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.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Kicked Out of Bible Study


Kicked to the curb by a fellow veteran

Kicked Out of Bible Study

Banned, banished, bounced, cast out, chased away, dismissed, drummed out, dejected, ejected, expelled, extruded, ousted, routed, run off, thrown out... by a fellow veteran.

You may ask Doug, what did you do to get thrown out of a bible study? You! A Christian Blogger for nearly a decade, a deacon for seven years, the chairman of the board of a Congregational church, a member and student of Bible Study Fellowship for years, you who studied the Book of Genesis under a Rabbi, who fell so in love with John that you've read and studied that book constantly for a year, who tried to lead hymns in church while suffering from Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, what did you do?

Looking back...

...The names have been changed to protect the innocent...

Matthew, a fellow retired USAF weapons guy at the local American Legion post, was talking about all the work he was doing and the help he needed, in particular he needed help taking care of Mark, a paraplegic Vietnam vet. I volunteered to help Matthew and took joy in helping Mark. Having helped my quadriplegic sister-in-law in the past, Mark wasn't a problem, he was much lighter and more open about his physical issues than Ruth. He called me once at 1:00 AM for help and I gladly went over to his house to help change his unders and his bedding. Accidents happen. 

Matthew held a small bible study at Mark's house on Sundays, Matthew is the chaplain for a service related organization in the NoFlo area and is very open about his faith and how he was saved from his personal addictions. I attended but when I asked what version he was using and he looked at me strangely. Finally he said that he had to use the KJV. My reply was "That's nice, but the KJV is riddled with errors and written in a 400 year old language by non-Christians." 

His response was "Strong's Concordance was written for the KJV, no other version had as many words linked to Strong's." I then mention that I had recently obtained the MacArthur NIV Study Bible and Matthew warned me that it was wrong to study another person's opinions, which I decided to be a silly opinion. When you are expounding on the bible, unless you quote the bible 100% accurately with every word you utter, you are probably injecting your understanding of the word, which Matthew would condemn as your "opinion".

The first bible study I attended started quite well, it was Matthew, Mark, and myself. I opened with a prayer. I keep to the example of Matthew 14:30 and the admonition of Matthew 6:5 I keep my prayers short and to the point. I guess I never picked up a lexicon of Christianese to talk about lifting people up and other fancy Christianese phrases. I don't know what Matthew thought of my opening prayer (nor do I care) but I did get the impression that he was disappointed with the brevity and lack of "perfume and flowers", He then played a Christian-ish sounding song popular on all K-Love clone stations.

 Not worthy of the word of God

When he got to the "meat" of the study it was a discourse on being the bride of Christ (which was a good basis of a bible study), and tithing (which is not). But a major concern I had is when he started talking about "developing the gift of tongues" I listened in fascination as Matthew described how you go into your prayer closet (good), pray very hard (real good, go on...) and you make a noise (?) and God understands it! (???). He explained how this eventually became natural and voila! You now have the gift of tongues! (wait, what?!?)

First of all, you can't "develop" a heavenly gift any more than you can "develop" an earthly gift. You can make and store as many ice cubes as you can fit in your parents freezer, that still doesn't mean that Dad and Mom are going to give you the gift of a pair of hockey skates for Christmas. Dad and Mom may be thinking further ahead and give you the gift of a bicycle, it's Dad and Mom's decision on what to give you as a gift, and in the same way, it it our Father's decision as to what heavenly gift you will receive, IF He chooses to bestow one upon you. What Matthew told us was the "gift of tongues" is not a gift God bestows on anyone, it is an ability that the Holy Spirit and God have. 

26 Now in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)

Another thing that concerned me was his reliance on a bible entomology app that he used exhaustively to find ancient origins to words used in the KJV. Any comment I brought up that could be traced to a better translation (NASB) or any commentary was slapped down for the sin of being either from an inferior translation of by someone's opinion. So in the opinion of someone who has never been to a seminary, the opinion of John MacArthur is invalid because it's not that of Matthew's mentor, let's call him Gamaliel.

No thinking allowed!

At the next study I was able to attend was myself, Matthew, Mark and Gamaliel, a fast talking young man who was a Baptist preacher, but no longer is a Baptist preacher for reasons he never went in to detail about. Again we started with a prayer and a  recorded hymn, then into the the study centered on preparing to be the bride of Christ, which is good, and about tithing, which is not, and the importance of using entomology to get to the true meaning of the written word, which if used incorrectly is evil.

