Sabtu, Januari 26, 2008


The Doctrine of Separation and its Basis in the Doctrine of God.

In the Westminster Shorter Catechism Q4, “What is God?” The answer is “God is a spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.” Vincent defines the holiness of God as “his essential property, whereby he is infinitely pure; loveth and delighteth in his own purity, and in all the resemblances of it which any of his creatures have; and is perfectly free from all impurity, and hateth it wherever he seeth it” (Thomas Vincent, The Shorter Catechism of The Westminster Assembly Explained and Proved from Scripture [Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth, 1674], 31).

The Hebrew word for “holy,” or “holiness” is the word qadash or qodesh. The verb qadash “connotes the state of that which belongs to the sphere of the sacred” (TWOT, sv “qdsh,” by Thomas E McComiskey). The noun qodesh “connotes the concept of ‘holiness,’ ie, the essential nature of that which belongs to the sphere of the sacred and which is thus distinct from the common or profane” (Ibid). The etymology of the word is significant. Scholars have suggested that “the root qdsh is derived from an original bilateral qd (“cut”). ... The meaning ‘to separate’ is favored” (Ibid).

In the NT, the parallel words for qadash and qodesh are the Greek hagiazo and hagiasmos respectively. It signifies “separation to God” and “the conduct befitting those so separated” (Vine, Dictionary, 565) . The essential element of holiness is that of separation. Separation is intrinsic to the doctrine of holiness. We separate from all forms of unbelief and apostasy because it is God’s nature to separate from such. The God of the Bible is a God who is holy. Being holy, He demands the same from His people. God said in both the OT and NT, “Ye shall be holy, for I the LORD your God, am holy” (Lev 19:1, 1 Pet 1:16). Buswell said that our code of Christian conduct is, “ultimately derived from the holy character of God Himself. Right is right and wrong is wrong, ultimately because God is holy. We have knowledge of what is right and what is wrong because God’s holy character has been revealed by His holy will” (J O Buswell, A Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion [Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1962], 1:67). That is why as Christians, being identified with the holy God, we are called saints.

The word “saint” is the Greek hagios which means “holy one.” The “os” ending of the adjective denotes the idea of possession (Chamberlain, Grammar, 13). In other words, a hagios is one who is characterised by holiness. It must be clarified that when we say a Christian is characterised by holiness, we do not mean he is sinlessly perfect. What we do mean is that as saints, we have been declared righteous, and are positionally sanctified. It does not mean that the sin nature has been totally eradicated. The sinful nature is very much a part of us as long as we are in our mortal bodies.

We constantly experience the struggle between the law of God and the law of sin within us (Rom 7:21-25). But victory is ours when we walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Rom 8:1-4). Therefore, as we progress in our Christian pilgrimage on earth, we should grow more and more Christlike, and be separated from the world and her evil ways.

The Doctrine of Separation and its Application in the Doctrine of the Church.

The Westminster Confession of Faith defines the Church in this way, “The Catholick or universal church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of elect that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. “The visible church, which is also catholick or universal under the gospel, (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion, together with their children; and is the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation” (XXV.1,2).

Our concern in this section is not so much the invisible church, but the visible church—the church here and now seen in the world. The invisible church is perfect. Every true believer, predestined by God, belongs to the invisible church. The church visible, on the other hand, is imperfect. It consists of a “mixed multitude” consisting of both genuine and professing believers. Professing believers are those who claim to be Christians, but actually still unregenerate. The Westminster Confession states, “The purest churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error; and some have so degenerated as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan. Nevertheless, there shall be always a church on earth to worship God, according to his will” (XXV.5).

There is no such thing as a perpetually perfect visible church. It is true that the NT church in the very beginning manifested perfection for “all that believed were together, and had all things common ... continuing daily with one accord.” However, this was but a brief spell for soon there came “a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected.” Later, we read of certain practical problems introduced by false believers which led the Jerusalem Council to decree that the Gentile Christians need not be circumcised (Acts 2:44; 6:1; 15:1-29).

As we read the Epistles, we notice that the Apostles had to address problems within the church. There was not one church that was absolutely free from problems. There was tremendous difficulty in maintaining the unity and purity of the church. False teachers had crept in unawares and brought in damnable heresies (Jude 4, 2 Pet 2:1). This led some churches to move away from the doctrines taught by the Apostles (Gal 1:6, Rev 2-3).

From Jeffrey Khoo was written, he said, although the church is marked by imperfections, it does not mean that we adopt an indifferent attitude and allow such shortcomings to persist. As much as every Christian seeks daily to be more Christlike, so must the church strive to be pure. By virtue of the fact that the church is called ekklesia (lit, “called out”), it is required of her to remain separate. She must be careful to purge herself from all impurities, and keep herself chaste for her Husband—the Lord Jesus Christ. Any wrongful association or unholy yoke is tantamount to adultery.



Filsafat adalah pandangan hidup seseorang atau sekelompok orang yang merupakan konsep dasar mcngenai kehidupan yang dicita-citakan. Filsafat juga diartikan sebagai suatu sikap seseorang yang sadar dan dewasa dalam memikirkan segala sesuatu secara mendalam dan ingin melihat dari segi yang luas dan menyeluruh dengan segala hubungan. Pendidikan adalah bantuan yang diberikan dengan sengaja kepada anak dalam pertumbuhan jasmani maupun rohaninya untuk mencapai tingkat dewasa. Pendidikan adalah upaya mengembangkan potensi-potensi manusiawi peserta didik baik potensi fisik potensi cipta, rasa, maupun karsanya, agar potensi itu menjadi nyata dan dapat berfungsi dalam perjalanan hidupnya. Dasar pendidikan adalah cita-cita kemanusiaan universal. Pendidikan bertujuan menyiapkan pribadi dalam keseimbangan, kesatuan. organis, harmonis, dinamis. guna mencapai tujuan hidup kemanusiaan. Jadi Filsafat pendidikan adalah filsafat yang digunakan dalam studi mengenai masalah-masalah pendidikan.

A. Teologi seorang guru PAK mempengaruhi filsafat pendidikan dan kinerjanya.

Filsafat pendidikan terdiri dari apa yang diyakini seorang guru mengenai pendidikan, atau merupakan kumpulan prinsip yang membimbing tindakan profesional guru. Setiap guru baik mengetahui atau tidak memiliki suatu filsafat pendidikan, yaitu seperangkat keyakinan mengenai bagaimana manusia belajar dan tumbuh serta apa yang harus manusia pelajari agar dapat tinggal dalam kehidupan yang baik.

Filsafat pendidikan secara fital juga berhubungan dengan pengembangan semua aspek pengajaran. Dengan menempatkan filsafat pendidikan pada tataran praktis, para guru dapat menemukan berbagai pemecahan permasalahan pendidikan.

Terdapat hubungan yang kuat antara perilaku guru dengan keyakinannya:
a. Keyakinan mengenai pengajaran dan pembelajaran. Komponen penting filsafat pendidikan seorang guru adalah bagaimana memandang pengajaran dan pembelajaran, dengan kata lain, apa peran pokok guru? Sebagian guru memandang pengajaran sebagai sains, suatu aktifitas kompleks. Sebagian lain memandang sebagai suatu seni, pertemuan yang sepontan, tidak berulang dan kreatif antara guru dan siswa. Yang lainnya lagi memandang sebagai aktifitas sains dan seni. Berkenaan dengan pembelajaran, sebagian guru menekankan pengalaman-pengalaman dan kognisi siswa, yang lainnya menekankan perilaku siswa.
b. Keyakinan mengenai siswa. Akan berpengaruh besar pada bagaimana guru mengajar? Seperti apa siswa yang guru yakini, itu didasari pada pengalaman kehidupan unik guru. Pandangan negatif terhadap siswa menampilkan hubungan guru-siswa pada ketakutan dan penggunaan kekerasan tidak didasarkan kepercayaan dan kemanfaatan.Guru yang memiliki pemikiran filsafat pendidikan mengetahui bahwa anak-anak berbeda dalam kecenderungan untuk belajar dan tumbuh.
c. Keyakinan mengenai pengetahuan. Berkaitan dengan bagaimana guru melaksanakan pengajaran. Dengan filsafat pendidikan, guru akan dapat memandang pengetahuan secara menyeluruh, tidak merupakan potongan-potongan kecil subyek atau fakta yang terpisah.
d. Keyakinan mengenai apa yang perlu diketahui. Guru menginginkan para siswanya belajar sebagai hasil dari usaha mereka, dimana hal ini berhubungan dalam keyakinan (teologi)nya yang harus diajarkan kepada murid/siswa.

B. Asas mengajar seorang guru PAK jika menerapkan pemikiran progresivisme.

Filsafat pendidikan merupakan aplikasi filsafat dalam pendidikan. Pendidikan membutuhkan filsafat karena masalah-masalah pendidikan tidak hanya menyangkut pelaksanaan pendidikan yang dibatasi pengalaman, tetapi masalah-masalah yang lebih luas, lebih dalam, serta lebih kompleks, yang tidak dibatasi pengalaman maupun fakta-fakta pendidikan, dan tidak memungkinkan dapat dijangkau oleh sains pendidikan.

Seorang guru, baik sebagai pribadi maupun sebagai pelaksana pendidikan, perlu mengetahui filsafat pendidikan. Seorang guru perlu memahami dan tidak boleh buta terhadap filsafat pendidikan, karena tujuan pendidikan senantiasa berhubungan langsung dengan tujuan hidup dan kehidupan individu maupun masyarakat yang menyelenggarakan pendidikan. Tujuan pendidikan perlu dipahami dalam hubungannya dengan tujuan hidup. Guru sebagai pribadi mempunyai tujuan hidupnya dan guru sebagai warga masyarakat mempunyai tujuan hidup bersama.

