The Scriptures The Criterion For Interpreting Christ

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Mark Osgatharp, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Whereas Christ is not with us today in bodily presence and whereas there are many people proclaiming many messages in the name of "Christ" and whereas God's people must have an objective standard (criterion) by which to judge these competing messages, I assert that the Scriptures are the criterion by which any conception of "Christ" is to be interpreted. This assertion is proven by the following facts:

    1. The old Testament prophets who wrote the Scriptures were the ones who revealed the promise of a coming Christ and the signs by which He would be known.

    2. When Christ walked incarnate among men the criterion by which His Messianic claims were judged was the Scripture. As Jesus told the unbelieving Jews,

    "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me."

    And,

    "For had ye believed Moses ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe me words."

    3. After Christ's first coming He promised to send the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth. This is fulfilled:

    a. Through the writings of the inspired Apostles who composed what we now know as the New Testament Scriptures.

    b. By giving us the faith to comprehend and believe the Old Testament Scriptures as well as the New. As Paul said,

    "But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away."

    And as Jesus wrote to the churches of Asia through the Apostle John,

    "He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

    4. In the New Testament the Scriptures are held up as the means by which the knowledge of Christ is to be normally imparted till He comes; whereas the direct impartation of knowledge and prophecy was a temporary gift only till the full knowledge of Christ came.

    a. "But is now made manifest and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith."

    b. "We have a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

    c. "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

    d. "When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away."

    e. "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book. If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book."

    5. None of this contradicts or restricts the direct providential workings of God in the believer's life nor the working, wooing, and moving of the Spirit in the believer's heart. To the contrary, it gives us the criterion by which the child of God may clearly distinguish between the will of Christ and the deceits of his own heart.

    As Paul told the Corinthians who laid their mass confusion - which including women speaking in the church - at the feet of God,

    "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints."

    And,

    "If any man think himself a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things THAT I WRITE UNTO YOU are the commandments of the Lord."

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  2. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    JESUS CHALLENGES MEN TO JUDGE HIM BY THE CRITERION OF SCRIPTURE:

    1. "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? [NOW GET THIS!!!!!] Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?"

    2. "Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him."

    MEN ACTUALLY JUDGE JESUS BY THE CRITERON OF SCRIPTURE:

    1. "Phillip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."

    2. "And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ."

    3. "These [the Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

    NOTE: People who judge Jesus by the criterion of Scripture are more noble than those who don't; ergo, Bible believing Baptists are more noble than Modernist Baptists.

    4. "For he [Appolos] mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ."

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  3. Baptist Believer

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    Yes.

    We judge determine the truth and error of competing doctrines by the objective standard of scripture as interpreted by the criterion of Jesus Christ as led by the Holy Spirit.

    But having an objective standard such as the written word of God does not discredit the reality that Christ, specifically and personally, give us leadership and guidance apart from (but not in contradiction to) the scripture.

    We are His sheep, we know His voice and we follow Him.

    I certainly acknowledge the authority of scripture, but I also recognize that you carry no authority unless you are in line with scripture and are directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

    I’m still waiting for that public apology for your false characterizations of me in the “Jesus as the criterion” thread. The scripture plainly teaches that one should be humble, should not bear false witness and should also treat each other with respect. If you think yourself a prophet or spiritual, you should follow the clearly revealed will of God in scripture and apologize.

    Do you have the integrity to do it?
     
  4. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Which opens the door for anyone to say, "Jesus led me to believe and do this so I don't accept your interpretation of the Bible." Concrete non-hypocthetical examples:

    a. "Jesus called my wife to be a pastor therefore my interpretation of 'let your women be silent in the church' must allow for women pastors."

    b. "Jesus is love and it is unloving to commit massacres; therefore we must interpret the massacres of Joshua, Saul and David as being something other than God ordained."

    It is you, not I, who owes an apology; not to me, but to Christ, whose holy name you have maligned by reducing His holy words to the level of a pagan myth.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    Mark - You hit a sore point with some for obvious reason. They give "lip service" to the Word of God, but then proceed to "interpret away" its power and authority.

    "You shall be as gods" was a lie from Eden and it is still believed today.

    [BTW, we don't allow the "you should apologize to me" game. Rail on each other privately, but if you make demands on a brother to do something you will find yourself in serious problems.]
     
  6. Baptist Believer

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    Which opens the door for anyone to say, "Jesus led me to believe and do this so I don't accept your interpretation of the Bible."</font>[/QUOTE]1. The voice of God does not contradict the written revelation of God found in scripture.
    2. Interpreting by the criterion of Jesus Christ does not mean that “anything goes” in regard to theology.

