deception by appearance


"We are deceived by an appearance of right." (Horace)

A friend suggested I Google Eugene Peterson's, 'The Message'. So I did. At this point I've read through most of Peterson's New Testament transpeciation. (I'm using the word transpeciation [to change into a different form or species] rather than translation or paraphrase because, as a reader of Greek, I find this so called 'bible' has, for the most part transpeciated the Word of God into something other than what could be referred to as Holy, Inspired or Sacred. 'The Message' is not a Christian Bible but rather a personal (erroneous) theological perception - and at some points a subjective political rendering - a recapitulated Platonic doctrine, not an accurate translation of the Word of God.

Why did Peterson write this lurid conversion? In his introduction he explains that, "the goal is not to render a word-for-word conversion of Greek into English, but rather to convert the tone, rhythms, the ideas, into the way we actually think and speak". . . always looking for an English way to make the biblical text relevant to the conditions of the people" - to whom he ministered. Thus Peterson has interpreted the Word of God by his experiences and observations rather than interpreting his observations and experiences by the Word of God. Peterson has made every effort to reconcile God to his own world view instead of being reconciled to God, and His Word himself.

According to Peterson, "When Paul of Tarsus wrote a letter, the people who received it understood it instantly." Yet Peter, when speaking of Paul says, "in all his (Paul's) epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction' (2 Peter 3:16). Apparently the people, "who received" Paul's letters didn't instantly understand everything Paul wrote. Peterson continues, "When the prophet Isaiah preached a sermon, I can't imagine that people went to the library to figure it out." No, but according to ancient Jewish tradition the Prophet Isaiah was sawn asunder by the servants of king Manasseh (Hebrews 11:39). In the writings of Isaiah, as in no other Old Testament scripture, is there so clear a view of grace; the coming of the Messiah; redemption for the nations; etc.; which the Jews at that time had very little understanding. So the king had him killed.

Again Peterson continues, "That was the basic premise under which I worked. I began with the New Testament in the Greek --- a rough and jagged language, not so grammatically clean (at this point I wondered if Peterson had ever read Greek). I just typed out a page the way I thought it would have sounded to the Galatians."

I found it interesting, almost laughable that Peterson began his pseudological tome with the book of Galatians. Paul penned his letter to the Galatian Churches to address a double threat: purity of doctrine and purity of conduct. Certain individuals had come into the area who "would pervert the gospel of Christ" (Galatians 1:7; 5:10). So Peterson, in this age of more or less Biblical illiteracy, has prescribed the same double threat: the perverting of the purity of doctrine and the corrupting of the purity of conduct.

Here's an example of Peterson's perversion from Galatians 3: "Christ redeemed us from that self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into himself. Do you remember the Scripture that says, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"? That is what happened when Jesus was nailed to the cross: He became a curse, and at the same time dissolved the curse. And now, because of that, the air is cleared and we can see that Abraham's blessing is present and available for non-Jews, too. We are all able to receive God's life, his Spirit, in and with us by believing - "just the way Abraham received it."

Christ Jesus did not redeem us from a self-defeating, cursed life! No. We were dead in sin, at enmity with God, no life at all - self-defeating, self-victorious or otherwise (Galatians 3:22). Dead men do very little self-anything. But rather, Christ became SIN - not just your sin and my sin, but SIN. The idea of "dissolving the curse" is bizarre. The word dissolve means, to fade away gradually and disappear; to break up, or break something up, into smaller or more basic parts. What "dissolving" has to do with "It's finished", only an intellectual like Peterson knows. Jesus Christ became SIN, taking SIN (Genesis 3:1-6 - the curse of which Paul is speaking) on the cross Himself, He paid the price (redemption - see Romans 3-10) required by the Father - the Father is now reconciled to the world (2 Corinthians 5:15-19) so we can now approach the Father through the Son. By faith in Christ's redemptive work we are saved; we are not then "able" (which speaks of man having a hand in the process) to receive God's life, Spirit, in and with us, "just the way Abraham received it." No. We are given Life, filled with the Holy Spirit - as our possession, or earnest (the Holy Spirit is our down payment, if you will allow, which cannot be rescinded) - by our faith in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ - until that day (the day of Christ's return). Whether "the air is cleared" or not.

