Brandon E’s Objections: #3 – I Don’t Respect Other Believers from the Present – Not True!

For an explanation of this series, see Brandon E’s Objections:  #1.

Brandon wrote the following (you can find it in context here):

And how could you know that your prayers make you absolutely right in your interpretations of Scripture but when others pray and come to conclusions you contradict they are ignorant of, biased against, or unwilling to accept the truth that is supposedly in Scripture? Especially since you are the only one we know of who has arrived at your combination of views on these matters in Scripture in nearly 2000 years of scriptural interpretation? But what is your biblical or reasonable basis for such a mentality? Surely not these passages you wrench out of context and apply as proof texts concerning yourself and not others who disagree with you.

In addition to all the soul searching and Scripture searching that I did before I ever sharing these truths, I read every objection and challenge that is made on this blog.  I consider each with great care.  I am willing to be corrected by biblical argument, but I have found nothing offered that has been nearly as compelling as the truth revealed by the Holy Spirit.

I show my respect to other believers in Christ by listening carefully to them whenever they object to what I am saying.  That should be sufficient.  If you are requiring me to doubt what God has shown me in order to show sufficient respect to other believers then you are asking too much.  That is, you are discouraging a believer from trusting God.

7 Replies to “Brandon E’s Objections: #3 – I Don’t Respect Other Believers from the Present – Not True!”

  1. Most of my response to your reasonings here can be found in my response to your Objection #2, here:
    http://blogforthelordjesuscurrentevents.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/brandon-es-objections-2-i-dont-respect-other-believers-not-true/#comments

    I am not trying to discourage you from trusting God, but asking you to not make so little a distinction between “trusting God” and believing that you are right in these matters over and against everybody else. You only see it as me trying to discourage you from trusting God, because your lack of distinction between the two is so absolute that it becomes the deepest and most subtle kind self-trust (i.e., believing that you of all people are more spiritually-attuned to God in your interpretations of Scripture than anyone who would disagree what you tell them, regardless of who or how many believers in Christ who trust God and take the completed Scriptures as authoritative you contradict). Even if you were mistaken about these things in which you contradict the views of many believers, Jesus would still be Lord, would He not? 🙂

    I am not sure that you can really mean that you are “willing to be corrected by biblical argument,” since your recent actual reaction to my meagerly asking you to be open to possibility of being mistaken was to proclaim all these high and mighty things about how your views are not your opinions but the very word of God, that you do not proclaim your opinions and if they were your opinions and not the word of God you would not proclaim them, that I should try to convince God instead of you in order for you to reconsider your teachings, and that by disagreeing with you I was taking the side of Satan in opposing the word of God.

    Which one is the real Mike Gantt?

  2. I am not trying to discourage you from trusting God, but asking you to not make so little a distinction between “trusting God” and believing that you are right in these matters over and against everybody else.

    I am not setting myself against everyone else – you are!  Why don’t you just speak for yourself?

    You only see it as me trying to discourage you from trusting God, because your lack of distinction between the two is so absolute that it becomes the deepest and most subtle kind self-trust (i.e., believing that you of all people are more spiritually-attuned to God in your interpretations of Scripture than anyone who would disagree what you tell them, regardless of who or how many believers in Christ who trust God and take the completed Scriptures as authoritative you contradict).

    By this sort of reasoning, you disallow trust in God by calling it “self-trust.”  Oddly, you only call it trusting God when a person is trusting people.

    Even if you were mistaken about these things in which you contradict the views of many believers, Jesus would still be Lord, would He not?

    Brandon E’s Objections: #8 – He Wants Me to Be Selectively Unsure About What I Write

    I am not sure that you can really mean that you are “willing to be corrected by biblical argument,” since your recent actual reaction to my meagerly asking you to be open to possibility of being mistaken was to proclaim all these high and mighty things about how your views are not your opinions but the very word of God, that you do not proclaim your opinions and if they were your opinions and not the word of God you would not proclaim them, that I should try to convince God instead of you in order for you to reconsider your teachings, and that by disagreeing with you I was taking the side of Satan in opposing the word of God.

    Which one is the real Mike Gantt?

    When Elijah spoke boldly in the name of the Lord and was also willing to be tested alongside the 450 prophets of Baal, which was the real Elijah?


    1. I am not setting myself against everyone else – you are!

      Mike, I feel that I shouldn’t have to spell these things out for you all over again, but here goes.

