Authority of Church Councils
Authority of Church Councils: David Lawrence: Our new doctrine comes from church councils. We will show that Calvin r epudiated anyone who goes beyond "that which is written." The Holy Spirit does not ADD to the Bible but CONFIRMS to the believer that it is the Word of God. Calvin repudiates CHURCH COUNCILS as having any authority.
By David Lawrence Authority of Church Councils
David Lawrence: Recently I had lunch with a dear friend and brother whom I hadn't seen in some time. We have shared so much together in our spiritual journeys in the past, and he wanted to catch me up with where God has led him recently. He emphasized that one primary concern the Lord had laid on his heart long ago, and one which still continues to motivate him, is the concern to know and be connected with the church throughout the ages. On that point we both heartily agreed.
One of the mantras against Bible-based churches is that the are historyless and therefore devoid of all of the rich theology down through the ages. For instance:
Cecil Hook had to defend the authority of church councils by accusing others of NOT paying much attention to church history. Of course, that is the big lie: Restoration Movement Scholars were keen students of church history. They knew that John Calvin called his REFORMATION a Restoration Movement with the intention of restoring the Biblical pattern.
C. Leonard Allen and Richard T. Hughes, in their book, Discovering our Roots: The Ancestry of the Churches of Christ, made a most significant statement on page 8: "If we assume that our roots are entirely sacred and not profane, entirely apostolic and not historical, entirely Biblical and not cultural, then we have elevated ourselves above the level of common humanity, and, in essence, made ourselves into gods."
From page 5 "This attitude toward the past characterized the early movement... Propelled by such an attitude toward the past, restoration movements like ours easily develop a kind of historylessness. By this term I refer to the perception that, while other churches or movements are snared in the web of profane history,
one's own church or movement stands above mere human history. One's own movement partakes only of the perfections of the first age, the sacred time of pure beginnings... This sense of historylessness works in powerful and subtle ways. In the process it creates exhilarating (and damaging) illusions.
If you need a fiction writer?
"Among Churches of Christ it often has meant that we simply discounted eighteen centuries of Christianity as, at worst, a diseased tumor or, at best, an instructive failure. And not surprisingly, the same attitude has led many people among Churches of Christ to dismiss their own history as itself irrelevant. For after all, if our origins come entirely from the Bible and our churches are New Testament churches, then we really need not bother ourselves with the recent past.
These people who cannot quote from original sources claim that only professionals should INTERPRET the Scriptures for OUR culture. However,
Scripture gives everyong the liberty and freedom of belief and of association. In fact, John Locke whom they despise, risked his life and liberty to give us political and religious freedom to freely JOIN any association, to condemn it and to WALK AWAY from it if we choose. Those who IMPOSE something not essential to the function of the church or synagogue not authorized by Scripture are clearly by all definitions the SECTARIANS.
Sense and lust blinded their minds in some, and a careless inadvertency in others, and fearful apprehensions in most
(who either believed there were, or could not but suspect there might be, superior unknown beings)
gave them up into the hands of their priests to fill their heads with false notions of the deity,
and their worship with foolish rites, as they pleased;
and what dread or craft once began, devotion soon made sacred, and religion immutable. John Locke
David Lawrence: When we are informed as to our past, we are able to discern clearly two important realities:
first, the mistakes we have made. One historian observed that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are destined to repeat its failures. That conclusion applies with great force to the Church of Christ.
Unbelievers taunt us with the heresies, squabbles, schisms, misunderstandings, and behavior of Christians that is hardly worthy of the name of Christ.
While we cannot deny the misbehavior of Christians nor their failure to understand the will of God, we can learn and profit by their mistakes and, with the help of the grace of God, perhaps avoid them in our experience.
The big lie which is part of the Hegelian Dialectic intends to so taint YOUR past religious views that you will be ashamed of your "doctrine." Among postmoderns and the Promise Keepers and all SHEPHERDING cults the goal is to drive you into schizophrenia. Then, they can pour garbage into your head and make you part of the commune or "community church." But, the truth escapes them because THEY DO NOT KNOW HISTORY. The First Great Awakening was fueled by the Calvinism of the witchcraft era. There was no assurance and people could easily be manipulated. As a result:
In New England, the Great Awakening sounded the death knell for the comprehensive Puritan conception of the world.
