IS GOD REALLY A LIAR?
T. PIERCE BROWN
A few weeks ago an article, “IS GOD A LIAR” was published in the Firm Foundation. A few moments ago I received a very nice letter from the one whose article on lying prompted the article. She says, “I believe I can clarify my intention in such a way as to satisfy your general curiosity and answer your major objections.”
I thanked her for her letter and told her that I considered her opinions and expressions on the subject to be so erroneous, baneful and pernicious that I might write another article relating to her reply, and would send it to her if she wanted it, but doubted that it would accomplish anything worthwhile, for it would be like two persons trying to measure a sidewalk — one with a “yardstick” two feet long and one with one three feet long.
Herein I shall attempt a partial review of some of her statements because I believe they have such widespread acceptance as to merit consideration. She says “Since Jesus — is Truth (John 14:6), and his spirit is called the Spirit of Truth, any activity — contrary to that personal living Spirit of Truth is Lie.” That is true, but the ASSUMPTION that a fallible human being has the right or ability to decide that even a teaching of Jesus, or a truth authorized by him is contrary to “that personal living Spirit” is the thing that is so terribly and arrogantly erroneous.
She continues, “I am saying that the Bible is inadequate as an infallible guide — because it does not have the necessary authority. Only the Spirit of the resurrected Jesus can claim such authority.” How she would even know there was a resurrected Jesus if she did not know it on Bible authority, she seems not to grasp. Jesus himself said, “The WORD that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John12:48). And John 6:63, “The WORDS that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”
She says, “It is a terrible mistake to put the good (the Bible) in the place of the best (the Spirit of Christ), especially when the Bible itself testifies that the Christ has all authority.” The very idea that there is a conflict between the Bible that the Spirit gave and the Spirit that gave it is the root of the infidelity, which the article would espouse. When the Bible testifies that the Christ has all authority, there are two things that should be evident. 1. If you can’t trust it, what difference does it make whether it testifies Christ has all authority, or whether it denies that there is any Christ? 2. Certainly Christ has all authority, but how does ANYONE know that, define or demonstrate his authority? It is always through his word.
She continues, “It is my contention that the living Spirit of Jesus has not only the authority, but also the power, to give us our sense of moral propriety, sometimes through the Bible, sometimes through other means.” There are so many things wrong with that assumption that it would take more space than I have just to deal with them. Let us note briefly some of them. 1. How do you know there IS a living Spirit of Jesus except through the Word? You can not find a person in the entire world who can tell you anything about Jesus that he did not learn from the authority of the Word!
2. The ASSUMPTION that the living Spirit of Jesus (even if you could prove it told you anything) would give you any information contrary to what his Word has revealed is to accuse Jesus Himself of being a liar! 3. If the “living Spirit of Jesus” is consistent (not a liar), and gave one person a sense of moral propriety, he would give the same sense to another. Yet those who depend on the “living Spirit of Jesus” (really their own warped opinions) come up with contradictory ideas of what is proper.
She says, “No attempt was made to provide guidelines in the sense of absolute rules for all situations.” Of course He did not provide specific rules for all situations! The world would not contain the books necessary for that. He provided specific rules for some situations and principles for all situations. She denies there is any. Even God Himself could not make any, according to her theory! Apparently God not only condoned lying, but also was too stupid to know that He could not provide any guidelines, so He gave the Ten Commandments as Ten General Suggestions! In reality this theory is basically what the Devil was trying to get Eve to accept in the Garden of Eden, and has been working to refine the same lie ever since. This is basically his reasoning, “God told you not to eat the fruit. But there is no guideline for your action. For your own spirit, made in the image of God guides you to see that the tree is good for food, a delight to the eye, and to make you wise. Though the WORD of God would seem to restrict you, disregard the WORD, follow the Spirit of Truth and take the fruit.”
She admits, “While I know that the Bible says many things that contradict my thesis, it also says that the entire law is summed up in a single command — to love our neighbors as ourselves.” That reveals the blatant infidelity of the writer, as well as her inability to reason logically. If the Bible says ANYTHING contradictory to ANY thesis, it should be discarded, for the Bible is GOD’S WORD. Then after saying the Bible contradicts her thesis (which should end the matter for anyone claiming to be a Christian) she uses the Bible (or her assumptions about it) to prove her thesis!