      1) You claim that your interpretations of Scripture are not your opinions, but the revelation of God in the Scriptures.
      2) But your views contradict and antagonize views that have been held by many believers in Christ. For example, there is great harmony across various groups of believers in Christ concerning God being triune, that the Spirit is God, that the Lord’s second coming will be bodily and evident (and hence yet to take place), according to the Scriptures. This includes many lifelong prayerful readers of Scripture, men of God, and martyrs, who have evidence of being at least as spiritual as you.
      3) This means that you are would have it that these persons, or whoever else who would disagree with you, are wrong. That is, that they did not have or were ignorant of the truth of your claims, or are biased against it or willing to receive it.
      4) This, despite the fact that you are the only one we are aware of who has arrived at your set of interpretations of Scripture, in nearly 2,000 years of scriptural interpretation
      5) Yet you deny even the possibility that it is you, and not everyone else that you disagree with, that is mistaken about these things.
      6) Your explanation for why you are justified in believing that is not possible that you are mistaken is that you prayed about it long and hard, apparently long and hard enough for you to be absolutely certain that there is no possibility that you are mistaken. You act as if even to consider the possibility that you are mistaken is to trust men instead of God (as if self-trust weren’t an option).
      7) But many persons prayerfully consider their interpretations of Scripture–including those ones I mentioned who are evidently at least as spiritual as you–and come to the views that you contradiction. Why should their prayers not count, and your prayers make you absolutely certain that you are correct, with no possibility of being mistaken?

      So you deny even the possibility that you are mistaken, and evidently you think that God has commanded you to think like this. How are you not indeed setting yourself up over and against everybody else or what they would say as far as your “knowing” the truth is concerned?

      But what good reasons do you have to think like this? Are you more spiritually-attuned to know what God has commanded than any and everyone whose views you contradict?


      Why don’t you just speak for yourself?

      I did, by attempting to reason with you from Scripture at length at the beginning of our discussions. Then, rather than saying “let’s just agree to disagree” you resorted to making prejudicial comments upon my spiritual condition to explain why I didn’t see things your way. So I pointed out that many persons of whom we have reason to suspect are at least as spiritual as you have shared the same beliefs that you are contradicting, and proclaimed them as the teaching of the Scriptures, despite teachings very similar to yours being around since the earliest centuries of the church. What reason do you have to think they would agree with you, if they taught that the Scripture teaches things that you contradict? Are you prepared to say that you are more spiritual than as many persons who would disagree with you?


      By this sort of reasoning, you disallow trust in God by calling it “self-trust.”

      Really? How so? For your claim to be valid we would have to limit trusting God to your kind of behavior. There are many ways that we can trust God besides saying that our opinions on so many topics in Scripture are absolutely the revelation of God in Scriptures with no possibility of being mistaken (because we prayed about it after all!) and to say that the reason why others would not see things my way is that they are fleshly-minded, not spiritual, not kingdom-seeking, not faithful, even if we are the only one we know of who has arrived at our combination of views about the revelation of Scripture. Is this what God told us it means to trust Him? Again, what precedent or commandment of God is there in Scripture for us to think like this? Are you sure you don’t just have a strange concept about what it means for us to trust God that treats yourself but not others as having some absolute “knowing” ability?
      —-
      Oddly, you only call it trusting God when a person is trusting people.
      —-
      When did I say that? To say, “Hey, I’m the only one I know of who has arrived at my views, even though many lifelong readers of Scripture have prayerfully come to views that I contradict and antagonize, and there is a fair amount of harmony in opposition to what I claim. Maybe I should at least remain open to the possibility that I am mistaken, that when I pray my feelings of being right doesn’t prove that I am absolutely right as God is right, and that when others pray and reach other conclusions than me it doesn’t mean that is impossible that they are doing it wrong” isn’t to trust men. It’s to not trust the self and give it special treatment as if it were more spiritually-attuned to God and a reliable interpreter of Scripture than any and every one who would disagree with us.


      When Elijah spoke boldly in the name of the Lord and was also willing to be tested alongside the 450 prophets of Baal, which was the real Elijah?

      1) You’re not the prophet Elijah, in a position to know, receive and communicate the oracles of God, or to perform miracles that would objectively verify your positions. And the believers whose scripturally-based views you contradict are not in the position of 450 prophets of Baal. You and they are on the same plane, both confessing Jesus as Lord and having the same completed body of Scriptures.

      Elijah was standing for the Lord’s name against persons who served a false, finite god. He was not one person among many who accepted the completed old and new testaments saying that he was absolutely right over and against anyone who would disagree with him, even though he alone was known to have arrived at his views, and even though the others confessed the same Lord, interpreted the same body of Scriptures, and even had evidence of being at least as spiritual as he.

