A Refuge of Lies

[Posts in “fictional conversations” are sometimes (but not always) adapted and edited from non-fictional correspondence. They are usually lightly edited with intelligibility in mind.]

Christian: More Scriptures to quote to you:

“And My hand shall be against the prophets who see vanity, and who divine a lie. They shall not be in the assembly of My people, and they shall not be written in the writing of the house of Israel, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I [am] the Lord Jehovah. Because, even because they made My people go astray, saying, Peace! and there [was] no peace. And he builds a wall, and, behold, [others] daubed it [with] lime. Say to those daubing [with] lime, Yea, it will fall. There will be a flooding rain; and you, O hailstones, shall fall, and a tempestuous wind shall break. And, behold, when the wall has fallen, it shall not be said to you, Where [is] the daubing with which you have daubed? So the Lord Jehovah says this: I will even break in My fury [with] a tempestuous wind. And there shall be a flooding rain in My anger, and hailstones in fury, to consume it. And I will break down the wall that you have daubed [with] lime and bring it down to the ground; yea, I will bare its base. And it shall fall, and you will be consumed in its midst. And you shall know that I [am] Jehovah. And I will complete My wrath in the wall, and in those who daubed it [with] lime. And I will say to you, The wall [is] not; and, Those who daubed [are] not. The prophets of Israel who are prophesying concerning Jerusalem, and who see visions of peace for her, even [there is] no peace, declares the Lord Jehovah” (Ezekial 13:9-16).

“For everyone from the least of them even to the greatest of them cuts off a profit. And from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely. They have also healed the break of My people slightly, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they made an abomination? They were not at all ashamed, nor did they know to blush. So they shall fall among those who fall. At the time I visit them, they shall be cast down, says Jehovah” (Jeremiah 6:13-15).

“Everyone transgressing and not abiding in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. The one abiding in the doctrine of Christ, this one has the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bear this doctrine, do not receive him into the house, and do not speak a greeting to him. For the one speaking a greeting shares in his evil works” (2 John 1:9-11).

Tolerant Religionist: Sigh. What does “speaking peace” mean? And how does it relate to Old Testament Israel?

Christian: “Speaking peace” means telling a person that there is peace between them and God, that they are not under God’s wrath. The relation to Old Testament Israel is that they told themselves and others that they were safe from God’s wrath, but their protection was nothing but a refuge of lies:

“So hear the Word of Jehovah, scornful men, rulers of this people in Jerusalem. Because you have said, We have cut a covenant with death; and, We have made a vision with Sheol, when the overwhelming rod passes through it will not come to us for we have made the lie our refuge, and we have hidden in falsehood. So, the Lord Jehovah says this: Behold, I place in Zion a Stone for a foundation, a tried Stone, a precious Cornerstone, a sure Foundation; he who believes shall not hasten. And I will lay justice for a line, and righteousness for a plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of the lie; and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. And your covenant with death shall be covered; and your vision with Sheol shall not rise up. When the overwhelming whip passes through, then you shall be for a trampling to it” (Isaiah 28:14-18).

“For when they say, Peace and safety! Then suddenly destruction comes upon them, like the travail to the [one having babe] in womb, and not at all shall they escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).

Tolerant Religionist: You know, I pretty much view the peace-speaking doctrine as being completely and utterly ridiculous. And thus I summarily dismiss it out of hand.

Christian: Peace-speaking is a Biblical concept. It is seen in places such as Galatians 6:16 and it is necessarily implied in Romans 1:16-17 and Galatians 1:8-9. A person judges saved and lost by the gospel they believe is the power of God to salvation to everyone believing. Whether that is Paul’s true gospel in Romans 1:16-17 or anothers’ false gospel in Galatians 1:8-9.

When someone says that a professing Christian was unregenerate because he knowingly spoke peace to obvious God-haters, what does this intolerant person base this judgment on? Is it just to be mean, or is it for a logical, Biblical reason? What does belief in the true gospel have to do with judgment of those who do not believe in the true gospel? Is there any necessary connection, or can one truly believe in the true gospel and yet judge others who do NOT believe in the true gospel to be his brothers in Christ? Important questions to consider. Legion are those who wickedly attempt to immure this simple Biblical concept in incoherence.

Tolerant Religionist: Do you have any idea about the historical context of when Ezekiel and Jeremiah were written? Are you that clueless? God was saying Babylon would overcome Israel because of its sin, and the false prophets were telling them that they could continue to live in peace, contrary to the word of God that Babylon would attack and overcome them. Plus, that specific passage is referring to “false visions and divinations.” If any of us irenic and charitable types are claiming to have visions and divinations, particularly those which contradict scripture, you’d have a case. You know full well that you are lying when you make these accusations against us. Should I therefore judge you lost for this slander?

Christian: The false prophets in the Old Testament spoke “peace, peace” apart from the only ground of peace to idolatrous and rebellious Israel. The false teachers in the New Testament do the same (2 Peter 2:1). People like James White and yourself are telling obvious God-haters that they will “continue to live in peace” contrary to the Word of God in Galatians 1:8-9. It is your gleeful desire to confine analogous Scriptures to the cobwebs of the theological museum basement. Ezekiel and Jeremiah paint clear analogous pictures of what happens to those who profess belief in the true gospel standard, but who make their judgments by a false gospel standard. But you insidiously doom them to irrelevancy.