I had a few teachers like Peterson in the schools I attended. Their basic tenant is the abandonment of the Word of God and the embracing of a man-made gospel which will not save anyone, but rather, will damn all who follow its foolish ways. There may not be a nomenclature for what these teachers of a different gospel are, but the term apostate does come to mind.

'The Message' cannot be used or should it be used for serious or, for that matter, any Bible study because it has no verse references (we have verse references for a reason); it alters the meaning of the text; and it deletes key words and concepts.

Example #1: 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
(I will be using different versions in each example listed:
the King James, the New International Version, the Greek and The Message.

KJV: "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

NIV: "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

TM: (p.410) "Unjust people who don't care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don't qualify as citizens in God's kingdom."

Peterson's interpretation panders to the Green and New Age movements by adding environmental sin - which the Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic does not. It also seeks to be non-offensive to homosexuals - which the True Word of God does. Peterson's interpretation has no strength in addressing homosexual behavior. This politically correct approach is consistent throughout the entire book. Peterson's message will have no trouble being accepted by the authors of the false One World Church system that is currently being implemented by the United Nations and the World Council Of Churches and ratified by the apostate denominations who are supporters of the Ecumenical Movement.

In the introduction Peterson explains that "the goal is not to render a word-for-word conversion of Greek into English, but rather to convert the tone, rhythms, the ideas, into the way we actually think and speak". Instead, Peterson has rewritten the Word of God to fit into his own erroneous theology. And because of the erroneous theology contained within the pages of 'The Message', it is potentially able to do untold damage within the Body of Christ.

Peterson has given his readers nothing more than an expansive erroneous, dumbed-down, internecine, perversion of the truth of God. "False words are not only evil in themselves, but they inflect the soul with evil" (Socrates).

In the introduction, Peterson compares his pastoral ministry to his work as a translator: "I stood at the border between two languages, biblical Greek and everyday English, acting as a translator, providing the right phrases, getting the right words so that the men and women to whom I was pastor could find their way around and get along in this world" (p. 10). Much of 'The Message' reads like a sermon: text plus interpretation and application. Unlike a sermon, however, the reader does not know where the text ends and the sermon begins.

Also in his introduction, Peterson says: "This version of the New Testament in a contemporary idiom keeps the language of 'The Message' current and fresh and understandable in the same language in which we do our shopping, talk with our friends, worry about world affairs, and teach our children their table manners . . ."

This all sounds like an excuse for dumbing-down Scripture to match our culture's downward literacy trends. What happened to the scripture, "the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14). Should we rewrite God's holy Scriptures to fit our more shallow and worldly communications? "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, and the honor of kings is to search out a matter" (Proverbs 2:1). God hides truth from the eyes of unbelief, He reveals truth to the eyes of faith - as Peter confirms, "He deliberately cast a stumbling block before the mind of unbelief." And what does it say about men who endorse 'The Message' as an authentic translation of the Bible rather than as Eugene Peterson's personal, politically correct interpretation?

Because of its interpretive and idiosyncratic nature, 'The Message' should not be used for study. Acts 17:11 commends the Bereans for evaluating Paul's teaching with the Old Testament Scriptures. In the same spirit, 'The Message' needs to be evaluated against more consistent and traditional translations, especially when its renderings evoke a response such as, "I didn't know the Bible said that!" or, "Now I understand what it means."

People will not be led to a closer relationship and understanding of the Lord through this book. This 'bible' promotes another (our English word alias is derived from the same word) 'jesus' and another 'gospel' (Galatians 1:6-9) as will be plainly obvious to anyone with even one ounce of discernment and who have a love for the sacredness of the Scriptures. If people read this 'bible' and accept it as truth, they will be further led astray into believing myths and fanciful stories, just as the Bible warns they will. And because people want to believe fantasy above the truth of the Scriptures, God says that He will give them over to a strong delusion - 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12.

Example #2:
Colossians 1:15-22

Greek: "Who is the image of the God - invisible, the firstborn of all creation, because in Him were created - all things in the heavens and on the earth, the visible things and the invisible things, whether thrones or lordships, whether rulers or authorities; - all things through Him and for Him have been created; and He is before all things and all things in Him have been held together, and He is the Head of the body, the Church; Who is its beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that He might be holding the first place in everything, because in Him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile - all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of the cross of Him, through Him, whether the things on the earth or the things in the heavens."