Filsafat pendidikan harus mampu memberikan pedoman kepada para pendidik (guru).
Keterbukaan pikiran disertai dengan kerangka orientasi ke masa depan melahirkan progresivitas pemikiran guru PAK. Ia menjadi guru PAK yang berpikir ke depan melalui pergaulannya dengan banyak kalangan dari berbagai situasi dan kalangan. Itulah yang menjadikan pikiran guru PAK tetap. Guru PAK menggunakan berbagai pengetahuan yang dimiliki bukan sebagai resep atau dogma, melainkan sebagai alat untuk menganalisis dan memahami kenyataan hidup di masyarakat, khususnya murid / siswa. Dari situ, dapat memahami guru PAK sebagai orang yang berorientasi pada masalah yang dihadapi, bukan pada aliran atau teori tertentu. Rumusan-rumusan konsep pendidikan yang dipaparkannya secara jelas menunjukkan keterlibatannya dengan persolan-persoalan pendidikan yang dihadapi oleh ke-manusia-an di masa hidupnya. Dari pergulatannya dengan berbagai persoalan itu, lahirlah pemikiran-pemikiran progresif yang memberi solusi konstruktif.

C. Pandangan kosmologi, antropologi, teologi, dan ontologi seorang guru Pemdidikan Agama Kristen.

Peranan filsafat pendidikan ditinjau dari tiga lapangan filsafat, yaitu:

Kosmologi. Metafisika merupakan bagian filsafat yang mempelajari masalah hakekat: hakekat dunia, hakekat manusia, termasuk di dalamnya hakekat anak. Kosmologi secara praktis akan menjadi persoalan utama dalam pendidikan. Karena anak bergaul dengan dunia sekitarnya, maka ia memiliki dorongan yang kuat untuk memahami tentang segala sesuatu yang ada. Memahami filsafat ini diperlukan secara implisit untuk mengetahui tujuan pendidikan.
Seorang guru seharusnya tidak hanya tahu tentang hakekat dunia dimana ia tinggal, tetapi harus tahu hakekat manusia, khususnya hakekat anak. Hakekat manusia: manusia adalah makhluk jasmani rohani, manusia adalah makhluk individual sosial, manusia adalah makhluk yang bebas, manusia adalah makhluk menyejarah.

Peran filsafat pendidikan bagi guru, dengan filsafat metafisika guru mengetahui hakekat manusia, khususnya anak sehingga tahu bagaimana cara memperlakukannya dan berguna untuk mengetahui tujuan pendidikan. Dengan filsafat epistemologi guru mengetahui apa yang harus diberikan kepada siswa, bagaimana cara memperoleh pengetahuan, dan bagaimana cara menyampaikan pengetahuan tersebut. Dengan filsafat aksiologi guru memehami yang harus diperoleh siswa tidak hanya kuantitas pendidikan tetapi juga kualitas kehidupan karena pengetahuan tersebut.

Antropologi. Pendidikan yang intinya mendidik dan mengajar ialah pertemuan antara pendidik sebagai subjek dan peserta didik sebagai subjek pula dimana terjadi pemberian bantuan kepada pihak yang belakangan dalaam upaayanya belajr mencapai kemandirian dalam batas-batas yang diberikan oleh dunia disekitarnya. Atas dasar pandangan filsafah yang bersifat dialogis ini maka 3 dasar antropologis berlaku universal tidak hanya (1) sosialitas dan (2) individualitas, melainkan juga (3) moralitas. Kiranya khusus untuk Indonesia apabila dunia pendidikan nasional didasarkan atas kebudayaan nasional yang menjadi konteks dari sistem pengajaran nasional disekolah, tentu akan diperlukan juga dasar antropologis pelengkap yaitu (4) religiusitas, yaitu pendidik dalam situasi pendidikan sekurangkurangnya secara mikro berhamba kepada kepentingan terdidik sebagai bagian dari pengabdian lebih besar kepada Tuhan Yang Maha Esa.

Teologi. Yang menentukan filsafat pendidikan seorang guru adalah seperangkat keyakinan yang dimiliki dan berhubungan kuat dengan perilaku guru, yaitu: Keyakinan mengenai pengajaran dan pembelajaran, siswa, pengetahuan, dan apa yang perlu diketahui.
Hal tersebut akan mewarnai sikap perilakunya dalam mengelola proses belajar mengajar. Selain itu, pemahaman teologi akan menjauhkan guru PAK dari perbuatan meraba-raba, mencoba-coba tanpa rencana dalam menyelesaikan masalah-masalah pendidikan. Maka di sini teologi sebagai penerang kuat, bagaimana seharusnya seorang guru PAK bersikap, baik ke terhadap dirinya maupun terhadap siswa / murid. Sehingga siswa / murid di bawa ke dalam pola hidup yang benar sesuai dengan kebenaran yang teologi (Alkitab) ajarkan.

Epistemologi. Kumpulan pertanyaan berikut yang berhubungan dengan para guru adalah epistemologi. Pengetahuan apa yang benar? Bagaimana mengetahui itu berlangsung? Bagaimana kita mengetahui bahwa kita mengetahui? Bagaimana kita memutuskan antara dua pandangan pengetahuan yang berlawanan? Apakah kebenaran itu konstan, ataukah kebenaran itu berubah dari situasi satu kesituasi lainnya? Dan akhirnya pengetahuan apakah yang paling berharga?
Bagaimana menjawab pertanyaan epistemologis tersebut, itu akan memiliki implikasi signifikan untuk pendekatan kurikulum dan pengajaran. Pertama guru harus menentukan apa yang benar mengenai muatan yang diajarkan, kemudian guru harus menentukan alat yang paling tepat untuk membawa muatan ini bagi siswa. Meskipun ada banyak cara mengetahui, setidaknya ada lima cara mengetahui sesuai dengan minat / kepentingan masing-masing guru, yaitu mengetahui berdasarkan otoritas, wahyu tuhan, empirisme, nalar, dan intuisi. Guru tidak hanya mengetahui bagaimana siswa memperoleh pengetahuan, melainkan juga bagaimana siswa belajar. Dengan demikian epistemologi memberikan sumbangan bagi teori pendidikan dalam menentukan kurikulum. Pengetahuan apa yang harus diberikan kepada anak dan bagaimana cara untuk memperoleh pengetahuan tersebut, begitu juga bagaimana cara menyampaikan pengetahuan tersebut.

Dasar epistemologis diperlukan oleh pendidikan atau pakar ilmu pendidikan demi mengembangkan ilmunya secara produktif dan bertanggung jawab. Sekalaipun pengumpulan data di lapangan sebagaian dapat dilakukan oleh tenaga pemula namuntelaah atas objek formil ilmu pendidikan memerlukaan pendekatan fenomenologis yang akan menjalin stui empirik dengan studi kualitatif-fenomenologis. Pendekaatan fenomenologis itu bersifat kualitaatif, artinya melibatkan pribadi dan diri peneliti sabagai instrumen pengumpul data secara pasca positivisme. Karena itu penelaaah dan pengumpulan data diarahkan oleh pendidik atau ilmuwan sebagaai pakar yang jujur dan menyatu dengan objeknya. Karena penelitian tertuju tidak hnya pemahaman dan pengertian (verstehen, Bodgan & Biklen, 1982) melainkan unuk mencapai kearifan (kebijaksanaan atau wisdom) tentang fenomen pendidikan maka vaaliditas internal harus dijaga betul dalm berbagai bentuk penlitian dan penyelidikan seperti penelitian koasi eksperimental, penelitian tindakan, penelitian etnografis dan penelitian ex post facto. Inti dasar epistemologis ini adalah agar dapat ditentukan bahaawa dalam menjelaskaan objek formaalnya, telaah ilmu pendidikan tidaak hanya mengembangkan ilmu terapan melainkan menuju kepada telaah teori dan ilmu pendidikan sebgaai ilmu otonom yang mempunyi objek formil sendiri atau problematika sendiri sekalipun tidak dapat hnya menggunkaan pendekatan kuantitatif atau pun eksperimental (Campbell & Stanley, 1963). Dengan demikian uji kebenaran pengetahuan sangat diperlukan secara korespondensi, secara koheren dan sekaligus secara praktis dan atau pragmatis (Randall &Buchler,1942).

Ontologis. Pada latar filsafat diperlukan dasar ontologis dari ilmu pendidikan. Adapun aspek realitas yang dijangkau teori dan ilmu pendidikan melalui pengalaman pancaindra ialah dunia pengalaman manusia secara empiris. Objek materil ilmu pendidikan ialah manusia seutuhnya, manusia yang lengkap aspek-aspek kepribadiannya, yaitu manusia yang berakhlak mulia dalam situasi pendidikan atau diharapokan melampaui manusia sebagai makhluk sosial mengingat sebagai warga masyarakat ia mempunyai ciri warga yang baik (good citizenship atau kewarganegaraan yang sebaik-baiknya).

