Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Jeremiah 18:12-18
(12) "But they say, 'That is in vain! We will follow our own plans, and will every one act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.'
(13) "Therefore thus says the LORD: Ask among the nations, Who has heard the like of this? The virgin Israel has done a very horrible thing.
(14) Does the snow of Lebanon leave the crags of Sirion? Do the mountain waters run dry, the cold flowing streams?
(15) But my people have forgotten me; they make offerings to false gods; they made them stumble in their ways, in the ancient roads, and to walk into side roads, not the highway,
(16) making their land a horror, a thing to be hissed at forever. Everyone who passes by it is horrified and shakes his head.
(17) Like the east wind I will scatter them before the enemy. I will show them my back, not my face, in the day of their calamity."
(18) Then they said, "Come, let us make plots against Jeremiah, for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, let us strike him with the tongue, and let us not pay attention to any of his words."

I apologize for the long quotation today, but I think the whole thing is necessary to make a point on something I am really wrestling with lately. The people don't like what Jeremiah has to say regarding their sin, so they decide that they are going to follow their own hearts. God promises that there will be consequences to this decision and Jeremiah reports that. What do the people do? They decide to "make plots against Jeremiah" because they prefer to listen to those who tell them what they want to hear.

Of course, most of us who preach or aspire to preach think of ourselves as Jeremiah. I know that I rarely have the humility to think of myself as one who needs to hear his teaching. This is especially true in the Baptist and non-denominational circles in which I run. We all think that we're "doing church" correctly and we don't have much room for naysayers.

Check out this blog post about something Mark Dever said. The church with which my seminary is affiliated has an eschatological position in its membership statement. However, they also have a really good relationship with Capitol Hill Baptist to the point that Mark Dever has spoken at our church. I wonder what reaction there will be to this calling out, if any?

I am doing a paper on papal infallibility and it is forcing me to wrestle with issues like this. Frankly, Stephen Davey is under no obligation to listen to Mark Dever. Should he? I think so, but that's up to him and I respect him as an elder as well as the president of my seminary. However, the freedom that he has to come to his own opinion is the same as the freedom I have to accept or reject his thoughts on this matter, or at least that's how I see it.

If I were Lutheran, Missouri Synod this would not be an issue. I would respect the teachings of the LCMS. The same goes for PCA and of course Roman Catholic. Of course, there are other problems that come with that kind of ecclesiastical structure too. I'm not saying that it's perfect, but it is something that I'm being drawn to more and more.

I wish I could be Roman Catholic, but I just can't buy into the way they treat Scripture and I would echo Luther's sentiments from Worms. I just wonder how this will eventually play out.

1 comment:

Jim Swindle said...

Hello. You'd commented on my comment on another blog, on the post about Dever and eschatology. I'm not an authority on the questions of authority, but would be happy to converse further with you on this matter via e-mail. My e-mail at gmail.com is the same as my blogspot blog, vineandfig

In my case, my pastor is one of the most godly men I've ever met. I have more official theological education than he does, but he has much more real biblical learning than I do. He's a humble, bold teacher. I'm deeply blessed to know him. I agree with the great majority of what he says; disagree on a few things. On the things where we disagree, both of us would fall within evangelical, Bible-believing Christianity. I struggle at times with how to be submissive yet honest in this situation.