    Frankly, I don’t think you understand what I wrote. Let me break down my statement into the three main parts:

    We determine the truth and error of competing doctrines by the objective standard of scripture…

    This statement is in full agreement with what you posted previously. I don’t think we have a difference here.

    …as interpreted by the criterion of Jesus Christ…

    That is, interpreting the Old Testament and the rest of the New Testament by the life, teachings and actions of Jesus as revealed in the Gospels.

    …as led by the Holy Spirit.

    The Spirit helps us properly interpret the written revelation of God and gives us illumination.

    If a woman senses a calling to be pastor, she should look to the scriptures to determine if her perceptions are correct. If the scripture does not allow for it, then she must determine that the “calling” she has received is invalid or has been misinterpreted.

    While faithful and sincere Christians may disagree on the role of women in church ministry, this method of interpreting God’s callings should not be in dispute among those who respect scripture.

    Your example starts with a false premise. Therefore, the rest of the reasoning is invalid.

    Just because some people misuse the principle does not mean that the principle is invalid!

    It is you, not I, who owes an apology; not to me, but to Christ, whose holy name you have maligned by reducing His holy words to the level of a pagan myth.
    </font>[/QUOTE]I said it before and I’ll say it again… You either have a reading comprehension problem or you are being exceptionally dishonest in order to find a justification to condemn me.

    Here’s what I previously wrote:
    --

    The ancient world was well aware of the use of symbols, myth and allegory, and it is quite possible that the hearers of Jesus were not concerned about whether or not the events that Jesus referenced were literal.

    This is discussing the possibly non-literal worldview of Palestine in the first century.

    I toured a magnificent collection of artifacts from the tombs of ancient Egypt this afternoon (circa 2000 B.C.)…

    This is a statement of fact.

    …and was struck by the way the ancient mind freely used myth and symbols to express what they believed to be religious truth.

    This is a statement regarding the nature of the worldview of ancient peoples in Egypt that is very likely to be a similar worldview to the Israelites when they were led out of ancient Egypt by Moses.

    People in the Western world’s “modern” era are very concerned about “literalness” due to the influence of modern science, but that trend is changing due to the empty rationalism of the age.

    This is my understanding of the current and changing Western worldview.

    --

    While you may disagree with my analysis (it is certainly your right), you do not have the right to misrepresent my words and call for “the infidels” to be driven out of the churches – clearly implying that I am somehow an “infidel”. :rolleyes:

    I HAVE NOT maligned the holy name of Christ “by reducing His holy words to the level of a pagan myth”! :mad:
     
  7. Gunther

    Gunther
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    Baptist Believer, it is at this point that the disagreement is so sharp and necessary. You don't know a thing about Christ that is accurate that is not in the Scripture.

    Let me illustrate how this usually goes if anyone other than the four of us even care about this thread:

    1. Jesus elevated women from the position of property to that of personhood.

    2. Paul taught submission to one another and that wives were to be in submission to their husband.

    3. The spirit of Christ would have us choose the first because submission puts women down.

    Explanation:

    1. Jesus agreed with what God had already said as recorded in Genesis that both man and woman was made in the image of God and therefore above the animals and all the rest of the created order.

    2. Paul taught submission one to another and then gave four examples:

    wives to husbands
    the church to Christ
    children to parents
    slaves to masters

    3. The clear teaching of Christ and his followers is that God has given complimentary positions in life. The husbands gives his all in loving protection, provision, and production. The wife gives her all in loving support, submission, and service.

    There is even complimentary positions within the Godhead (as Christ TAUGHT IN THE GOSPELS).

    Baptist Believer, you seem to be advocating the same language that the defunct CBF and embittered BGCT are putting forth.
     
  8. Baptist Believer

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    Baptist Believer, it is at this point that the disagreement is so sharp and necessary. You don't know a thing about Christ that is accurate that is not in the Scripture. </font>[/QUOTE]Once again :rolleyes: , let me point out that I have NEVER made this assertion. I have simply pointed out the obvious fact that we know Christ (notice that I’m not referring to information) in a way that is distinct from the written word of God.

    Yes, although women were already persons in the Old Testament. Only the corruption of men’s hearts reduced their social standing to the level of property.

    Yes. And as you noted, Paul taught mutual submission – men are also called to be submissive to their wives according to the instruction from that same passage in Ephesians. (Please note that the word “submission” is not used for men, but the teaching is very clear since Christ exercised submission to the Christ and to the world becoming the servant of all.)

    False assumption. Submission is a mark of servanthood. Since we are all called to serve, there is not “putting down” by calling men and women to submission to each other.

