Pervert Hating Perverts
(Note: The Random House Dictionary give a definition of a pervert as “a person who has been perverted, esp. to a religious belief regarded as erroneous.” It is this definition I am using in this post, not one of sexual perversion.)
I was told a story of an elderly woman who was raised in a denomination that taught one could lose their salvation if they did not keep certain rules. She began attending a church where the pastor taught a biblical eternal security that was not based upon our works, but Christ’s work. The woman sat under the teaching for a while, examining it in light of Scripture. In time, she came to the pastor, and checking behind her as if she thought she may be followed or was being watch by some spy, whispered to the pastor “I believe what you’re teaching is true.” Then she added, “But don’t you think it’s dangerous?”
She’s correct! This is a real danger. There are some who realize this danger – they realize that people are prone to take a teaching, no matter how true it may be, and pervert it. To remedy this problem, they decide to pervert the truth in the other direction. An example is on the biblical doctrine of grace. Realizing that some could hear what Paul is really saying about grace and conclude that we can live however we want as long as we have confessed Jesus Christ, they attach a works based foundation to the “real Christian” life. They tell people that they must perform certain actions in order to be a good Christian. This is done to keep others out of immorality, or some other sin, that they may be prone to fall into if they twisted what Paul said about not being under the law but under grace. Rather than proclaim truth, as Paul did, and deal with those who would pervert it, they pervert it in order to beat the opposing pervert to the punch. This is the primary method that I have observed in legalism. Men will stand in the pulpit and use fear to control people, and get them to submit to their yoke of legalism. These men use fear as that is what motivate them. They are afraid that people will twist truth, so they pass this fear down to those who are under them. People are told they have to draw the line somewhere or their children will go wild. They’re not satisfied with the biblical lines, as they fear the children will cross them so they set extra-biblical laws in the name of protection and pass them off as biblical. If the Scripture says, “Don’t play in the road.”; they would say, “If you play in the front yard, you’re disobeying God!” These leaders have a fear that people may not read their Bible as they should, so they tell them a “5 star” Christian does that daily, and if they want to be a top notch Christian then they should do the same. The list is endless, anything from style of dress, to forms of entertainment, to “brand” of Bible. I’m not saying that these men do not have good intentions; but to quote something one of them told me “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
My question is this: If one man perverts truth in order to keep another man from perverting the truth, who is a pervert?