TM: We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels-everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body. He was supreme in the beginning and-leading the resurrection parade-he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he's there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe-people and things, animals and atoms-get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.

In Colossians, that marvelous epistle, which addresses the headship of the Lord Jesus over all that is and will ever be, (Ephesians being the epistle which deals with His headship over His Body, the Church) we read: "Who is the image of the invisible God, the first born." First born here is a cardinal number, not an ordinal number. It addresses His possession in authority. It is not addressing the order of His origin. "He is the first born of all creation for by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers - all things were created by Him, and for Him; and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist" (KJV). Or cohere. This is the One who holds everything together. "And He is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the first born from the dead." That is to say, He is the first one born again, brought out of the grave, in order that we too might experience new birth. "That in all things He might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell." Or more literally, "all fullness was pleased to dwell in Him". "And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself. . . by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." Reconciling all things unto Himself was the purpose of the Father in the cross. "And you, that were once alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreproved in His sight" (Colossians 1:15-22 KJV).

This is a wonderful illustration of who the Lord Jesus is and was and how the Father saw Him in the cross - reconciling the world back to the Father.

God is the God of mercy. He is what He is. And because of His never changing mercy, if an individual wants to be stubborn and grope for every rotten tidbit of meat he can get his hands on, God will see to it that he eats. But, if someone desires rather to search for meat which is clean, good and healthy God will see to it that he is given the desire of his heart, a meal more "necessary than (his) necessary food" (Job). One meat makes him weak, one meat makes him whole. But everyone will be fed.

As we approach the Word of God expecting it to have life in it - life that is to be obtained from it - we will obtain life. If we are without life it is because we are lacking in our pursuit of His Book. In the words of Job, "I found Your words and I rejoiced over them as one that finds great spoil." As one who finds a meal more "necessary than my necessary food."

There are two essentials every child of God needs. One is faithful warnings and the other is compassionate encouragement. Both are found in the words of the Bible. One is given to bridle our sinful propensities, the other is given to quicken our spiritual graces. Both are given so the man of God can function within his specific responsibility.

"But evil men and seducers shall become worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived" (2 Timothy 3:13). This sentence is important. Evil men are deceiving, but they are also being deceived. It isn't that these men are merely going about to deceive people deliberately, they are themselves deceived, and therefore spread deceit. The word translated seducers is the word impostors. So evil men and impostors shall become worse and worse deceiving and being deceived.

If there are impostors, deceiving and being deceived within the Church, we must ask ourselves, "Who they are?" When we reflect on that query, the possibilities become very interesting. If impostors are functioning within the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ who are they? In the words of the profit Isaiah, concerning prophesy and doctrine, "if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them." If what men preach - or write - does not agree with what God has said in His Book, it is because there is no light in them. They are deceived and are going about deceiving.

Example #3:
John 14:28

KJV: "Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

NIV: "You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I."

TM: (p. 261) "You've heard me tell you, 'I'm going away, and I'm coming back." If you loved me, you would be glad that I'm on my way to the Father because the Father is he goal and purpose of my life."

What does Peterson's rendering of the Greek in ". . . the Father is the goal and purpose of my life" have to do with showing Jesus as the second person in the Trinity? Jesus said that He and the Father are One - the Same. "If you've seen Me, you've see the Father." How then could the Father be Jesus' goal? This is a false and a deliberately deceitful means of removing the Lordship of Christ Jesus.

A trifling of Hebrew: "In the beginning ELOHEEM (the Hebrew word for GOD in this passage) created the heaven and the earth"(Genesis 1:). This is an unique word. It's plural. A plural noun used with a singular verb. Not very good English but marvelous inspiration. Hebrew uses the plural to obtain the superlative. Not: big, better, best - but rather a pluralized noun, to state the whole. Which obtains the superlative. ELOHEEM points to the function of the Godhead collectively in that singular act. ELOHEEM: Father, Son, Holy Spirit - One plural.

Maybe Peterson believes the Lord was just trying to find Himself; find His purpose; get to know His Father; maybe even deal with His relationship with His mother. Maybe a bit of Freudian therapy would've done the trick.

Example #4:
1 Corinthians 6:17-18

KJV: "But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body."

NIV: "But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body."

TM: (p. 411) "Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever - the kind of sex that can never "become one." There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for "becoming one" with another."