      2) Elijah wasn’t “willing to be corrected,” certainly not by biblical argument. He already knew he was right (he was a prophet speaking God’s oracles and performing objective miracles, after all) and that the prophets of Baal were serving a false, finite god. His purpose in having the test was to prove who the true and living God was in the sight of all.

      If by “willing to be corrected by biblical argument,” you really mean that you’re willing to hear or entertain biblical arguments but that you actually you deny the possibility from the get-go that you could be incorrect or mistaken, you could have been more clear. We wouldn’t want people to mistakenly think that you are open to the possibility of being mistaken, when in fact you already “know” that you are absolutely right, and that to think otherwise is to trust men instead of God.

  3. You go off base in 2), and never recover.

    Are you aware that in the 16th Century John Calvin was complicit in the execution of Michael Servetus as a heretic? Servetus’ heresy was, most notably, that he did not believe in trinitarian doctrine. So much for the “great harmony” you think I am contradicting..

    1. Is that all you have for a substantive response, Mike?

      Yes, I am aware that John Calvin was complicit in the execution of Michael Servetus (I’ve read several historical accounts of it) and I certainly don’t approve of such things. I see such a thing as a huge failure on Calvin’s part. The Lord Jesus taught that we should not try to remove from the world the persons we think are tares, because they might be wheat or tares (Matt. 13:24-30).

      But Servetus was also a “sect of one,” so to speak, with his own peculiar combination of doctrines. Although he attacked the concept of the Trinity (I believe he didn’t see the substantive difference between tri-theism and God being triune, and hence was attacking mostly his misconceptions), he didn’t believe what you claim about the nature of God. For example, he believed that the Father and Son continually existed at the same time after the incarnation, and that the Spirit is God and not a separate being from God. He also believed in a visible millennial kingdom reign of Christ on earth after a visible second coming and resurrection of the dead, after which Christ would deliver the kingdom back to the Father, and other things that don’t gel with your system. And he thought he was right. Should I arbitrarily give him the special treatment and not you and conclude that he was absolutely right because he evidently prayed about his beliefs and was sure about them? Your bringing up Servetus complicates your situation, for it is an example of one person following your advise that everyone should interpret the Scriptures as individuals rather than in community (because that would be trusting men, as if self-trust were not a possibility) and yet coming up with a system that contradicts yours.

      The existence of persons like Servetus who also believed things that you contradict has little to no bearing my observation in 2) that there is a “great harmony” amongst believers in Christ with different backgrounds and across otherwise differing groups or denominations who believe that God is triune, that the Spirit is God, or that the Lord’s second coming will be bodily and evident (and has yet to take place). On these topics there is large agreement, and the minority exceptions that don’t agree do so in different ways and don’t agree with one another.

      My point is not to say that the majority must always be right (although it would be a positive thing if most believers believed what was true) but to clarify against your misrepresenting or obscuring my point. First, I never said that all Christians have a completely unified doctrine, as it is obvious that they do not, especially on every issue, and my point does not rest on this. But neither does this mean that there is some kind of undifferentiated cacophony of voices, and no large agreement in main, and everyone is claiming something different, and therefore the solution to this scenario is that Michael Servetus, or Michael Gantt, should think themselves more faithful to God and the Scriptures than everyone who would disagree with them, without the possibility of being mistaken, simply because they thought they prayed about it long and hard “enough.”

      You’ve claimed that I am fleshly-minded, not spiritually-minded, not repentant, not kingdom-seeking, not faithful to God and the Scriptures, etc., for holding these views. Meanwhile, you yourself hold a combination of views that you alone are known to us as having arrived, and you claim that they are the very word and revelation of God in the Scriptures, with not even the possibility that your convictions on these matters could be mistaken.

      But, as I’ve pointed out, many believers in Christ have held views that you contradict concerning the revelation of the Scriptures, while you are the only person we know of who holds to your theological system.

      And I am asking you what scriptural or reasonable basis do you have to think that you are right over and against them, with no possibility of being mistaken? That you prayed about it, case closed? But don’t others whose beliefs you contradict prayerfully consider their views, even ones who have evidence of being at least as spiritual as you? Why the special treatment for yourself, even to the point that you deny the possibility that you are mistaken?

  4. My point in mentioning Servetus is simply that there is not unanimity of doctrine among Christians, and that case is emblematic of just how serious disagreement between them can be.

    You follow by claiming that while there is not uniformity in Christian doctrine, there are majority views and that I ought to be more respectful of them because I’m just one guy. How you can square that view with your denial that truth is determined by majority vote, I just don’t know.

    And, lastly, how can I stand up against the majority when I’m just one person? The same way believers have always stood up to the majority. I just remain faithful to what God has shown me.

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