Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Subtle Distinctions between Interpreting and Twisting the Bible

Commentary on
Charisma Magazine
8:00AM EDT 7/25/2016
David Diga Hernandez, "marked by a distinctive presence of the Holy Spirit, miracles, healing and salvation..., a unique and emerging spiritual leader...."

I assume you've read at least the first section of Evangelist Hernandez' article, linked above. Otherwise, my comments won't make much sense.

Evangelist Hernandez' first point reasons that because a demon desires something, he needs it, and because he needs it, he must have a nature that differs from that of a fallen angel who does not need it. (Cough! Cough!) Drug addicts think they need drugs, but does that mean they are not homo sapiens? (Sounds a lot like the left-wing idea that "identifying" as something turns you into that thing.)

Most of the arguments for the first difference rest on the conclusion the author draws from his first scriptural argument, so let's look at that more closely.

First, Genesis 6:4 simply says giants existed; it does not say that the former giants or the latter giants came from the unions of "sons of God" and "daughters of men." That is something the author reads into it. If giants had already come into being without the mixed unions, then mixed unions were not necessary for the giants to continue existing later.

Second, if giants lived earlier and we assume they reproduced, doesn't it make sense that they would live later? So again, it is not necessary for the giants to have come from the mixed unions. Third, the children of mixed unions are called "mighty men which were of old, men of renown." The text does not call them giants. One has to add preconceptions in order to read the text the way the author does.

The author then equates the "sons of God" who "came in unto the daughters of men" with those in Jude 6 -- the relevant parts of which he conveniently does not quote. Jude 6 refers to "angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling...." It takes an enormous leap to equate leaving the "proper dwelling" (probably heaven) with taking on human form and reproducing with women. Regardless of whether the author is right, it would be wrong to base further doctrine on such weak inferences.

What the author claims could have happened (I doubt it), but it takes a lot of leaps and insertions to force the biblical testimony to support it. The plain sense of the association between giants and mixed unions is that they happened at the same time. When we read, "In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah," we do not infer any cause-and-effect relationship between Zechariah's priesthood and Herod's kingship. Neither should we infer such relationships in Genesis 6:4.

I find such sloppy interpretation to be rampant in the church, concerning far more critical topics, especially among the movement that claims superior "leading" and that substitutes such "leading" for reading. Praise God for his mercy and grace when we stray off the hermeneutical trail and ride our hobby horses across the pages of His word.

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