Its immediate impact was to divide the Puritan churches into four more or less distinct groups.
Proponents of revival were known as "New Lights,"
but this broad designation covered at least two distinct groups.
Jonathan Edwards represented the moderate New Lights who wished to remain within estalished Congregationalism, but who did not mute their evangelistic zeal, their renewed Calvinism, and their belief in pure churches.
To the left of these Edwardseans was a more radical camp. Many who had been quickened by revival found the established church sterile and oppressive. Such people ohen broke away to form "Separate" churches.
Historian C. C. Goen has painstakingly identified 321 separations of one kind or another by these New Lights. Some of these splits were healed rapidly. Others led to the continuation of "Separate Congregational', churches.
But most eventually became Baptist congregations. Baptists like Isaac Backus ofien appreciated Edwards and his theology.
But they grew convinced that the state had no business in the church and that the baptism of adult believers was the proper way to testify to God's saving work.
In the face of this ecclesiastical fragmentation, the older Puritanism had no chance. The New Lights, Edwardseans and Separates, urged individuals to turn in repentance to Christ.
- They urged those who heeded their message
to purge the churches of all who were not converted. Awakening Effects.
There are still 146 separate BAPTISTS DENOMINATIONS. Therefore, to call the RESTORATION MOVEMENT fragmented is to IGNORE HISTORY.
David Lawrence: Second, we can discern the hand of God at work with his people, guiding them, teaching them, maturing them, and sanctifying them.
All of these matters were indistinct to the earliest church that had to devote their energies simply to survival from persecution. Heresies gave the impetus to the early church scholars to search the Scriptures and define correct Christian doctrine. We are the beneficiaries of their efforts today, but we know of these great accomplishments only through history.
Look how far God has BROUGHT US! The early church was CONVULSED about so many matters that have been defined in the course of history as God has led his people with his Holy Spirit.
Then Christ THE Holy Spirit DID NOT guide the apostles into all truth. TRUTH is not based on culture: if David jumps off a tall building which existed in the time of Paul he will find that the truth of the law of gravity has not changed--even though the insanity of "postmodernism" says that it has.
Rubel Shelly and John York: Neither is there anything that challenges the divine order in creation by having women partner with males in serving God.
So isn't it at least possible that there could be cultural conditioning at work in some of the statements about how men and women function in the life of the church?
And couldn't Christians disagree in good faith about the interpretation of these statements without any party to the discussion jettisoning a high view of Scripture as the Word of God?
Carrol D. Osburn "...but another step must be taken if the text would actually become Scripture and that is to engage the text in dialogue to ask, 'Now that I understand the meaning of this text for today, can I accept this" (p. 47).
"Paul's arguments carried weight in his day even though they may not necessarily be convincing by today's standards" (p. 135).
Rubel Shelly and John York:
John: Remember, our fundamental conviction is that the Bible is the story of God,
a dramatic narrative that announces and reveals and invites us into participation and relationship with God and one another.
Every scene in that story has been set in some historical human context.
Those cultural settings always have been changing and changeable.
When I hear about the discovery that CULTURE changes I just go into a charismatic fit and yell WOW!
The loss of the love for the Words of Christ which He defined as SPIRIT and Life leads one into the delusion that the modern believer, just like Jesus, was INCARNATED with the Holy Spirit. Jesus identified the Father within as instructing what to put into Words. The Spirit had been with the Apostles and would be IN them later. The ANOTHER COMFORTER Jesus identified by saying I WILL COME TO YOU. (John 14:18)
When the LORD appeared to Paul He said I am JESUS of Nazareth. He appeared to Paul as an apostle born AFTER THE APOSTLE SEASON to focus on th Gentiles. He promised to guide Paul as He promised the TIMELY BORN apostles. Therefore, to use the COERCIVE power of the claim to be LED by the Holy Spirit to reveal dogmas not contained in the Bible is the claim, as some do, to be the Christ for this church.