Gamaliel lectured me on using a concordance app to find the "original meaning" of what is on the page, he even went so far as to go into the meaning of the Italic Text found in Strong's Concordance, it has a special meaning, which I discovered later what that special meaning truly is. For Gamaliel it means... well, it can't be all that special if I forgot what it means. I believe he said it means that the italics was the correct meaning and everything else was some man's opinion. Any time I tried to raise a question I was  slapped down with fast talking rhetoric and Christianese sounding drivel that raced off the point I was questioning and back on to the overly trod path toward tithing. And then came Mathew 7:22

"Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?" (Matthew 7:22)

I have heard the bible twisted and bent in many different ways, but that day I was nauseous over what this verse was used for. Gamaliel explained (with a straight face) that if you look up the word Lord and follow the definition it goes to Strong's H113. Ok, I know that this goes to the Blue Letter Bible and not some custom made but hard to find etymology site that in only known to Gamaliel and his followers, but it will serve my purposes. According to Gamaliel The etymology of Lord leads to the Hebrew word 'āḏôn (אָדוֹן) which means the superintendent of household, the guy who is in charge of the estate
finances, the guy with the money bag, which leads to the need to

Trying to get a word in edgewise was impossible, Gamaliel was a fast talking jabber walkie who may have known what I was about to say. He continued on about the rooms that the Lord was making for us in his masters mansion and that takes money. He's probably putting up the drywall right now. 

Here's what Strong's Concordance really says about 'āḏôn (אָדוֹן): it means the Lord God. That whole
blithering about the superintendent of the household when using the word 'āḏôn (אָדוֹן) is only used when referring to a mere man not GOD. I have been preaching and writing since 2012 that everything in the bible depends on CONTEXT which Gamaliel completely ignored. In Matthew 7:22 the Lord mentioned there is the Lord God, creator of Heaven and Earth, not some guy comparing fabric swatches and collecting room rent before heading out to Home Depot at 6:00 AM to pick up cheap labor to get the topiary trimmed. When you're reading the bible it's all about context, context, context, and if that's not enough to satisfy your curiosity, go back and take a look at the CONTEXT. Follow the 20/20 rule. If you need to understand something, read 20 verses before the part you're looking for help with, then read 20 verses past it and you will get the context.

Strong's Concordance is not written just for one bible translation, if the etymology app you're using doesn't link the words to Strong's for the bible version you're reading, get a different etymology app! Geez, I don't mean to shout, but you don't have to be a computer expert with 20+ years experience to figure that out. The BLB app for android and iOS works fine. And even though some fast talking defrocked preacher tells you otherwise, words in italics in the Concordance are Greek  words and therefore will be found in the Greek dictionary. 

The next bible study I was able to attend was without Gamaliel, it was Matthew, Mark, Myself, and some other guy who didn't add to the narrative so I won't bother making up a name for him. Matthew started the study by telling us that Gamaliel is publishing a book and that he (Matthew) was going to pony up $125 that he can't afford to purchase that book, but it's ok, because that's what he has to do to tithe properly. I figured that I need to talk about this whole Gamaliel situation and tried to find a way to approach this diplomatically. But before I could talk about context and the 20/20 rule, Matthew told me to leave.

He told me that I wasn't tithing properly so he wasn't allowed to teach me the bible. Wait, what?!? I did not think "HIM teach ME the bible? Me A Christian Blogger for nearly a decade, a deacon for seven years, the chairman of the board of a Congregational church, a member and student of Bible Study Fellowship for years, me who studied the Book of Genesis under a Rabbi, who fell so in love with John that I read and studied that book constantly for a year, who tried to lead hymns in church while suffering from Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. That ME?"

No, I thought "What the hell did Gamaliel teach him?" And hell is an appropriate word to use in this case because that's where Gamaliel is leading Matthew, Mark, and the other guy I didn't bother to assign a name to. Teaching that there is hidden knowledge in the bible that only a few have access to is  dangerous heresy, maybe even a form of Gnosticism, which is a heresy that Satan sent to destroy the church 1700 years ago and is gaining a following now. I'm not going to say I kept my cool and left with a smile on my face, no, I was quite upset. BUT I have so many problems going on in my life to worry about, this isn't one of them.

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