Trust God

2 Peter 2:12a and Jude 1:10 & 19 speak of those who are like brute beasts, unable to process rational thought and only able to respond to their five senses because they don’t listen to the Holy Spirit.

<quote>
Sandy: I could list at least a dozen godly men who believed the most appalling nonsense was taught by Holy Scripture.

Shockingly, it almost seems as if Sandy may be blaming God for irrational interpretation of Scripture, but Sandy doesn’t blame assumptions. In an attempt to justify making up stuff, he implies that making assumptions would keep people from believing appalling nonsense. What do you think? Do you see any way that making up assumptions and believing those assumptions can keep people from error?

Rocky: Are you claiming that the Holy Spirit deceived them? Do you think they weren’t making assumptions?

Sandy didn’t answer these questions either. Instead, Sandy made this statement:

Sandy: Assumptions are an inevitable part of the fallen human condition.

Rocky: I agree. Assumptions are a problem. I don’t see that as a reason to rely on them instead of relying on the Holy Spirit.

Sandy: I believe the Holy Spirit guides me through prayer and study of Scripture, but I also consult with secular and spiritual communities and authorities to help me make my decisions. I am older, smarter, and better educated than most people. So I do have a certain amount of confidence in my judgment. But I also make a point of trying to spend as much time as possible with people who are older, smarter, better educated (and most importantly) more spiritually mature than I am. The Holy Spirit speaks through them.

Rocky: God reveals that the Holy Spirit can speak through His saints. He reveals this fact through 1 Corinthians 12:2-3, and in that verse, He also reveals how we know whether He’s speaking through them.

Given his dependency on assumptions as the basis for thinking, how can Sandy decide who’s “more spiritually mature than” he is? From this lack of substance, what method does Sandy use to choose his counselors? Sandy has only one tool for choosing, and that tool is assumption.

Sandy chooses those counselors who agree with his worldview, and then he assumes that those counselors are wise and spiritually mature. They must be wise because Sandy is “smarter and better educated than most people,” and those counselors confirm the things Sandy likes to hear. Sandy said that some of these counselors are secular (ungodly), contrasting the ungodly with the spiritual. By definition, ungodly thinkers direct their individual minds away from Christ and toward every other influence as they refuse to allow God to participate in their thinking.

Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly ~ Psalm 1:1a Douay-Rheims Bible

Sandy Sandbuilder decided to continue to depend on his assumptions and those of others and will keep choosing his counselors as he did in the past. He’ll select those who tell him what he likes to hear.

Rocky Rockbuilder decided to keep trusting Christ. He chose to trust neither his assumptions nor those of others. Rocky picks his counselors based on the leading of the Holy Spirit. He still struggles with his own deceitful and desperately wicked carnal sarx mind, yet he remains humble and spends time in God’s presence. He studies the Bible daily. He doesn’t rely on a make-believe faith but receives the faith that comes when he hears God’s utterance.

That’s the faith Jesus Christ authors within him. So instead of trusting in himself or trusting his current understanding of doctrine, Rocky trusts in God’s power to give discernment. He also believes that God is well able to complete the work of bringing him to spiritual maturity.

He’s painfully aware that his knowledge is partial because of his spiritual immaturity. He’s aware that he’s in need of the Holy Spirit’s correction, and he yields himself to the Holy Spirit. However, he believes God’s promise that those who follow Christ become increasingly mature, having Christ formed within and dying to the fleshly nature. He understands that this maturity will come through persistent obedient yielding in submission to the Holy Spirit.

He also understands that the gifts, ministries, offices, and orders of the body of Christ will be part of this transformation into maturity. This is the body of Christ, the Church, which God defines through Scripture and which isn’t defined by any organization. In this revelation, the Holy Spirit assures Rocky that, by this maturity, he’ll increasingly be able to more easily discern between good (God’s leading) and evil (his own mind).
</end quote>
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Self-Generated Knowledge?

2 Peter 2:12a and Jude 1:10 & 19 speak of those who are like brute beasts, unable to process rational thought and only able to respond to their five senses because they don’t listen to the Holy Spirit.

<quote>
Rocky: Assumptions fall into the class of made-up stuff. How do you think assumptions generate knowledge?

