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Thursday, July 12, 2018


I have often referenced or quoted 2 Cor 4:4.
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Cor 4:4)
It speaks of a group of people who are mentally blinded. They don't see "the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ." They don't see that Christ is "the image of God." Who are these people? Context might help.
But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Cor 4:2-4)
Paul speaks of renouncing "underhanded ways." He was not willing to operate disgracefully or practice cunning. He offered only "the open statement of the truth." What else was he unwilling to do? He renounced tampering with the word of God.

Different versions offer different phrases. The King James says "handling the word of God deceitfully." Young's Literal Translation says "deceitfully using the word of God." New American Standard refers to "adulterating the word of God." The Literal Translation of the Holy Bible talks about "corrupting the word of God." I'd try to tell you which one it was, except it looks like they all agree. It is the twisting of God's Word in view here. Paul wasn't willing to do that.

I wish that was so today. I wish people who call themselves Christians would renounce tampering with the word of God. But they don't. They assure us that Genesis is myth although all New Testament writers reference it as reality. They assure us that you can't take those Old Testament stories as true stories even though the language is historical, not metaphorical, and the New Testament claims those stories are "God-breathed" (2 Tim 3:16). They insist that you can't take a standard approach to biblical texts and you can't -- you mustn't -- assume it is understandable and applicable to all people. "You can't speak for God," they tell us even though God has breathed the Scriptures so that we could hear Him speak. "It's not a book of rules," they demand although it is full of rules, even rules they require of others. So they "tamper with God's word" with impunity. They tinker with it and suggest new understanding and new insights into what should have been understood throughout Church history.

In Psalm 1 we read,
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. (Psa 1:1-2)
We see here two types of people in contrast. One is the blessed man and the other is all the rest. What distinguishes the blessed man from the rest? He doesn't hang with the wicked, spend time in the way of sinners, or sit with scoffers. Those are the negatives. On the positive side, he delights in God's Word -- spends a lot of time in it. We currently live in a world that is built on the advice of the wicked, the methods of sinners, and the place of scoffers. They occupy places of wealth and influence and even dominant places in churches. They are the ones that have not renounced underhanded ways or corrupting God's word. They don't delight in the Scriptures. They barely tolerate them, if at all.

There are, according to Paul, people whose minds are blinded. It's a biblical fact. You should check yourself. Are you willing to tamper with God's word? Are you happy with adulterating God's word by subjecting it to the world's own standards? Or is it your aim to agree with God in His word as demonstrated by the work of the Holy Spirit as you read the text and align it with the context for all of Scripture along with the Spirit's work through all of history? Wow, that's a long aim ... but a good one.


Stan said...

Because, Dan, I'm reading, understanding, and using Scripture in the way that Christians historically read, understood, and used Scripture, including, according to you, you when you were younger. I'm taking it as written, not per my personal preferences.

Danny Wright said...

You could have used this passage as well. It explains the motivations:

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.

Stan said...

Yes, thanks. There are lots of passages I could have used, I think.