Modern Humility: Arrogance in Ignorance

Having studied John 3:16, 2 Peter 3:9, and 1 Timothy 2:4 in their proper contexts and having determined the author’s intent through the Holy Spirit in those passages, we have seen that the doctrine of God’s sovereignty over the salvation of souls is in no wise refuted nor is its potency compromised. What we have found instead is that persons, be they well-meaning Christians or otherwise, have felt compelled either to take the charge in defending the supposed “problem of evil” that the doctrine of a sovereign God creates, or they have felt compelled to defend their own natural understanding of reality and have twisted the Scriptures, like those texts aforementioned, to fit their particular understanding of the world. They do all of this under a guise of humility declaring, “If the Church has not reconciled the concept of free will and the doctrine of God’s sovereignty by now, it was never meant to be reconciled.” I would rather postulate that the Church has been and is filled to this day with sinful men whose personal agendas have trumped their desire to honor God by a humble submission to his Word.

To such a charge, I am sure someone is thinking, “What an arrogant person, to think that he is right and that those who disagree with him are wrong!” I have one question of such a thought: Does believing and proclaiming that which is declared to be truth by God and, by necessity, that which is false warrant a verdict of “arrogant”? If so, one would have to label Jesus Christ an arrogant man, as well as the apostle Paul who rebuked the apostle Peter (the nerve!), and any other prophet who was ever sent by God to proclaim to men their wickedness and lack of understanding. The idea that the proclamation of truth is arrogance is a product of postmodernity and not some right understanding of “speaking the truth in love.” What we find today is that evangelicals reject postmodernity when it comes to those outside the Faith who declare that Jesus is not the only way to the Father, but when those evangelicals are within the Church they say ridiculous and arrogant things like, “What does this text of Scripture mean to you?” as if they were lords over the meaning of Holy Scripture! This seems to me the grossest of arrogance.

To too many, the Scriptures are not a declaration of reality to which they are to conform, but they are a proof text that they use to propagate their own natural ideologies. Therefore, when the Scriptures do not conform to those ideologies they explain Scripture’s declarations away or ignore them altogether. There are innumerable instances of this practice in Christianity. A recent example is the heresy of Open Theism. The proponents of Open Theism are so set upon their belief in the human free-will that they argue that God cannot know the future despite Scriptures numerous declarations to the contrary. In that very same vein are the Arminians who believe that a man who has been saved by God can lose that salvation, because the Arminian believes that he willed himself to God and therefore can will himself away from God. There are countless others, including some naive, orthodox Christians who believe that the heathen who has died apart from hearing the Gospel will get a chance to hear the Gospel and believe despite the declaration of Romans 1. They declare, “My God would not condemn someone to hell without giving him a chance to believe.” To all of them, I suggest that they humble themselves, cast aside their idols, and submit to the One True God who has revealed himself and whose ways and thoughts are not after ours.

Thus the question must be asked, “Who is truly arrogant, the one who submits without question to the declarations of God’s Word and proclaims those declarations or the one who knows the declarations of God’s Word but proof-texts them away so that he might not have to have his thoughts taken captive by the Word of Christ?” The answer is quite clear, for no man will be as arrogant as he who knows the Word of the Lord and rejects it for the wisdom of men.

Categories: Theology

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