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Casting Down Imaginations

By Wayne Coats

religion, articles, christianity

Two of the most glaring examples of vain imaginations have been penned in recent weeks by two Abilene University professors and have been published in Wineskins magazine. Professor Andre Resner let his imagination go berserk when he imagined that the mother of our Lord was some kind of simple-minded prostitute and just another "sexually questionable woman" with whom Joseph would crawl "into bed with her every night the rest of his life, relying on a dream, believing in her word that she really hadn't slept with another man and used him to cover her shame." What an imagination!

The foolish concoction of Resner is nothing new. He did not originate the lurid, vulgar fables which appeared in his piece, "Christmas at Matthew's House." Modernists and Jewish infidels have been discrediting the virgin birth of my Lord for longer than Resner has been at Abilene or anywhere else. It is a fact; the devil will continue his efforts through men like Resner and others who want to be heard as they give forth with their Christ-denying doctrines.

No, we do not misunderstand the prattle of Doctor Resner. We heard the same nonsense from the same kind of professors who taught Resner - and those old infidel professors decided that I understood them. Question some Johnny-come-lately who has read a few modernist books; every last one of them will whine, "You just misunderstood me." It doesn't take an oversupply of brains to comprehend that which flows from the Abilene stream of modernism.

Another article which was written by Steve Weathers, who also teaches at Abilene, has whetted the appetites of the Wineskins slurpers. In his piece about the 10 lepers, Weathers relates that he had a dream, a nightmare in which the nine lepers are "strict followers of what is known as the Restoration Movement." In his "frightening reverie" Weathers rambles on with his denigrating effort to disparage the Restoration Movement. He undoubtedly has succumbed to hallucinating that someone might be committed to uphold something as nebulous as a Restoration Movement. I know of no sensible person who would attempt to defend the movement. There were some good men with some good purposes, but God forbid that we should mold mere men or movements into examples or patterns to be followed.

One obviously has to dream or have a nightmare in order to assume that God will permit puny men to circumvent his Word. Such is the blatant blunder of Professor Weathers as he takes a cheap potshot at those who respect the silence of the Word of God. Talk is cheap, especially when one feels protected.

Will the doctor affirm that men can go beyond the Word of God and grovel around in the silent sphere? Would the professor or anyone else around Abilene have the courage to try such an undertaking? We should think that it would be an easy task to turn their slumber party of dreams and nightmares into a helpless charley horse.

The old, modernistic digressive made a few feeble attempts to discredit the silence of the Scriptures, but they soon saw how foolish their efforts really were. Come now men of the Resner Weathers type who imagine that God "allows for a spoonful of innovation and generous pinch of human spontaneity." Gentlemen, please tell us how the Catholic church came into existence, and name one thing wrong with it. It is simply the result of innovation and generous spontaneity.

Ah, men delight in making their own gods. In their dreams and nightmares, Resner and Weathers have created their own modernistic god. Abilene is right next door to old Athens when it comes to many gods.

Lest we take off after some of our modern wise-acres, we need to be reminded that when Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, he used one of the strongest of all word pictures to describe the battle against error. Note the pungent and powerful picture presented as the apostle said:

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience to Christ (2 Cor. 10:4-5).

Vain man is evermore prone to indulge his mind in vain imaginations. This was true before the flood when man became so depraved that "every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Gen. 6:5).

To the church at Rome, Paul wrote of those who knew God at one time, but "they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened" (Rom. 1:21). We need to be reminded that:

These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren (Prov. 6:16-19).

One of the most reprehensible acts any human can perpetrate is to impose his vain and arrogant imaginations upon the inspired Word of God. When men fabricate such foolish efforts, it is evident that they have no regard whatsoever for the Bible.

I have several copies of the Bible, and I respect its teaching and believe it to be God-breathed. I also have copies of Aesop's Fables, Grimm's Fairy Tales, and Wineskins, and I challenge anyone to show the differences in their imaginative tales. There could be one difference, in that the editors of Wineskins try to make people believe their paper is biblical. I am told that folks in and around Abilene call the university "Christian." I think they must be dreaming or having nightmares.

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Published September 1993