Journal 2 Pet 2 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed (to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts) knowing this first of all: That no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
But false prophets also arose among the people (just as there will be false teachers among you) who will secretly bring in destructive heresies—even denying the Master who bought them—bringing upon themselves swift destruction. (And) Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.” 2 Peter 1:19 through 2 Peter 2:2
Observation: Looking at process, how does someone go from affirming the Master, being led astray by false prophets slinging around their own interpretation of prophetic words, buying into heretical doctrine, and all of this resulting into or because of sex/sensuality?
How does that work? How do I guard against it? How do I keep my eyes open for the possibility? Am I engaging in this process, and I am not even aware?
Analysis: Shoot. How did the Holy Spirit inspire me to this thinking for my journal deposit today?
Confession: I pay attention when I see the word heresy in the Scriptures, basically to understand what heretical doctrine is? In today’s world, heresy isn’t blatant; it sneaks up on a person basically (and this is my conviction) because sound doctrine isn’t defined and identified. If it comes from a famous or generally regarded, nice looking and well-presented person, the tendency is to treat what they say as good and safe. We are not raising Bereans.
Why? Being a Berean is work. It is much easier to engage in sweat ministry work. (Ahhh: I apologize for my attitude showing…)
Here is how I think the process of falling even a little bit in heresy works: A false prophet comes along. This person (male or female) doesn’t look like a false prophet. They may have a pretty good reputation. They probably say close to the same stuff a Christian always hears, but the key word is “close” —so close that it “feels” right enough…and that is where I may fall in error.
Reading the scripture reference today, I stumbled on the word “sensuality” and the statement “many will follow their sensuality.” I wondered how that occurs? Do I go from following the Lord Jesus to sex and heresy all in one fell swoop, or does it sneak up on me?
I wondered if “feelings” could be a substitute for “sensuality” making the scripture say, “(And) Many will follow their FEELINGS, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed…”
And the answer is…not really, it would be a stretch. Definitions of the word “sensuality” found was overwhelmingly sexual in direction, except for the following:
What is the root word of sensuality?
sensuality (n.) mid-14c., “the part of man that is concerned with the senses,” from Old French sensualite “the five senses; impression,” from Late Latin sensualitatem (nominative sensualitas) “capacity for sensation,” from Latin sensualis “endowed with feeling, sensitive,” from sensus “feeling” (see sense (n.)).
So, I found something that I maybe could stand a little bit upon.
Earlier in Peter’s letters, he wrote, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God…casting all your anxieties on him (because he cares for you). Be sober-minded; be watchful…” (1 Pet 5:6-8a) Synonyms for “anxieties” are: worries, concerns, apprehensions, angsts, fears…” in another phrase: describing feelings.
Ok, a stretch, at least a small one. But it starts to make sense as the beginning of a process: I can start to be led astray by a “feeling.” “I feel this about that scripture, I don’t think (feel) that scripture means what it says and etc. etc.”
And I am at that point that journaling is good for: Stopping. I can’t wrap this up just yet; it “feels” (look at me!!) that I am on a right track, but something is missing (using sound doctrine as a basis for biblical logic). So, I offer this out to think with me. I am going to take my time, no deadline to wrap it up. We’ll see what comes out of this thinking…
Prayer: Father, protect folks from negative aspects of my musing here, but help them to muse among themselves. Thinking and wondering about Scripture is good.
Love you, sir. You are my Savior, Lord Jesus.
Ricky Two Shoes