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The Biblical Doctrine On Presenting Appearances

The Biblical Doctrine On Presenting Appearances

In II Corinthians 5: 16-17 Paul says "Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

This is a little subtle. He is saying that from now no one should know according to the flesh. Know is Strong's Exhaustive Concordance number 1492, eido, to know, perceive, see, understand. After Christ appeared, we should no longer perceive and evaluate according to the flesh, according to external appearance. The external appearance of Jesus Christ, who appeared in the flesh of a man, was not the spiritual reality of Christ. We are not raised up from the flesh into a spiritual condition by the mere appearance of Christ when he was in human flesh, but by his spiritual reality as God. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8: 1 But the new Bible versions that are based upon the Westcott-Hort Greek text of 1881 leave out walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit, which diminishes this doctrine. The American Standard Version says "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus."

An idol is a mere appearance. The Greek word eidololatreia is translated as idolatry. In Galatians 5: 20, for example, idolatry is one of the sins of the flesh. I John 5: 21 says "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." Eidolon is from eidos, appearance. Eidololatria is made up of eidolon, an appearance, plus latreia, to serve. So eidoloatria means to serve appearances, to serve the flesh.

III John 1: 9-10 says "I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church."

Since Diotrephes is said to have cast people out of the ekklesia - the assembly - he must have been a church authority of some kind. This guy who apparently was in some kind of authority over an assembly of Christians would not receive the apostle John.

So in III John 1: 9-10 Diotrephes, even in the lifetime of John, was an example of the clergy as an elite class who ruled over the assemblies of Christians, later called the church. This member of the clergy, as John says, loved to have the preeminence. Most of the clergy are concerned with their fleshly appearance, as were the Pharisees of Christ's time.

"And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?.....Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets." Luke 11: 39-40, 43

And in Matthew 23: 27 Christ says to the Pharisees, who were then the rulers over the people of the Old Covenant, that "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness."

Just as the Pharisees ruled over those who claimed to be the people of God in the Old Covenant time when Christ appeared, so even in the lifetime of John a guy like Diotrephes took on that same role of the Pharisees who ruled the people of God, exalted themselves as a class of the clergy above the people and were very concerned with their external appearances, with the fleshly appearance.

In Luke 6: 26 Christ focuses on the matter of projecting a false image of worldly and fleshly success when he says "Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets." The false prophets project an image of good looks and worldly success.

The Bible has many verses on the presentation of an appearance of being better than others. Psalm 59: 12, for example, says "For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak."

Proverbs 6: 16-7 says that among the six things that God hates are "haughty eyes."

In the New Testament, Mark 7: 21-23 says "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man." Pride, from huperephanos, is presenting an appearance of being above others

Job 15: 34-35 teaches that "For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery. They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit. "

In Romans 1: 29 Paul says that deceit is one of the traits of a reprobate mind that God will people up to who do not retain the knowledge of God in their minds. "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." Romans 16: 17-18

Then in Matthew 24 Christ warns of deception four times. "Take heed that no man deceive you." Verse 4

"For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." Verse 5

"And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many." Verse 11

"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Verse 24

We can see that the false prophets who are the rulers over the assemblies, re-defined as the church to be ruled over by this elite class, are not only very concerned by external appearances and are full of pride, but that they also make use of deception in ruling those who claim to be the people of God.

And we can see that the secular and popular culture supports this emphasis upon external appearances, on pride, self-esteem and the exaltation of the self.

The promotion of the narcissistic personality disorder goes back to the early days of Hollywood movies, to the beginnings of the celebrity system, and the start of the American cultural obsession with personal image. But this promotion of selfishness really got going in the period of the sixties and seventies, especially among educated young people at that time in the universities and in the watering holes of the counterculture.

After the falling away of II Thessalonians 2: 3-4 had gone on for some decades, and near the time when network TV began in the forties, the American Christian celebrity system began. Remember that the Christian celebrity system was based on the secular celebrity system which came out of Hollywood films and film stars. Christian celebrities, like the secular celebrities of movies and TV, cultivate their own personal appearances. The Christian celebrities use their images to gain followers, to build huge church memberships and to make lots of money. And - the Christian celebrity system could not have gotten off the ground without the falling away from sound doctrine having gone on a while. The celebration of one's own image, or appearance, and the exalting of pride is clearly against the teachings of the New Testament.