Sandy: I assume my sense experience is generally reliable (for example, I am not living in the matrix). Does this fall into the category of made-up stuff?

Rocky: Compare your statement to this statement: “God reveals my natural senses are somewhat reliable.” You’re confusing divine revelation with assumption.

Sandy Sandbuilder ignored another question: “How do you think assumptions generate knowledge?” How could assumptions generate knowledge? How could making up stuff generate knowledge?

When Rocky Rockbuilder pointed out that Sandy was blurring the distinction between divine revelation and assumption, Sandy avoided this issue by giving a deceptive example of an assumption. However, Sandy’s example of an assumption isn’t really an assumption at all. Instead, Sandy hijacked a revelation and falsely attributed it to assumption. So if Sandy wanted to be rational, he would need to use a pure assumption.

For instance, Sandy could have used an assumption like the following: “I assume that assumption is a better external check than the Holy Spirit. Does this assumption fall into the category of made-up stuff?” Alternately, Sandy could have used an assumption like the following: “I assume that divine revelation is subjective. Does this assumption fall into the category of made-up stuff?” Or Sandy could have said: “I assume that my own assumptions are objective. Does this assumption fall into the category of made-up stuff?”

Then those would be real assumptions. As it now stands, Sandy is confusing reality with make-believe by confusing revelation with assumption.
</end quote>

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Three Unanswered Questions

2 Peter 2:12a and Jude 1:10 & 19 speak of those who are like brute beasts, unable to process rational thought and only able to respond to their five senses because they don’t listen to the Holy Spirit.

We always interpret everything (including Scripture) using either divine revelation or else made-up stuff.

<quote>
Rocky had questioned Sandy’s insinuation that the Holy Spirit was limited to human intuition. Here’s Sandy’s answer:

Sandy: We need external checks on our spiritual enthusiasms. It’s too easy to confuse our own desires with the Holy Spirit’s leading.

Rocky: Are you saying assumptions are better external checks than the Holy Spirit? Are you saying divine revelation is subjective? Are you saying assumptions are objective?

Sandy: No, I’m saying young-earth creationists have loads of assumptions and presuppositions of which they’re unaware.

Rocky: Do you think you can know things by assuming them?

Sandy: I feel like I’m talking to a brick wall. Do you honestly believe you read the Bible without assumptions?

Rocky: My experience is that the Holy Spirit is real, and He teaches me and leads me moment by moment. He says He rewards those who inquire of Him, and I believe Him. He says the human mind is deceitful and desperately wicked, and I believe Him. Do you honestly think you can know anything by assuming?

Sandy: Without assumptions, no one can know anything about anything.

Sandy didn’t want to answer some of the questions, so he dodged the questions by answering an irrelevant question no one asked. But did you catch the flip-flop? Diverting attention away from the question, Sandy accuses a group he calls “young-earth creationists” in which he flipped his opinion about assumptions. That is, he flipped from defending assumptions to condemning assumptions. Then he flipped right back in his next comment to defending his own use of assumptions, even saying, “Without assumptions, no one can know anything about anything.” Special pleading fallacies like this one are common in ungodly thinking.

Three unanswered questions remain:

Are assumptions better external checks than the Holy Spirit?

Is divine revelation subjective?

Are assumptions objective?

Leaning on his own understanding rather than acknowledging Christ, Sandy didn’t answer these questions. But as you look at each question and consider the answer, what are your answers to those three questions, and how do you know your answers are correct? Do you have a true premise to back up your answers? How do you know your premise is true?

Rocky didn’t challenge Sandy’s accusation that young-earth creationists have loads of assumptions. Do young-earth creationists “have loads of assumptions and presuppositions?” If some young-earth creationists assume and presuppose, this irrationality would limit their credibility. However, it wouldn’t justify Sandy basing his thoughts on assumptions.

Consider what Sandy just admitted. He admitted that he bases every conviction he has on made-up stuff. That means he makes up the stuff, and then he thinks the made-up stuff is true.

