Skip to comments.The Rev. Matt Kennedy: "The Wind and Waves of False Teaching"
Posted on 09/03/2006 7:12:32 AM PDT by sionnsar
Thanks to our friend Bill S. of Continuing Home, I have learned about the excellent sermon The Wind and Waves of False Teaching by the Rev. Matt Kennedy. In this sermon, Rev. Kennedy talks about the role of Scripture in equipping us to resist false teaching:
The church is held in place by evangelists, pastors and teachers devoted to grounding the people of God in God's Word. But what if you get teachers and pastors who don't have that commitment, who don't believe the Word of God is the word of God or care about teaching it to the people in their charge?There's more food for thought here, including our responsibility to seek to mature in Christ. I'd say this sermon is worth reading in full!
Then the rope that grounds the Church to Truth is cut. Once God's Word is neglected or rejected, there's no way to tell the difference definitively between good and evil.
Being fallen sinners, more often than not, we confuse the two. How do we know what is good, what is sweet, what is light? How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts, therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:103-105)
There is only one way to avoid putting light for darkness and bitter for sweet and that is to feed on the sweetness of God's Word to be rooted in his precepts, to walk in the light of his law. Otherwise, you will get lost. Otherwise the church becomes a blind guide Otherwise Satan will have his way with you because you will inevitably accept the evil and reject the good and then you're in serious trouble. Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. (Isa 5:20)
Now, no one thinks they are rejecting the good and accepting the evil. Satan doesn't launch frontal attacks. He masquerades as angel of light. When he presents a false teaching, he makes it look and sound good and loving and smart and intellectually sound. He calls killing babies, reproductive "choice". He calls sexual immorality, "free love". He calls greed, "good business". He calls pagan idolatry new age "spirituality". He calls selfishness, "self care". He calls divorce, "liberation"; He calls embracing lies about God and the bible, "moderation".
S, Scripture is all fine and good for the edification of the soul of a Christian, and indeed a full understanding of the Commandments is a sine qua non of theosis, but underlying even that is prayer, ceaseless noetic prayer which leads us to humility which in turn prepares the soul for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And it is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which protects us from the delusions of reliance on the self.
"But when the Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of a person, He shows him all his inner poverty and weakness, and the corruption of his heart and soul, and his separation from God; and with all his virtues and righteousness. He shows him his sins, his sloth and indifference regarding the salvation and good of people his self-seeking in his apparently most disinterested virtues, his coarse selfishness even where he does not suspect it. To be brief, the Holy Spirit shows him everything as it really is. Then a person begins to have true humility, begins to lose hope in his own powers and virtues, regards himself as the worst of men. And when a person humbles himself before Jesus Christ Who alone is Holy in the glory of God the Father, he begins to repent truly, and resolves never again to sin but to live more carefully. And if he really has some virtues, then he sees clearly that he practiced and practices them only with the help of God, and therefore he begins to put his trust only in God." +Innocent of Irkutsk
Quoting the Scripture chapter and verse without humility is vanity.
both/and not either/or
"The man who has been enabled by grace to acquire spiritual knowledge should struggle to study the divine Scriptures and this knowledge with deep dedication, humility, attention and fear of God, for unless he does this he will be deprived of his knowledge and threatened with punishment, as unworthy of what God has given him, in the same way as Saul was deprived of his kingdom, as St. Maximos explains. But he who devotes himself to spiritual knowledge and struggles to attain it, St. Maximos states, should call upon God at all times, as did David, saying: `Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew an upright Spirit within me'. In this way he may become worthy of God's indwelling." +Peter of Damascus
both/and not either/or
You really can't see it, can you Rev?
Why don't you expound it for me, ignotant as I am.
"Why don't you expound it for me, ignotant as I am."
Now why, Rev., do I doubt your ignorance as much as my ability as a simple Orthodox Christian, to educate you, an evangelical Anglican pastor?
Kolokotronis, I think +Kennedy is agreeing with you...? Or have I missed something?
I did not say that attention to the scriptures precludes devotion to prayer. I think perhaps you may be assuming an either/or where I never posited anything of the sort.
I'm sure he'll let us know.
Thank you sionnsar.
Thank you for all of your ongoing efforts.
Sharon, those of us who remember Arlin know I'm just filling in the gaps -- no way can I walk more than inches in his shoes. But this memorial is a way of expressing my appreciation for your late husband.
You remain in our prayers...
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