STUDY ONE: THE BIBLE’S PERSPECTIVE ON HUMAN IDEOLOGIES

© Rosemary Bardsley 2005, 2015

INTRODUCTION

Throughout the Bible there is clear evidence that belief in the God who claims in the Bible to be the only true God, has repeatedly, since Genesis 3, been either distorted or replaced by other belief systems or ideologies.

The rejection of the word and the authority of God in Genesis 3 resulted in, indeed expressed, a rejection of God. This rejection of God resulted in an increasing ignorance about him and a substitution of human ideas about ‘god’ in the place of accurate knowledge about him. Some of these human ideas about ‘god’ contain varying residual memories of the original knowledge of God, but these residual memories are distorted, diluted and altered so seriously that the true God can no longer be recognized.

This escalation of ignorance and erroneous belief is summed up in Romans 1:18-19.

Study task: Write out the phrases from the Romans 1 verses below that [1] refer to the availability of knowledge of God, and [2] describe what people have done to the knowledge of God

18


19


20


21


22


23


25


28


32


Discussion points:
[1] From Romans 1:18-32 discuss the impact of rejection of knowledge of God on the lifestyle of individuals and societies. To what degree is this same impact observable today?

 


[2] From Romans 1:18-32 identify the importance of our minds and our understanding.

 

 

[3] What emphasis do the verses below put on our minds?
John 8:32

Romans 12:1-2

Ephesians 4:17-21


A. WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT HUMAN IDEOLOGIES?

A.1 The Bible defines human ideologies as ‘false’
The Bible does not hesitate to label human ideologies as ‘false’. It considers:

That God is the only ‘true’ God, and that all other ‘gods’ or spiritual powers are false.

That the message God himself gives to humans is the true message, and that messages originating from humans or from Satan and demons are ‘false’.

That those who speak messages that do not derive from or are contrary to God’s message, are ‘false prophets’ or ‘false teachers’ who are deceiving the people, either deliberately or in ignorance.

Scripture research:
Check out these Old Testament passages. Identify the Bible’s description or definition of gods, messages or belief systems that differ from its own message.
Exodus 12:12 [read with Exodus 15:11-12]


Exodus 34:10-17


Deuteronomy 4:2-40


Isaiah 40:18-26; 44:6-26


Jeremiah 2:5-13; 3:23

 

Jeremiah 5:12,13; 6:13-14

 

Now do the same for these New Testament scriptures
Matthew 24:24


John 10:10


2 Corinthians 4:4


2 Corinthians 11:13


Colossians 2:8,20


1Timothy 4:1-2


Titus 1:10-11


2John 7


A.2 The sources of ‘false teaching’

Discussion:
From the above references identify and discuss the sources of ‘false teaching’ that are mentioned in the Bible.

 

 


As we look at various contemporary ideologies we will find that some arise outside of the church and invade and impact the mind of the church from without; others arise within the church, and influence and corrupt the understanding of the church from within.

B. WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY OUR ATTITUDE SHOULD BE?

Discussion Points:
Below is a nine-point summary of the what the Bible teaches about the attitude Christians should have to teaching that is contrary to Biblical teaching, and to those who teach it. For each point some Scriptures are listed. Discuss the meaning of these scriptures and explain their relevance for contemporary Christians.

[1] Christians should expect false teachers
Matthew 24:11
1John 4:1-6
2Thessalonians 2:9-11


[2] Christians must be on guard
Matthew 7:15
Mark 13:23
Romans 16:17

[3] Don’t let them fool you
Matthew 7:22-23
Matthew 24:5
2Corinthians 11:13-15
2Thessalonians 2:9-11

[4] Don’t believe them
Matthew 24:23-24
1John 4:1
Galatians 1:7,8

[5] Don’t give in to them
Galatians 5:1
Colossians 2:16-18

[6] Keep away from them
Romans 16:17
1Timothy 4:7
2Timothy 3:5-9


[7] Oppose them
Galatians 2:11-14
Titus 1:9-16; 3:9-10

[8] Be mature
Ephesians 4:11-16
Colossians 2:6-10

 

[9] Be contented with Jesus Christ
Colossians 2:19; 1:22,23; 2:9-10
Galatians 3:1
Philippians 3:10;
2Timothy 4:3-6

 

C. KEY CONCEPTS FOR COMPARISON

As we look at a variety of human ideologies there are several key concepts in which we need to compare and contrast their teaching with the Biblical teaching. These key concepts are the:

Who or what is ‘god’?
Who is Jesus Christ?
What is ‘salvation’ and how is it gained and maintained?
What is ‘human’?
What is the role of human endeavour and performance?

In addition, human ideologies conflict with the Bible in relation to truth concepts:

Is there such a thing as ‘supernatural revelation’?
Is truth ‘absolute’ or ‘relative’?
Is truth ‘objective’ or ‘subjective’?

As we look at each human ideology in turn we need to ask questions about its teaching on these key concepts.