Brandon E’s Objections: #1 – I Proclaim Truth Too Boldly – Not True!

Brandon E, whom I do not know other than my interaction with him on my blogs, has commented on a number of my posts.  This began with Response to Brandon E.

Because his objections represent in some ways typical evangelical thought, and because those objections are buried at times in long comment strings, I thought it would be helpful to separately identify and address them in individual posts.

Here we go then, in no particular order.  (The original context in which Brandon made the  comment below can be found here.)

We can imitate the apostles in many ways (such as in manner of life and faith in Jesus) but certainly not in every way, such as in the ways that makes them apostles but not us, for apostles, like Old Testament prophets, are in a higher position and calling than others to receive, know, and communicate the oracles of God or to define truth that would become written Scripture. Likewise, we should also imitate the Lord Jesus, but that doesn’t mean we have the right to say that before Abraham was “I am,” or that we are the way, the truth and the life, or to command people to belief into ourselves, or to try to die on a cross for the sins of the world.

It should go without saying that when the Scriptures instruct us to be imitators of Christ and the apostles, or even of God for that matter – as in 1 Corinthians 4:16; 11:1; Ephesians 5:1; Hebrews 13:7; 1 Peter 2:21 – it does not encourage us to claim that any of us are “the way and the truth and the life” or to think that we can write Scripture.  And indeed the Scriptures give us such instruction without adding such obvious qualification.  Why then do you need to spell it out, and how is that relevant to the point you are trying to make?

I am not suggesting that any of us claim to be an apostle, or a Savior, or God Himself.  Nor am I suggesting that I am writing Scripture.  Those would be ridiculous and pitiable claims.  I am I am merely suggesting that we are to speak boldly for the Lord Jesus Christ just as the apostles did.  After all, Jesus Himself told them that John the Baptist was the greatest of all Israel’s prophets, yet he who was least in the kingdom of God was greater than John (Matthew 11:11 and Luke 7:28).

I am proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord and King of the kingdom of God, reigning in heaven over all creation…and that we should all trust and obey Him.  He is the only Savior of  mankind and we have no one else to whom we are directed to turn.  We should imitate the apostles’ boldness in proclaiming this message.

I am just a human being.  I have no special status.  I am a sinner like every other human being.  The only basis for my proclaiming the truth of Jesus is that He has been kind enough to reveal Himself to me.  This He will do for anyone.  And He has done so for many, many people.  The things I proclaim are all there in the Scriptures.  That’s where I found them.  I have no authority to proclaim them any less boldly than those who came before us.

29 Replies to “Brandon E’s Objections: #1 – I Proclaim Truth Too Boldly – Not True!”

  1. I am proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord and King of the kingdom of God, reigning in heaven over all creation…and that we should all trust and obey Him. He is the only Savior of mankind and we have no one else to whom we are directed to turn. We should imitate the apostles’ boldness in proclaiming this message.

    Mike, that’s not all you proclaim as the word of God, and you should present it this way here, rather than make it try to appear that you are only following the apostles’ pattern in proclaiming the above matters. You know very well that if that’s all you “boldly proclaimed” we wouldn’t be having our present conversation.

    You claim, for instance, that God being triune is an “antichrist” concept, that the Father “became” the Son and ceased to exist as the Father (that is, that the Father and Son do not exist at the same time), that the Spirit is a separate being from God, that the seconding coming of Christ with the kingdom and the resurrection of the dead happened invisibly in the first century and that is fleshly-minded to think otherwise, that the kingdom and individual morality replaced the church and corporate testimony in the first century, that everyone since then “goes to heaven” after death, and many other things. And by your own admission, you are the only one you and I are aware of who has arrived at and is promoting your combination of views about what is in Scripture through their own reading of them.

    But even more, you have claimed that these are not your personal opinions about Scripture but the very word of God, and if that if they were not the word of God you would not proclaim them.

    I had disagreed with your interpretations and also with what I felt were misrepresentations of views you were criticizing in order to uplift your own teachings, and when I offered scriptural reasonings for my position, you accused me of being fleshly-minded, not spiritually-minded, not repentant, not faithful to God and Scripture, trusting men instead of God, etc. I asked how you can say such things, when many notable believers in Christ–including lifelong prayerful students, lovers and seekers of God, martyrs, etc.–have believed that these views that you contradict and antagonize are the teaching of Scripture. Upon further discussion you denied even the possibility that you could be mistaken in these matters, and you advised me that to get you to consider otherwise I should try to convince God instead of you. And I asked you what your grounds for believing such things.

    What I would call your evasions of this issue, or your illogical or unfair reasonings that gives yourself special treatment, is how we arrived at our present stage of the conversation.