David Lawrence believes and teaches and proselytes in the belief that the CHURCH COUNCILS developed these new views. He attempts to further FRAGMENT churches of Christ by teaching a Calvinism he simply does not comprehend:
David Lawrence: Look at what the early CHURCH COUNCILS accomplished in DEFINING Christian doctrine, such as the nature of Christ, the TRINITY, and the doctrines of SALVATION by GRACE.
ALL of these matters were INDISTINCT to the earliest church that had to devote their energies simply to SURVIVAL from persecution.
Like Peep stone Joe Smith, Rubel Shelly claims NEW GLASSES to get a NEW VISION for the church. He further claims that we should hear AUDIBLY the voice of God. I wonder how David Lawrence grasps that something is a new revelation or an old lie?
Heresies gave the impetus to the early church scholars to search the Scriptures and define CORRECT Christian doctrine. We are the beneficiaries of their efforts today, but we know of these great accomplishments only through history.
History notes several heresies: the "first one largely pervading the church" was the selection of the Precentor or clergy "song leader." Other heresies which divided the church was adding non Biblical songs and much, much later the addition of musical instruments. No one doubted that baptism was FOR or IN ORDER to the remission of sins. Sprinkling, however, was added fairly early. Another heresy was the budding view of the trinity and the baptism of people into THREE NAMES. This, naturally, led to triune baptism.
Rubel Shelly and John York:
John: In the first century, the community of faith -- the body of Christ -- was, to use Paul's phrase to the Philippians, "working out their salvation" as God himself was working and willing his good pleasure through them (Phil. 2:12-13).
The conclusion which you DEPRIVED YOUR BUDGET to receive directly from humans helping divinity to reveal:
Therefore, because the WORD was based on the Culture.
Cultures are still changing.
You must allow US to help God define the NEW TRUTH. That is confessed by the words postmodern or narrative theology.
Rubel Shelly: "This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.
But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written" (21:24-25).
John York: I know that's a bit of overkill on something quite insignificant! But there are other double meanings here that are significant.
IF # 1: What if the testimony that is true, that to which "we" bear witness does goes beyond John to his original audience --
IF # 2: and even to us?
IF # 3: What if the many other things done by Jesus not written in this book
are to be heard as the ongoing activity of Jesus
in the life of those Spirit-filled followers?
Eusebius: Why need we speak of him who reclined upon the bosom of Jesus, who has left us one Gospel,
though he confessed that he might write so many that the world could not contain them?
And he wrote also the Apocalypse, but was commanded to keep silence and not to write the words of the seven thunders. He has left also an epistle of very few lines; perhaps also a second and third; but not all consider them genuine, and together they do not contain hundred lines."
Matthew Henry: Those that argue from this against the sufficiency of the scripture as the rule of our faith and practice, and for the necessity of unwritten traditions,
ought to show what there is in the traditions they pretend to be perfective of the written word;
we are sure there is that which is contrary to it, and therefore reject them.
By these therefore let us be admonished, for of making many books there is no end, Eccl. 12:12. If we do not believe and improve what is written, neither should we if there had been much more.
That GOD IS ONE and the name (singular) of Father, Son and Spirit is Jesus Christ. God makes the test TOUGH by insisting that if you want to come to the SPIRIT God you have to approach Him as He lives in a body prepared for me. To reject the Words and demand a direct revelation from the SPIRIT is to deny that Christ was fully revealed in the flesh.
