Search the Scriptures Daily Program #0305c Transcript follows:
Gary: You are listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. Still to come, Dave and Tom continue their weekly in-depth study of the doctrine of salvation. Please stay with us.
Now, Contending for the Faith. In this regular feature, Dave and Tom respond to questions from listeners and readers of The Berean Call. Here’s this week’s question: “Dear Dave and T.A., Do you really believe than an authentic Christian cannot discern information that is helpful from other information? Any born-again, washed in the blood of the Lamb, authentic Christian reading The Purpose Drive Life can glean from it information that might be helpful in a Sunday school or Christian training session and toss out anything considered less than appropriate. You did the same thing to The Passion of the Christ. You assumed that we born-again believers are incapable of discernment. Shame on you for ripping apart two entire presentations, rather than simply pointing out paragraphs or instructions that you disagree with.”
Dave: Well, Tom, I’m not exactly sure what the person is trying to say.
Tom: Oh, I’ve got an idea, Dave, but go ahead.
Dave: Well, go ahead, tell us.
Tom: You know, we had on our live program, we had some—this is a question that came to our webpage, and they’re just concerned that we’re nit-picking; that we’re just trying to be disagreeable, that we’re just trying to be critical and that we don’t give Christians—in general—the benefit of the doubt that they’re able to discern through this.
You know, Dave, I look through all the Scriptures—and you mentioned it last week—there are so many verses in the epistles. You have the beloved John writing a concern about this. You quoted Paul in Acts of his concern. Peter writes the same thing. We have it over and over again. That’s all we’re trying to do, is encourage people to be discerning.
And, Dave, you get a little upset—I get a little upset with this. As you know, I wrote the book Showtime for the Sheep?: The Church and the Passion of the Christ to present some information that I thought the church missed as they got enthusiastic about this. Now, why would I do that?
Well, in the book, I make the statement, “I could have put nine pages in there of pastors and leaders who said these things about the movie: “That it was biblically accurate,” “That it was edifying,” “That it was the greatest thing,” “That we were going to use it for witnessing throughout.”
Now, I have to ask the question: did they indeed, with discernment, look at the movie? And, we’d ask the same question about The Purpose Driven Life. Are people, are leaders, are church leaders, going through the book carefully? You know, is this an act of discernment? I don’t think so.
Dave: Well, Tom, that’s the reason why I said I don’t know exactly what this person is trying to say. Are they saying, “We should do away with all teaching?”
I mean, after all, let’s not have a math teacher in school because any child with any understanding is capable of learning math without any teacher. There shouldn’t be any instruction in church because everybody, every Christian, has enough discernment to understand exactly…. Paul shouldn’t have tried to teach people. Why should we bother preaching? Anyone with any discernment should understand, you know? Is that what they’re saying? Or are they saying there is so much good in this, The Passion, or The Purpose Driven Life, that you shouldn’t criticize it; just leave it to people.
But, Tom, I think one of the points we’re trying to make is there is so much wrong, I would have a tough time finding what is really good. It reminds me of a poem that I may not have quoted for several years on this program—if ever on this program.
Mainly, I would use it in reference to psychology. You know, “All truth is God’s truth.” We can go to Freud for some truth; we can go here and there. Why do we have to dig through the muck and mire of error in order to find a golden nugget of truth? And the poet ends his poem like this:
“Who would leave the noonday bright to grope ‘mid shadows dim?
And who would leave the fountainhead to drink the muddy stream
Where men have mixed what God has said, with every dreamers dream?”
Now, The Passion of the Christ is not only dreamer’s dreams, as you know, it’s the visions of a mystic nun. And, it’s not from the Bible. It’s contrary to the Word of God, okay? Now, we’re going to commend this film because, “Well, you could get some good stuff out of it—or we will say nothing about it because everybody ought to have the discernment.” I don’t think that would be the proper approach.
Rick’s book—“every dreamer’s dream”? He’s got an awful lot from secular dreamers. He’s got an awful lot of humanism. He has a lot of anti-biblical teaching in here, which comes from supposed translations or paraphrases of the Bible. I think it is legitimate for us to point this out.
Now, I would go back to this person and say, “Yes, we believe that people ought to have the intelligence and the discernment to take what we have said—maybe they’ve overlooked some of these things. We’re only trying to help them—take what we’ve said, go back, check it out; this is exactly what we have been asking them to do.
So, Tom, I understand—in one sense I sympathize with this person. On the other hand, I think they’re doing to us exactly what they claim we are doing to others. I think it is certainly a legitimate concern that we have, that there is so much in Rick Warren’s book that is not biblical—that is anti-biblical, that is humanistic, and so forth. And so much in the film…
Dave: …that was wrong that we ought to be allowed to point it out. Now, it is up to people to check out what we say.
Dave: Come to they’re own conclusions.
Tom: Dave, again, over and over again, you know, we could go through Jeremiah for example. In Jeremiah:50:6, he says, “My people hath been lost sheep. Their shepherds have caused them to go astray.” Now, we’re not blaming all pastors out there, but we are exhorting pastors to be responsible here. There are so many things that are coming into the church, if they’re not encouraging their sheep to be discerning—they’re accountable to God for that and they’re not living up to the responsibility they have.
Dave: But, Tom, this person who wrote in would be saying, “Jeremiah? What are you doing? Don’t you think the sheep have enough discernment of their own?”
Tom: Yeah, well, it’s sad. You know, the person does say, “Shame on you for ripping apart two entire presentations rather than simply pointing out paragraphs or instructions that you disagree with.”
Dave: That’s what we’ve done, though.
Tom: That’s what we’ve been doing, and we have a critique that we have on our website. It’s called The Purpose Driven Life Critique. They can download it, and that’s exactly what I’ve done, Dave, as you know. I’ve gone through the book, and I’ve listed certain things—not everything—but, certainly the things that concern us.