20 April, 2007

Repent or Perish



Below is a verse you don't hear much about anymore. I am starting to notice how these hard verses are either dumbed down or not taught at all. You know, it is impossible to teach these verses if you are teaching people that God loves them just as they are. Or, that they should 'accept' Christ because He just wants them to be happy and fullfilled here on earth...which does not fit with the following:


1There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? 3No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." Luke 13 (ESV)

Wait, I just found the easy way to teach these verses! Just use the Message Bible! Remember, no repenting necessary in the Message...

"About that time some people came up and told him about the Galileans Pilate had killed while they were at worship, mixing their blood with the blood of the sacrifices on the altar. Jesus responded, "Do you think those murdered Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans? Not at all. Unless you turn to God, you, too, will die. And those eighteen in Jerusalem the other day, the ones crushed and killed when the Tower of Siloam collapsed and fell on them, do you think they were worse citizens than all other Jerusalemites? Not at all. Unless you turn to God, you, too, will die." Luke 13 (Message)



Beware friends, of teaching that is not the full gospel message that Jesus taught.

9 comments:

LAS said...

I looked up repent on Wikipedia as I was interested in the meaning of the original Greek word.

quote:
"In the New Testament, the word translated as 'repentance' is the Greek word μετάνοια (metanoia), "after/behind one's mind", which is a compound word of the preposition 'meta' (after, with), and the verb 'noeo' (to perceive, to think, the result of perceiving or observing). In this compound word the preposition combines the two meanings of time and change, which may be denoted by 'after' and 'different'; so that the whole compound means: 'to think differently after'."

I'm curious as to what you think repent means?

Turning to God doesn't seem like an easy and flip requirement to me. It can be difficult to turn to and serve God instead of my own will, selfishness, emotions, pride, ego, etc.

Blessings,
LAS

Lin said...

"Turning to God doesn't seem like an easy and flip requirement to me. It can be difficult to turn to and serve God instead of my own will, selfishness, emotions, pride, ego, etc. "

Hello LAS, Good point but the definition you gave for repentance sounds totally different from 'turning to God'. You see, I know many people who believe that turning to God is easy. To repent... I must be broken by my sin and convicted with godly sorrow. This is the kind of sorrow that is in our hearts because we went against God.

Of course we sin. But anyone walking the narrow road can say that repentance takes place daily. We are to be growing in holiness. And that means our 'attitude' toward sin is one of godly sorrow.

The Message Bible is full of this dumbed down vague teaching. The Message is one guy's interpretation of a translation. In other words, it is his opinion...not a direct translation. So now, I have to go and find out what Eugene Peterson thinks 'Turn to God' means.

LAS said...

Hi again!

Thanks for answering my comment. I found your blog through Lynn's entry on purity balls.

The literal Greek translation "To think differently after" also comes across as rather broad and vague to me.

You mention that we must have sorrow in our hearts because we went against God. Isn't going against God the opposite of turning to God? So if going against God is wrong, then wouldn't the goal be turning to God?

Just because you know people who think turning to God is easy doesn't mean that it is. I know people who think godly sorrow means always talking about how sinful and evil we are and living in a perpetual state of not feeling good enough, guilt and shame. I don't think that's what godly sorrow is just because they do.

I guess I don't think that the meaning of repentance is very clear from just reading the word either. I personally can see how Peterson got his meaning. If one is serving themselves... is King of their own life and then come to a point where they "think differently after" and that involves turning to and putting God as King of their life... then I'd say that's right on!

I don't disagree that recognition and sorrow for our sin is involved. Why would someone want to turn to God if they think sin is just fine?

I appreciate Peterson's take on it as I grew up in a spiritually abusive cult-like church where everyone else's take on things was dismissed the same way you seem to have dismissed Eugene Peterson's translation of that line. I would be interested as well in knowing what Peterson means by "turning to God." Are you serious about finding out?

P.S. I haven't read the Message or anything by Eugene Peterson so I don't know if I am a defender or not. I just don't see this tranlastion of this passage as problematic as you do.

las said...