Firstly, this departure from the original message of Scripture regarding sexual immorality would lead the immature Christian to conclude that "commitment and intimacy," not marriage, set boundaries for acceptable sex in the eyes of the Lord.

Secondly, The term 'the Master" is used in place of 'the Lord.' The use of this title for God and Jesus makes this (so called) version of the Bible politically correct and non-offensive to New Age devotees and followers of other religious persuasions. 'The Master' is a New Age term! The offense that Jesus is the only way to salvation is subtly diminished. If that sounds like I am being a bit alarmed over nothing, consider the endorsement of 'The Message' by New Age author Madeleine L'Engle. "'The Message' is so good it leaves me breathless" she proclaimed. This on its own should make us suspicious enough to critically examine what 'The Message' is really saying. When a version of the Bible is considered acceptable by New Age followers we should know immediately something is wrong. My Bible tells me that the world and all that it stands for will hate the Christian and the Word that we proclaim (Matt. 10:22, Mark 13:13, Luke 6:22-26 and John 15:18-21). Only if the ". . . offense of the cross has been abolished. . . " as Paul warned of in Galatians 5:11, will the world accept a 'christian' message of salvation.

A limited Greek lesson: "But share with me in the afflictions of the Gospel according to the power of God." The afflictions, or sufferings come when individuals are not willing to acknowledge the truth of the gospel. That is, the Gospel is good news for bad people. If the Gospel were good news for good people, there would be no affliction. No offense. There is an offense in the Gospel. There's not an offense in the law. If we obey the law, everyone will speak well of us. If we walk dignified and righteous in the world, the world will speak well of us. But, if an unrighteous person finds grace by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, then there's an offense. Paul refers to it as the scandal. The Greek word translated offense, is skandlaon - our English word for scandal. Paul said, "If I preach works then the offense," or the scandal, "of the cross ceases." What is the scandal of the cross? Simple. God loves and redeems bad people. That's the scandal. If you don't believe me, try impressing upon the world's people - and some church people as well - that God is taking individuals, who really don't have it all together, who are not very dignified, not entirely law abiding - into His glory. They will utterly reject what you're saying. The truth is, none of us have it all together. "There is none righteous, no not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God; they have all gone out of the way; there is none who does good, no not one . . ." So the scandal is: God saves bad, sinful people. In fact He only saves sinners. "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." A sinner is the only person who can be saved. Yet we still spend a lot of unnecessary time trying to make our good unredeemed church members look and act like Christians.

Example #5:
Romans 1:22-27

KJV: "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet."

NIV: "Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-- who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion."

TM: (p. 361-362) "What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn't treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand. So God said, in effect, "If that's what you want, that's what you get." It wasn't long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshipped the god they made instead of the God who made them - the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes! Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn't know how to be human either-women didn't know how to be women, men didn't know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men-all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it-emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches."

Lust becomes the sin rather than homosexuality, the choice of same gender sex partners. A loophole is provided for "committed" homosexuals (or any and all unmarried couples) who "love" each other.

The strength of 'The Message' against homosexual and adulterous behavior is lost giving the impression that, provided two people of the same (or different) gender "love" each other and are "committed" to their relationship, it is acceptable.

Example #6:
2 Corinthians 5:20

KJV: "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."

NIV: "We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God."

TM: (p.446) "We're Christ's representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them. We're speaking for Christ now: Become friends with God: he's already a friend with you."

Reconciliation is the key word here. Eugene Peterson is promoting unity - the type of unity that reconciles peoples of different nations, ethnic groups and religions at the expense of the ". . . faith which was once delivered unto the saints." The original context of this passage of Scripture is regarding the reconciliation of man to God, and not man to man as it has been twisted to accommodate here. This is again pandering to the Ecumenical Movement and the soon coming apostate 'World Church.' Is it any wonder that the New Age promoters are joyous about this 'bible'?

"I wonder," said Pascal, "at the hardihood with which such persons undertake to talk about God. In a treatise addressed to infidels they begin with a chapter proving the existence of God from the works of nature (man) . . . this only gives their readers grounds for thinking that the proofs of our religion are very weak . . . It is a remarkable fact that no canonical writer has ever used nature to prove God."

Example #7:
From Old and New Testaments

God: "By faith Abel ["a keeper of sheep" (Genesis 4:2)], offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh" (Hebrews 11:4 KJV)

TM: "By an act of faith, Abel brought a better sacrifice to God than Cain. [So far, so good.] It was what he believed, not what he brought, that made the difference. That's what God noticed and approved as righteous."

