Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Instrument of Division

Satan has a weapon of mass destruction. No, it is not nuclear, tactical or strategic. It appears innocent yet it is lethal. It is not expensive and therefore very available to armies of apostates. It fits easily into the "side door" of many a congregation. The weapon is stealth and may be invisible in plain sight. It claims to contribute to growth while designed only to destroy. Its proponents speak of peace, harmony and tolerance while practicing war, discord and intolerance towards any opposition. Just what is this weapon of mass destruction? To the wise and faithful it is a poisonous leaven that will murder souls. To its proponents, it is cynically called "instrumental praise."(1) "Miss Bertha plays on"(2) and millions march off into apostasy.
The "Instrument of Division" is the instrument!
Many congregations in the church of Christ are "emerging towards apostasy" with the embrace of a deadly instrument of division. They are grasping at the "clanging cymbals" of instrumental music in "worship." The fact that drums, guitars and saxophones divide the body of Christ, injure love and kill fellowship means absolutely nothing to those who insist upon their addition. There are many "reasons" for these departures from "the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints." However, when these "reasons" are all boiled down to their core essence, they parallel Saul's "reasons" to ignore God's clear, direct and linear commands regarding the wicked Amalekites. We read about Saul's apostasy in I Samuel 15. What motivated Saul in the long ago, now motivates the instrument of division.(3)
1) Popular opinion. 2) Presumptive biblical interpretation. 3) Partial obedience. 4) Self promotion. 5) Pragmatic motives.
How can this be? How can people claiming to be Christians divide the Body of Christ and still sleep at night? How can people cause division and blame others for what they themselves have done?!
The instrument of division must embrace a different biblical interpretive method in order to do Satan's bidding.
The instrument of division must reject biblical and linear interpretation, the kind that Samuel followed in I Samuel 15 and Saul...did not. Instead, the apostate must embrace the allegorical interpretive method, a method that goes in continual circles always asking questions and never finding the truth. (4)

The so-called "allegorical method" has been around since the 2nd century A.D. The Alexandrian (Egypt) Jewish teacher, Philo, embraced Plato's allegorical interpretive method used by the Greeks in the study of Homer and applied it to the interpretation of what we now call the Old Testament. Homer, of course, wrote pure fiction. Plato taught that one could understand Homer best by filtering his work through the filter of ones own "stories" and personal "experiences." The resulting interpretive chaos had every Greek with a different Homerial interpretation! Applied to fiction, it meant nothing...BUT...when applied to Scripture, the pre-Messianic Jews soon theologically digressed back to the days of the Judges where "every man did what was right in his own eyes." (Judges 21:25)

Philo was a strong influence on the famous patristic, Clement of Alexandria. Clement had a protégé as well, his name was Origen.(5) It was Origen that piped the allegorical fantasies of Philo and Clement into the mainstream thinking of the rapidly apostatizing 2nd century church of Christ. Origen convinced many Christians of his time that the Scriptures held multiple meanings and these multiple meanings came from the individually personalized stories and experiences of each individual Christian. As a result, the emerging Roman Catholic Church used Origen to justify every digressive doctrine, every change in biblical leadership and every fantasy regarding the Lord's Supper that would soon evolve into the Mass. Today the current pope in Rome credits Origen for the creation and evolution of the ever changing "Magesterium" of Roman Catholicism.

As convoluted as Origen was, a man would come along several hundred years later that would "poison the well" even more. That man was the delusional Thomas Aquinas, a man that imagined biblical characters speaking to him "in person," "revealing" understandings of various Scriptures. His delusion was fueled by a life long obsession with the pagan philosopher, Aristotle. Aristotle taught that man learned truth primarily through his senses. Aquinas adopted this falsehood even though the Scripture clearly teaches that " comes by hearing and hearing through the Word of God..." (Romans 10:17) Making his delusion chronic, Aquinas taught that one of man's senses was his imagination. So as if multiple meanings and individual private interpretation were not enough, Aquinas asserted that if one could "imagine" a "truth," it then became "truth" to you! (6)

Fast forwarding to today, one can adopt the instrument of division when one embraces the "multiple meanings of Scripture," filtered through one's own "stories" (Origen) fueled by the over active "imagination" (Aquinas) that renders "truth" to the adherent of such nonsense.
Origen + Aquinas = Apostasy
The sad thing is that nearly every person advocating the instrument of division has likely never even studied Origen or Aquinas, let alone the New Testament in any great detail. Any teaching they may have experienced is likely to be superficial at best. More likely than not, such teaching was presented with the smooth words of emergent teachers steeped in the teachings of Brian McLaren (7) rather than in the teachings of Christ and the apostles!

(1) See bro. Alan Highers skillful refutation of bro. Rick Atchley's pro-instrument assertions at:
(2) See an earlier post on the history of "Miss Bertha" here at:
(3) See the foundational post for this entire weblog at:
(4) I have written a soon to be published book on biblical (mis)interpretaion entitled Emerging Towards Apostasy
(5) I have written extensively about Origen and Aquinas et. al. For more on this, go to:
(6) Ibid.
(7) For a synopsis of Brian McLaren, see:

To Be Continued...