God’s Knowledge Is Multifaceted

All things are possible with God

God has foreknowledge and man has free will. This is true because the Bible says so. On the other hand, Calvinists et al. think there is some sort of friction between God’s foreknowledge and man’s free will. Disappointedly, more than a few Christians think the Calvinists are right about this. These have embraced man’s free will by sacrificing God’s foreknowledge on the altar of man-made think-sos. Thus, something which should impress us with God’s infinitude has caused dissension among His people. These intramural debates are well documented and are not the object of this article.

Instead, I want to discuss a different and more mind-blowing type of knowledge that God possesses. The philosophers and theologians call it “middle knowledge.” The terminology is unimportant. What’s important is that this kind of knowledge is so “totally other” that it is mind-boggling times ten.

Among the various places middle knowledge makes its appearance in the Scriptures is Matthew 11:20-24. Here the Lord said that if the “mighty works” performed during His ministry had been manifested in Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom, they would have repented in “sackcloth and ashes,” with Sodom remaining to His day.

So, I would hope those who can’t get their minds wrapped around the idea of God foreknowing the future, contingent, free will choices of His free moral agents, will spend some time trying to get their finite minds wrapped around the idea of an all-knowing God knowing what free moral agents would have done under circumstances which never occurred and never will. If such knowledge doesn’t blow one’s mind and make him want to fall on his face and worship the Mighty El Shaddai, “the only wise God” (Rm. 16:27; 1 Tm. 1:17; Jud. 25), then I’m not sure what could be said that might cause one who believes that God can’t foreknow the future, contingent, free-will choices of His creatures to rethink his position.

To God be the glory, now and forever!

Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit of Happiness Are Not State-Granted Permissions, But God-Given Rights

The American Revolution

As noted in the previous post, the secular critics insist that THE INALIENABLE RIGHT TO “LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS” are Enlightenment/secular humanist, not biblical, ideas. It is tragic that so many Americans, even some Christians, have believed this falsehood. In this post, we’ll examine the biblical origin of these concepts.

The Origin Of “Life”

As our Creator, God is the source of all life, “for in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28a). Thus, man, who is wonderfully made in the image of his Creator, has an inherent and inalienable “right to life”—a right which can be justifiably defended against all interlopers. But without God, the Creator and Lawgiver—the God who the secularists diligently and methodically work to diminish—the State becomes the highest moral authority. When this happens, and it’s happening right now, rights, whether they be to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness, are no longer thought to be inalienable. Instead, they are subject to the give and take of man-made think-sos. As a result, the inherent, God-given “right to life” has been seriously eroded in our culture, as the triune maladies of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia tragically attest.

Our Founding Fathers knew better than to establish government on the whims of sentiment. Instead, they grounded the government they were founding on the bedrock of eternal truths, truths they believed to be “self-evident.” This, more than anything else, demonstrates that these men were appealing to a biblically based way of knowing or epistemology, as the philosophers are fond of calling it. Such truths, the apostle Paul warns, some men will be disposed to suppress “in unrighteousness” (Rom 1:18). This was not just something that was going to be limited to Paul’s time. It would be a pattern that would manifest itself over and over again. That such is at work in our culture is something of which we are constantly being reminded.

Paul informs us that these truth suppressors are without excuse, for such truths are “manifest in them” (Rom 1:19), which is just another way of saying “self-evident.” A reading of Romans 1 and 2 with this in view in mind makes it clear that Paul and the Founding Fathers agree that such individuals are without any excuse for trying to obscure these self-evident truths. But when such truths are effectively suppressed in the minds of a people, God gives them over to a “debased mind” (Rom 1:28). In such a condition, they

do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them (Rom 1:28b-32).

Such an array of sins does not bode well for any nation. Unfortunately, these are indicative of the sin-laden avenue this country is traveling. Any nation that forgets God is headed to the pit, according to Psalm 9:17. That this is a 180-degree turn from the self-evident truths upon which the Founding Fathers grounded this nation is clear from an honest examination of history. Commenting on this, Benjamin Hart, said:

Even if one does not accept the truth of the Christian faith, prudence argues for the promulgation of its moral code in every area of public life, because history has demonstrated that Christian morality is indispensable to the preservation of a free society (Faith and Freedom, p. 15).