Agar pendidikan dalam praktek terbebas dari keragu-raguan, maka objek formal ilmu pendidikan dibatasi pada manusia seutuhnya di dalam fenomena atau situasi pendidikan. Didalam situiasi sosial manusia itu sering berperilaku tidak utuh, hanya menjadi makhluk berperilaku individual dan/atau makhluk sosial yang berperilaku kolektif. Hal itu boleh-boleh saja dan dapat diterima terbatas pada ruang lingkup pendidikan makro yang berskala besar mengingat adanya konteks sosio-budaya yang terstruktur oleh sistem nilai tertentu. Akan tetapipada latar mikro, sistem nilai harus terwujud dalam hubungan inter dan antar pribadi yang menjadi syarat mutlak (conditio sine qua non) bagi terlaksananya mendidik dan mengajar, yaitu kegiatan pendidikan yang berskala mikro. Hal itu terjadi mengingat pihak pendidik yang berkepribadiaan sendiri secara utuh memperlakukan peserta didiknya secara terhormat sebagai pribai pula, terlpas dari factor umum, jenis kelamin ataupun pembawaanya. Jika pendidik tidak bersikap afektif utuh demikian makaa menurut Gordon (1975: Ch. I) akan terjadi mata rantai yang hilang (the missing link) atas faktor hubungan serta didik-pendidik atau antara siswa-guru. Dengan begitu pendidikan hanya akan terjadi secar kuantitatif sekalipun bersifat optimal, misalnya hasil THB summatif, NEM atau pemerataan pendidikan yang kurang mengajarkan demokrasi jadi kurang berdemokrasi. Sedangkan kualitas manusianya belum tentu utuh.

D. Pemahaman dan korelasional yang harus dimiliki seorang guru PAK tentang etika dan estetika.

Etika dan estetika merupakan bagian dalam filsafat Aksiologi. Aksiologi adalah cabang filsafat yang membahas nilai baik dan nilai buruk, indah dan tidak indah, erat kaitannya dengan pendidikan, karena dunia nilai akan selalu dipertimbangkan atau akan menjadi dasar pertimbangan dalam menentukan tujuan pendidikan. Langsung atau tidak langsung, nilai akan menentukan perbuatan pendidikan. Nilai merupakan hubungan sosial. Pertanyaan-pertanyaan aksiologis yang harus dijawab guru adalah: Nilai-nilai apa yang dikenalkan guru kepada siswa untuk diadopsi? Nilai-nilai apa yang mengangkat manusia pada ekspresi kemanusiaan yang tertinggi? Nilai-nilai apa yang bener-benar dipegang orang yang benar-benar terdidik? Pada intinya aksiologi menyoroti fakta bahwa guru memiliki suatu minat tidak hanya pada kuantitas pengetahuan yang diperoleh siswa melainkan juga dalam kualitas kehidupan yang dimungkinkan karena pengetahuan. Pengetahuan yang luas tidak dapat memberi keuntungan pada individu jika ia tidak mampu menggunakan pengetahuan untuk kebaikan.

Kemanfaatan teori pendidikan tidak hanya perlu sebagai ilmu yang otonom tetapi juga diperlukan untuk memberikan dasar yang sebaik-baiknya bagi pendidikan sebagai proses pembudayaan manusia secara beradab. Oleh karena itu nilai ilmu pendidikan tidak hanya bersifat intrinsic sebagai ilmu seperti seni untuk seni, melainkan juga nilai ekstrinsik dan ilmu untuk menelaah dasar-dasar kemungkinan bertindak dalam praktek mmelalui kontrol terhadap pengaruh yang negatif dan meningkatkan pengaruh yang positif dalam pendidikan. Dengan demikian ilmu pendidikan tidak bebas nilai mengingat hanya terdapat batas yang sangat tipis antar pekerjaan ilmu pendidikan dan tugas pendidik sebagi pedagok. Dalam hal ini relevan sekali untuk memperhatikan pendidikan sebagai bidang yang sarat nilai seperti dijelaskan oleh Phenix (1966). Itu sebabnya pendidikan memerlukan teknologi pula tetapi pendidikan bukanlah bagian dari iptek. Namun harus diakui bahwa ilmu pendidikan belum jauh pertumbuhannya dibandingkan dengan kebanyakan ilmu sosial dan ilmu perilaku. Lebih-lebih di Indonesia.
Implikasinya ialah bahwa ilmupendidikan lebih dekat kepada ilmu prilaku kepada ilmu-ilmu sosial, dan harus menolak pendirian lain bahwa di dalam kesatuan ilmu-ilmu terdapat unifikasi satu-sayunyaa metode ilmiah (Kalr Perason,1990).

E. Relevansi teori empirisme, nativisme, dan konvergensi dalam PAK.

Tujuan filsafat pendidikan memberikan inspirasi bagaimana mengorganisasikan proses pembelajaran yang ideal. Teori pendidikan bertujuan menghasilkan pemikiran tentang kebijakan dan prinsip-rinsip pendidikan yang didasari oleh filsafat pendidikan. Praktik pendidikan atau proses pendidikan menerapkan serangkaian kegiatan berupa implementasi kurikulum dan interaksi antara guru dengan peserta didik guna mencapai tujuan pendidikan dengan menggunakan rambu-rambu dari teori-teori pendidikan. Peranan filsafat pendidikan memberikan inspirasi, yakni menyatakan tujuan pendidikan negara bagi masyarakat, memberikan arah yang jelas dan tepat dengan mengajukan pertanyaan tentang kebijakan pendidikan dan praktik di lapangan dengan menggunakan rambu-rambu dari teori pendidik. Seorang guru perlu menguasai konsep-konsep yang akan dikaji serta pedagogi atau ilmu dan seni mengajar materi subyek terkait, agar tidak terjadi salah konsep atau miskonsepsi pada diri peserta didik

Teori / hukum Empirisme (John Locke, tahun 1632 – 1704), dimana perkembangan pribadi ditentukan oleh lingkungan, terutama lingkungan pendidikan. Manusia laksana kertas putih. Teori / hukum Nativisme (Arthur Schopenhauer, tahun 1988 – 1860), dimana perkembangan pribadi manusia hanya ditentukan oleh faktor hereditas atau faktor koderati. Teori / hukum konvergensi (William Stern, tahun 1971 – 1938), dimana perkembangan pribadi manusia merupakan akumulasi dari dari interaksi-sinergis antara potensi dasar dengan lingkungan pendidikan. Yang menjadi relevansi dari ketiga teori / hukum ini adalah bahwa teori / hukum konvergensi merupakan gabungan yang sinergis antara teori / hukum Empirisme dan Nativisme.

Sesuatu dipandang sah dilakukan, jika ada manfaatnya. Manusia akan berkembang jika berinteraksi dengan lingkungan berdasarkan hereditas dan kemampuan berpikir dalam dirinya. Sekolah merupakan lingkungan khusus yang menjadi penyambung lingkungan yang lebih umum. Sekolah berfungsi menyeleksi dan menyederhanakan kebudayaan yang berguna bagi individu. Belajar harus dilakukan oleh siswa secara aktif dengan pendekatan pemecahan masalah.
Progresivisme atau gerakan progresif pengembangan teori pendidikan mendasarkan diri pada beberapa prinsip, yaitu: anak harus bebas berkembang secara wajar, pengalaman langsung picu utama minat belajar, guru harus menjadi peneliti dan pembimbing anak, Sekolah harus menjadi ujung tombak reformasi pedagogis dan eksperimen.

F. Manfaat mempelajari Filsafat Pendidikan Agama Kristen.

Setelah menempuh mata kuliah ini penulis paling tidak kesadaran dan memiliki dasar pemikiran filosofis dan teoritis mengenai pendidikan dalam lingkup pengajaran makro berlandaskan epistemologis dan lingkup belajar-mengajar mikro berlandaskan interaksi insani, memiliki wawasan yang luas dan dalam mengenai berbagai pandangan fislafat dan teori pendidikan. Penulis mampu pula mengidentifikasi permasalahan pendidikan yang ditemuinya dalam keseharian pendidikan dan mencarikan jalan keluarnya. Diharapkan juga dengan landasan ini, penulis akan mampu membina dan mengembangkan program pendidikan serta memecahkan persoalan pendidikan pada umumnya, dan khususnya yang timbul dan dihadapi di Indonesia baik dalam rangka otonomi daerah maupun dekonsentrasi pendidikan guru dan Pendidikan Agama Kristen.

”Filsafat Pendidikan Agama Kristen” membahas persoalan filsafati dan teoritis mengenai pendidikan, baik dasar pemikiran maupun penerapannya dalam praktek serta pemecahan masalah-masalah mikro dan makro pendidikan, dengan menempatkan permasalahan pendidikan tersebut pada pemikiran filsafat maupun teoritis. Maka perkuliahan ini juga menyoroti pelbagai landasan pendidikan, serta pendidikan dalam praktek dengan ilmu pengetahuan termasuk pedagogik, dengan filsafat pendidikan serta dengan berbagai disiplin keilmuan lain. Dalam studi ini digunakan pendekatan filsafat, teoritis-sistematis, historis, maupun komparatif, yang mana dari itu semua dilandasi oleh pemikiran teologi Kristen, sebagai pengejawantahan dari Alkitab.

1. Ardiani, Guru dan Filsafat Pendidikan.
2. Bogdan & Biklen, Qualitative Research For Education. Boston MA: Allyn Bacon, 1982.
3. Campbell & Stanley, Experimental & Quasi-Experimental Design for Research. Chicago : Rand McNelly, 1963.
4. Henderson, SVP, Introduction to Philosophy of Education.Chicago : Univ. of Chicago Press, 1954.
5. Heryanto, Nunu, Pentingnya Landasan Filsafat Ilmu Pendidikan Bagi Pendidikan (Suatu Tinjauan Filsafat Sains).
6. Gordon, Thomas, Teacher Effectiveness Training. NY: Peter h. Wydenpub, 1974.
7. Kneller, George F. , Introduction to the Philosophy of Education. John Willey Sons Inc, New York, 1971.
8. dll.

