Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Emergent Monday: The Mess of the Message 2

When Eugene Peterson sat down to write his version of the bible titled "The Message" he claims that his purpose was to reach out to the parishioner through modern use of language. Unfortunately what we have been given is not a translation of the bible, but a satire. 

The first time I read the bible verse by verse, cover to cover I read using the NIV but would refer to The Message when dealing with a difficult passage, especially in the old testament. But as time went on I began to feel bad about what I was reading in The Message to the point where I began to avoid using it completely. I now know it was the Holy Spirit pushing me away from The Message and as I research The Message I praise the Lord for leading me away from the word of Peterson and back to the word of God. Let's compare a few passages to illustrate what Peterson did: 

14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5: 14-16 NASB)
Eugene Peterson twists to say
"Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16, The Message)
There's three huge errors here. First, when Jesus said "You are the light of the world" he didn't say "if" he didn't say "here to be..." he said YOU ARE. (And by the way, what are God-colors? And where did that come from? If you Google "God Colors" you get a lot of new age oddities that beyond marketing are mostly meaningless drivel.) Next, Jesus did not say "If I make you light-bearers", he already said "you ARE the light of the world" so he obviously never used "if", and he most definitely did not say "light bearer", but what is a light bearer? Look it up - light bearer is from the Hebrew word heylel, which translated to Latin is "Lucifer" - and don't think for a moment Eugene Peterson missed that. In the book The Rays and The Initiations by Alice Bailey multiple times Light Bearers are the name people who worship Lucifer call themselves.
These words carry meaning to all true disciples and present them with an analogous goal which they define to themselves as that of finding the light, appropriating the light, and themselves becoming light-bearers. (Bailey, Alice. The Rays and The Initiations, p. 143)
But lastly Jesus said "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven." the key words here are: "glorify your father who is in heaven" - all things we as Christians do are to glorify God, even throwing an Open House. But Eugene Peterson completely ignored that. He didn't miss it, he was a pastor, he knows this and chose to ignore it.

I truly love the Gospel of John and all of his Epistles and his Revelation of Jesus Christ, he brings Jesus to life and captures my Savior so perfectly in his very first sentance.  He was so close to Jesus that if you want to know what following our Lord and Savior was truly like, just study John. And what Eugene Peterson did to John is nothing less than horrific:
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. (John 3:16-17 NASB)
Somehow got perverted into:
"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.  (John 3:16-17 The Message)
There's so much terribly wrong with this that it's hard to know where to start. But where Jesus said that if we believed in him we would have eternal life, as John McArthur puts it "This "eternal life" is in essence nothing less than participation in the eternal life of the Living Word, Jesus Christ." However Eugene Peterson's "anyone can have a whole and lasting life" is little more than Joel Osteenesque 'Name it and Claim it' selfishness aimed at having a grand ol' time in this life rather than glorifying God to have a grand ol' time in the arms of Jesus in our real life to come. 

By saying that Jesus came that the world might be saved through Him does not mean that, as Peterson claims , he came to "put the world right again" - coming to put the world right again implies a more Sierra Club vision of salvation rather than saving souls. This world is going to be destroyed, there's prophesy after prophesy about that, yet these new age emergent false teachers insist that they can save the world and set up God's kingdom here on earth all by themselves. 

Here's an oddity, The Message actually mentioning the Holy Spirit. 
Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 12:3 NASB)
For instance, by using your heads, you know perfectly well that the Spirit of God would never prompt anyone to say "Jesus be damned!" Nor would anyone be inclined to say "Jesus is Master!" without the insight of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 12:3 The Message)
Paul said "no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit", and he's right. Notice that Eugene Peterson doesn't say Jesus is Lord, he says Jesus is "Master". Peterson has done much to crush mention of the Holy Spirit in his per-version of the bible, but that's a topic for the next Message blog. Let's look at the words Master and Lord: Master means one who controls others, like the boss. Jesus is called "Master" throughout the Message. The word Lord means "God", it's used 7,970 times in the King James Version of the bible, more than any other noun. The word Lord is used 118 times in the Message, Jesus is never called Lord in The Message. (If you think this is just semantics, word games, keep in mind that Peterson was a preacher, words are his life. Word games are now his profession)

Eugene Peterson refuses to admit that Jesus is God to such an extent that he mistranslates the bible to make it sound like Jesus and God are dating rather than one supreme being in multiple divine persons;
I and the Father are one. (John 10:30 NASB)
I and the Father are one heart and mind.(John 10:30 The Message)
As I plunge deeper into The Message the uglier and more heretical it gets. This is not a translation, nor is it a version, it's a per-version. I still haven't gotten to the foul language and imagery, the elimination of the Holy Spirit, the injection of New Age mystical language, the elimination of politically correct sins, the insertion of ecological verbage... but those are all topics for future blogs. 

I'm not going to put those future blogs out too fast because after exploring the Message I frankly feel filthy and need to get as far away from that thing as possible, and I pray and beseech any of my readers that refer to this heresy to put it down and pray for the Holy Spirit to cleanse their hearts. If you find you need an easier to read bible because you find most translations difficult to read, please email me or comment here and I'll find you help. And if you feel that I haven't convinced you to turn your back on the Mess of the Message, just stay tuned, it gets worse. Much worse.

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