Thus, as America continues cutting itself off from its founding principles, it is safe to say that the “right to life,” when considered at all, will continue to undergo the radical modification the secular humanists have envisioned and are even now implementing. But it is clear that no such thinking was evident among our Founding Fathers, for the right to life they spoke of in the Declaration was a gift not of man, but of God.

Having taken a look at the “origin of ‘life’,” we’ll now examine the “origin of ‘liberty’.”

The Origin Of “Liberty”

Although the Bible speaks directly of “liberty” in the Old and New Testaments, it is referring primarily to the spiritual liberty that comes in connection with Jesus Christ, not the physical freedom we are usually referring to when we use this word. However, this is not to concede that there is an absence of this latter idea in the Scriptures, for if man is not free to exercise himself as a servant of God, which is, after all, “the whole duty of man” (Eccles 12:13-14), then he cannot be held responsible for his lack of service. In other words, if man isn’t a free moral agent, then he can’t be amenable to God’s law. Consequently, Genesis 1 is the place to go in order to see the origin and importance of liberty/freedom.

God created man in His own image. In doing so, He endowed him with certain faculties and invested him with the authority to subdue the earth and have dominion over its creatures (Gen 1:26-28.). Therefore, from the creation mandate itself it can be necessarily inferred that man must have the liberty (i.e., the freedom) to obediently exercise himself in the performance of his God-given duties. Man, then, because he is man, ought to be free, and such liberty is not derived from other men, but from God Himself. Thus, liberty is intrinsic and, as such, is a “self-evident” “unalienable” “right,” just as our Founding Fathers believed and said. So then, liberty, freedom, and being free were not just Enlightenment concepts, as the secularists claim, but ideas built right into the very fabric of things from the very beginning.

Sadly, the secular propagandists are firmly entrenched today. As such, they have convinced many, perhaps even most, to think that liberty is something derived from the State and thus a privilege granted by the State. But to the contrary, liberty derives from God and is, therefore, a right that will be protected by God-ordained government. Any government that does not think this is the case is in league with the Devil (i.e., it is a Revelation 13 government) and as such will be a bane, not a blessing, upon its citizens. Thus, just as God’s word teaches and our Founding Fathers believed, liberty is an essential right of man.

Having now observed the biblical origin of “life” and “liberty,” we turn our attention to “the pursuit of happiness’”

The Origin Of “The Pursuit Of Happiness”

Of the three rights mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, this one, many think, is proof that it was a creation of Enlightenment thought and void of God and teeming with humanistic ideas. To these, “the pursuit of happiness” seems to be more hedonistic than biblical. But, this is simply not true. Jefferson appears to have taken the phrase from the Virginia Constitution of 1776, which mentioned “pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.” The term “happiness” had a technical meaning in the English common law and would have conveyed a particular idea to the Founding Fathers. This is mirrored in Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765), where he said that God, the Creator, had

so inseparably interwoven the laws of eternal justice with the happiness of each individual, that the latter cannot be attained but by observing the former, and if the former be punctually obeyed, it cannot but induce the latter.

Thus, the “pursuit of happiness,” as used by the Framers, was not something inherently hedonistic at all. It was, instead, an idea well established among the people of that time, an idea that dealt with the self-evident truth that man’s inalienable right to pursue happiness in the course of, and by attending to, his God-given obligations and responsibilities was something that could not be interfered with by the State. On the contrary, the State was to protect such a right with force, if necessary (Rom 13:1-7). I like what Gary T. Amos said about this:

Like other Christian concepts that became part of formal philosophy and the common law, the Biblical notion of happiness runs deep within the channels of the common law. Its use is so obvious and extensive in the growth of English legal thought, one wonders whether those today who call it an Enlightenment term have read anything at all from the source materials of the common law, materials that were well-known and widely read by the American founders” (Gary T. Amos, Defending The Declaration: How the Bible and Christianity Influenced the Writing of the Declaration of Independence, 1989 p. 121).

