Dear Spiritual Tyranny reader, do not fall for this argument to simplicity. It is little more than a cover for intellectual passivity and the hallmark of a very small mind that cannot prevail in the face of challenge. And that isn’t the bad part.
Notice that the tautology above is a False Choice, a.k.a. False Dichotomy or a Bifurcation fallacy.
Christians describe God as all powerful and able to do pretty much whatever He wants as it suits His GOOD pleasure. So why do mere mortals presume that God can’t change his mind? A few thousand years ago, standing on the side of a mountain, God decided that He didn’t want to spill the details on the Son of Man’s return. And in that moment, it was true: No man knew the day or the hour. But Jesus did not say that no man would EVER know the day or the hour. To be sure the moment the Son of Man cracks the sky, a LOT of men will know the day and hour. So Jesus cannot be saying that men will live a deaf, dumb, and blind existence for God to remain non-contradictory. Jesus’ point—while standing on the mountain—was the knowledge on date and time was God’s alone to give.
So here is a question: why is God’s GOOD pleasure restrained to tell whom He wills, whenever He wills? The disciples could have walked into Jerusalem the next day and Jesus said: “Guys, Remember what I said yesterday, well, never mind. My Father in Heave told me the Son of Man is coming back on October 21, 2011. Now, I know that means we will need a new calendar, but someone will change that in a few years. So it is all good.” And how is that at any point a “contradiction”?
By calling any deviation from the literalist understanding a “contradiction,” jars of clay are insisting that God is obligated to act in accordance with their imposed rational limitation. Think of the conceit: A bunch of worms, demanding that God have a specific metaphysical nature, static consistency. How can Pervasively Depraved Man dare insist that God’s nature be understandable, let alone that He MUST remain dependent on their questionable grasp of reality? Can’t a “sovereign” God act how He dang well pleases? Since when did Man get such dictatorial power over God’s mysterious purpose?
This whole evolution is how Christians get the idea that there is no more knowledge. Whatever God “said,” that is it. There is nothing else. There is no expansion, or clarification, because WE have determined exactly what God meant for all eternity. So you just quit asking questions!
This is how church leaders get it in their head they should persecute Copernicus, and Galileo, and a host of other men and women who delved into the details of understanding and came up with ideas that ran contrary to mystic despots’ interpretive sensibilities.
OK … I’m laying it on a little thick, but you get the point. Frank Viola presumes that his understanding is the only “biblical” understanding and any challenge or deviation must necessarily be the product of …
1. Leaders who have a lot of influence over a lot of people must have peers. Camping hasn’t allowed himself to have any peers. He is a man fully on his own out on a limb (and sawing hard). If a servant of the Lord doesn’t have peers, he or she will go off the beam at some point and end up hurting a massive amount of people.
Evaluating the implications of this specific point is the heart and soul of my article: the foundational assumption within this bumper sticker theology.
Notice Frank Viola’s logic:
- Camping error = no peers.
- Leadership + Influence + (n) people = peers.
- Servants of the Lord without peers = inevitable error.
- Leadership without peers = pain x (n) people.
But before we drill down too hard on this section, I want to point out the premise. If Harold Camping is in error because he does not have peers, Frank Viola must believe his ideas are accurate because he does. This means, by definition, the e-mail blast represents Present Testimony Ministry’s composite accuracy. Or said another way: There should be no error within this email because Frank Viola has peers.