Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Driven by fear

We are attracted to some heresies because of what they offer. They pander to our sinful cravings. They do things for the Pelagian within us, or for our inner Rationalist. We are drawn to some errors, however, not by their mock spiritual worth but by the threat of adverse consequences. We are driven by fear. The classic New Testament example of this comes from Galatians, and the corresponding section in Acts 15. There was a compulsion to accept the ritual of circumcision on pain of exclusion, not merely from God's people, but from salvation (Acts 15:1-2; Galatians 6:12).

No wonder then that Paul's opening salvo is directed to those who "trouble you" and want to "distort the gospel of Christ" (Gal. 1:7). The deviant influence of the false teachers was not only upon the gospel but also upon the spiritual well being of the Galatian churches. "Filling them," wrote John Brown, "with doubts and alarms as to the safety of their state while they remained uncircumcised and unsubjected to the law of Moses."

As much as errors can come to us laden with promises of blessings they may also, at the same time, speak threatening words if we refuse them.


Droll Flood said...

Concerning the troubling and causing of fear, I have learned to love the Canons of Dordt. Those who wrote were very concerned for the well being of the saints, that is why they were so vehement in opposing that which took away from the Glory of God and comfort of the saints. The men that wrote the COD loved fervently their flock.

Anonymous said...

what is the Canons of Dordt?

Bill Hornbeck said...

The Canons of Dordt (a/k/a "Dort") is one of three major Reformed creeds subscribed by certain Reformed churches: Heidelberg Catechism, Netherlands or Belgic Confession of Faith, and The Canons of Dordt . Other Reformed churches subscribe to the Westminister Confession of Faith.

In a nutshell, the Canons of Dort present the very important Reformed doctrine of salvation (how we are saved). The Canons of Dordt present "TULIP", the acronym for the Five Points of Calvinism. As stated in the Introduction provided by the Protestant Reformed Churches to the Canons of Dordt: "They are the only one of our confessions which was actually composed by an ecclesiastical assembly, the Great Synod of 1618-1619. born out of internal controversy in the Reformed Churches of the Netherlands which was occasioned by the rise of the Arminian heresy, the Canons are the expression of the Synod's judgment concerning the Five Points of the Remonstrance. This also explains the fact that the Canons are divided into five chapters, maintaining the truths of sovereign predestination, particular atonement, total depravity, irresistible grace, and perseverance of saints. Because the Canons are an answer to the Five Points of the Remonstrance, they set forth only certain aspects of the truth rather than the whole body of the truth, as do our other confessions."

In briefest summary, the Canons of Dordt show the glorious and comforting truth that "salvation is of the Lord alone". Here is a link to the Canons of Dort - http://www.prca.org/cd_index.html