Rabu, Januari 16, 2008

What is Speaking in Tongues?


There are many sincere believers who hold to a practice wherein they claim to speak in a special prayer language understandable only by God. The purpose of this lesson is not to discourage or disparage these dedicated believers, but simply to explain why many believers do not share in the same beliefs and practices.

A Purpose for Speaking in Other Tongues

In John 14:26 and 16:13, Jesus was speaking to His disciples about the time to come following His death, burial, and resurrection. In these two verses He spoke about the coming of the Holy Spirit, who would "teach you all things" and "guide you into all truth." Several passages in the NT refer to the work of the Holy Spirit and the miraculous, spiritual gifts manifested in the early church.

Mark 16:17-20 says, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; in My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word with signs following. Amen."

Hebrews 2:3-4 says, "How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders, and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will?"

These last two passages both refer to the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit which were in existence in the 1st century church. These two passages teach that one great purpose of these spiritual gifts was to aid in the proclamation of the word of God, and to help in confirming what was being proclaimed.

Speaking in Different Tongues on the Day of Pentecost

In Acts chapter 2, we find the glorious beginning of the church on the day of Pentecost. This great event was made possible by the power of the Holy Spirit enabling the apostles (though the 120 persons mentioned in 1:15 may have all been present, those who received this anointing were deemed in 2:7 to be Galileans, thus most likely indicating the apostles only) to "speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (2:4). This ability was necessary because people had gathered in Jerusalem "from every nation under heaven" (2:5). In order for the great news to be convincingly proclaimed and understood by all these people, this miraculous gift was certainly needed.

The word "tongue" is from the Hebrew word lashon (Strong #3956), which is found 115 times in the OT and generally refers either to the physical organ of speech or a human language of speech. In the Greek, the word is glossa (Strong #1100); it is found 50 times in the NT. It too, like the Hebrew word, refers at times to the physical tongue or, according to Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, "the language used by a particular people in distinction from that of other nations." Thayer clarifies that the phrase "speak with other tongues" in Acts 2:4 means "to speak with other than their native, i.e. in foreign tongues; to speak with new tongues which the speaker has not learned previously."

Acts 2:6 further clarifies the meaning of such when the word dialektos (dialect) is used; it says when the apostles spoke, "every man heard them speak in his own language." Therefore, the utterances of the apostles on that occasion were not incomprehensible syllables, but were, in fact, clearly understood words and sentences spoken in the languages and dialects of the people assembled before them on that day.

Notice verses 9-11: there we find a list of folks from over a dozen different places, each speaking different languages and/or dialects. And yet the apostles, being filled with the Holy Spirit, were miraculously able to speak in all these languages, even though they had never before been able to do so. Jesus had said in John 14:12, "Greater works than these shall [you] do." Surely such came to pass on this day as it appears the apostles did something here not done by Jesus Himself. (This gift would apparently be further needed at times to obey the command of Jesus in Mark 16:15, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.")

It is debated as to the exact manner in which all this proceeded on that day. It is evident that Peter was not the only one preaching, at least in the beginning. In Acts 2:11, the listeners declared, "We hear them [the various apostles] in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God." There is a question, however, as to exactly what occurred when Peter stood to preach. V14 says, "But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: "Men of Judea, and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give heed to my words.""

It may be that Peter addressed first only those he calls "men of Judea" in their native language, and then later he spoke to those of other languages. On the other hand, it may be that the other apostles continued to speak to other groups in their languages (with perhaps the same or similar words to that of Peter's, while only Peter's are recorded). Finally, it may be that all those gathered, while each having a particular language/dialect that they spoke and understood, were able to also understand the Jewish language spoken by Peter so that only one such address was then made. Regardless, the glorious word of God was proclaimed on that amazing day through the use of "tongues," that being a variety of real, human languages known by those in attendance.

Cornelius and the Ephesians

There are only two other instances in the book of Acts similar to that which occurred at Pentecost…

In Acts 10:44-47, we find the only other case where the Holy Spirit is said to directly fall upon anyone. On the day of Pentecost, it had happened to the apostles to enable the gospel to be proclaimed to the Jews. Here in Acts 10, it happened to show that the gospel was also for the Gentiles. Peter had earlier been given a vision to teach such. Then, in v44-46, while he was speaking to Cornelius and his household, "the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God." To confirm, not only to Peter, but also to the Jewish Christians present, that the gospel was also for the Gentiles, the Holy Spirit caused them (the Gentiles) to speak with tongues and exalt God. This is most similar to what occurred by the apostles in Acts 2:11 when the listeners declared, "We hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God." In fact, as Peter relates this episode in Jerusalem later, he said, "The Holy Spirit fell on them, just as He did upon us at the beginning" (11:15), thus evidently referring to what occurred at Pentecost.

The only other similar instance in Acts involved about 12 men in Ephesus. In Acts 19, Paul found some disciples who had been baptized "into John's baptism" (v3). Their response showed a great ignorance of the gospel; perhaps they had been baptized by some of John's disciples after Pentecost (and John's baptism in preparation of the kingdom thus ceasing) and had not been properly taught and baptized. Upon proper teaching, they were then "baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" (v5). Paul then laid his hands on them, "the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying" (v6). Notice this was not a "baptism of the Holy Spirit" directly from above as the gifts they received were conferred through the laying on of an apostle's hands (other occurrences of laying on of hands are recorded only in Acts 6:6 concerning the deacons and 8:17 concerning the Samaritans). Also notice that in both these instances (Cornelius and the Ephesian men), the same Greek word glossa is used, and there is no reason to believe that this is referring to anything other than real, human languages.

Speaking in Tongues in 1 Corinthians

The only other record in Scripture of miraculous "tongues" is to be found in 1 Corinthians 12-14. Despite what some sincere believers may think, there is no reason given to indicate that "tongues" here means anything other than real, human languages; the same Greek word glossa is again used here. An interpretation of this section of Scripture is clearly understood when viewed in light of this ordinary meaning of "tongues." Again, Paul gives us no reason to do otherwise.

He speaks to the Christians at Corinth about their use of miraculous, spiritual gifts. Evidently there was some controversy at Corinth regarding these gifts, particularly the gift of speaking in different tongues. Paul's comments in chapter 14 indicate that those who were blessed with the gift of speaking in different tongues were somewhat boastful of their particular gift, and that those who were not able to speak in tongues were envious of those who could. Paul wants to teach them that every gift is important, and that no one particular gift, not even speaking in other tongues, should be held as more important than other gifts.

In 1 Corinthians 12:4-12, Paul reminds them that every member is important, and that each gift is necessary "for the common good" (12:7). He clarifies in v10 and in v30 that not every Christian is able to speak in other tongues, and that speaking in other tongues should not be regarded as the most important spiritual gift.

In chapter 14, Paul's comments indicate that some aspects of their worship assemblies were not as they should be. Evidently various members were each trying to "steal the show" through the use of their particular gift, and those who could speak in other tongues were apparently doing so with little restraint. Paul instructs that the purpose of this particular gift was for teaching unbelievers (14:22), and that if there was no one present who understood that particular language, or there was no interpreter, they were to be silent. Otherwise, only God would be able to understand (14:2), and that was not the intent. Paul commands, "Let all things be done properly and in an orderly manner" (14:40).

Verses 26ff teach that each member should be given an opportunity to edify the others, and that no one should speak in another tongue (language), even though inspired by the Holy Spirit, unless someone was present who was able to understand that language and interpret for all assembled. Look at verses 32-33; this shows that they were to exercise control over the expression of their gifts; the Holy Spirit did not overpower them and leave them helpless and uncontrollable over their actions.

Miraculous Gift of Speaking in Tongues was Temporary

As important as these spiritual gifts were, Paul wanted the early Christians to understand that they were temporary, and that there was something more important they needed to develop. In 1 Corinthians chapter 13, Paul teaches that love is a gift or a quality that surpasses all others; it is a way that will endure throughout all the ages of mankind.

Some have misunderstood Paul's statement in v1 about the "tongues of men and of angels." Paul does not say (as some contend) that he spoke in some heavenly, angelic language. Rather he is using a figure of speech throughout these first 3 verses. He actually mentions five things that would be worthless without love:

Speaking in the tongues of angels (v1)
Knowing all mysteries and all knowledge (v2)
Having all faith so as to move mountains (v2)
Giving all his possessions to feed the poor (v3)
Giving his body to be burned (v3)

Notice in regards to all these things he said "IF" or "THOUGH" he could do so, if he didn't have love, it would profit nothing. He did not claim to literally do any of these things!

In this same chapter, Paul says that miraculous, spiritual gifts, while important and necessary for that time, were nevertheless temporal in nature and would some day cease to exist. 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 says, "Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part, and we prophecy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known."

The statement in verse 8, though often overlooked by many in the religious world, is clear: miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit were temporary in nature. There would come a time when they would stop. Concerning the gifts of miraculous prophecy and miraculous knowledge, Paul uses the Greek word katargeo, which means (according to Vine's Expository Dictionary) "to reduce to inactivity." Concerning the gift of tongues, Paul uses the word pauo, which means "to stop, to make an end." Vine further says regarding 13:8, "They were to be rendered of no effect after their temporary use was fulfilled [just as] when the apostle became a man he did away with the ways of a child."

