Week 10

These weekly posts show the Triad teachings. Starting at week 1 and progressing through the weeks will help you see the logic of the series.

The World’s Vocabulary

In the early 17th century the astronomer Galileo was tried by the Catholic Church for his support of the theory that the sun does not travel around the earth, but that the earth travels around the sun. The inquisition found him guilty because (they said) the Bible clearly teaches that the sun goes around the earth and that the earth does not move. They cited versus such as: Psalm 93:1, Psalm 96:10, and 1 Chronicles 16:30 where it is stated that “the world is firmly established it cannot be moved” or Psalm 104:5, which says, “The Lord set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved”. Also Ecclesiastes 1:5, which states that “The sun rises and sets and returns to its place.”

Now, do you think that God believes that the sun revolves around a stationary earth? It is clear today that it was only for convenience of language that God inspired the writers of the Bible to describe what common sense observation shows anyone on earth: the sun appears to travel around the earth. The human authors believed what they saw; God did not correct them because He was not writing a science book. But the events that the Old Testament writers described do in fact reflect what they saw: and consequently the history recorded in the Bible is as accurate as any other history.

But the Church had an elevated view of Scripture that went far beyond history and far beyond common sense descriptions of events. The Church believed that the Bible text is accurate in all ways, even astronomy!

Likewise, in the early 20th century the Scopes “monkey” trial pitted science against Christianity. The teaching of evolution was at that time illegal in Tennessee and when John Scopes was forbidden to teach it in his high school science class the ACLU took the case to court. There was wide public interest in this case. Various Bible passages were put forth to deny scientific observations. For example, the Genesis account of creation, where it seems to teach that the earth and the heavens were made in 7 (24 hour length) days. Now, since this issue is still a matter of debate even today, we will only point out that the Genesis account is not clear in several places, and contains internal inconsistencies that anyone reading it can detect. For example, the time taken to make the heavens and the earth: the sun was not created until the 4th day, and yet the sun is how we mark a 24 hour day. So how could there be days 1-3 if “day” is a literal 24 hour day? What is clear in Genesis is that God created the earth and the heavens and that these were indeed a creation and not merely an undirected and random building of complexity over time. What is important is that we are created beings; and the exact time length and means of our creation is a side issue.

Now in the 21st century we have the opposite problem. Most Christians no longer attempt to use the Bible as a source of scientific information. In fact, when it comes to non moral emotional and inward problems, like addictions, mood disorders or problems with relationships, the average Christian today is more likely to look for
an answer from science rather than from the Bible. Thus, in teaching on sanctification, the church tends to neglect a host of problems that are rampant in our society today: depression, anxiety, compulsions, uncontrolled anger, low attention span, learning disabilities, personality disorders, a host of addictive disorders, oppositional/defiance disorders, compulsions, etc. Instead of finding spiritual help from God most afflicted people are referred to counseling, psychology and psychiatry.

Today about 40% of Americans carry some sort of medical/psychological diagnosis, and most of these people are on are on some sort of psychoactive medication. The point isn’t to avoid using medications, the point is that the church has relinquished any authority or help in these areas.

Don’t you think people were depressed or anxious prior to the 20th century?  Doesn’t God have anything to say about mood disorders and addictions?

He does, and therefore we will begin to look at these problems from a biblical perspective. We will have to especially look at those parts of scripture that are rarely talked about in the Church, that relate to oppressive mood disorders and disabling thought disturbances. Thus we must begin to look at Biblical concepts such as “darkness”, “blindness”, “demonic” influence and God’s judgment of “sin”.

 

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