    Why then do you need to spell it out, and how is that relevant to the point you are trying to make?

    Mike, in context, I had asked you for what precedent there is in Scripture for one person who is not an apostle or prophet (who is in a higher position to know, receive, and proclaim new revelation that would become Scripture) to be so confident in himself (that is, as if he is more spiritually-attuned to God than everyone else who might disagree with him) that his views of Scripture are the very word of God over and against every other believer in Christ who believes otherwise, especially since you are the only person both you and I are aware of who has have arrived at his combination of views about major scriptural topics through their own reading of Scripture, despite nearly 2000 years of scriptural interpretation.

    You responded by comparing your situation to Stephen standing against the Sanhedrin (Acts 7) and the apostles not obeying the Sanhedrin’s word (Acts 4:19-20).

    I said that is is an illogical and unfair comparison, since in the case of Stephen and the apostles their choice between the resurrected Lord Jesus and the Sanhedrin who opposed His name was obvious; but in your case the persons who are standing over and against with a “knowing” attitude include many believers in Christ–lifelong prayer students of Scripture, lovers and seekers of God, and martyrs among them–who take the completed Scriptures as the same common source of truth as you do, and yet who held or hold views about the truths in Scripture that you contradict and antagonize.

    I asked you on what scriptural or reasonable grounds you have to believe that it is more likely or a better explanation that everyone else is ignorant of, biased against, or unwilling to accept the “truth” that you proclaim, than it is to think that the reason why you are the only person we know of who has come up with his combination of views. I asked you to in the very least

    You said that it was “absurd” for me to (according to your gross oversimplification of my point) confidently suggest that you should be less confident of your views. I pointed out that your oversimplification of my point glosses over that in fact I was contrasting two objectively different approaches to truth in order to evaluate them, since if I was the only one I knew of who had arrived at my combination of views of Scripture (despite many others believing that the same body of completed Scriptures are the word of God and interpreting them) I would at least remain open to the possibility that I was mistaken.

    One approach to truth can be more unreasonably biased than another, so I was asking you for what reasons you have to take your stance. So I asked you again why you should deny even the possibility of being mistaken. Then eventually you asked if I had ever considered that you had prayed about it long and hard. In response, I asked you if you had ever considered that believers who affirm the views that you contradict and antagonize had prayed long and hard about it, and why your prayers should count and not theirs, if you are not an apostle or prophet with some direct line to God over and above everybody else.

    Then you claimed that you only teach the word of God, not your opinions, and that I was simply taking Satan’s side in trying to take away his word. This non-argument was probably unworthy of comment, but I pointed out anyway that this is question-begging and special pleading. I asked you what basis you have for believing this extremely biased story you tell yourself–a universe in which it is impossible that Mike Gantt’s proclamations are not the very word of God and not his fallible interpretations of Scripture–as if it were absolutely true as God is true.

    You also said that we should imitate the apostles. And my point is that we can imitate the apostles in many ways, but not in all ways (the ways that make them but not us apostles), for instance, in being in a higher position than others to know and communicate the oracles of God or divine truth. It is not as if any of us have a direct line to God over and against everyone else that validates our interpretation of Scriptures and invalidates all those who disagree.

    Anyone can follow this conversation here:

    In rhetoric and tone you have been touting yourself as absolutely “knowing” the truth about the revelation of the Scriptures over and against believers who share the same completed Scriptures, even though you are the only we are aware of who has arrived at our combination of views about the revelation of Scripture. But since you are not an apostle or prophet, how would you know this? Has God commanded any of us to think like this? What precedent is there for this in Scripture? And no, Stephen or the apostles standing against the Sanhedrin that opposed the name of Jesus doesn’t count, for they were opposed by persons who did not confess Jesus as Lord and who did not accept the New Testament revelation. Your comparison would only be valid if there were some third testament that you were accepting but was being rejected by the believers in Christ whose views you are opposing. Arguably you treat your system of theology like a third testament (since a large part of it hangs on what you claim supposedly happened or was not fully revealed until the Lord’s second coming which you claim happened in the first century after the New Testament had been written), but thus far you have made no such comparison or claims and have insisted that you teach only what you found in Scripture.

    In word you claim that you have no special status, but how are you not giving yourself special treatment when it comes to your somehow “knowing” the truth over and against everyone whose views about what is in the Scriptures?

    Let it be known, Mike, that I am not asking you to instantly trade all your views about the revelation in Scripture for somebody else’s. I am only asking you to be open to the possibility of being mistaken, which possibility you have thus far in our conversations absolutely denied.

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