The number of believers who think they are being biblical but actually are nowhere near it always astounds me. I come across so many who obviously know very little about what the Bible in fact teaches, and instead have soaked up from somewhere or someone some really bizarre and unbiblical teachings.
They may pride themselves in knowing their Bibles and not running with the traditions of men, but it is obvious that the reverse is true: their biblical knowledge is low while they have latched onto some really strange human teachers and their bizarre beliefs.
Sadly I get this happening to me all the time with people wanting to argue with me on my website or on the social media. It gets quite discouraging to see so many low-information Christians who seem so keen to pontificate on matters that they are clearly out of their depth on.
And it is not just biblical illiteracy or a lack of basic doctrinal teaching that these folks are steeped in. All of that can be corrected for the most part. But what almost always goes along with this theological ignorance is a very haughty spirit and an arrogant attitude. They are overbearingly proud, and they have an unteachable spirit.
They are know-it-alls who refuse to listen to others. They think they have it all down pat, and will argue till the cows come home. Their argumentative spirit is so painful to behold. When you find such arrogance and divisiveness, you are usually dealing with someone who is walking in the flesh, not the Spirit.
And of course that is so much harder to deal with and correct than a mere deficiency in basic biblical knowledge and teaching. It means the argumentative person is not just uninformed and uneducated, but is being sinful and carnal, and that requires spiritual surgery and repentance to properly deal with.
Examples of this are legion. I get this happening to me all the time sadly. If these folks are at all open and humble and teachable I will gladly spend time with them in the hopes that they are able to receive some correction and guidance on these matters.
But some are so hardened and unteachable that all I can do is give them the old ‘three strikes and you’re out’ rule. If they show no signs of wanting to learn a little and be open to counter viewpoints, but just seem to get their jollies out of arguing, I will let them go after three polite warnings.
Let me offer an example of this here. And I am not picking on this one individual. As I say, there are plenty of folks who are like this. But here is one fellow and his comments on two of my recent social media posts. The first was a quote I took from this article of mine: billmuehlenberg.com/2019/02/16/should-i-still-read-his-books-or-listen-to-his-music/
As always, reading something in context is vital (and I link to the article in my first comment under each post), but what I said in my post was this:
I have several of his books – Songs of Experience and The Strength of Weakness – and have often quoted from them in my articles and even in my old PhD thesis. I believe someone once objected to me quoting from him because he became a homosexual. This is unfortunately true as I discovered: in 1999 he left his wife and embraced a homosexual lifestyle, and he now proudly promotes “gay Christianity”.
So I get this guy with some rather odd theological understanding coming to pick a fight. He wrote:
If this man admits he is a sinner and believes Jesus died on the cross for his sins and paid his sin debt and rose from the grave to give him eternal life he is saved. Period. If he doesnt admit he is a sinner, he is not saved. If he is saved and still lives as a homosexual, that is his choice and God the father who has adopted him into the family of believers will not let this sin continue without loss of blessings, light, salt, joy, peace, love, possibly earlydeath, and rewards in the next everlasting life.. Let;s not confuse salvation with discipleship. Not ever believer becomes a disciple., and not every disciple is a believer Just look at the disciple JUDAS.
The rest of our conversation went as follows:
Me: Um no. Every Christian IS a disciple. If Christ is not Lord he is not saviour. This guy is a proud homosexual who claims to also be a Christian. No he is not. Whether he once was and now has rejected his past faith is another matter which can be debated later. But those deliberately living in known and unforsaken sin are NOT Christians as Scripture teaches.
Him: um was Judas a believer?
Me: Depends on your views of eternal security – if you believe in it, then he never was – if you think believers can lose their salvation, then he may well have been one, but he later renounced it (see the many warning passages in Scripture on this option).
Him: I am neither calvinist nor armenian Judas was not a believer, but was a disciple He is in hell because of unbelief, not because he lost his salvation,anyone who says they are without sin is a liar, scripture says so
Me: Mate, who said anything about a person not sinning here? That has NOTHING to do with this discussion. And I have never in 50 years of being a Christian come across anyone claiming that someone who is saved (present tense) can also be in hell! How bizarre is that? Scripture nowhere says anything about that either. Hell is for the unsaved only, and heaven is for the saved! Instead of coming here to argue, you might want to brush up on some biblical basics. So we might leave it at that thanks.