However, the dogma of the trinity has caused probably more discord than any other thing. However, this was not a COUNCIL DERIVED addition to the old, incomplete Bible. ALL scholars define the trinity which ABSOLUTE repudiates David Lawrence, Rubel Shelly derived trinity. The church Fathers insist that the God head is NEVER separated and CANNOT be a Shellyite Family of Gods, independent with their own dispensational skills. Trinity is almost always defined as Father is THOUGHT, Son is WORD and SPIRIT is BREATH which blows the word out between the lips or double-edged sword. The church scholars got that idea from God who inspired Psalm 33:
For the WORD of the LORD is right; and all HIS works are done in truth. Psa 33:4
By the WORD (1) of the LORD (2) were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the BREATH (3) of his MOUTH. Psa 33:6
Mouth: Peh (h6310) peh; from 6284; the mouth (as the means of blowing)
Breath is SPIRIT: Ruwach (h7307) roo'-akh, roo'-akh; from 7306; wind; by resemblance breath. by resemblance SPIRIT, but ONLY of a RATIONAL BEING (includ. its expression and functions)
The Pope claimed to have the power to change the rules of the church, or how the Bible would be APPLIED in their church. However, only fanatics give themselves the power to claim the HOLY SPIRIT by slicing Him off from the Father and Son to reveal NEW truths. For instance, NEITHER John Calvin nor Luther ever saw the spirit giving anyone power to CHANGE the word.
The same "scholars" love to make false claims for Thomas Campbell, claiming that he believed that you needed a direct operation of the Holy Spirit in order to understand Scripture which the Holy Spirit inspired to make understandable. Of course, that is a lie because scholars rest their false charges on reading "scholarly" views of scholarly views and NEVER read men like John Calvin and John Locke or Thomas Campbell.
The same people who lie about the Restoration Movement being ignorant of historical developments within the church also marginalize themselves by proving that THEY do not understand their own Calvinistic history.
John Calvin has some ugly words for fanatics who believe that the Holy Spirit guides them apart from the WORD:
1.The fanatics wrongly appeal to the Holy Spirit
Those who, REJECTING Scripture, IMAGINE that they have some peculiar way of penetrating to God, are to be deemed not so much under the influence of error as MADNESS. For certain GIDDY men have lately appeared, who, while they make a GREAT display of the SUPERIORITY of the Spirit,
reject all reading of the Scriptures themselves, and deride the simplicity of those who only delight in what they call the dead and deadly letter.
But I wish they would tell me WHAT SPIRIT it is whose inspiration raises them to such a sublime height that they dare DESPISE the doctrine of Scripture as mean and childish.
If they answer that it is the Spirit of Christ, their confidence is exceedingly ridiculous;
since they will, I PRESUME, admit that the APOSTLES and other believers in the primitive Church were NOT illuminated by any other Spirit.
David Lawrence: ALL of these matters were INDISTINCT to the earliest church that had to devote their energies simply to SURVIVAL from persecution.
NONE of these thereby learned to DESPISE the WORD of God, but every one was imbued with greater reverence for it, as their writings most clearly testify.
And, indeed, it had been so foretold by the mouth of Isaiah. For when he says,
My SPIRIT that is upon thee, and my WORDS which I have put in thy MOUTH, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from HENCEFORTH and FOR EVER,
he does not tie down the ancient Church to EXTERNAL DOCTRINE, as he were a mere teacher of elements; he rather shows that,
under the reign of Christ, the true and full felicity of the new Church will consist in their being ruled not less by the Word than by the Spirit of God.
Hence we infer that these MISCREANTS are guilty of fearful SACRILEGE in tearing asunder what the prophet joins in indissoluble union.
Add to this, that Paul, though carried up even to the third heaven, ceased not to profit by the doctrine of the law and the prophets, while, in like manner, he exhorts Timothy, a teacher of singular excellence, to GIVE ATTENTION to reading, (1 Tim. 4: 13.)
This is Paul's unique word for worship in Spirit and in Truth: give attention or give heed. This is the same word in Hebrew used by David when he worshiped and sang songs upon his bed and meditated in his heart.
And the eulogium which he pronounces on Scripture well deserves to be remembered, viz., that
it is PROFITABLE for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be PERFECT, (2 Tim. 3: 16.)
What an INFATUATION of the DEVIL, therefore, to fancy that Scripture, which conducts the sons of God to the final goal, is of TRANSIENT and temporary use?
Again, I should like those people to tell me whether they have imbibed ANY OTHER Spirit than that which Christ PROMISED to his disciples. Though their MADNESS is extreme, it will scarcely carry them the length of making this their boast.
But what kind of Spirit did our Saviour promise to send? One who should not speak of himself, (John 16: 13,)
but suggest and INSTILLS the TRUTHS which he himself had delivered through the WORD.
