Tuesday, June 27, 2017

DO YOU HAVE MYTHICAL OR FACT-BASED LOGICAL THINKING?

January 7, 2014 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

rich booksBelieve it or not, there are actually people in the world (and on Facebook) who have opinions that are based merely upon emotion or “political correctness,” or some other unreliable source. They do NOT even care what the truth or facts are in a given situation, but only what they want to believe about that situatio…n. This happens all the time regarding theology too, as people choose their doctrines often for reasons OTHER than they are truly supported by the Scriptures.

Others, like myself, attempt to ascertain TRUTH by examining facts and Scripture using sound reasoning, in order to arrive at valid conclusions based upon true premises. Logic (which is created by God and an extension of His own thinking) should be applied to analyzing true premises, which will typically result in a person obtaining true conclusions about the subject. THAT is the ONLY way to ascertain truth theologically. It is also the ONLY way to ascertain the truthfulness about all other situations in life too.

CONVICTING TRUTH vs. DESIRABLE FABLES:

However, those who choose what they believe based on emotion, wishful thinking, tradition, “political correctness,” or some other unreliable source, tend to think you are a bigot, narrow minded, or “judgmental,” whenever you continue to argue for truth in the face of their mythological belief system. That can be frustrating at times, but the fact is that such people are actually proof that we are living in the last days:

** 2 Timothy 4:1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. CONVINCE, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the TRUTH, and be turned aside to FABLES.

The FIRST word highlighted in ALL-CAPS above and translated as “convince” in the NKJV above (and as “reproof” in the KJV) is an interesting word in the original language of the NT (Greek). That Greek word is “elegchō” (Strong’s #1651). The Complete Word Study Dictionary, NT edition, defines this word as, “to convict, to prove one in the wrong, and thus, to shame him….to convince of error.”

In other words, this term is a legal-type of term that describes a person “taking their case” against a person — even PUBLICLY — demonstrating that the other person is CLEARLY WRONG and in error…even to the point of bringing them to SHAME. It is the exact same word used for “rebuke” by Paul, in telling Timothy (and all true ministers of Christ) how to deal with elders in sin:

** 1 Timothy 5:20 Those who are sinning REBUKE in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.

The next word highlighted in ALL-CAPS from the 2 Timothy 4 passage above is the word translated as “TRUTH.” This the Greek word “alētheia” (Strong’s #225). he Complete Word Study Dictionary, NT edition, defines this word as, “Truth, reality; the unveiled reality lying at the basis of, and agreeing with with, and appearance; the manifested, the veritable essence of matter….denotes the reality clearly lying before our eyes as opposed to a mere appearance, WITHOUT reality.”

Let’s contrast that with the term “FABLES” in that same verse, which is the Greek word, “mythos” (Strong’s #3454), which the same dictionary defines as, “…that which is fabricated by the mind in CONTRAST to reality.” In other words, it might look plausible on the surface, but there is NO REALITY (truth) to substantiate it, and thus, make it effective or useful. This same word is from where the English words “myth” and “mythology” originate.

So here is what Paul is telling Timothy:

(1) There is a knowable “truth” (alētheia) that can be ascertained from the Scriptures by studying them thoroughly (see the verses just before this in chapters 2-3 of 2 Timothy for the full context).

(2) This truth should be preached/taught to people, but there is coming a day when people will prefer to believe outright lies and “fables” (mythos) because it appeals to their carnal desires.

(3) In the face of this, we are to “convict” (elegchō) people by PROVING that they are wrong — even publicly — as we demonstrate from the Scriptures, as applied to the facts at hand, that they are WRONG and pursuing lies.

This is particularly required of ministers of Christ, I should add. Please note these other passages in the NT where this same word “elegchō” is used (highlighted in ALL-CAPS, with clarifying notes in brackets) when discussing qualifications/functions of ministers:

** Titus 1:7 For a bishop [elder, minister of Christ] must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and CONVICT those who contradict.

** Titus 1:12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore REBUKE them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.

Genuine ministers of Christ must be capable of “convicting, rebuking” people (elegchō) or they are not qualified for their job.

LOVING LIES:

Nevertheless, again, people typically do NOT like being proven wrong…no, they do not. Although those who believe lies CANNOT prove those with the truth to be “wrong,” they will abuse them as being judgmental, critical, “unloving,” and every other FALSE accusation of which they can think. TRUTH is offensive to them. MYTHS (fables) are appealing to them. In short, they “love lies” and do not want you to dispel their delusions. Hence, they are in grave danger of being given over to “strong delusion” by the judgment of God:

** John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.

** 2 Thessalonians 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

When a person rejects TRUTH (to include evidential facts) in preference for FABLES due to their own desires to believe lies, then they have thrust themselves into self-deception. So the Lord Himself will judge them and send them “strong delusion that they should believe the lie” because they refuse to repent and to turn away from their love of lies. THAT is a dangerous thing, indeed.

Despite the darkness in which these people find themselves, and the judgment they will face if they do not repent, they actually WANT to continue in their self-deception. So those who bring truth to them — even out of concern for their souls and well being — are considered “wrong” and “hateful” in the minds of these people. To use a metaphor, it is like a person standing on their heads and thinking that everyone right-side-up is “up-side-down.” It is THEIR perspective on reality that is distorted, but they think the other person is wrong:

** Proverbs 26:16 The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

Ouch. Yes, those who cannot truly defend their beliefs by providing Scripture, research facts, & etc., are mentally lazy (sluggards). Nonetheless, they consider themselves “wiser” in their own “conceit” than even seven people who can justify their own view of those same issues or doctrines.

While I could certainly elaborate further, I will nonetheless end this brief article on this subject here because the following video illustrates these points very well. If anything that I have shared within this article fell short in getting these concepts over to any person, then I trust the following entertaining video will make up the difference and drive these points home.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2Flgdwlqz0

May you seek truth, hate lies, and learn to discern the difference.

** Ephesians 6:24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

Always in Jesus,

-Rich Vermillion

 

Rev. Rich Vermillion is an ordained minister, award-winning author, and autodidactic scholar of theology and economics, as well as several other subjects. He has appeared on numerous television and radio broadcasts in the U.S. and internationally. To review his more extensive professional biography, please visit: http://www.linkedin.com/in/richvermillion

Rich and Donna have been lovingly joined in marriage for over 22 years, and companions in ministry for over two decades. They have sincere pastors’ hearts; and when ministering to God’s people, they endeavor to imitate the Lord Himself when caring for His sheep.  Their website is:  www.richvermillion.com

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