Monday, April 9, 2018

Interpretation Gone Astray


So, a couple of weeks ago, one of my teachers was talking about the incarnation of Jesus Christ [the doctrine of Jesus becoming man]. Though this does not pertain to the subject matter of the class, the topic, nevertheless, came up. He briefly explained it and was then about to move on when one of my fellow classmates chimed in. Here is what the student said:

One of the best ways that I have ever heard it explained was that Michael the archangel came down from Heaven and placed the seed of the Holy Spirit into Mary’s womb.

Quick Note


Any time you say that what you are about to say is the “best” thing you have ever heard, it better be both good and correct. Otherwise, everyone else will surely be thinking twice about your theology. Actually, it would probably be better to just allow the audience to decide which illustrations are the best.


The Quote


Okay, back on track. Does that quote from the Seminary student bother you? If so, then why?
Here’s why that quote should not settle well in your soul:

1.  Michael the Archangel is never mentioned anywhere near the birth of Christ in the recorded Scriptures. I am not saying that he is uninvolved, but only that the recorded information regarding any angelic participation [outside of Gabriel (Luke 1:19, 26)] is non-existent. Michael is only mentioned twice in the New Testament (Jude 1:9; Rev. 12:7) and neither example is close in proximity.

2.   It is not the seed of the Holy Spirit, but the seed of the woman. The first-ever-given Gospel proclamation was very clear that it would be the woman’s seed (Genesis 3:15).

3.     Finally, Scripture does not say that an angel placed Jesus into Mary. Rather, the angel Gabriel told Mary in Luke 1:35, “…The Holy Spirit will come upon you….” There seems to be no room for angelic activity in this operation. It was purely a God-ordained orchestration.


Conclusion


What was the result? Well, the student was encouraged to hold beliefs like that loosely, but I am inclined to acknowledge that belief as heresy. Why am I so strong on this? The reason is because there is no Biblical basis for that belief. In truth, it is counter-Biblical [i.e. it stands against the written-down revelation of God]. It is anti-Scriptural.

It reminds me of a quote from Star Wars VIII when Luke asks Rey a question about the force:

Luke Skywalker: What do you know about the force?
Rey: It's a power that Jedi have that lets them control people and... make things float.
Luke Skywalker: Impressive. Every word in that sentence was wrong.

Therefore, upon further reflection of the student’s quote, every word of that sentence was wrong. This is just another example of why, no matter what level of authority a person holds or where they went to school, you should always hold up what they say to Scripture and not just accept it blindly.

* To read another example of interpretation gone awry by one of my classmates, check out this previous blog.