On the contrary, the sacrifice Abel brought from his flock is what the the Word of God emphasizes! "By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks" (Hebrews 11:4). Did you catch that? "God testifying of his gifts," not his faith. "For by one offering He (the Lord Jesus) has perfected forever those who are being sanctified" (Hebrews 10:14). It is by our faith in the Lord's sacrifice, whereby we are saved. Peterson substitutes his own words for God's, and he dares to call what he has authored "another version of the Bible"! Clearly, Hebrews emphasizes what Abel brought ("sacrifice. . . gifts. . . it") and says it was offered "by faith." Moses likewise emphasizes the offering: "And Abel. . . brought of his firstlings of the flock. . . And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering. . . but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect" (Genesis 4:4,5). The entire emphasis is on the offering: Abel's offering was accepted by God, Cain's was not! Just as with us: "we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Hebrews 10:10).

Peterson's perversion of the Bible implies that the offering is unimportant and it was only what Abel believed that mattered. How do we know what he believed By his offering! Christ "was once offered to bear the sins of many" (Hebrews 9:28). Our faith is in Christ who "offered himself without spot to God" (Hebrews 9:14) for our sins. The offering is central to our faith. Here, as elsewhere, Peterson changes the meaning entirely, robbing readers of the truth!

Considering in what great detail God describes all Old Testament offerings, Peterson's view is heresy! He tampers with a major theme of Scripture and the meaning behind it - the Lamb (the Lord Christ Jesus) slain for our redemption. Peterson gives us his words, not the "word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD" (Deuteronomy 8:3) and "endureth for ever" (1 Peter 1:25). Yet he deceitfully passes it off as "Bible." The Psalmist rejoiced, "For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven" (Psalms 119:89).

Example #8:
Colossians 2:10

KJV: "And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power."

NIV: "And you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority."

TM: (p.501) "You don't need a telescope, a microscope or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him."

Nothing in the original manuscripts warrants such an outlandish rendering. This is adding to God's word and distorting the intention of the passage as inspired by the Lord (Revelation 22:18,19). The headship and authority of Christ over every principality and power is removed.

Although Eugene Peterson claimed to be a professor of spiritual theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, when I read his re-written 'bible', it only further reinforced my conviction concerning the serious lack of doctrinal understanding people like Peterson possess. Professing Christians who claim to love God's Word should take heed to the perilous situation they place themselves in by accepting "The Message" as a true and honest version of the Scriptures. "The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?" (Jeremiah 8:9).

The Delivered Message
yesterday, today and tomorrow

As far as Peterson's daily email messages are concerned - I read numerous ones, past and present from his website - I found them to be not much more than old Roman Catholic mysticism - some repackaged, some not. Roman mysticism, which is thoroughly subjective and experiential, which like its parent, Eastern mysticism, claims that God can neither be known nor understood through human reason but only experienced subjectively through various techniques: those various techniques depend entirely on the various individual pedagogue writing the various techniques. It is the antithesis of what the Bible teaches: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord" (Isaiah 1:18); "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding" (Proverbs 4:7); "According as his divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him" (2 Peter 1:3). Furthermore, the goal of mysticism is union with God, i.e., the merging of one's soul into God. This is an impossibility that reveals mysticism's pantheistic and panentheistic roots, that God is everything and is in everything. No. God is infinite and transcendent, absolutely separate from His finite creation. That's why we need the Lord Jesus. In closing I would ask again, should we rewrite and dumb-down the Bible to fit our own shallow and worldly communications skills? Should we reinterpret the Holy Word of God to sound more like a TV advert or film script?

Instead of encouraging the church to partake of 'The Message', leaders in the Church - as well as any and all born-again believers - should be warning the Church of the dangerous theology within 'The Message' pages and encouraging them to read a Bible that is closer to the original intention of God's message to mankind. Pastors and all the people of God should be encouraging the Church to discern the difference between truth and error. 'The Message' is not a message for the born-again Christian living in these last and perilous days. It is another gospel, of a different kind and should be loudly and clearly proclaimed as such.

"The words of the LORD are pure words:
as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Thou shalt keep them, O LORD,
thou shalt preserve them from this generation forever."

(Psalm 12:6-7).

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