    My convictions are my own, but you seem to be reading the worst possible motives and theological positions into my words. I’m afraid you’ve been listening to the propaganda from the SBC leadership and not actually listening to what advocates of the “Jesus is the criterion for interpretation…” actually say. In any case, please focus on what I am saying instead of assuming that I represent a pre-packaged position that was spoon-fed to me by someone else.

    For the record, the CBF is not defunct (I think you know that) and the BGCT is not necessarily “embittered”, although many of us in the BGCT get very tired of being misrepresented and lied about by the Southern Baptist leadership and the Southern Baptists of Texas group.
     
  9. Gunther

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    I don't want to stray off topic, but for the record, I did not note that Paul taught mutual submission. That is something that the "Jesus as the criterion for interpreting Scripture clan" believes.

    You cannot possibly take "mutual submission" in that passage. You would have parents submitting to their children and masters submitting to their slaves. Can I get a witness that that is utter nonsense? Yes, you in the back. Thank you.

    Christ did not submit to the church or to the world. Remember that Christ said he only does those things which please the father. Ahh, there it is. Christ submitted himself to the father in all things. Christ served man out of obedience to the father.

    For the record, there is absolutely NOTHING in all of Scripture that indicates "mutual submission". It is a myth propogated by the extreme left (surprisingly :rolleyes: [​IMG] ).

    Now, back to the topic on hand...
     
  10. ScottEmerson

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    Ephesians 5:21

    Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
     
  11. timothy 1769

    timothy 1769
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    yep, but keep reading to see what he meant....
     
  12. ScottEmerson

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    Exactly, he addresses both wives AND husbands. They are to each submit to each other!
     
  13. Gunther

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    Exactly, he addresses both wives AND husbands. They are to each submit to each other! </font>[/QUOTE]Judges?

    NNNNNNNNKK

    Sorry Scott. That only works in feminist circles.

    Paul said to submit one to another and then gave four examples. This is the part that you and all the other "mutual submission" advocates ignore.

    Wives to husbands
    Church to Christ
    Children to Parents
    Slaves to Masters

    Do you also advocate that Christ submit himself to the church, that parents submit to their children and that masters submit to their slaves? How absurd.
     
  14. Mark Osgatharp

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    Gunther,

    Amen! You have accurately dispelled the feminist "mutual submission" myth.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  15. ScottEmerson

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    I agree with BB that Christ indeed submitted himself for the church by dying for her. Parents submit to their children often, as they don't do what they may want to do in order to help raise them.
     
  16. Gunther

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    Mark, the difficulty is in disproving something that only exists in the minds of the extreme left.

    Scott has Christ submitting to the church (nice to see who is Lord) and parents submitting to their children (just as the scripture says, "train up a parent in the way that you want and when you are old, you will still be disobedient to God.").

    Nice work.
     
  17. Gunther

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    Scott, I see you forgot (or purposely omitted) to mention slaves and masters.

    Could you just see how that would go?

    Master: Okay, now you all need to get to work.

    Slave: I have a better idea. How about you do what we say today.

    Master: That would be fine except I told you what to do already.

    Slave: Naw, we're good.

    Master: Get to work.

    Slave: Look, man, we're good.

    Master: Um, perhaps you don't understand. I have guards. You will work.

    Slave: You have no love in your heart.

    Master: Guards!

    Don't you see Scott, your position breeds chaos.
     
  18. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Gunther,

    You have really hit on something here, which is that the roots of feminism and infidelity among Baptists can be traced directly to the anti-slavery movement of the 1800s. The sort of Baptists who decided that slaves didn't have to obey there masters are the same sort who later decided that wives didn't have to submit to their husbands nor the church to Christ.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  19. ScottEmerson

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    I wonder what Philemon did with Onesimus when he returned?

    I think your idea of what a "slave" consisted of in the Bible needs further examination.

    As to Mark's comment about slavery, that is perhaps the most offensive thing I've seen here. It would appear that you are advocating returning to the time of slaves.
     
  20. Mark Osgatharp

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    Scott,

    I am not advocating a returing to slavery. I am acknowledging what the Scriptures teach, which is that, in any society where slavery is legally practiced, it is the duty of slaves to respect and submit to their masters. And I am acknowledging that people who don't believe this are rebells against God. As Paul said,

    "Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
    And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.

    If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself."

    On the basis of Paul's command for the faithful to withdraw fellowship from those who oppose Christ's teaching about slavery, I will assert that the southern Baptists of the pre-civil war days in America were not only justified but obligated to withdraw from the abolitionist Baptists of the north.

    Mark Osgatharp
     

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