When Were the Miraculous Gifts to End?

Verses 8-12 state that such gifts would some day cease to exist, and that such would happen "when the perfect comes." According to Thayer's lexicon, the word "perfect" is from the Greek word teleios (actually to teleion, neuter gender) which means something that is "brought to its end, finished; wanting nothing necessary to completeness; perfect."

It is suggested by some that this "completion" or "perfect" refers to the second coming of Christ (thus allowing for the gift of tongues, etc. to continue until the end of time). However, such would ultimately contradict what Paul says later in this chapter. Not only does he speak of gifts that will cease, but also of three gifts that will abide: faith, hope, and love (v13). Surely a gift that will abide has to last longer than a gift that will cease. However, the Bible teaches that faith and hope will, in fact, one day cease, when faith becomes sight and when hope is realized at the return of Christ. Love, the greatest of gifts, not only is abiding, but eternal.

Since faith and hope will cease at the return of Christ, and these are referred to as gifts that abide, the gifts that will cease (prophecy, knowledge, tongues) MUST cease prior to the return of Christ. This in itself does not say exactly when, but it proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the miraculous gifts must cease PRIOR to the return of Christ, not AT the return of Christ.

Looking again to v8-12, the context of the passage itself dictates what is being completed. Paul said in verse 10, "When the perfect comes, the partial will be done away." What was partial? The answer to that is in verse 9: "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part." At the time Paul wrote these words, their knowledge and understanding of God's will was only partial. God was still revealing His will to the relatively-infant church through the Holy Spirit who was inspiring the apostles in their teaching. It was therefore apparently God's intention that such miraculous gifts would continue throughout the time of the apostles, and that these miraculous gifts would thus pass away as the apostles themselves would pass away.

History does seems to support this in that there was little or no mention of such in the 2nd century and beyond. Philip Shaff, in his renowned work History of the Christian Church, appears to represent the majority of scholarship when he spoke of "the miraculous gifts of the apostolic church, which gradually disappeared as Christianity became settled in humanity, and its supernatural principle was naturalized on earth" (Vol. 2, p423).


There is little doubt but that the majority of those who claim to speak in tongues today are truly sincere believers who are striving to conform their lives and practices to what they believe the Bible to teach. There is also little doubt but that many such believers probably possess a greater degree of honest emotional fervor than do many other believers. As stated at the beginning of this lesson, there is no intent to condemn such people for their love for God and their desire to serve Him.

From All work of Bob Williams, he said, nevertheless, it is hoped that this lesson has adequately explained why many believers see no similarity between modern-day tongue-speaking and what occurred in the 1st century. As already mentioned, the modern claim is to speak in a special prayer language only God can understand. On the other hand, the New Testament seems clearly to speak of the gift as being given to only a few Christians of the 1st century, and that the gift was the ability to speak in real languages understandable by the people of that time.

Predestination and Calvinism


In John 3:16, Jesus said, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Who does God love? Everyone or just a select few? The Bible clearly teaches that God loves everyone and wishes for all to be saved; not all will, but it's not His fault. In Acts 10:34-35, Peter said, "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right, is welcome to Him."

Romans 2:10-11 says there will be "glory and honor and peace to every man who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God." Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:9 that the Lord is "not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance." Paul said in Titus 2:11: "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men." In 1 Timothy 2:4, he said that God "desires all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." Finally, John wrote in 1 John 2:2 that Jesus "is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world."

These and numerous other passages in Scripture show that God's grace is freely offered to all. There are many, however, who believe and teach otherwise. Many people in the religious world believe that, before man was ever created, God decided ahead of time whom He would save and whom He would condemn. They contend that Christ died only for those who are thus elected, and that it is impossible for those elected to refuse God's grace or ever turn away from it.


This doctrine of predestination was originated centuries ago by John Calvin (1509-1564). He said: "By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man. All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestined to life or to death. We say, then, that Scripture clearly proves this much, that God by his eternal and immutable counsel determined once for all those whom it was his pleasure one day to admit to salvation, and those whom, on the other hand, it was his pleasure to doom to destruction. We maintain that this counsel, as regards the elect, is founded on his free mercy, without any respect to human worth, while those whom he dooms to destruction are excluded from access to life by a just and blameless, but at the same time incomprehensible judgment" (Institutes, III.21.5,7, Beveridge translation).

The 5 points of Calvinistic Predestination (TULIP)

T -- Total Depravity - Human beings are so affected by the negative consequences of original sin that they are incapable of being righteous, and are always and unchangeably sinful; human freedom is totally enslaved by sin so we can only choose evil. Opposite doctrine is Depravation - Human beings are sinful, but we are born with the capacity to choose between good and evil. Man is thus capable of choosing to believe and love God and respond to Him.

U -- Unconditional Election - Since human beings cannot choose for themselves, God by His eternal decree has chosen or elected some to be counted as righteous, without any conditions being placed on that election. Opposite is Conditional Election - God has chosen that all humanity be righteous by His grace, yet has called us to respond to that grace by exercising our God-restored human freedom as a condition of fulfilling election.

L -- Limited Atonement - The effects of the Atonement, by which God forgave sinful humanity, is limited only to those whom He has chosen. Opposite is Unlimited Atonement - The effects of the Atonement are freely available to all those whom He has chosen, which includes all humanity, as in, "whosoever will may come."

I -- Irresistible Grace - The grace that God extends to human beings to effect their election cannot be refused, since it has been decreed by God. Opposite is Resistible Grace - God's grace is free and offered without merit; however, human beings have been granted freedom by God and can refuse His grace.

P -- Perseverance of the Saints - Since God has decreed the elect, and they cannot resist grace, they are unconditionally and eternally secure in that election. Opposite is Assurance and Security - There is security in God's grace that allows assurance of salvation, but that security is in relation to continued faithfulness; we can still defiantly reject God.

Total Depravity

Calvinist Michael Bremmer says, "The Scriptures teach that we are incapable by our own will or goodness to redeem ourselves from our depravity inherited through the sin of Adam. We cannot transform our character or moral disposition in any fashion that will redeem us from sin. Nor can we, in this state of sin, will to love and obey God or exercise faith; however, the heart of the matter is not that we cannot save ourselves, but that we do not want to be saved. Inability means humanity cannot redeem itself from its sin and corruption; depravity means humanity has no inclination to redeem itself. Salvation is impossible unless God supernaturally intercedes by electing and calling a particular people for Himself."

Calvinists teach that all are born guilty of original sin, i.e., the sin of Adam. In 1 Corinthians 15:22, Paul says, "In Adam all die." In Romans 5:12, he says, "Just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned." Ephesians 2:1-3 talks about those who were "by nature children of wrath." Calvinists interpret these passages to mean that all are born in sin (guilty of Adam's sin) and therefore spiritually dead (until called by God).

1 Corinthians 15:22 Calvinists claim that Paul here is speaking of spiritual death inherited by all because of Adam's sin. But Paul does not really appear to be speaking of spiritual death in these passages; the entire context of 1 Corinthians 15 is physical death and resurrection from death. It is mentioned over and over throughout the chapter, first in v3-4 and then in every verse starting at v12 and continuing through v22. V3-4 tell us that Christ died (physically) but was then resurrected. V12-22 tell us that since Christ rose from the dead, so can we. V21-22 teach that as physical death came about because of one man (Adam), resurrection from death comes about because of another man (Jesus). Paul says nothing about the guilt of Adam's sin being passed on to others, only the consequences--physical death.

Romans 5:12 It is again contended that Paul is referring to spiritual death in this passage; but is he? Paul's reference to Adam appears to be connected to his reference to Abraham in the previous chapter. The Jews felt salvation was due only them because they were descended from Abraham ("our forefather"-4:1), but Paul argues that salvation is also for the Gentiles. He shows that Jews and Gentiles are all descended from Adam and have something in common with him. His point is that all have physical death in common because of Adam, and that all can have life because of Christ. V12 says: "Through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin." This is consistent with Genesis 3:22-24 where it says that because of sin, Adam was driven out of the garden "lest he stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever." Though he did not die at that very moment, the sentence was then pronounced and provision for such was then completed.

Augustine (5th century forerunner of what would become Calvinism) based his doctrine of original sin primarily on Romans 5:12, but it should be noted that he had to rely upon the Latin text which states: "By one man sin entered the world, and death by sin; so death passed upon all men, for in him all men sinned." The phrase "in him" was used to teach that all are guilty of Adam's sin. However, in the more reliable Greek texts, "in him" is eph ho, which actually means "since, because, inasmuch as," and is so rendered in most modern translations. Such a rendering shows an emphasis, not on Adam's sin only, but also on the sins of all mankind thereafter. Death spread to all men because sin spread to all men.

In v13-14, Paul says there continued to be both sin and death from the time of Adam up until the time of Moses and the Law, but that "sin is not imputed when then is no law." In other words, they were suffering the consequences of sin (physical death) even though (because there was no law) they were not counted guilty of sin. In fact, v14 says there were "those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam." Adam transgressed concerning a law, but there was no law after Adam until Moses and therefore no guilt of sin, only the consequences of physical death.

If Paul were saying that all suffer spiritual death because of Adam's sin, then he could not say that "sin is not imputed" (v13). He would have had to say that even though there was no law, the guilt of Adam's sin was still imputed to them. That's basically what Calvin said, but it's the opposite of what Paul said. If sin is not imputed, then there is no guilt and no spiritual death. It was not the guilt of Adam's sin that was passed on to all, but rather the consequences, that being physical death.

