Why theologians are the way they are today

In the Middle Ages The Bible ruled and science was subservient to what The Bible said about it. Science was not developed to the extent  that its concepts were able to question what The Bible taught about the natural order of things.

Today science is king and The Bible is made to submit to it.

What caused this change in attitude?

The first was Cessationism in the church

The second was the change in attitudes towards what The Bible said and because of the new discoveries of which science seemed to contradict The Bible resulting from the attitudes towards it in the 'age of enlightenment' period.

The trials of Galileo in 1610 and 1633 were really about attitudes that would be a part of the age of enlightenment and not actually the theories involved in the trial.  If the attitudes Galileo had towards the old theories had been accepted then there would have been no trial. The attitudes were behind the fact the new theories were expressed and the rejection of these theories' meant these attitudes were also rejected.  So, in a sense, the age of the enlightenment's embryo was possible in the early 1600s and its full expression was later in the 18th Century.

It could be said that before the 'enlightenment' matured, science was aimed at expressing the Glories of God, revealing His Glory in the discoveries that were made, while the age of enlightenment was aimed at knowledge of things by man, giving man the glory for the discoveries made.  The object of focus was turned from God to man and along with this faith in the things of God diminished amongst those who examined the things of science.

So we need to examine what Cessationism is and how it affected the church and then to examine the attitudes in the age of enlightenment that changed or modified the attitudes in the church to The Bible.

I will not present arguments for or against these two things as the purpose of this document is not to justify any stance but to just show the effects they had on faith in The Bible and acceptance of The Bible as fact by theologians.

Cessationism

(From the Wiki article on Cessationism)

In Christianity, Cessationism is the doctrine that spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, prophecy and healing ceased with the original twelve apostles. This is generally opposed to continuationism, which teaches that the Holy Spirit may bestow the spiritual gifts on persons other than the original twelve apostles at any time.

Cessationists teach that their primary purpose was to authenticate the Apostles' message as being of divine origin and, therefore, authoritative (Hebrews 2:3-4). However, since the completion of the canon, the Church can test the veracity (or lack thereof) of any message claiming to represent God, against his written revelation which having now been completed, rendering any supernatural sign as unnecessary (2 Peter 1:19; see also 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Cessationists believe that, given that the authority of the early church has been established and the New Testament is complete, Christians do not require charismatic gifts to guide them. As a result, Cessationists believe that the spiritual gifts ceased to operate with the passing of the last of the twelve apostles and are no longer in effect today.[2]

There are three types of Cessationists

Full Cessationism

These also assert that no apostolic miracles are performed by God today. Thus while some Cessationists allow for God's miraculous guidance.  A Cessationist contends that God's miraculous guidance is not through the operation of the Charismatic gifts.[3]

Total Cessationists

The majority of Cessationists subscribe to the total cessation of spiritual gifts.  This theory of Cessationists denies the possibility of a reemergence of the gifts on grounds of principle; that is, the denial is on a priori grounds: a strong Cessationists would deny the possibility of the existence or a reemergence of genuine God's prophets and healers in the post-Apostolic age, i.e. after the 1st century, no matter what – even if we met prophets or healers who prophesied/healed in the name of Jesus. This is supported using the principle of Sola Scriptura, insisting on three propositions:[5]

  1. The completion of the canon of the Bible
  2. The infallible and sufficient authority of the Bible
  3. The perfection of the Scriptures to guide the Church

(In the 1600's these three points would have been accepted by all but now points 2 and 3 have been rejected by theologians resulting in the Hebrew and Greek texts used in modern translations.)

Moderate Cessationists

This view denies the current existence of manifestations of genuine charismatic gifts in the Church. However, moderate Cessationism allows for the possibility of a new charismatic period in the future, when God would powerfully guide His people. This openness to the possibility of a new charismatic period is motivated by premillennialist eschatological expectations, where it is assumed that Christ's Second Coming will occur before the establishment of Christ's millennial kingdom on Earth. Within this premillennialist conceptual framework, the Great Tribulation is seen as a future period immediately preceding Christ's Coming. This insists that the new charismatic period is possible only during the Great Tribulation, for otherwise the genuine gifts would be in operation before the Tribulation, thus, charismatic gifts could not be rejected on grounds of principle. This is also compatible with all premillennialist positions (pre-trib, post-trib, mid-trib and pre-wrath).

Theoretical basis.

Two types of Cessationism can be distinguished with regard to their theoretical bases:

  1. Principled Cessationism: founded a priori, on grounds of principle
  2. Empirical Cessationism: founded on a posteriori grounds, i.e. on experience or empiria.