There is no question that we should love our neighbor as ourselves. But in the first place, you would not know that if the Bible had not said so, and where the Bible is not respected, NO ONE EVEN PRETENDS to do that. In the second place, it is ASSUMED that a fallible human being knows more about how to show love that does the One who is the embodiment of love! That kind of blind arrogance would say to Jesus about Matthew 23:13-36 and John 2:15, “You do not love these people!” How could a loving person call a person a fool and a blind hypocrite or take a scourge and drive him out of the temple?
Of course, there are those who would reply, “That did not really happen, for it does not reflect the real nature of Jesus.” Again I ask, how do you know anything about the “real nature of Jesus” except what you read in the Bible?
She says that in some cases, “We can be honest and rude, or can politely lie.” She ASSUMES with an arrogance that is astounding, and a judgmental attitude that is equally so, that a person who asks, “Do you like it?” or “Do you agree?” does not really want an truthful answer, but is, himself a hypocrite, pretending to want the truth when he does not. Second, that the person has no right to know the truth about the thing of which he inquires. Can any thoughtful person not see that if a person asks, “Do you agree?” and I give a “loving, gracious” lie for an answer, and they proceed on the basis of my answer to do a thing which may be disastrous, that I have not done the “loving, gracious thing,” no matter how much I assumed that the Spirit of Christ was directing me?
She asks, “Which is greater, to be honest or to be gracious?” This again reveals part of the root of her problems of infidelity. She assumes again that one can not be both. How blind is one who would ask, “Is God just or merciful?” He was both! He is honest and gracious, and so can we be.
She says, “Since Matthew 22 depicts a final judgment based on the way we have treated our fellowman, I am not most intently concerned with doing despite to the Bible –.” That is quite evident that she is not concerned with trying to destroy the Bible’s authority — intently or otherwise. Since the Bible is not authoritative, I wonder why she does not simply come to the conclusion that a loving Lord could not possibly have a final judgment anyway, and forget the whole thing?
She continues, “It is not, after all, my doctrinal stance that secures my salvation, but the Savior’s perfect love for me — in spite of my doctrine.” Since the Bible is not the source of our infallible authority (according to her), one wonders where she got that information. Of course, Mt.12:37″By thy words thou shalt be justified and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” can be disregarded as just another statement of the Bible that contradicts her thesis. Paul, of course, either did not know what he was talking about, did not mean anything, or perhaps was telling a “gracious lie” when he said to Timothy, “Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee” (1 Tim. 4:16).
“Again, you have rightly understood my meaning when I give as examples Jesus acting like a criminal and God misrepresenting reality.” In the first place, Jesus did not ACT like a criminal. He allowed others to treat him as a criminal. He never represented himself as one who had sinned. And to say that God “misrepresented reality” is just another way of saying, “God lied.” Apparently that does not bother one who does not believe the Bible is worth following anyway, but it is blasphemy, nevertheless. God did NOT misrepresent reality, for he did NOT pretend that the sinner did NOT sin. He says to the sinner who has accepted the saving grace on the terms offered, “You are now counted just, in spite of the fact that you sinned, for it was paid for in Christ.”
She states that we all walk by faith and not by sight, but she apparently does not have any idea that “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans10:17), and equates a wild assumption with faith. And the idea that Muslims, Hindus, Jews and all other who reject Jesus are all guided by the Spirit of Christ is in keeping with all the other assumptions made by her, and by a whole host of other deluded followers of the Satanic philosophy that you can know better what is the loving and proper response than God can.
She gives the doctor the moral freedom of choice in telling a dying patient whatever he wants to tell him. She does not seem to realize that if she does that, she takes away from the patient the moral right to know the truth, if he wants to know the truth. Then she arrogantly assumes that she and/or the doctor knows more about what a loving response would be than the patient who asks what his condition is.
If I did not find this attitude widespread and apparently growing among those who claim membership in the body of Christ, I would probably disregard it, but it has been destroying the human race since Adam.