Thus, we can see that the Founding Fathers, appealing, as they did, in the first paragraph of the Declaration to “The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” (i.e., the natural revelation that comes from the created order and the special revelation found in the Bible), created a government that was grounded in religious concepts best described as totally biblical/“Christian.” I say this because none of the delegates assembled from the thirteen states on that July 4, 1776 signing of the Declaration were Muslims, Buddhists, Confucianists, nor Hindus, and almost half had some form of seminary training or degree. It is true that Jefferson had Deist leanings, but all the others would have certainly considered themselves to be “Christians.” But even the Deists of that day, particularly Jefferson, were fervent believers in the Judeo-Christian God who had revealed Himself both in nature and the Bible—hence the reference to “The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” in the Declaration. Suffice it to say that Jefferson, who was the principal architect of the document, wasn’t a thirty-second cousin to modern secular, anti-God, humanists. I like what the late Richard John Neuhaus had to say about this:

The founding creed—“We hold these truths to be self-evident”—affirms truths that have been and are today far from self-evident to the great majority of humankind. The truth that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is a truth that can only be explained as the product of a very particular history. In the eighteenth century, its explication and popular acceptance can only be explained in the context of the taken-for-granted reality of Christian America. This is not to say that the truths affirmed by the Declaration cannot be supported by rigorously secular arguments that are not dependent upon the biblical tradition…. But, in view of the many attempts that have failed, skepticism about that possibility is in order. And there is the inherent difficulty of what to do with the Creator—a reference that in the logic of the Declaration is essential to the claim that human rights are prior to government in the order of both time and authority”(First Things, “The End Of Abortion And The Meanings Of ‘Christian America,’” June/July 2001).

Clearly, then, the words and ideas articulated in the Declaration were biblical, not secular, and came not as a result of the humanism of the Enlightenment, as the secularists falsely claim, but from a long line of thinking that could only be described as “Judeo-Christian.” This is why that in the final paragraph of the Declaration, after a long list of grievances, an appeal was made to “the Supreme Judge of the world” coupled with “a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.” And even though it can be rightly argued that Jefferson exhibited a decidedly anti-organized religion, anti-clergy bent, he was definitely not anti-God. This is illustrated by a rhetorical question Jefferson asked on another occasion:

And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that their liberties are the gift of God? (Notes On The State Of Virginia, Query XVIII, in Paul L. Ford, ed., The Writing of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. III, 1894, p. 267).

So, don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is a secular humanist concept. It’s not. It’s biblical, through and through.

A Prior Allegiance

A Prior Allegiance
There are those who argue that this country was founded on secularism (i.e., Enlightenment theories). Thus, they claim, it was the expressed view of the Founding Fathers and Framers of the Constitution that God be factored out of the civil equation. But in light of the evidence, such a view is untenable. It was James Madison, the author of the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, who said:
It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society…. And if a member of Civil Society, who enters into any subordinate Association, must always do it with a reservation of his duty to General Authority; much more must every man who becomes a member of any particular Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign (James Madison et al., “Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments,” June 20, 1785).
In other words, prior to any citizen’s pledge of allegiance to the state lies his or her allegiance to God.

Unalienable Rights

Unalienable Rights
In the founding document of this nation, the Founding Fathers set forth their theory of rights with these words:
 
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776).
Aware they could no longer depend upon their “rights as Englishmen” before King George III (1760-1820) and Parliament, they appealed to that Law above all laws, which they believed granted to them certain “unalienable rights,” namely, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” These, they believed, had been granted by their “Creator,” who they understood to be higher than the think-sos of the king or the political machinations of Parliament. Whether the English authorities acknowledged such rights was totally irrelevant because such were, in fact, “self-evident” (i.e., intuitively clear and certain). Such a theory of rights was highly evolved and manifested a comprehensive theological/ideological system of beliefs about God, Man, Nature, and Justice.
 
