Searching for the Truth in the King James Bible;
Finding it, and passing it on to you.

EDITOR:
Steve Van Nattan

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THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF A BIBLE BELIEVER
Or,
WHAT DO YOU KNOW THAT GOD KNOWS?

John 3:11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know,
and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

Essay by Jack Kettler
With comments by Steve Van Nattan

 

What do you know about that?

1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Jesus spoke the truth based on what he knew. So, why can we not do this with the same confidence he had? The answer of course is that we can, but there is a caveat. Did we "know" before we spoke based ONLY on revelation from the Word of God, and did the Holy Spirit totally supervise and control our journal to knowing truth?

If not, then we spoke what we "knew" using knowledge which evolved from reading the Word of God and then synthesizing a mixture of Truth and our own experiences and presuppositions. No truth proclaimers are more guilty of this in Christendom than Fundamentalists and Charismatics. An enormous body of alleged "truth" passes for Bible based knowledge which is pure poppy cock, albeit with much animation, alliteration and peristaltic contractions.

Jack Kettler talks to us about this, and we all need to thing hard about the authority and foundation upon which our preaching and teaching rests.

By way of introduction:
Here is Henry Bullinger-

"INWARD ILLUMINATION DOES NOT ELIMINATE EXTERNAL PREACHING. For he that illuminates inwardly by giving men the Holy Spirit, the same one, by way of commandment, said unto his disciples, "Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation" (Mark 16:15)."

"And so in Phillippi, Paul preached the word outwardly to Lydia, a seller of purple goods; but the Lord inwardly opened the woman's heart (Acts 16:14). And the same Paul, after a beautiful development of his thought, in Romans 10:17 at length comes to the conclusion, "So faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God by the preaching of Christ."

Bullinger, and past Christian patriarchs who founded both the Reformed Churches and the Anabaptist Churches in the 1500s, insisted that all declarations of truth come solely from the Word of God. They may have disagreed in their discussions of what the Word meant by what it said, but they knew the difference between their interpretation and the inspired final verdict of the Word plus nothing.

Whenever these Churchmen long ago departed from the Word as final authority, or the Word as final judge of their declarations and actions, they went straight into error and usually on into heresy.

John Calvin, who labored long and diligently in the Word of God decided one day that a Christian with whom he violently disagreed needed to be burned at the stake. Once Calvin did this, he found that all of the Reformed leaders of Europe had stepped back from him in horror. Calvin then started publishing pamphlets defending his choice to burn a Christian at the stake. Calvin spent the rest of his life writing defenses of himself, and he never could convince his peers that he had done right. Why? Simply because Calvin could produce NO Scripture, rightly divided, which called for executing wayward saints.
[ From Leonard Verduin, Reformers and Their Stepchildren. ]

The Reformers and Anabaptists were all at war with a common enemy, the Roman Catholic Church, which added mountains of man-made traditions, Papal Bulls, and peeping and stuttering voices from a multitude of shadowy characters. These voices were all to be believed, and to reject them meant excommunication and even death.

Nothing has changed. The Roman Catholic Church still claims the authority to invent extra-biblical "truth" which the follower is obligated to believe. But worse, almost all denominations of Protestantism, Evangelicalism, and Fundamentalism give the right hand of fellowship to men who declare extra biblical "truth" while waving a Bible over their heads. And, the masses and asses in the pews shout, "AMEN." These are nothing less than doctrines of Devils.

There is no gray area with Jesus Christ my friends. A doctrine promoted in the name of Christ is either from Christ's Word, or it is from Satan.

Ezekiel 44:23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.
24 And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths.

If you think that this promise describing the coming Kingdom of Messiah is going to be the first time that God divides all things into black and white, that is, if you think we can play games in the alleged "gray areas," then you are a subjectivist, you are a heretic.

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

We must all step back, read this article, and examine ourselves.


 

The Danger of Subjectivism
in the Life of the Christian

By Jack Kettler

Subjectivity can be defined as judgments that are based on individual experiences and feelings instead of outside facts. For the Christian, outside facts are as The Westminster Confession of Faith 1.6 says, "The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men."

In subjectivism, individuals are governed by emotions, feelings, intuition and mystical experiences. Subjectivism is often manifested when you hear something along the lines of, "I feel" instead of "I know." As stated above, the Christian should be governed by the teaching of Scripture. The Christian should always ask, what does God say about this in Scripture? If not using Scripture as the standard, nothing about how the Christian should live, can be known for certain. The Christian will be plagued by an inability to make Biblically based decisions if subjectivity is allowed creep in. We want to know what God's Word says for our lives and act accordingly.

 

Enter Postmodernism:

Postmodernism, is basically a new expression of subjectivism, that has become theoretical to many disciplines, including literature, art, economics, philosophy and theology. Similar to subjectivism, postmodernism relies on feelings and experience over objective Biblical principles. In postmodern subjectivism, a person's feelings mistakenly define what is thought to be true. Postmodernism can be described as a dressed up sophisticated form of subjectivity. In addition, postmodernism is influenced by relativism. Relativism is the idea that there is no absolute truth. Anytime relativism is attached to a philosophical system, it is only a matter of time until skepticism takes over. Some try and escape this by embracing various forms of mystical irrationalism. At the end of the day, mystical irrationalism is like being lost in a bottomless ocean.