While this debate was going on, this guy also weighed in on another new post of mine. It was a meme I shared which said: “If you’re a Christian, you cannot vote for a person or a party that slays babies in the womb -John MacArthur.” To it I added these qualifying words: “Yep. Yet we have millions of ‘Christians’ who do vote this way. If the two premises are true, then the conclusion follows: those who vote pro-death are NOT Christians.”
But this guy was quick to pick a fight about that one as well. This is how that discussion went:
Him: So MacArthur gets a pass on not being a sinner? The guy is becoming quite the Ecumenical leader lately sharing the stage with those preaching another gospel Not good to put this Man on a pedestal or idolize him too much
Me: Don’t be foolish – who said he is not a sinner? And who is putting him on a pedestal? I simply quote one thing from him which happens to be true and you get all bent out of shape – both here and on my other posts. Mate, time to take a breather instead of wanting to pick a fight everywhere thanks.
Him: So your saying anyone who is a believer can’t possibly in their right mind vote Democrat? and if they do their not saved? Well, i am not in favor of abortion, I don’t vote left, and believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ as God in the flesh, so I am a child of God, adopted into the family, but some of my friends vote left, but believe the same as I do even abortion is wrong, MacArthurs logic is pretty flawed, he is basing One voting record on whether their saved instead of Gods promise of everlasting life if you believe, A christian is a person who believes that Jesus is God in the flesh, who shed his blood on the cross for the forgivness of your sin personally, who rose from the grave to give you life personally That is a Christian, not whether your democrat or republican, Yes slaying babies in the womb is horrific and should not be done,
Me: Um, do you also have problems in actually reading what a person has said? Where did I say a Democrat is not a Christian? What is being said here is pretty clear: if a person fully supports the slaughter of unborn babies, we have every reason to question whether they are actually biblical Christians. And as I also said, taking just ONE quote out of millions of words written by a guy is really quite silly and unreasonable. But you seem to be on the warpath at the moment, so my last warning here thanks: give it a rest. When folks keep saying silly, false and unhelpful things it seems they just want to argue instead of contribute something useful to a discussion.
Him: You have every right to ban me from this page, I myself DO NOT have every reason to question whether a person is actually a biblical Christian I leave it to God who judges the heart, not the outward signs of the fruit,
Me: Then you have called God a liar – While only God ultimately only knows who are really his, Jesus said we ARE to judge a person by the outward fruit, as does all of the New Testament. Sorry, I will run with the clear teachings of Jesus and the NT here, not your confused and unbiblical ramblings. But this is my last time with you here thanks. I will pray that you can chill and actually study things closer instead of going on the attack in such a silly fashion. Adios.
Thankfully he finally stopped at that point. But he is another one of those folks who really bother me to be honest. He and so many others come to my social media page out of the blue and want to befriend me. I do a quick look at their page, and if it looks all right, I will accept their request.
But then I usually never hear a peep out of them for months or maybe even years. Then all of a sudden they come to my page, but only with the desire to pick a fight or argue with me about something. Um, as I keep saying: those sorts of folks are not exactly my idea of a friend, or a brother or sister in Christ.
So we will see how this particular fellow goes in the future. As I say, those showing a bit of humility and teachability will always get a sympathetic ear from me. But those who come and appear to be arrogant and argumentative I really do not have a lot of time for, sorry.
As always, I covet your prayers that I can have patience, wisdom, love and discernment as I deal with all these folks. I do not always get it right in my responses, so I need your prayer support to be where the Lord wants me to be in this very public and often contentious ministry I am called to.
Oh dear, as if right on cue: On another social media site I posted my article on the need for church leaders to speak out on the vital issues of the day. For that seemingly innocuous yet biblical remark, I just got some guy sending this comment in by way of response:
“No! The church must preach the gospel first and foremost! Then this problem would take care of itself. Social justice is Jesuitical. Are you a Freemason by chance? Your post is pushing the UN platform. The “true” church has no business being involved in that. The UN is controlled by the Jesuits of Rome and the agenda is world control!”
Good grief! I think he has just perfectly illustrated what I have been talking about in this article! Suffice it to say that I did not bother to respond to his nutjob comment.