It is unfortunate that twenty-first-century society has lost its footing concerning such “rights,” for too few remain who really believe such rights to be God-given. Most only see such rights as something derived from the State (viz., the government giveth and the government taketh away). Although there may be much talk these days about “human rights,” “civil rights,” “animal rights,” and even “homosexual rights,” hardly anyone speaks of “unalienable rights.”
God-Given Rights
 
As a creature made in the image of God, man has certain God-given rights that cannot be infringed upon or abridged by any other man, group, organization, or institution, and this certainly includes the State. Nevertheless, secularists, who actively promote the idolization of the State, along with the idolized State itself, do not take kindly to those who resist their idolatrous ways. Consequently, secularism becomes more and more institutionalized. Such is in full sway today. As a result, Christians will more and more find themselves in conflict with the State due to its ever-widening influence.
As the modern State becomes more and more pervasive, there is hardly anywhere it does not seek to exert itself. Conversely, a government that knows its God-given place is a government that’s quite limited. Such sees itself as prohibited from interfering with God-given (“unalienable”) rights. That this was unquestionably true of the American government is evidenced by The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States of America. Both of these documents made it clear that the then-new republic was a limited government, a government that would be most careful not to trample on the God-given rights of its citizens; a government that would, instead, conscientiously and vigorously defend these rights. Alas, this is a history largely forgotten today.

Critical Thinking: A Lament And A Remedy

Critical Thinking

There is ample evidence all around us that when it comes to faith issues many have a tendency to throw critical thinking to the wind. In doing so, they prove themselves to be disagreers rather than critical thinkers. A mere disagreer lacks some of the essential qualities a critical thinker has worked hard to cultivate. For instance, a disagreer looks at individual statements and judges these solely against the backdrop of his own beliefs. In contrast, a critical thinker reads and listens, as the case may be, to everything written or said so as to determine the argumentative structure, diligently looking for statements that justify believing what others are saying. Instead of judging another’s main thesis in isolation and evaluating it on the basis of one’s prior beliefs alone, a critical thinker is not only open to another’s point of view, even when he initially disagrees with what is being said, but receptive to having his viewpoint changed by another’s arguments. Unlike the mere disagreer, the critical thinker is willing to be persuaded by the cogent arguments, if such are produced, of his opponent. Critical thinking, then, involves looking at the reasoning on which a point of view is based and then judging whether such reasoning is strong enough to justify accepting that point of view.

When integrity is added to this mix, it will demand that we not only think of ourselves as willing to change, when the evidence demands it, but that we believe this to be the attitude of our opponent as well. Civil discourse and effective Bible study demand such a disposition. Unfortunately, in this day and age, many have forgotten these critical differences. As mere disagreers, they view any discussion as a means of “winning.” When they think they can no longer win, they turn their attention elsewhere, fleeing the scene much like an assassin trying to make his escape. All of these things evidence a lack of faith in the critical-thinking process. Such was manifested by the words of one who disagreed with me, when he said, “How could we argue with such conviction if we were actually prepared to abandon those convictions?” Clearly, my opponent didn’t even believe in the process. With him, it was a mere contest of wits and not an opportunity to improve his or my set of beliefs. How sad!

Critical thinking makes us uncomfortable. It is, therefore, far too easy to choose the position that is most comfortable or self-serving rather than the one that is the most reasonable. And contrary to what some think, preachers are not the only ones who occupy this self-serving comfort zone. In truth, the tendency affects us all. To override it, we must work very hard at developing our critical thinking. This means that when we learn, through a process of critical thinking, that we were mistaken about something, we must be willing to admit that until then our understanding had been defective. But, and here’s the rub, this is an excruciatingly difficult thing for most of us to do. We don’t want to change our beliefs or learn from someone else, as we already have something invested in being right. But continuing in this attitude will hold us at the level of being a mere disagreer. This is where many folks seem most comfortable. But not me. I believe critical thinking, if I learn to do it well, will permit me to engage in replacing, when necessary, less adequate beliefs with more productive ones. As I’ve already said, I believe this process is most beneficial when I engage in it well. This means that the critical thinker is like an athlete effectively engaged in the activities of his sport, while the disagreer is like a bodybuilder, taking pride in the static features of his body and not in how his body actually performs.