Both strong and moderate versions of Cessationism are on principle because they appeal to the principle of sola scriptura or in Anglicanism and Methodism prima scriptura. Their denial of the possibility of gifts is on a priori grounds, on grounds of principle.

Some Cessationists explanations about why gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased include:

The problems Cessationists have with these arguments are that gifts, exorcisms and healings continued from the time of the apostles through to the current day so they never really stopped and to say they have not is to question Charismatic and Pentecostal faiths and say they are of the devil or they would not work in these things.

The problems Cessationism causes to the church.

Because the supernatural expression of the gifts is the proof of Jesus resurrecting and the only expression of His Kingdom on earth then removing these things removes that which differentiates the Christian church from other religions making it no different to most of them.  So when science comes along and needs proof of the supernatural the church has none.  So science can proceeds with its assumptions and theories even though they may remove faith in things that people may have because the church cannot show that faith is real not having anything supernatural to show their faith is in a real God and not one just talked about.

Age of Enlightenment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Enlightenment was a philosophical movement which dominated the world of ideas in Europe in the 18th century. The Enlightenment included a range of ideas centered on reason as the primary source of authority and legitimacy, and came to advance ideals such as liberty, progress, tolerance, fraternity, constitutional government and ending the abuses of the church and state. The Enlightenment was marked by increasing empiricism, scientific rigor, and reductionism, along with increased questioning of religious orthodoxy.

European politics, philosophy, science and communications were radically reoriented during the course of the “long 18th century” (1685-1815) as part of a movement referred to by its participants as the Age of Reason, or simply the Enlightenment. Enlightenment thinkers in Britain, in France and throughout Europe questioned traditional authority and embraced the notion that humanity could be improved through rational change. The Enlightenment produced numerous books, essays, inventions, scientific discoveries, laws, wars and revolutions. The American and French Revolutions were directly inspired by Enlightenment ideals and respectively marked the peak of its influence and the beginning of its decline. The Enlightenment ultimately gave way to 19th-century Romanticism.

In his essay "What Is Enlightenment?" (1784), the German philosopher Immanuel Kant summed up the era's motto in the following terms: "Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!"

Locke argued that human nature was mutable and that knowledge was gained through accumulated experience rather than by accessing some sort of outside truth. Newton’s calculus and optical theories provided the powerful Enlightenment metaphors for precisely measured change and illumination.

One historian’s summary of Voltaire’s “Philosophical Dictionary”: “a chaos of clear ideas.” Foremost among these was the notion that everything in the universe could be rationally demystified and catalogued.

It was also a time of religious (and anti-religious) innovation, as Christians sought to reposition their faith along rational lines and deists and materialists argued that the universe seemed to determine its own course without God’s intervention.

(My comment:)  In the Middle ages God was behind everything so science had to obey The Bible.  In the enlightenment, God was an impersonal player as there was no proof he existed because the supernatural was now absent from the established church because of Cessationism and so it became a battle of words between the church and science.  If Pentecostalism and Charismatic churches had been around things may have been different.)

The church having no evidence of a supernatural God while science had all the evidence it needed to prove it because all it theorised about, (at that stage), could be seen or proved by experiment.  People embraced science and rejected Christian belief because it could not be proved and God did not appear to be real because He did not work through the church to prove His existence.

So a culture arose where it was allowable to doubt The Bible because what it said could not be proven at that time and not was backed up by science and archaeology and God did not appear to be real or relevant because He was not personally working miracles to prove who He was.

Why the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus were important

You are a theologian who believes The Bible is not correct because it does not align with what science is finding out about the world, especially evolution, which had been around 100  years or more before Darwin wrote his book.  You believe the Bible is corrupted because of this and has not been copied (transmitted) correctly.

The church does not show there is a supernatural element to nature because of Cessationism so you become rational about things looking for natural explanations in all things.

As you are a scientist, history is very important so you look for historical Greek texts much older than the ones used for the King James Bible and when two texts are discovered 1400  years old you embrace them .

You do not worry about doctrinal differences as you believe the doctrine in the King James is incorrect, being the result of later texts where errors were copied into it so that it does not accurately reflect doctrine according to you viewpoint.

So you promote the translation of this 'New, improved, earlier text' and ignore the arguments of those who follow the King James Bible.

Because you have no other Greek texts and the ones you had for the King James you consider erroneous in some degree you also look at other religions to see if they align with your version of Christianity.

Because you believe your two Greek texts are correct as far as you are concerned no doctrine is altered by them.  If any are changed it is because of the erroneous texts used by the translators of the King James.

