Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Logical Fallacies - Part 2

"But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison," - 1 Peter 3:14-19 ESV

As I go through the list of fallacies this morning it strikes me that God is so aware of our bad thinking.

"For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God. Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? - unless indeed you fail to meet the test! I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test. But we pray to God that you may not do wrong - not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for." - 2 Corinthians 13:4-9 ESV

I think of the man proclaiming the gospel from a bar stool. He is ashamed to tell his friends when he is sober but he talks about love once he has a few drinks in him. Then people use AD HOMINEM thinking to attack the message. They undermine the messengers character to try and disprove the message but the message is real. Forgiveness is real. The test spoken of in the passage in 2 Corinthians is the 'appearance' test. People look for fruit and make conclusions of fruit production but that is a wrong way to think. Many of God's promises to the believer, if you look at them, are based on relationship and security. God does not guarantee a full transformation before death as matter of fact He promises the opposite and makes provisions for failure because He knows we will fail and that we and others will jump to wrong conclusions based on that failure. The believer is asking, 'Am I in The Faith?' and not, 'How am I doing? because The Faith has an answer. Jesus is holy and His work is holy. Trust in the finished work of the cross is far superior to anything we can see or evaluate performance wise.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." - 1 John 1:9-10 ESV

If we confess (and we will need to) again and again that we sin because we still have a nature that sins God will cleanse us again and again because in truth He has already cleansed us.

"Jesus said to him, 'The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.' " - John 13:10 ESV

THE FALSE CAUSE FALLACY is another interesting one because it jumps to conclusions based on circumstantial evidence instead of using truth as a goalpost. It looks by sight at circumstances and settles on a cause by natural reasoning or emotional bias.

"The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble." - Psalm 37:39 ESV

Jesus makes men 'stand upright' and be able to look straight ahead and up instead of down and back. That is a fact. We might not always do it but the ability has been given none the less.

"And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." - Acts 4:12 ESV

I don't recommend bar stool preaching. There is great value in letting grace do a work of transformation in us. It is the 'no condemnation' principle working in us and on us that takes us out of addictions and into freedom. That principle also cleanses our thinking because we no longer rationalize away our weakness.

I often look at the cross and see God's victory in the midst of my failure and it heals me. I know that God has made promises and that the victory of the resurrection has been placed on my account in spite of me.

Others might not think that way but it is how God thinks that really matters anyway isn't it?


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