Some think the solution is that we all just love one another, which certainly isn’t wrong in and of itself. In fact, God commands it. However, I’m sure that most of the participants in discussions of this sort believe themselves to be operating under this principle. However, it is sobering to recognize that no one but God has the corner on love, and it really is impertinent of anyone to think otherwise. In order to disregard disagreements, some make a “unity in diversity” plea, which argues, at its core, that truth really doesn’t matter, and it is for this reason that I reject most unity in diversity pleas.

The great apostle Paul “reasoned” with those with whom he disagreed, “explaining” and “demonstrating” the necessary things as he “persuaded” them (Acts 17:2). Should we not try to follow the same pattern? Therefore, when someone who disagrees with us follows this time-honored pattern, let us not see it as an insult, but as the compliment it truly is.

The Pontifications Of Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking's Grand Design

In The Grand Design, in which Stephen Hawking sets forth his theory of how the “multi-verse” (universes) created itself without a capital “C” Creator, he and his co-author said:

According to M-theory [a theory in physics that unifies all consistent versions of superstring theory—AT], ours is not the only universe. Instead M-theory predicts that a great many universes were created out of nothing. Their creation does not require the intervention of some supernatural being or god. Rather these multiple universes arise naturally from physical law.

They went on to say:

[T]he multi-verse concept can explain the fine tuning of physical law without the need for a benevolent creator who made the Universe for our benefit. Because there is a law like gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.

So, let me see if I can break this down for you:

  • There was nothing.
  • Nothing was happening to nothing.
  • Then, for no reason. nothing exploded, creating everything.

In the process, a bunch of everything, which had spontaneously generated from nothing, rearranged itself, for no reason whatsoever, into self-replicating bits which, in time, turned themselves into dinosaurs.

Simply unbelievable! And to think that the Atheists have the unmitigated gall to attack us for our faith and alleged lack of reason. Truth is, everything we know about science tells us that something does not come from nothing. Even so, the anti-scientific “spontaneous generation,” “something from nothing” mantra is the foundational tenet of Atheism/Evolutionism.

Although largely missing from the Public Square today, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” is still the only theory of origins that makes any real sense.

Idolatry: Taking A Little Closer Look (Conclusion)

Idolatry

Paul’s Mars Hill Address

In his famous Mars Hill address, delivered in the great city and seat of learning that was Athens, the apostle Paul systematically refuted the nearby and faraway idols with four alternating strokes, replacing them each time with the truth of God’s transcendence and immanence. The points he makes, which are found in Acts 17, may be summarized as follows:

  • First, he teaches that the one true God is not a faraway idol that is unknowable (verse 23).
  • Then, he refutes their nearby idols by pointing out that God does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor does He need man’s help in anything (verses 24-25).
  • Next, he assaults the faraway idol by teaching the truth that God, although transcendent, is not far from any of us, for it is “In Him we live and move and have our being” (verses 27-28).
  • Finally, he negates the nearby idol again by arguing that if we are truly God’s offspring, then it makes absolutely no sense to think He can somehow derive His being from us. In other words, the one true God is not made of gold, silver or stone, and fashioned by human design (verse 29).

It seems clear that Paul directed his criticisms of the Athenians to the classic dual-nature of their idolatry. They had counterfeited the true God’s transcendence with their faraway idol, “THE UNKNOWN GOD,” and His immanence with the many nearby idols in their pantheon. With each criticism of their idolatry, Paul did not hesitate to make positive affirmations about the one true God. According to him, and this is consistent with everything else written in the Bible, the true God, although He is transcendent, is also very knowable (verse 23), in that He has revealed Himself to us in the Scriptures. Once he’s made this point, he then proceeds to tell the Athenians about this one true God who is knowable. As the Creator, He is Lord of heaven and earth (verse 24). Consequently, He gives life to all people (verse 25). He made “From one blood” all nations that live on the earth, and He wants them to seek after, and find, Him (verses 26-27). Finally, He is, as the Creator, our source, in that we derive our existence from Him, not the other way around (verse 29).