Oh dear, I didn't mean to imply that you were like my former cult-like church. I'm sorry about that. I wouldn't be interested in conversing with you if that were the case.

What I meant was that I think that you are unfairly and quickly judging and dismissing Eugene Peterson's translation based on your theory that The Message is vague and dumbed down.

I would definitely be interested in your take one things if your really do find out what Eugene Peterson means by "turning to God."

Lindon said...

LAS, check out this link...copy to your browser as I cannot get links to work today. There are plenty more examples if you google the Message Bible:

http://www.crossroad.to/Bible_studies/Message.html

Just to give you an example of how different The Message is from a real translation...some variation of the word 'repent' show up only 4 times in the Message. Where as in a direct translation it shows up anywhere from 60-70x.

There are many more concerns such as how "Jesus" is referred to throughout the entire text.

I would like to respond to you as completely as possible:

"The literal Greek translation "To think differently after" also comes across as rather broad and vague to me."

To think differently after is to have a 'renewed mind' to have a 'regenerated heart'. It means YOU are different because of the conviction of the Holy Spirit of your sin. We sin...but, it is our attitude toward sin that should concern us. We should be growing in Holiness.

"You mention that we must have sorrow in our hearts because we went against God. Isn't going against God the opposite of turning to God? So if going against God is wrong, then wouldn't the goal be turning to God?"

I agree with you here. Problem is most churches do not even teach what going against God means.There are commands and precepts in scripture we are to follow. No one understands. They THINK they can continually turn to God without turning from their sins. Without regeneration and renewing of their minds. I do not mean this in a legalistic way. I am referring to such scripture as Hebrews 10 and Matt 7. Good fruit. Bad fruit. Many will say Lord Lord, and I will say I never knew you....

I know of a pastor of a Baptist mega church who harbored a pedophile minister in his church until it became public and he had to let him go. His defense was that Titus and Timothy were only guidelines for ministers (elders). This man thought he was 'turning to God everyday'!


"Just because you know people who think turning to God is easy doesn't mean that it is."

Very few pastors are telling them this

" I know people who think godly sorrow means always talking about how sinful and evil we are and living in a perpetual state of not feeling good enough, guilt and shame. I don't think that's what godly sorrow is just because they do."

His mercies are new every morning! But your words above denote your legalistic background! I come from a totally different situation. I come from a seeker environment where sin is rarely mentioned for fear of driving people away. They have this view that God just overlooks sin and forgives without repentance...without turning away from it. And even worse than that, the world has so been brought into the church that they have dumbed down sin to the point of not recognizing it. They do not understand sanctification or regeneration. One of my favorite teachers, Paul Washer, said that heresy is broad but walking in truth is on the razors edge. Not legalism...but truth. The full counsel of God (Acts 20)

What are we saved from?

"I guess I don't think that the meaning of repentance is very clear from just reading the word either."

It is funny you say this...Jesus' first recorded sermons in Matthew and Mark were: Repent. (Not, turn to God)


" I personally can see how Peterson got his meaning. If one is serving themselves... is King of their own life and then come to a point where they "think differently after" and that involves turning to and putting God as King of their life... then I'd say that's right on! "

First of all, many who are man centered think they are God centered! (Romans 3, 8, 9 ...we do not seek God, He seeks us)

Peterson never said, 'think differently'...you are adding that in. You are saying what you think Peterson meant. We do not know. That is the problem with The Message...it is not a direct translation. It is what Peterson thinks. It is his opinion.

"I don't disagree that recognition and sorrow for our sin is involved. Why would someone want to turn to God if they think sin is just fine? "

It has to be involved in order to truly repent. But I can tell you first hand people think they are turning to God all the time and willfully sinning at the same time. Read Ez 36. God gives us a new heart and cleanses us. I am a prime example of this! But, through Grace, God showed me how 'man centered' I was. The narrow road is narrow but joyful. (And you can wear pants! :o)

"I appreciate Peterson's take on it as I grew up in a spiritually abusive cult-like church where everyone else's take on things was dismissed the same way you seem to have dismissed Eugene Peterson's translation of that line. I would be interested as well in knowing what Peterson means by "turning to God." Are you serious about finding out?"