In chapter 6, Paul goes on to speak of death metaphorically--actually in two ways. He says we will die spiritually unless we die with Christ to sin (v6-8). Spiritual death is the "wages" of sin (v23); it is something we earn/deserve if we are guilty of committing sin. It is not something given at birth because of Adam's sin. Adam's sin has corrupted our bodies, but our own sins corrupt our souls. There is no dispute that Adam sinned and all of us since have also sinned, but nothing in this (or any other) passage teaches that all are born guilty of Adam's sin.

Ephesians 2:1-3 This passage talks about those who were "by nature children of wrath." There is no dispute that we are all born with a sinful nature, if by that it is meant that we are born into an environment of sin and will all ultimately commit sin (Romans 3:23). Sin does indeed become our nature, but that is not the same as being born with a guilty nature. Remember according to 1 John 3:4, sin is lawlessness--it is transgressing a law; therefore guilt comes by doing such, not inheriting such. Paul doesn't say they were born deserving of the wrath of God, but rather they became such because "You were dead in YOUR trespasses and sins, in which YOU formerly walked according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind." Paul says they were children of wrath because they sinned. Not because Adam sinned. And not because they were born guilty of sin.

The Bible teaches that one may at times suffer the consequences of another's sin, but not the guilt. This is clearly stated in Ezekiel 18:1-20. Verse 20 says: "The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son's iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself." (See also Exodus 32:31-33; Deuteronomy 1:34-39.) Rather, the Bible teaches that each will be judged by his own actions (Matthew 12:36-37; Romans 2:6-"God will render to every man according to his deeds."; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Peter 1:17).

If we are born guilty of sin, then why are children portrayed all throughout Scripture as pure and innocent?! In Jeremiah 19:1-6, the slaughter of children in sacrifice to Baal was called "the blood of the innocent." Jesus Himself said that we need to be like little children (Matthew 18:1-3; 19:13-14). Paul also said that we need to be like babes concerning evil (1 Corinthians 14:20). Ecclesiastes 7:29 says, "God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices." Several other passages indicate that one is born innocent but, at some later point, becomes guilty by choosing sin (Romans 7:9-11; Ezekiel 28:15-King of Tyre was "blameless in all your ways from the day you were created until unrighteous was found in you."; Isaiah 59:1-2). In fact, the words "redeemed" and "reconciled" indicate that we are bought back and restored to a position of favor with God (see Colossians 1:14, 20; John 3:3-7), which means we had to have had His favor originally. Redemption makes no sense if we were born guilty of sin and separated from God.

Furthermore, Calvinists teach that man, born in sin, cannot do anything good or choose to do good or love God until God changes their will, and that He only does this for the elect. The Bible, however, teaches that man is created with the capability to choose good rather than evil. Romans 2:14-16 talks about Gentiles doing by nature the good things of the Law. Acts 10:1ff says that Cornelius, though not saved, was "a devout man, and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms to the people, and prayed to God continually." Indeed man does have the freedom to make such choices as is evident in the words of Joshua: "Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve" (Joshua 24:15).

God has not supernaturally interceded in the lives of particular individuals to call them to His grace, but rather He has called all men by Jesus Christ and His gospel. John 1:9 says that Jesus is "the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man." Romans 1:16 declares that the gospel "is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Romans 10:17 says that "faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." In 1 Corinthians 1:18, Paul says, "The word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." Finally, in Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, "Come unto Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." Why would He invite all of us if most of us were created incapable of accepting that invitation?! The Bible teaches that Jesus is standing at the door and knocking; each of us must decide whether or not to open that door to Him (Revelation 3:20; see also 22:17).

Unconditional Election

Reformed theologian Louis Berkhof defines unconditional election as: "That eternal act of God whereby He, in His sovereign good pleasure, and on the account of no foreseen merit in them, chooses a certain number of men to be the recipients of special grace and eternal salvation."

The Bible does indeed teach predestination, but not as Calvin did. Perhaps the two most common passages on the subject are Romans 8:28-30 and Ephesians 1:3-11. In Ephesians 1, Paul is writing to Christians, and he says, "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself…." There are two key words in this passage: "predestined" and "adoption." "Predestined" (Gr. proorizo 4309), according to Thayer, means: "predetermine; decide beforehand." It means that God decided something ahead of time. "Adoption" means that we become God's children when we are born again.

Question: what did He decide (v5)? The Bible says, "…to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ." God decided ahead of time that we would be His children and, according to v4, that we be "holy and blameless before Him." Which is, after all, the only way that anyone could be His children since God is holy. God can have nothing to do with sin and those stained by it, so God had a plan from the beginning as to how we could be holy and blameless.

How does it happen? The Bible says, "…through Jesus Christ;" "…through His blood;" and, "…according to the riches of His grace." The focus of being "predestined" is more on "through Jesus Christ" than it is "us to adoption as sons." It was God's eternal plan that Christ would give His life so that He could have children. It seems the focus of this doctrine has been perhaps too much on us and not on Jesus! Is this not consistent with the purpose of the entire OT and the Old Law, i.e., to bring us to Christ? Christ coming and dying was predestined. Therefore, our need to believe so that we might have salvation in Him is also predestined (the culmination of God's eternal plan). In Ephesians 3:8-11, Paul talks about the Lord's church and the gospel message. In verse 11 he says, "This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Romans 8:28-30 discusses the same thing as Ephesians 1:4. What was predestined? That we should "become conformed to the image of His Son." Thus, as in Ephesians 1, it was God's eternal plan that we become His children through Christ. (See also Acts 4:28 and 1 Cor 2:7-only other 2 occurrences.)

Christians are God's chosen people, not individually selected, but as a whole. Just as the nation of Israel was at one time God's chosen people (Deuteronomy 7:6), so likewise Christians are now such. 1 Peter 1:1-2 talks about Christians being "chosen by the foreknowledge of God." But it seems clear that Peter is referring to the entire body, not selected individuals, in 2:9 when he says, "You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous grace."

Calvinists refer to Romans 9 to show that God has indeed chosen some and rejected others. They claim that Paul herein teaches that God has a right to predestine certain individuals as His elect and to condemn others as He so chooses. But the context of the chapter is consistent with that of the entire letter; it not about individuals, but rather God's right to save not only Jews, but Gentiles as well. Paul teaches that Israel was indeed at one time God's chosen people (v4), but they can only continue to be such by faith in Jesus (v30-33). Paul sadly states that only a remnant of Israel will thus be saved (v27) along with the Gentiles who also believe (v24-26). His point is summarized in 10:12: "For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him."

v1-4 Paul's concern for his brethren of Israel to whom belong adoption

v6-8 Paul distinguishes between physical and spiritual descendants of Abraham (Galations 3:7, 29)

v11 God decided beforehand that all would be blessed through the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

v13 God saw beforehand that He would approve of Jacob's faith and not Esau's

v15 God has the right to choose whom He wishes-

v20-26 Therefore He has the right to choose the Gentiles

v27, 30-33 Salvation is by faith in Jesus, not by works of the Law

Calvinists say that God has predestined some to heaven and some to hell. But Jesus said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself" (John 12:32). Even though not all will accept, He has still called all men and His ultimate desire is that all would be saved. Some Calvinists say that God hates sinners and loves only His elect. But Jesus looked at the rich young ruler, a sinner, and "felt a love for him" (Mark 10:21). Calvinists say that God's grace is unconditionally given to those He has selected, but the Bible says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith" (Ephesians 2:8). Galations 3:26 says we "are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus." Romans 9 makes it clear that salvation is certainly conditional; there is no salvation without faith.

Limited Atonement

Michael Bremmer states: "Calvinists . . . believe Christ's death is sufficient for all, but efficacious for only those whom the Father has given to Christ, the elect. Christ died not to make salvation possible, but to make salvation sure for the elect. The Westminster Confession of Faith reads: `As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath he, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto. Wherefore they who are elected being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ; are effectually called unto faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due season; are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power through faith unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified and saved, but the elect only.' The Puritan John Owen writes: `The death and blood shedding of Jesus Christ hath wrought, and doth effectually procure, for all those that are concerned in it, eternal redemption, consisting in grace here and glory hereafter.' In other words, Jesus Christ died for, and redeemed only, the elect. This is what Calvinists mean by limited atonement or particular redemption. I favor the phrase particular redemption over limited atonement since it accurately describes the doctrine Calvinists believe."

In 1 Corinthians 6:20, Paul says, "For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." In Acts 20:28, in speaking to the elders from Ephesus, Paul refers to "the church of God which He purchased with His own blood." Indeed Christ has paid the ransom. Calvinists teach that He did so only for the elect.

The doctrine of Limited Atonement, however, is not consistent with the Bible. There is hardly a clearer teaching in Scripture but that Jesus died for all. Isaiah 53:6 says, "All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him." 1 Timothy 2:5-6 says that Jesus "gave Himself a ransom for all." 1 John 4:14 says, "And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world." Hebrews 2:9 says, "But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone." (See also Luke 19:10; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.)

Furthermore, the Bible teaches that the blood of Christ can wash away anyone's sin. John the Baptist declared of Jesus: "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29). 1 John 2:2 says that Jesus "is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world."

Calvinists argue that if Christ died for all, then all are saved. If He paid the price for all, then all have been redeemed. If Christ is truly the propitiation for all, then God's demands are satisfied for all. But they forget one vital detail: not all accept the gift! The debt has surely been paid for all by Christ, but not all choose to believe and put on Christ (Galations 3:26-27). 1 Timothy 4:10 says, "For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers." Again, salvation is conditional on faith. Christ died for all, but not all believe and accept His gift of salvation.

