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Error Or Lie?
by Wayne Blank
Error: "Inadvertent incorrectness; a misconception resulting from incorrect information."
Lie: "A statement that knowingly and deliberately deviates from or perverts the truth"
No One is "Infallible"
Humans, all humans, regardless of whatever claims of "perfection" that they may make for themselves, or for their leaders/teachers, are not perfect. Only God is perfect, only God is infallible. All humans make mistakes - anyone who says otherwise is either an arrogant fool in themselves, or a brainwashed follower of someone that they shouldn't be following. Even the writers of The Bible itself wisely, humbly and honestly admitted that while still mortal human, there was a natural limit to their understanding of the Word of God, even while they were given, by the Holy Spirit, to write it:
"For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood." (1 Corinthians 13:9-12 RSV)
They all made mistakes, just as all humans still do. An example, of the true apostle Peter's mistakes when confronted by the true apostle Paul:
"When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong" (Galatians 2:11 NIV)
Will Peter, after spending years being taught by Jesus Christ Himself, lose his salvation because he later was mistaken about something? Will Paul, who confronted Peter in the verse above, himself be cast into the lake of fire because Paul, before being struck down On The Road To Damascus, was once so badly mistaken in his beliefs and teachings that he actually took part in the imprisonment and killing of true Believers?
"Lord, they themselves know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believed in Thee. And when the blood of Stephen Thy witness was shed, I also was standing by and approving, and keeping the garments of those who killed him." (Acts 22:19-20 RSV)
The Important Difference
If God condemned everyone who was ever honestly mistaken in a belief or teaching, there would be no one left for salvation. Honest mistakes can be forgiven if repented of when the time comes (that's why Jesus Christ came the first time, to save sinners - and anyone who says that they're not a sinner is calling God a liar! i.e. 1 John 1:10), but deliberate, knowing, defiant rejection of the Truth, and deliberate, knowing, defiant teaching of lies will not.
An example from the Pharisees. Some of the Pharisees clearly knew that Jesus was of God (John 3:1-2), that the Holy Spirit of God was in Him, and yet there were those among them that wickedly accused The Savior of having a demon - they knowingly blasphemed God's Holy Spirit.
"Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do, unless God is with Him." (John 3:1-2 RSV)
But, despite knowing that Jesus was of God, they told the people that He was of the devil:
"And all the people were amazed, and said, "Can this be the Son of David?" But when the Pharisees heard it they said, "It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons" (Matthew 12:23-24 RSV)
And what did Jesus Christ say awaits them?
"Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matthew 12:31-32 RSV)
Fact Finder: Can someone who ignores the Truth when they hear it and worships God in a manner of their own choosing be regarded as a liar?
This Week's Bible Quiz
What's the missing city name?
1. "But the Jebusites, the inhabitants of _______, the people of Judah could not drive out; so the Jebusites dwell with the people of Judah" (Joshua 15:63 RSV)
2. "At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months; and at _______ he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years." (2 Samuel 5:5 RSV)
3. "Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has charged me to build Him a house at _______, which is in Judah." (Ezra 1:2 RSV)
4. "In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to _______ and besieged it." (Daniel 1:1 RSV)
5. "On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives which lies before _______ on the east" (Zechariah 14:4 RSV)
6. "wise men from the East came to _______, saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?" (Matthew 2:1-2 RSV)
7. "And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon Him. Now His parents went to _______ every year at the feast of the Passover." (Luke 2:40-41 RSV)
8. "And while staying with them He charged them not to depart from _______, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, He said, "you heard from Me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit." (Acts 1:4-5 RSV)
9. "I go up to _______ to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia; and again I returned to Damascus." (Galatians 1:17 RSV)
10. "And I saw the holy city, new _______, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them" (Revelation 21:2-3 RSV)
For the answers to this November 19 2002 quiz, see the Bible Quiz Answers Page