists is that they say that Mid-Acts Dispensationalists, i.e., “Hyper-dispensationalists” are anti evangelism. Their reason for stating this wasn’t totally convincing though. We know for a fact that not many men will be saved by the close of this dispensation and that the majority will end up in hell, including those who attend churches and call themselves Christians (2 Thessalonians 2:7), but that shouldn’t stop us from preaching the gospel because we never know who will believe it. Our high calling is to preach the Gospel of the Grace of God according to 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 and to live our lives blameless, both with respect to men and God : sound Pauline doctrine, good works and getting men saved by the preaching of the Gospel of the Grace of God.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)