Because you do not believe in a supernatural events as none are evident in the church you remove as many of these as you can, such as the virgin birth.

Because all world religions do not have God born as a man you reason Jesus must be a man so cannot be sinless.  So he appears to sin in Matt 5:22 and John 7:8.

Because other founders of religions were deified you have no problem with Jesus being Lord in heaven but not on earth.

You are not concerned about the miracles of Jesus or the gifts of The Spirit occurring today because of Cessationism in the churches. Besides they are not present in most religions

This means you do not need supernatural events to verify the Jesus you write about is the real one.

So you have a Jesus who was born a man, did good but was not perfect and died and became like an ascended master or God. But he was not god before he died.

The Bible translations derived from the Greek you make out of these two codices reflects all of these suppositions and the churches that use them also accept them.

So the church becomes more like the pagan religions used to evaluate Christianity and it no longer demonstrates The King of God because it no longer demonstrates The Kingdom of God's authority over demons and nature.

This suits Satan  who has to corrupt Christianity and its holy book so that Jesus is like the founder of other world religions and the supernatural is really not a part of their worship or lifestyle.  This he has to do to prepare for antichrist and so he can form the one world religion for antichrist to be worshipped by.

Antichrist will be a normal man, like the founder of any other religion, and will be honoured like the founders of other religions are honoured.

Meanwhile the defenders of both Greek texts will fight to the death defending their text, believing the other side is deceived.

So a generation has grown up not knowing the doctrine of the King James Version and only know Bibles based on the new Greek.  This means they will not see any doctrinal error in Bibles based on the new Greek and to them the King James will have the errors.

The stage is ready now for antichrist to appear as he has a whole generation now trained in the bible he has created for the Christian church to use and has moulded it to be like other religions so it can be easily assimilated with them in his one world church.

Why write this

The Lord said that I was not to write any more on this subject so I asked why?

He said He had me write it to show it was useless to argue doctrine or texts with modern theologians as they believed they were correct and the KJV proponents were wrong and reason would not make them change their minds because they had science and history on their side.

They have to be convicted by The Holy Spirit that they are wrong as man cannot do it.

So do not debate with modern theologians unless The Spirit says to, but to fight the demons behind them that are convicting them to fight for the apostate Greek text.

Which God do they serve?

If they love Jesus they serve Him, even if their understanding of whom He is, is not correct.  God looks at the heart not the mind and if they love Jesus as Lord and try to obey Him that is all He requires.

You are judged on what you do with what  you know and not what others say you should do.

So we use the battle plan in Eph 6:10-12 and take authority over the demons behind these heretical bibles and their propagation.

Do those following modern versions go to heaven?

In a sense, they are like Catholics, following error taught by  those in authority over them and who would not follow these errors if they knew the truth. God judges their heart to see if it is correct in attitude towards Him and not just what they know.

There are many Protestants in hell and many Catholics in heaven.  So do not judge their salvation.  But it is possible to say that their lifestyle is such that it indicates they may not get to heaven and even then remember you may be in the same boat.  So better usually not to say anything but to point them to what The Bibles says and to encourage them to follow the truths of The Bible.

Closing comments

Without the expression of the authority of Jesus and the work of The Holy Spirit, Christianity is just the like the words of any other religion.  There is no evidence the resurrection has occurred and that Jesus has the authority over nature and the spirit world that resulted from it.  It might as well be the words of Jehovah's Witnesses, Unitarians or Mormons.  In fact there are members of cults on editorial committees od Modern Bibles because there is nothing to show the words of the Bible are different to the words of other holy books.

So how does the true Church show it represents Jesus?

It expresses the Authority of Jesus over nature and demons

It demonstrates effective spiritual warfare.

How does a person show The Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus and is at work in the world today?

They are guided by The Holy Spirit so knows how to serve Jesus effectively as well as when to speak to those The Spirit is convicting about the errors of modern theology.

They demonstrate the Gifs of The Holy Spirit in their life.

Where science is concerned there is a need to show science is wrong and The Bible correct but as their a lot of emotionality by scientist who defend evolution and faith is required to believe in evolution logical arguments will usually get you nowhere.

Unless the church does these things it will not effectively show modern Bibles are wrong through proving them wrong about what they have said about Jesus and The Holy Spirit.  Arguments will only be words by two sides who are convinced they are correct and the other side is wrong.

Unfortunately, instead of learning about these things from Denominations that demonstrate them the established church prefers to criticise them to justify their own position and by this condemn many to a faith that is far less than what it should be, which is to be expected if reason and knowledge is more important than listening to The Holy Spirit and demonstrating The Kingdom of God to the world.

 

Neville