Finally, to say that Christ died only for His elect is to plainly contradict what Peter says by inspiration in 2 Peter 2:1-4. Peter talked about false teachers who were "even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves." He clearly states that those who teach such "destructive heresies" and those who follow after them will be lost eternally, even though Jesus had paid the price for their salvation.

Irresistible Grace

The Westminster Confession states: "All those whom God has predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased, in His appointed and accepted time, effectually to call, by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly, to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by His almighty power determining them to that which is good; and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ, yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace. This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from any thing at all foreseen in man, who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed by it" (Chapter 10 Section 1 and 2).

It is certainly true that some hear the gospel and then believe and obey it. Others hear that same gospel proclaimed and reject it. Calvinists say that it is God who makes this difference, that He selects certain ones and then supernaturally persuades only them to come to Him. They teach that it is impossible for one who is elect not to believe, and that it is impossible for one who is not elect to believe.

The Bible, however, teaches that we are called, not by a supernatural act of God, but by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Romans 1:16 declares that the gospel "is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Romans 10:17 says that "faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 2:13, "We also constantly thank God that when you received from us the word of God's message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe." Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."

To say that some have been rendered by God as incapable of believing the gospel is to contradict what the word of God says about the gospel. Calvinists must limit the power of the gospel itself in order to justify their doctrine. In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul told Timothy, "And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also." This is God's plan: the gospel is to be preached for it has the power to cause men to believe!

The doctrine of Irresistible Grace states that God wills a person who is elect to believe, and that it is therefore impossible for that person not to believe. This too contradicts the Bible, for there are many examples of those who indeed resisted. In John 5:39-40, Jesus said that the Scriptures bear witness of Him. But, He says, "You are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life." In Matthew 23:37, Jesus laments over Jerusalem. He was certainly willing for them to be saved, but they were not. In Acts 6:8-10, Stephen was "full of grace and power . . . and the Spirit," and yet those who heard his preaching resisted. In Acts 7:51, before Stephen is put to death, he said, "You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit."

Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14 that only a few would be saved and that most would be lost. In Matthew 22:14, He said, "For many are called, but few are chosen." Indeed, all are called by the gospel, but only a few wish to be one of God's chosen. This, however, is not God's desire nor is it His fault. He is not willing that any should perish, and He has done everything necessary to provide a way of salvation. He sent His Son to redeem all that would accept His gracious gift. He sent His Spirit to inspire the written message of good news. God wants each of us to be saved, but the choice is up to us.

Perseverance of the Saints

Michael Bremmer explains this doctrine: "Is it possible for a person who has been a devoted Christian most of his or her life to suddenly fall into sin, die, and as a consequence for dying with unconfessed sin, to lose their salvation? Is it possible for one who is born-again to decide no longer to be a Christian and give up their salvation? Is it possible for a truly born-again Christian to continually live in sin, believing "once saved, always saved?" These are some questions this article will focus on as we examine the doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints. The doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints means `They whom God hath accepted in His beloved, effectually called and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere to the end and be eternally saved.'

"The doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints (DPS for short) teaches that those whom the Holy Spirit regenerates and God justifies, can never totally nor finally fall away from grace. Perseverance of the saints does not mean that believers do not sin, fall into sin, or never backslide. Nor does it mean that the grace of God within believers is always at the same intensity throughout the Christian life, or that the Christian's heart never grows cold. The life of the apostle Peter, as with the lives of many of God's best saints, confirms these facts to be true. What the DPS does mean is that God will not allow a Christian to remain indefinitely in any one of these sinful conditions. The reason for this is not to be found in the Christian, but in the faithfulness and almighty power of our heavenly Father. DPS is further defined as: `That continuous operation of the Holy Spirit in the believer, by which the work of divine grace that is begun in the heart, is continued and brought to completion.'

"If it is true that God has from eternity chosen some to eternal life, as the Scriptures plainly state, then the DPS also must be true, for God's decree is immutable and unchanging. Buswell says: `If God has unconditionally elected to save a people, and if He has provided atonement which makes their salvation certain, then it follows by inevitable logic that those whom God has elected to eternal salvation will go on to eternal salvation. In other words, a denial of the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints is a denial of the sovereign grace of God in unconditional election.'"

As Paul approached the end of his life, he spoke with great confidence regarding his eternal salvation. "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing (2 Timothy 4:6-8)." Paul had great confidence, not in his own perfection, but in the saving grace of God.

But Paul also warned about the need to remain faithful in order to receive that eternal salvation. In 1 Corinthians 9:25, he admonished the Corinthian church to exercise self-control in all things. Paul then spoke of himself in verse 27 and said, "I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified (KJV: "should be a castaway")."

If Calvin's doctrine of Perseverance were true, then there would be no need for the great number of passages in the Bible that warn against apostasy. One need not be in fear of losing one's salvation if one is faithfully "walking in the light" (1 John 1:7). But Scripture certainly teaches that it is possible for a person to lose his salvation if he chooses to turn away from Christ and the grace of God, see Bob Williams.

False Doctrines of the Early Church


It is true that Christians are not always going to agree on every Biblical issue. And perhaps we ought indeed be more tolerant of one another's beliefs in regards to those issues that are not essential to salvation. However, this does not mean that we ought to blatantly forego a love for truth and a desire to study and search the Scriptures for such. In John 14:15, Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep My commandments." He went on to say that the Holy Spirit would be sent to inspire the writers of Scripture so that we would know those things that are important to our Lord. And if such things are important to Him, then they ought to be important to us as well.

Doctrine that is to be Taught and Obeyed

Scripture itself shows that doctrine is important. There are numerous references to truthful doctrine:

Sound doctrine (Titus 2:1)
Sound words and doctrine conforming to godliness (1 Timothy 6:3)
Words of faith and sound doctrine (1 Timothy 4:6)
Doctrine of Christ (2 John 9)
Doctrine of God (Titus 2:10)
Doctrine of the Lord (Acts 13:12)
The apostles' doctrine (Acts 2:42)
The gospel (Romans 1:16)
The truth (John 17:17)
The faith (2 Corinthians 13:5)
The word (2 Timothy 4:2)

And what does the Bible tell us to do with truthful doctrine?

Read it, meditate upon it (1 Timothy 4:13, 16) "Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things; for as you do this you will insure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you."

Hold onto it (2 Timothy 1:13-14) "Retain the standard of sound words (KJV: "Hold fast the form of sound words") which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you."

Handle it accurately (2 Timothy 2:15) "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth."

Live according to it (Titus 2:10) "Adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect."

Fight for it (Jude 3) "Earnestly contend for the faith."

Teach it to others (Titus 2:1) "Speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine."

Preach it to everyone (Mark 16:15) "Preach the gospel to every creature."

The Character of False Teachers

As mentioned, Christians are not always going to agree on every Biblical issue. There will be misunderstandings and, as a result, Christians who unknowingly teach things that are erroneous. Acts 18:24-28 tells about Apollos, "an eloquent man" who was "mighty in the Scriptures." But he was also misunderstood some things about the way of the Lord. He was not condemned as a false teacher, but rather he was taken aside and taught more fully by loving Christians.

Nevertheless, there are many passages in Scripture condemning false teaching. What is the difference? Apollos was a sincere (albeit misinformed) Christian trying to teach and preach according to his understanding of the truth. His motives were pure; he was obviously preaching out of love for Christ and the lost. Those who are condemned in Scripture, however, are those who are apparently intentionally misleading and misguiding people by their teaching. Their motives were not pure; their hearts were not committed to God and His truth. And thus they and their teachings were severely condemned.

Jesus Warned Against False Doctrine

Jesus Himself taught that doctrine is indeed important. In Matthew 7:15 He said, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves." In Matthew 15:8-9 Jesus strongly condemned those who were "teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." He further condemned the false teaching of the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees in Matthew 16:6-12 and Matthew 23:15. He warned in Matthew 24:4-5, 24, "See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect." (See also Mark 13:21-22 and Luke 11:52.)

Paul Warned Against False Doctrine

Paul also gave numerous warnings against false doctrine. Paul warned the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:28-30, "After my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them." In Romans 16:17-18, Paul said, "Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting."

In 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 13-15, Paul was greatly concerned that the church in Corinth might be led away and deceived by those who were "false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ." He said in Ephesians 4:14 that some are "children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming." He sadly declares in 2 Timothy 4:3-4, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate to themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths."

The False Doctrine of Jewish Legalism

Acts 15:1 describes one of the major false doctrines that plagued the early church. "Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."" The false teachers are sometimes called Judaizers because they taught that Christians also had to submit to certain rites of the Jewish Law in order to be saved. They held circumcision and the Law of Moses to still be binding.

Paul strongly condemns this teaching in many of his letters. In Galations 1:6-9, he said that some had already begun to pervert the gospel of Christ. The church there was warned not to accept any other gospel than that which they had already been given. Paul reminds them in Galations 3:1-5 that they are greatly mistaken to think salvation can come through works of the Law. He bluntly tells them in Galations 5:1-12 that they will indeed fall from grace if they listen to the false Judaizing teachers.