But the Christian celebrity system taught many in the churches to honor the narcissistic personality. The narcissistic personality disorder is defined below.

Dave MacPhearson in an online post called "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" talks about some of these Christian celebrities. He mentions Jerry Falwell, Tim LaHaye, Chuck Missler, Hal Lindsey, Jack van Impe and Grant Jeffrey.

There are additional Christian celebrities other than those mentioned by Fearless Dave MacPhearson, such as Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson, Kenneth Copeland, John
Hagee, Rick Warren, Robert Schuller, and Jimmy Swaggart.
Almost all of these Christian celebrities teach that God has two distinct peoples, the Jews and the Church, that Christians cannot be Israel and that the Jews, saved or unsaved,
remain the chosen of God. Robert Schuller may not have taught all of this and Rick Warren apparently has not emphasized it too much. But Schuller and Warren are important figures in the present day departure from sound doctrine.

In recent years there have been some well-known Christian leaders who were clearly not followers of dispensationalism or other obvious false doctrines. For example, Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) and the Dutch missionary Corrie Ten Boom (1892-1983) are famous but may not be seen as celebrities because they did not try to cultivate their images as much as those other Christian celebrities listed above. Both wrote a great many Christian books. Schaeffer is interesting because he belonged to the Reformed pre-millenialist camp, but was not into
dispensationalism, though he did not systematically criticize it.
Corrie emphasized forgiveness, which is not stressed in the contemporary Churches. Schaeffer's smaller Calvinist group believed that following the tribulation, Christ would appear the second time, and after that he would bring in his thousand year reign on earth. Schaeffer and Ten Boom did not believe in the pre-trib rapture or that God has two different peoples.

See: The Effect of Sexual Deprivation on Women - henrymakow.com

"An "independent" movie, "The Business of Strangers" explores the effect feminism has had on modern women. Writer/director Patrick Stettner illustrates how American women have traded love for the sterility, banality and inhumanity of corporate culture......The stated goal of the Communist Manifesto is to destroy the nuclear family. People without stable families are easy to distract and control. Sex starved, isolated, and dysfunctional, the few children they have are also messed up. Last week, we learned that the U.S. birth rate is at the lowest point in history..."

"Heterosexual society has been under sustained psychological attack designed to arrest human development and decrease population. Feminism is the weapon of choice. It encourages women to deny their femininity and act like men."

My comment: One way Transformational Marxism, which in the U.S. mixed Marx with the self psychology of Carl Rogers and Abraham H. Maslow, has been able to severely diminish the family has been by promoting the Narcissistic Personality Disorder. In the process of creating a society where many or most Baby Boomers and their offspring have some symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder the change agents have also messed up society, the heterosexual relationship itself, and the mental and physical health of many.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, 2000 American Psychiatric Association:

Diagnostic criteria for 301.81 Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

"Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations."

"Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends"

"Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others."

Outline of the origins of Selfishness in the sixties and seventies: This is partly from studies of social scientists on the counterculture and what was called the Me Generation. It is from Daniel Yankelovitch, New Rules: Searching For Self-Fulfillment in A World Turned Upside Down,1982. Herbert Hendin. The Age of Sensation, 1975, and Christopher Lasch. The Culture of Narcissism: American Life In An Age of Diminishing Expectations, 1978.

l. From self psychology - self-preoccupation

2. From TV and other popular culture media - worship of image, people are obsessed with appearance.

3. From self psychology - The goal is to serve self but not serve others.

4. From self psychology - people believe they have a right to be served by others.

5. From TV and other popular culture media -appearance is reality; there is no reality beyond appearance.

6. From self psychology - the self is "real" when one serves himself but not "real" when one serves others.

7. From self psychology - a person should fulfill himself but not fulfill others.

8. From the Art Bohemian Movement - creativity as novelty and newness creates image and visibility

9. From self psychology - the person deserves to have more self-esteem, and more self-love

10. From self psychology - the person should fulfill as many "needs" or psychological desires as possible.

11. From self psychology - since the new culture sees the self as a collection of "needs" one must fulfill many "needs" to be successful.

There are specific personality traits, assumptions and goals of three other areas which go along with selfishness: l. The revolt against Christian morality, 2. The lowering of man to his desires, feelings and conditioning, and 3. The denial of objective reality.