Hence the office of the Spirit promised to us, is not to form NEW and unheard-of REVELATIONS, or to coin a NEW FORM of DOCTRINE, by which we may be led away from the received doctrine of the gospel,
but to SEAL on our MINDS the very doctrine which the GOSPEL recommends."
John Calvin said that If the WORD is dead then the SPIRIT must also be Dead.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another (fuller) Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; John 14:16
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. John 14:17
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. John 14:18
Jesus as SON or WORD spoke only what the FATHER or Thought revealed to Him. He delivered it by His breath or Spirit. Because He was FULL DEITY that which He spoke from eternity WAS spirit.
> It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. Jn 6:63
> Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 1 Pe 1:11
> Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Cor 3:17
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Cor 3:18
> And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Rev 19:10
That is why Calvin agrees that those who look for FURTHER revelation or a direct Holy Spirit change to the Word INSULT THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Whether you buy all of Calvin's views he makes it clear, as will looking at all of the early scholars, that the spirit works through the Word. That is the meaning of A holy spirit following faith, repentance and baptism or A clear conscience which we REQUEST when our bodies are washed.
1. Before proceeding farther, it seems proper to make some observations on the authority of Scripture, in order that our minds may not only be prepared to receive it with reverence, but be divested of all doubt.
When that which professes to be the Word of God is acknowledged to be so, no person, unless devoid of common sense and the feelings of a man, will have the desperate hardihood to refuse credit to the speaker.
But since no daily responses are given from heaven,
and the Scriptures are the only records in which God has been pleased to consign his truth to perpetual remembrance,
the full authority which they ought to possess with the faithful is not recognised,
unless they are believed to have come from heaven, as directly as if God had been heard giving utterance to them.
This subject well deserves to be treated more at large, and pondered more accurately. But my readers will pardon me for having more regard to what my plan admits than to what the extent of this topic requires.
A most pernicious error has very generally prevailed; viz., that Scripture is of importance only in so far as conceded to it by the suffrage of the Church; as if the eternal and inviolable truth of God could depend on the will of men.
With great insult to the Holy Spirit, it is asked, who can assure us that the Scriptures proceeded from God;
who guarantee that they have come down safe and unimpaired to our times;
who persuade us that this book is to be received with reverence, and that one expunged from the list, did not the Church regulate all these things with certainty?
On the determination of the Church, therefore, it is said, depend both the reverence which is due to Scripture, and the books which are to be admitted into the canon.
Thus profane men, seeking, under the pretext of the Church, to introduce unbridled tyranny, care not in what absurdities they entangle themselves and others,
provided they extort from the simple this one acknowledgement, viz., that there is nothing which the Church cannot do.
But what is to become of miserable consciences in quest of some solid assurance of eternal life, if all the promises with regard to it have no better support than man's judgement? On being told so, will they cease to doubt and tremble? On the other hand, to what jeers of the wicked is our faith subjected - into how great suspicion is it brought with all, if believed to have only a precarious authority lent to it by the good will of men?
2. These ravings are admirably refuted by a single expression of an apostle. Paul testifies that the Church is "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets," (Eph. 2: 20.)
If the doctrine of the apostles and prophets is the foundation of the Church, the former must have had its certainty before the latter began to exist.
Nor is there any room for the cavil, that though the Church derives her first beginning from thence, it still remains doubtful what writings are to be attributed to the apostles and prophets, until her judgement is interposed.
Wherefore, though our opponents should name councils of thousands of bishops it will little avail them; nor will they induce us to believe that they are, as they maintain,
guided by the Holy Spirit, until they make it credible that they assemble in the name of Christ:
since it is as possible for wicked and dishonest to conspire against Christ, as for good and honest bishops to meet together in his name.
Of this we have a clear proof in very many of the decrees which have proceeded from councils. But this will be afterwards seen.
At present I only reply in one word, that our Saviour's promise is made to those only who assemble in his name.