As Paul argues, the one true God is, and all at the same time, both transcendent and immanent—i.e., He is both “far off” and “at hand” (cf. Jeremiah 23:23). In doing so, he conveys the ultimate moral challenge of this one true God, namely, “God…now commands all men everywhere to repent” (verse 30). And why is this? Because He has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained (verse 31). And who is this man? He is Jesus of Nazareth, in whom dwells “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). In fact, it is the incarnation of Jesus Christ that serves as the final blow to the dual-idolatry pattern that has plagued man down through the ages. The divine Logos, who was Himself the transcendent God of creation, according to John 1:1, became a man, as reported in John 1:14, the epitome of immanence, and did it all without ceasing to be God. In other words, “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven” (John 3:13). The God of the Bible, the only true and living God, is a God who is “at hand,” as well as “afar off” (Jeremiah 23:23).

Unfortunately, and even though they ought to know better, some New Testament Christians fall victim to idolatry’s dual pattern as they try to formulate their various Christologies. This is demonstrated in the classic heresies of Arianism, which denies the Lord’s divine nature, and Docetism, which denies His human nature. By failing to appreciate the full meaning of the Immanuel (or “God with us”) of Isaiah 7:14, both of these isms fall far short of the truth revealed in the Bible. Yes, and there must be no mistake about it, Jesus was a man, and His need for resurrection is proof of this. But, He was not just a man, as some among us are claiming, and His resurrection is proof of this as well. If He were not a man, He could not have died and then been in need of resurrection. On the other hand, if He had not been “God manifested in the flesh,” as He claimed to be in 1 Timothy 3:16, then the “one God and Father of all” (Ephesians 4:6) would certainly have not validated Jesus’ claim by resurrecting Him from the dead (cf. Acts 17:31). Thus, any effort to separate the Lord’s transcendence and immanence (i.e., His deity and humanity) will lead one down the path to self-sufficiency and idolatry.

The Jesus who is “a man, just a man, just an ordinary man like you and me” is an idol constructed by those among us who believe it may still be possible for a mere man to live perfectly and, therefore, earn his salvation. But such self-sufficiency is impossible, not because man does not have the capacity not to sin (viz., free will), he does; it’s impossible because man wrongly exercises his free will. It is just here that some become confused, so please pay close attention as I say this once more. Man is a free will creature and, because he is, he does not have to sin. We are not made, contrary to Calvinistic doctrine, morally flawed or depraved. However, the rebellious story of mankind is that although we do not have to sin, we do—we always have and we always will.

The only man who ever lived perfectly here in this life was Jesus. Even so, He suffered and died. Why? Because, in His suffering and death, the Lord paid the penalty for the sins of all mankind. In doing so, He made it possible for all who had sinned, and this includes all of us, to be reconciled to God through obedience to Him. All of us—every last one of us—have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (cf. Romans 3:23). So, when Jesus “died for all,” it was because “all died” (2 Corinthians 5:14). This means that all human beings who reach the age of accountability will sin. It also means that even after being saved from our past sins by obedience to the gospel, Christians did not live perfectly without sin (cf. 1 John 1:10). Consequently, the perfectionists among us who believe it is actually—as opposed to theoretically— possible for one to live without sinning and have created a mere-man Jesus to prove it, teach a self-sufficiency that is anti-biblical, worshiping, as a result, an idol that is both anti-God and “antichrist” (1 John 2:22). I pray such will come to their senses in a pigsty moment (cf. Luke 15:17), repenting and adhering to John’s warning to keep themselves from idols (cf. 1 John 5:21).

As we can see, idolatry is still an ever-present problem for New Testament Christians. We must not allow ourselves to be tricked into thinking that idolatry is a sin reserved just for pagans—it’s not. Today, as in times past, the dark and dynamic forces behind idolatry (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:20) have arrayed themselves against us (cf. Ephesians 6:12). Drunk with the wine of modernity and post-modernity, many who make up the Lord’s church in the 21st century believe the war is over and that it has actually been over for almost two thousand years now. This sort of thinking has had devastating consequences for churches of Christ and must be remedied by an adherence to doctrine and, thus, the development of a biblical worldview.