So adamant is Paul about this that he actually calls these false teachers "dogs, … evil workers, … [and] the false circumcision" (Philippians 3:2). He appears to be talking about these same false teachers (although he may also touch on the issue of gnosticism) in 1 Timothy 1:3-7 when he says, "Instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines." He says in Titus 1:10-16, "[They] must be silenced (KJV: "mouths must be stopped") because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach." He further says they are "detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed." (See also Hebrews 13:9.)

The False Doctrine of Gnosticism

The word gnosticism comes from the Greek word gnosis, which means knowledge, and is perhaps directly alluded to only one time in 1 Timothy 6:20-21: "O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called "knowledge"-which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith." The false doctrine of gnosticism had many variations and involved widely diversified sects. The main emphasis, however, as the name implies, was a claim to knowledge that ordinary believers did not have. They regarded their special knowledge and enlightenment as superior to the faith of others.

Paul is likely dealing with this issue in 1 Corinthians chapter 8. Some in the church in Corinth were apparently trying to justify their participation in heathen feasts. They argued, "We all have knowledge," but Paul responds, "Knowledge makes arrogant" (v1). He also says, "Not all men have this knowledge" (v7). He further explains in v10, "For if someone see you, who have knowledge (is he perhaps being sarcastic?), dining in an idol's temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols?" He may also have this movement in mind in 1 Corinthians 13:2 when he says, "[Even] if I … know all mysteries and all knowledge, … but do not have love, I am nothing."

In 2 Timothy 2:14-16, Paul tells Timothy to warn others "not to wrangle about words, which is useless, and leads to the ruin of the hearers…. But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness." He rebuts the gnostic teachers in Colossians 2:2-4 when he talks about "a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with persuasive argument." (See also Revelation 2:24.)

The False Doctrine of Asceticism

One of the offshoots of gnosticism was the erroneous teaching of asceticism. It was contended that sin is inherent in the material substance of the body, and therefore the body must needs be punished in some way. Thus came the practice of extreme self-denial and self-abuse, perhaps in an attempt to reach a higher level of purity and godliness. (The theory and practice of asceticism has appeared throughout the centuries not only in Christian religions, but also in Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.)

Paul clearly condemns this false teaching in Colossians 2:18-23: "Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement… If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, "Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!" (which all refer to things destined to perish with the using)-in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence."

Paul may also be referring to this in 1 Timothy 4:1-4: "But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods, which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude."

The False Doctrine of Antinomianism

At the other extreme was the doctrine of antinomianism. Proponents of this movement advocated a separation of the body and soul so as to allow the body to do whatever it desires while supposedly maintaining a purity of the soul. Thus such false teachers instructed others that they could participate in all kinds of sinful pleasures and still be spotless in their souls before God.

Paul spoke about such people in 2 Timothy 3:2-9. He called them "lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, … holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these." In v13 he said, "But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceived and being deceived." It may be these false teachers who persuaded some to "continue in sin that grace might increase" (Romans 6:1-7).

Peter said, "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep" (2 Peter 2:1-3). He further said, "They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you, having eyes full of adultery and that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children" (2 Peter 2:13-14). "For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved" (2 Peter 2:18-19).

John makes it clear in 1 John 3:4-10 that a Christian cannot be one who continually abides in sin. A Christian must turn away from sin and continually strive to overcome it (see 1 John 1:7 about walking in the light). He said, "By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God" (v10). Finally, the letter of Jude speaks concerning those who advocated this false doctrine. He says, "For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ" (Jude 4). He speaks clearly of their destructive behaviour and condemnation throughout the rest of the letter (see especially v8, v16-19; see also Revelation 2:6, 14-15).

The False Doctrine of Docetism

Another teaching that developed out of gnosticism was that of docetism. It was reasoned that God could have nothing to do with matter; thus it was inconceivable that Christ, as a truly divine being, could actually come in the flesh. Docetism therefore denied the true incarnation of Christ.

The apostle John deals with this considerably in his letters. In 1 John 2:18ff, John reminded his readers of the warning about the coming of the "antichrist." He says in v18, "Even now many antichrists have arisen." He describes this false teaching in v22-23: "Who is a liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also." He says in v26, "These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you."

John continues in 1 John 4:1-3: "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God." He writes again of these deceivers in 2 John 8-11: "Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting (KJV: "neither bid him God speed")." (See also Colossians 2:8-10.)


As seen, some wrongly espoused such errors as Jewish legalism (do it the way we've always done it), gnosticism (only we know how to do it), asceticism (don't do what we think you shouldn't do), antinomianism (do anything you want to do), and docetism (don't believe the truth about Christ). It appears that such false teaching was abundant in the days of the early church, but let it clearly be recognized that it was always strongly condemned. May we be committed today to "search the Scriptures daily" (Acts 17:11) to make sure we hold only to the truth, see Bob Williams.

Jumat, Januari 11, 2008


Ulrich Zwingli lahir pada tahun baru 1484 di Wildhaus sekitar 60 km dari Zurich. Latar belakang pendidikan Zwingli berbeda dengan Luther. Zwingli dididik menurut “jalan lama” dari Thomas Aquino, sedangkan Luther menurut “jalan modern” oleh pengikut Gabriel. Zwingli sangat dipengaruhi oleh humanisme dari Erasmus. Ia berpendapat bahwa suatu doktrin tidak boleh berlawanan dengan akal.

Tahun 1506 Zwingli diangkat sebagai imam wilayah Glarus. Pada saat itu Swis sangat disukai sebagai tentara bayaran, karena inilah sumber keuangan yang menguntungkan. Ia menganggap praktek ini tidak bermoral dan mulai menyerang perdagangan tentara bayaran ini melalui khotbahnya. Ia tidak disukai oleh jemaat di Glarus, kemudian tahun 1516 pindah menjadi imam wilayah Einsiendeln yang menjadi pusat pemujaan Anak Dara Maria. Ketika berada di Glarus dan Einsienden ia mulai sadar akan peranan penting dari Alkitab yang juga adalah wewenang terakhir.

Tahun 1518 Zwingli menjadi imam di Grossnunster (katedral besar), Zurich. Ditempat ini ia berkhotbah secara sisitimastis, membahas kitab-kitab secara menyeluruh. Ini biasa dilakukan di gereja purba, tetapi zaman Zwingli ini tindakan pembaruan yang radikal. Di Zurich Zwingli memperkenalkan pembaruan tahap demi tahap, awalnya dengan persetujuan penguasa Katholik Roma.

Pada tahun 1522 ia menghasilkan tulisan pertamanya dari sejumlah tulisan-tulisannya mengenai reformasi, salah satunya adalah Kejelasan dan Kepastian Firman Allah yang diterbitkan tahun 1522. Isinya adalah prinsip Protestan mendasar mengenai Alkitab yang mempunyai wewenang terakhir.

Firman Allah adalah pasti, dan Firman Allah juga jelas. Apabila Allah berbicara kepada anak-anakNya, firmanNya akan membawa kejelasannya sendiri. Pada saat itu kita akan mengerti tanpa bimbingan manusia, bukan karena pengertian kita, tetapi karena Roh Kudus menerangi dan membuat kita mampu mengerti pesan Tuhan sesuai dengan maksudNya. Apabila kita membuka Alkitab dengan pendapat serta tafsiran sendiri, lalu ingin membentuknya menurut alam pikiran kita, maka kita tidak akan menerima pesan yang ada didalamnya. Kita harus menjaga janganlah Firman Tuhan ditaklukkan pada tafsiran manusia yang dianggap tidak dapat salah seperti paus atau konsili. Kepastian tidak datang karena kepandaian manusia dan tidak dari wibawa gereja, tetapi ia datang karena kerendahan hati mendengar Allah sendiri.

Pada tahun 1525 reformasi di Zurich sudah tercapai dimana upacara misa ditiadakan dan diganti dengan dengan ibadah komuni sederhana. Cita-cita Zwingli adalah menjadikan Swis negara yang injili dan bersatu. Untuk mewujudkannya, ia mendirikan gabungan kanton-kanton injili, akibatnya kanton Katolik membuat aliansi tandingan sehingga terjadi perang tahun 1529. Tahun 1531 Zwingli gugur dalam perang Kappel.

Paham teologianya adalah mengenai Baptisan dan Perjamuan Kudus. Zwingli menulis buku Baptisan, Baptisan Ulang dan baptisan Anak. Ia berpendapat bahwa baptisan anak adalah tanda perjanjian dan perjanjian meliputi seluruh keluarga bukan hanya oknum-oknum tertentu. Namun ia melawan kepercayaan Katolik Roma yang mengatakan bahwa baptisan memberikan (juga kepada anak kecil) kelahiran baru dan pengampunan dosa.

Paham teologi lainnya adalah Perjamuan Kudus. Sebelum tahun 1524 Zwingli mempunyai keyakinan akan kehadiran nyata dari tubuh dan darah Kristus “dalam, dengan dan dibawah “roti dan anggur”. Ditahun 1524 dibawah pengaruh orang Belanda bernama Cornelius Hoen menolak kehadiran yang nyata dan menegaskan bahwa roti dan anggur hanya lambang dari tubuh dan darah Kristus. Melalui Roh Kudus, Kristus hadir pada Perjamuan Kudus, tetapi tubuh dan darah serta kemanusiaanNya tetap berada disurga. Tubuh alamiah Kristus tidak dimakan oleh mulut kita seperti ditunjukkan oleh Dia sendiri kepada orang Yahudi yang memperdebatkan makan dari daging yang sesunguhnya (Yohanes 6:63). Zwingli tetap berpegang pada sikap ini sepanjang hidupnya.