I guess that would mean calling Peterson up and asking him! Where as with a direct translation I have the Holy Spirit and 2000 years of scholarly commentary to help.

I can certainly understand how such a legalistic background would make you see this differently. But a legalistic background does not change the truth of scripture. A seeker background is man centered and focuses on a oursleves using a form of cheap Grace. A legalistic background focuses on sin only and and delights in condemnation. Both are wrong. Both are man centered!

"P.S. I haven't read the Message or anything by Eugene Peterson so I don't know if I am a defender or not. I just don't see this tranlastion of this passage as problematic as you do."

Unfortuantly, this is just ONE of many that are even worse. Just remember, it is only his opinion of a translation.

Thanks for writing...

Lindon said...

"Oh dear, I didn't mean to imply that you were like my former cult-like church. I'm sorry about that. I wouldn't be interested in conversing with you if that were the case."

I did not take it like that at all! I appreciate having the opportunity to discuss this.

"What I meant was that I think that you are unfairly and quickly judging and dismissing Eugene Peterson's translation based on your theory that The Message is vague and dumbed down."

Please do some research on the Message...take some hard teaching in scripture from the ESV, NASB or NKJV and line them up with the Message and see for yourself. There are several scholars who have done this already. The results are startling. But you have to remember it is NOT a direct translation. It is Peterson's opinion of a translation.

"I would definitely be interested in your take one things if your really do find out what Eugene Peterson means by "turning to God."

Unless you know him personally, I guess we will never know...and there in lies the problem.

LAS said...

Wow- thanks for addressing my points so thoroughly!

It's interesting how we both came from very different religious backgrounds (legalistic vs. seeker environment) and how that affects our "take" on things.

I checked out the link to Kjos ministries and I didn't care for some of those changes "The Message" made either.

But I don't want to come to any final conclusions based on some cherry-picked verses without finding out more for myself.

I also am not a big fan of the Kjos site anymore. Funny thing is that I used to be... about 3 or so years ago I even referenced some of their articles on a discussion forum.

It's been almost two years since my faith got turned upside down and I was convicted on how I had been raised and was still quite the judgemental Pharisee-type. Suddenly I started to be convicted about very different kinds of sins than before- my attitude, selfishness, pride, ego, etc.

I realized that God wanted me to give everything over to Him- the death of my father, the eternal destiny of my children. I could either trust who He says He is- perfect, LOVE, just, merciful or not. And I'm choosing to trust even if I don't understand or like it.

I now read these sites that are supposed to be Christian and see mostly criticism of the world and other Christians. Surely belonging to the Kingdom of God is much more amazing than being a judging critic on everything from Lord or the Rings to the celebration of Christmas!

Not that these things shouldn't be thoughtfully discussed... but I'm just really turned off by the "case closed- it's of the devil to read the Narnia series" tone that comes across (to me at least) on these types of sites. I'm weary of Christians that don't put the focus on the good news. And what good news it is!

But I am still trying to sort out what true repentance, sanctification, living for God is versus condemnation and so forth.

P.S. We were allowed to wear pants-but we had to wear a head-covering. Christmas was OUT. And KJV was the only true Bible ya know! ;) Just like our isolated little inbred church was the only one in our city of half a million with the Truth! BLECH!!!!

Lin said...

las, I heard a great itinerant pastor say just recently that we can go 10,000 miles 2 ways and be in heresy but truth is on a razor's edge.

Did you know that many in the emergent movement come from legalistic backgrounds? We all tend to swing the pendulum drastically based on our experiences!

You had to wear a head covering? No Christmas? Wow, that is a legalistic background. I know people who 'choose' not to celebrate Christmas but have never been in a church that demanded we not.

Legalism is just as deadly as licentiousness masqueraded as Grace.

Lin said...

BTW: Las, God Bless you!