How, then, is such an assembly to be defined? I deny that those assemble in the name of Christ who, disregarding his command
by which he forbids anything to be added to the word of God
or taken from it, determine everything at their own pleasure,
who, not contented with the oracles of Scripture, that is, with the only rule of perfect wisdom, devise some novelty out of their own head, (Deut. 4: 2; Rev. 22: 18.) Certainly, since our Saviour has not promised to be present with all councils of whatever description, but has given a peculiar mark for distinguishing true and lawful councils from others, we ought not by any means to lose sight of the distinction.
The covenant which God anciently made with the Levitical priests was to teach at his mouth, (Mal. 2: 7.)
This he always required of the prophets, and we see also that it was the law given to the apostles. On those who violate this covenant God bestows neither the honour of the priesthood nor any authority. Let my opponents solve this difficulty if they would subject my faith to the decrees of man, without authority from the word of God.
SIMON Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: 2 Pet 1:1
Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: 2 Pet 1:1NIV
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 2 Pet 1:2
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 2 Pet 1:3
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Pet 1:4
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; 2 Pet 1:5
Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. 2 Pet 1:12
Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 2 Pet 1:13
Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. 2 Pet 1:14
Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things alway in remembrance. 2 Pet 1:15
WHY REJECTING THE TEXT BLASPHEMES GOD
For we have NOT followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 2 Pet 1:16
For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 2 Pet 1:17
And this voice which came from heaven WE HEARD, when we were with him in the holy mount. 2 Pet 1:18
We have also a MORE sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye TAKE HEED, as unto a LIGHT that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the DAY STAR arise in your hearts: 2 Pet 1:19
We WORSHIP whatever we GIVE ATTENTION TO. People hate the Bible and warn of idolatry for trusting the ONCE DELIVERED WORD. However, to give heed to God we must give heed to His Word:
Proserchomai (g4334) pros-er'-khom-ahee; from 4314 and 2064 (includ. its alt.); to approach, i.e. (lit.) come near, visit, or (fig.) worship, assent to: - (as soon as he) come (unto), come thereunto, consent, draw near, go (near, to, unto).
WHY IS IT THAT WE SHOULD REJOICE IN SOLA SCRIPTURA? It is either the words of Lord Jesus Christ through an inspired Apostle or it is through a SELF-PROCLAIMED LATTER DAY APOSTLE. Peter speaking for Lord Jesus Christ gave NO ONE the right to INTERPRET the Word. The command of the Word is to "teach the Word as it has been taught" without trying to INJECT false dogma by claiming to be the SECOND INCARNATION. What happened the FIRST TIME?
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any PRIVATE INTERPRETATION. 2 Pet 1:20
Because Peter said
Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 1 Peter 1:11
Epilusis (g1955) ep-il'-oo-sis; from 1956; explanation, i.e. APPLICATION: - interpretation.
Epiluo (g1956) ep-ee-loo'-o; from 1909 and 3089; to solve further, i.e. (fig.) to explain, decide: - determine, EXPOUND.
What was Paul saying when he DEMANDED that the elders (as the pastor teachers) "teach that which has been taught" and "refute those who contradict it?" Do we need a COMMUNE with a GROUP MIND to explain what Peter meant?
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Pet 1:21
BUT there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 Pet 2:1
And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 2 Pet 2:2
And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 2 Pet 2:3
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 2 Pet 2:4
Peter made it very clear but the Phds for which there was no "certificate of need" have to turn the Bible upside down or go down in history as taking from the poor. There is NO community which can with a straight face claim that THE AUDIENCE is incompetent and the GROUP MIND--led by the GROUP LEADER--must INTERPRET the Bible which needs little interpretation unless you INTEND to repudiate Jesus as the Living Word who supplied the Written Word.
Calvin has to be HANDLED WITH DISHONESTY to force him to say what modern Calvinists want him to say. He certainly did not invent the idea of Predestination: the Jews felt predestinated and could not be lost. Therefore, Augustine and Calvin tackle TULIP but they try to explain what is not in their heart and what they DID WRITE is distorted just as his views of Baptism.
Counter added 11/12/04
Authority of Church Councils, David Lawrence, Engedi Ministries, Engedi.org, John Calvin