Rather than using the objective standard of Scripture, one manifestation of the guiding principle of the postmodern subjectivist has become the "feeling right about it" approach to arriving at truth for life decisions. Using the "feeling right" approach as the guiding principle is nothing more than emotions or personal feelings influencing decisions. It is not honoring to God to lay at His feet (figuratively) our feelings and emotions and attribute them to Him in the area of guidance and understanding truth. Tragically, the claim of "feeling right" has been used as a pretext for all manner of Biblical mis-interpretation and false applications. For example, many professed Christians "feel" it is alright to have sex outside of marriage. Or, it does not matter where you worship as long as you worship somewhere (like at home watching football or fishing in the mountains).

 

 

The Danger of Subjectivity in Bible Interpretation:

Biblical objectivity is undermined when subjective experiences and feelings influence the interpretation of the Scriptures. When letting a subjective experience or feeling influence the understanding of Scripture, it is not surprising that sound doctrine will give way to interpretations of Scripture that are influenced by these self-same experiences and feelings. One can easily see the circular reasoning that plagues this approach. In the area of understanding Biblical truth, for the subjectivist, the Bible is interpreted in such a fashion as to support his experience oriented interpretations of the Bible. Thus, the subjectivist assumes this must be what the Bible teaches since they have felt it, saw it, or experienced it. This is nothing more than a dangerous subjectivist circle of interpretation. The role of Scripture and experience are reversed, experience and feelings thus gaining the upper hand. This is nothing more than reading into Scripture what you want it to say rather than submitting to the teachings of Scripture.

 

The Inherent Contradiction of Postmodern Subjectivism:

Postmodern subjectivism has a problem with the certainty of knowledge given its dependence on experience and feelings which differ from person to person. An insurmountable problem is that when the subjectivist postmodernist says, "there is no such thing as absolute truth." A statement like this crumbles because of its own internal self-refuting contradiction. "There is no absolute truth" is clearly a statement asserting absolute truth. We can then ask; is your assertions true that there is no "absolute truth?" We can also ask; is your truth relative or does it even exist? Is such a concept such as relative truth, true? If truth is relative, all we have are arbitrary social conventions and it would make no difference if some slime told other slim to sit on the back of the bus. Even the postmodern subjectivist lives in such a way that evidences they believe in some kind of truth. All human beings talk about right and wrong. Why attempt to find truth if it doesn't exist? The non-Christian may very well conclude that riotous living is the best choice. The Christian has a better way.

The Christian believes that Biblical truth is the basis for determining right from wrong. If truth does not exist, neither would right or wrong. Talking about evil and morality from a consistent postmodern subjectivist point of view would be nothing more than irrational nonsense. Silence is their only consistent option. This is impossible, thus, their position is refuted. The subjectivist philosophy rejects the certainty of truth and ends up with internally self-refuting contradictions. Moreover as already alluded to, Biblically speaking, holding philosophical beliefs that contain internally self-refuting contradictions is an expression of irrationalism.

 

How do we protect ourselves against subjectivism?

As Christians, we need to be aware of our world-view. How do we do this? As Christians we need to be epistemologically self-conscious. Epistemology is the study of how we know things. There are generally understood to be three types or theories of gaining knowledge,

1. Empiricism (a view that experience, especially the senses is the only source of knowledge),

2. Rationalism (a view that appeals to man's independent reason as a source of knowledge) and

3. Dogmatism, or scripturalism (all knowledge must be contained within a system and deduced from its starting principles, in the Christian case, the Bible).

It is easy to see that the first position mentioned, empiricism is inherently plagued by subjectivism given its dependence on experience. The second position is nothing more than fallen man asserting his autonomy. We need to understand and hold to a distinctively Christian theory of knowledge as spelled out in the third position.

 

The Guiding Principle in Layman's terms:

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Acts 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Jesus promises we can can arrive at a knowledge of the truth in John 7:17.

John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
18 He that speaketh of himself
(subjectivist) seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him (the Bible believer), the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

We can "know the truth" if we seek after the truth by searching the Scriptures.

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

We know from Scripture that God reveals truth. See my Pagan Philosophy, Unbelief, and Irrationalism at:
and The Importance and Necessity of Special Revelation at Contra Mundum.

 

The Bible is our All-Sufficient Rule for Faith and Practice:

For those who challenge us we should always say; show me that this is what the Scripture teaches, I am not persuaded by experience or feelings. Only God's inspired Word not mis-interpreted because of feelings, experiences or hunches.

The principle of Romans 12:2 should always be at work, with our minds being transformed by the Word of God. Additionally, we need to be reminiscent of Acts 17:11 and follow the example of the Bereans, evaluating every new teaching, every new thought, every new experience with Scripture. We should never let our experiences and feelings interpret Scripture for us. On the contrary, we must change and conform ourselves to Christ, we interpret our experiences and feelings in harmony with Scripture. Following this principle, will protect us from the dangers of subjective mis-interpretation of the Bible.

 

Article Source: The Danger of Subjectivism in the Life of the Christian


 

LINK TO EXAMPLE OF TWISTING THE WORD OF GOD

End of video


THIS IS ROUGH STUFF FROM "WRETCHED" YOUTUBE

If your alleged "beliefs," which you claim are Christian, were tested by torture and death,
could the preacher read Bible tests at your funeral that proved you died for TRUTH?

No children watching this one please.

 

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