How to Discern : Understanding the Bible (Part 2/6)

By Pastor Anton Bosch 

Understanding the Bible

Many people will agree that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God. The problem however is often how it is interpreted. How can we be sure that our understanding is the right one?

In discerning truth from error, we must begin by understanding Truth for ourselves. Many people try to discover the Truth by analyzing and dissecting error. You simply cannot do that. It is like someone trying to drive a car by looking only in the rearview mirror while trying to move forward. You cannot see where you are going by looking where others have gone wrong. So before we try to judge error or someone else’s doctrine, we need to be sure about what we believe. I agree, that many are prompted by the rise of some error to study truth. But, if you want to learn the truth on some matter, you will only learn it by studying the Bible, not by studying the mistakes of others. So what must I do to understand?

First I must ask God for wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). The same Spirit Who inspired the men to write the Bible (2Timothy 3:16, 2Peter 1:21), is available to help us understand what is written. The Bible is not an academic book which can be studied in an intellectual way only. Yes, the Bible is logically sound and intellectually deep, but it is primarily a spiritual book in which God speaks to His people. And His Spirit will lead, guide and counsel us so we may come “into all truth” (John 16:13). Studying the Bible is both an academic and spiritual exercise. Read it in a “spiritual” way without applying sound reasoning and you will not discover the Truth. But study it as academic literature without the Spirit’s help and you will most certainly end in error. Pray David’s prayer every time you approach the Word: “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” (Psalm 119:18). Continue reading

How to Discern : How to Smell a Rat (Part 1 /6)

By Pastor Anton Bosch 

 How to Smell a Rat (Part 1 /6)

A toddler will eat anything. It does not matter if it is nutritious or poison, it has no ability to discern between food and poison.

As Christians mature in the faith they should learn to discern between spiritual poison and spiritual food. “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14). The problem is that the vast majority of modern-day “Christians” are either not born again or have been kept in a perpetual state of babyhood and thus are unable to discern the difference between truth and error. Because of this, and because we have a new generation of church-goers who do not know the Bible, false teachers have multiplied and millions believe anything these preachers say.

Discriminating between truth and error is really not that difficult as long as we abide by a few basic principles. The first of these is that truth is absolute. I use the term “absolute” as the opposite of “relative”. For most people – Christian and non-Christian – truth is relative. We hear: Continue reading

Why Discernment Ministries Fail (and Succeed) (1)

Grant Swart

SHINY FAKE GOLD-PLATED COINS

Regrettable and diverse are the failures of an overabundance of internet based “discernment” ministries, websites, programs and blogs. Frequently, these self-titled so-called discernment ministries are highly visible, easily accessible and are presented to the world as being representative of the truth. These presentations are the creations of self-appointed “watchmen” who claim divine inspiration for their discernment ability over and above that which is available to the average Christian believer. In addition, these “watchmen” defend their position, which by the very nature of their “ministries” cannot be described as biblical, with an aggressive fervour which borders on occultic fanaticism.

Undeniably, there has always been a biblical imperative for true watchmen to guard against and warn the faithful in the church about attacks launched by the Evil one and his followers against the truth. Continue reading

Contentiously Contending

By Anton Bosch 

Pastor Bosch explains why he wrote these articles in his Foreword:

I wrote the articles in response to several decades of participation with, and observation of, many apologetic or discernment type ministries. While I see a great need for watchmen who will faithfully sound the alarm at the attacks of the enemy, I also see the need for those involved in this vital ministry to go about this work in a godly way.

I am deeply concerned that many who involve themselves in these ministries do so for the wrong reasons and/or with the wrong attitude. In the process they cause more damage than the very error they are trying to correct.

My intention with these humble words is not to discredit or discourage those who sound the alarm, but to exhort such to use the right methods, with the right attitude. I also wish to warn those believers who have become aware of the great deception going on in the Church that a wrong attitude is just as erroneous as wrong doctrine. It does not help if we have our doctrine straight but our attitude does not accord with the Spirit of Christ.  Continue reading