The Twisted Scriptures?
Sometimes my intent is well-meaning, and yet, my conclusions, actions, and/or attitudes are misguided. Someone said, “any logical deduction taken to its extreme becomes absurd.” For years, I strung together what I considered rational conclusions and deductions that excluded and dismissed others and their faith. I concluded that their imperfect doctrine, methods, or specific knowledge (γνῶσις, gnōsis) excluded them from the family of God. I excluded them because of a legal argument, an inference, or a deduction. I became the judge and jury – taking it out of God’s hands. I have not changed my convictions about the essentials of belief, repentance, confessing Jesus as Lord, and biblical baptism. But I went beyond what the scriptures said, inferring that certain knowledge, acceptance of certain doctrines, and/or practices were additionally required for someone to be a “true Christian.” The crazy thing is that I do not agree with myself ten years ago on certain things. Therefore, by my old way of thinking I might have to exclude myself.
The below is an excerpt from The Twisted Scriptures by Carl Ketcherside. You may not agree with Ketcherside on points he makes elsewhere – but Carl will challenge you to reexamine your assumptions and judgments.
“To confuse the faith which all must have to be in Christ with knowledge of the word which all must acquire as they grow in Christ is a tragic error. To make fellowship contingent upon uniformity in degree of knowledge is a fatal fallacy. If fellowship is based upon the faith, and the faith consists of every epistle in the new covenant scriptures, then one must fully know every passage or he cannot be in the faith. Yet Paul declares, "If any one imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know" (1 Cor. 8:2). This proves we are all deficient in knowledge, and the one who imagines that he is not is worse off than the others. Those who plead for uniformity in knowledge of the word of God as a basis for fellowship must either demand perfect knowledge or else they must designate the areas in which one must know to be in the fellowship, as distinguished from those areas in which he may be ignorant and still be justified of God. How much in God's word can one be mistaken about and still be justified? What percentage must he be right about before God no longer recognizes him as in the family? How much must one grow in intellectual attainment in order to continue as a brother? How sick must one become from spiritual vitamin deficiency before the Father disowns him as a child?
To postulate that one must have perfect knowledge of every detail of revelation is to require inerrancy and infallibility and to demand that he be God. This is what I call "the Haman's gallows argument." It is affirmed that fellowship with ourselves is contingent upon knowing all we know and understanding everything as we do, which means that our own fellowship with God is dependent upon knowing all that God knows and understanding everything as He does. Since no one is rash enough to claim this for himself, he admits he is not in fellowship with God, and damns himself by the argument he concocted to deny others. "By what judgment you judge you will be judged."
Quoted from: W. Carl Ketcherside. The Twisted Scriptures. SCM e-Prints. Kindle Edition.
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