Sandy believes assumptions are the basis of knowledge, and all knowledge is hidden in assumptions. Using an entirely different way of reasoning, Rocky thinks that all knowledge is hidden in Christ Jesus. Still, we must remember both men are Christians.
</end quote>
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Five Spiritual Senses

2 Peter 2:12a and Jude 1:10 & 19 speak of those who are like brute beasts, unable to process rational thought and only able to respond to their five senses because they don’t listen to the Holy Spirit.

<quote>

God reveals five spiritual senses, and we can read about spiritual senses in Scripture.

Taste and Vision: Psalm 34:8

Smell: 2 Corinthians 2:14-16

Feeling: Acts 17:27

Hearing: Romans 10:17

 

God uses these spiritual senses to communicate with us, yet humans and demons can counterfeit God.

</end quote>

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How Do We Interpret?

2 Peter 2:12a and Jude 1:10 & 19 speak of those who are like brute beasts, unable to process rational thought and only able to respond to their five senses because they don’t listen to the Holy Spirit.

<quote>
Without divine revelation, how do we interpret Scripture, observation, and experience? Is there any way other than believing made-up stuff? Without a doubt, divine revelation is a controversial subject, so we don’t enter it lightly but fully explore the issue.
</end quote>

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False Teachers and Prophets

2 Peter 2:12a and Jude 1:10 & 19 speak of those who are like brute beasts, unable to process rational thought and only able to respond to their five senses because they don’t listen to the Holy Spirit.

<quote>
False prophets and false teachers have two tactics. They might tell us that their assumptions come from God. They might try to make assumptions appear true without God. Error causes damage, and the damage is the same whether there was malice of intent or not. While the truth will set us free, lies make us slaves to the liar we believe even if the liar is our own fleshly nature.
</end quote>

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What About Counterfeits?

2 Peter 2:12a and Jude 1:10 & 19 speak of those who are like brute beasts, unable to process rational thought and only able to respond to their five senses because they don’t listen to the Holy Spirit.

<quote> Whenever we consider divine revelation, we’re rightly on guard against the real possibility for false prophets and false teachers. Through Scripture, God warns us to be alert against these counterfeits. Counterfeits can fake revelation, so claims of revelation can introduce the possibility of error. On the other hand, assumptions assure error. </end quote>

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The Choice: Assumptions or Revelation

2 Peter 2:12a and Jude 1:10 & 19 speak of those who are like brute beasts, unable to process rational thought and only able to respond to their five senses because they don’t listen to the Holy Spirit.

<quote>
Basing Reason on Assumptions

Must we base all thought on assumptions?

Rocky Rockbuilder: It sounds like you’re basing your interpretation on assumptions. Assumptions are things made up and called true.

Sandy Sandbuilder: How do you manage to read the Bible without assumptions?

Rocky: Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the interpretation of Scripture to you, and don’t be double-minded.

Sandy: What does “double-minded” mean?

Rocky: God speaks through Scripture and every method of revelation He mentions in Scripture. Acknowledge God and don’t lean on your own understanding. Don’t try to acknowledge God and lean on your own understanding simultaneously.

Sandy: That’s not a particularly sophisticated hermeneutic.

Rocky: Are you looking for sophistication by making up stuff and calling it true? I’m concerned about finding truth rather than sophistication.

Sandy: You seem to have a shocking level of confidence in your intuition.

Rocky: Are you saying the Holy Spirit is limited to human intuition?

We’re looking at the choice between assumption and divine revelation. This exchange reveals that ungodly thinking doesn’t acknowledge God or thank Him for His gifts. Both men are Christians. Sandy implies that his assumptions are objective knowledge and that the Holy Spirit is limited to human intuition. However, he never made his statement clear since he never answered the clarifying question.
</end quote>

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God Reveals through Scripture and Every Means of Divine Revelation in Scripture

2 Peter 2:12a and Jude 1:10 & 19 speak of those who are like brute beasts, unable to process rational thought and only able to respond to their five senses because they don’t listen to the Holy Spirit.

<quote>

God speaks through Scripture and every method of revelation He mentions in Scripture. Acknowledge God and don’t lean on your own understanding. Don’t try to acknowledge God and lean on your own understanding simultaneously … God speaks through His creation in real time, and God speaks through the Bible in real time. He didn’t leave these things for us to figure out by making assumptions and basing logic on assumptions.

</end quote>

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