Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Biblical Principles Don't Work

For years, Jim and Michelle Duggar told the reality TV world that they rear their children by Biblical principles and they said, more than once, that these principles work to produce godly children.

Then their world caved in when their oldest son's sins of pornography, adultery, lying and hypocrisy surfaced. What happened to the Biblical principles they reared him by? Many people have said, "No one is perfect," but do we really want to bypass what's going on by hiding behind our own sin and declaring what is already obvious?

Biblical principles don't work when it comes to human hearts. Biblical principles are man-made, feed the ego, fuel sin and give those who practice them a false sense of godliness. When I hear someone say they practice Biblical principles for living and raising a family, I cringe.

Now, I know I've created The Priscilla Principle, so this blog post might make me sound like a hypocrite, but I'm not advocating living by Biblical principles with The Priscilla Principle, it's simply a Bible study guide that is meant to keep the Scripture the center of your Bible study instead of mankind's ideas. The Priscilla Principle is not a set of principles to live by, it's simply a Bible study method that discards mankind's ideas about what the Bible says. There is no comparison to the "Biblical principles" the Duggars tout. The Priscilla Principle does not apply any "principles to live by" to your life. It won't tell you what to wear, how to style your hair, whether you should watch TV or not, etc.

I've seen Biblical principles fail before the Duggar scandal hit. I once had a friend who believed Biblical principles could not fail. She thought that as long as she lived by this set of principles which she believed came from the Bible, she would not fail, her kids would not fail and a victorious life would be hers. Trouble is, my friend and all her family members were sinners. She forgot about that when she adopted these Biblical principles and she devoted her entire life to living by these principles.

When she and I talked about these things, she often put these principles out there and would tell me that as long as she raised her kids by these principles, they would grow up to be godly. She said they couldn't fail because God cannot fail and since they lived by "His" principles, they could not fail. She warned me to raise my kids by Biblical principles.

She wore the skirts. She banned TV. She deprived herself of nice things in the name of humility. She reveled in suffering inconvenience, feeling super godly. When my stove broke once during a visit from her and her family, she said, "Oh! You're just like a missionary, suffering for Jesus!" I called a repair man and ended my "suffering." She spiritualized everything she heard, did, said and felt. She was convinced her life was godly and that her kids and husband were godly and that everything they did would see wild success and they would win many, many people to Christ through their victorious, principled living.

Then one day, she locked herself in a shed and set it on fire.
Utter failure. No return. I was devastated and grieve not having her in my life to this day.

If we don't live by Biblical principles, how do we live?

We have to throw away Biblical principles and the man-made standards we think so highly of.
We have to run to the Gospel every single day.

I recently heard a missionary woman give a testimony about her ministry. She said, "We love getting together for Bible studies. I mean, so many times we don't even open a Bible, we just talk about last week's sermon and what we learned from it. I mean, do we really need more Bible knowledge? No! We just need to apply what we've already learned."

I was taken aback. I applaud this woman's lack of hypocrisy in publicly stating that she no longer needs Bible knowledge and doesn't open her Bible at a Bible study, but she's fully embraced Secular Humanism and is headed for a bad fail.

After we throw away Biblical principles, we are free to throw ourselves on the mercy of our Christ and, like Isaiah in Isaiah 6:5, and realize our constant need for the Gospel of God. We need to realize that when James says in James 1:14 that "a person sins when they are drawn away by their own lust and enticed," he's telling the truth and no amount of modesty is going to change that. We have to throw ourselves on the mercy of Christ and not Biblical principles.

I firmly believe Biblical principles, and modern "Bible study books" that teach them, are Secular Humanism in practice. These principles have opened the door of our churches to Secular Humanism and it has come in and gotten very comfortable. It has gotten so comfortable that people don't even recognize it. Instead, they look for principles in the lives of others and even call them out if they think they are not living by what they think are Biblical principles.

The Duggars live by Bill Gothard's principles and Bill has gotten himself into a lot of trouble by sexually harassing and molesting young women repeatedly for years. This is further evidence of the pitfall of perceived Biblical principles.

People cannot create godliness through what they think are Biblical principles.
No matter how many times you post your Bible study online for all to see, it will not produce godliness in you.
We are all without hope in ourselves, ready to lock the shed door and set it on fire.
There is only hope in Jesus Christ, the Giver of life.

Read your Bible.
Observe what It says without speculation.
Interpret It in Its own context without speculation.

Do not, I repeat, do not apply It to your life. The Holy Spirit does not need your help or input.

This burden to rid the church of Secular Humanism often fuels my blogging in hopes that I can help prevent another devastating loss like that of my dear friend who ended her life in the fiery shed.

Biblical principles are Secular Humanism. They need to be rejected in favor of the Gospel.

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