Sometimes I wonder if some noise made by big names in Christian religion doesn’t represent controlled opposition.
Let’s back up and look at the wider context. I may be crazy, but I’m consistent with the logic I promote. I’ve warned that much of what we associate with mainstream Western Christian religion is the result of successful efforts from the Judaizers to side-track early New Testament faith. The Judaizers were more than just part of some effort to force Gentile Christians to convert to Judaism first before claiming Christ. The whole idea was to subvert the call of Jesus to return to the ancient Hebrew mysticism. The Jewish establishment of His day was Hellenized; it rested on a legalism that took the ancient Hebrew mystical literature and applied rational Aristotelian analysis to it.
The conflict between the ancient Hebrew mysticism and the relatively “new” Hellenizing legalism was highlighted by Jesus’ use of parables. When asked about it, Jesus said, in so many words, that dragging mystical indicative language through the mud of concrete linguistic analysis buried the message. The only way to convey divine spiritual truth to anyone in any language was to use the symbolism of parables. It required a heart-led awareness to absorb the moral nature of revelation. Thus, He used parables to highlight the divide between those who allowed their brains to rule versus those who relied a higher faculty than the mind. The Spirit of God speaks to the heart, not the intellect. The brain must yield to the superior awareness of the heart. His use of parables forced the issue.
So when you read the Bible, you have to be aware that some portions of that material is parabolic. It comes to us clothed in well-established Hebrew symbols and requires an active leadership of the convictions in the heart to make any use of it. The Hellenizing influence that followed in the wake Alexander the Great passing through Palestine on his way to Egypt (roughly 323 BC) perverted the ancient Hebrew approach. The majority of rabbinical schools at that time began slowly drifting into the Aristotelian analysis and gave birth to the linguist legalism that grew like a cancer, giving birth to the Judaism of Jesus’ day. It’s the religion of the Pharisees, the people whom Jesus’ said got almost everything wrong. They knew the words but missed the message. Jesus was calling His nation back to the ancient Hebrew mysticism.
After the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit was given by God to assist believers in the process of restoring the dominion of the heart over the head. People had a direct internal witness from the risen Christ to confirm through convictions what the mind should make of revelation. It still requires faith, but it works better than it did for the ancient Hebrew scholars who had to work pretty hard to gain that level of instinctive insight. In Christ, we start out with the insight, and have to train the mind to obey the Spirit. The danger is the lure of reason’s arrogance in assuming it can handle everything without the heart. The brain has been trained by society to treat moral conviction as mere sentiment. Once we restore the divine order internally, the drive to understand and act on God’s Word is overpowering. God backs up His Word and the blessings flow like a flood.
When the Jewish leaders saw this thing taking off and spreading across the world, they felt threatened. It was their stuff properly understood and made them look stupid. God had given their ancient mission to another people and it was an insult to their pride. But being so completely morally blind, they were convinced it was the Devil doing this and they had to reassert the position of their “god.” They had deified their legalistic understanding of God. So instead of fighting Christianity head-on, they slipped into churches pretending to be just another Judean convert to Christ. They understood the nature of the conflict and sought to push discussions in church meetings using some of the unwritten mysteries of Hebrew oral lore. They knew there was a fascination for that stuff; it was an open door for deception. It was all a very intentional scheme of perverting the gospel by suckering people the same way the rabbis were suckered by Hellenism — it’s the thrill of the intellect seizing power.
John saw it coming and wrote his Revelation in a fashion that requires using that parabolic perception, reasserting Old Testament Hebrew symbolism. But the Judaizers perverted John’s writing to make it support their faux mystical legalism. It’s hard to explain why God allowed this to happen. The message was never completely lost, but it was hidden for a very long time. That was part of John’s warning with the image of the Beast and the Harlot Church. What we do see with clarity is how effectively the Judaizers seduced the organized churches to follow them into the error of the intellect over the heart. By 200 AD it was already quite apparent, and another century saw the Harlot Church compromise with the Beast under Constantine. The government and church together made heart-led faith technically illegal. It was like that until the secularized Enlightenment institutionalized the Secular State. Even now, the Harlot courts the favor the Beast in many ways.
So now we see mainstream Western Christianity under the spell of Enlightenment intellectual assumptions. All these frantic attempts to make Christian religion compatible and acceptable to mainstream society has brought about some truly magnificent folly. For example, it’s not enough that we have a dominant mainstream that insists we must take the Bible literally in every statement, as if the legalistic linguistic analysis is what God intended, but we see desperate efforts to pile up “scientific” evidence to support that childish interpretation of the Bible. These leaders say some of the most outlandish things with a straight face. Because some of it is patently false on the face of it, you have to wonder: Who is sponsoring these people to make such a mockery of the gospel? The whole effect undercuts the otherworldly nature of Christ’s message, which is bad enough, but then it presents the impossible as mandatory. “You aren’t a real Christian if you don’t defend this nonsense.”
Examples of some outrageous claims: The Tower of Babel was during the time of Hammurabi (after Abraham). God made Eden and Adam in 4004 BC. The Garden of Eden is still somewhere on this earth, though it may be dead now. The Flood of Noah didn’t change earth’s topography significantly, so we should have no trouble identifying pre-Flood biblical landmarks. And the biggest lie of all is that modern Israel is somehow the fulfillment of prophecy.
Maybe that should serve as a hint was to where these people get their support. Do you suppose the Judaizers never really went away? With all the silly noise going on, who can hear the call of Christ?