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another world class poor message... 
22nd-Oct-2005 01:19 pm
This is an excerpt from the latest message from Ubf. It shows the lack of basic biblical hemeneutics in its author.

John’s main task was preaching. His message contents were: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” The word “repent” comes from the Greek word “metanoeo” which means to change one’s mind. This is not merely changing a preference, like changing the TV channel from sports to news, or changing hair color from brunette to blonde. This change of mind has to do with one’s attitude toward sin and toward God. To repent is to stop liking and tolerating sin, and to start hating and renouncing sin. To repent is to stop avoiding God, and to start acknowledging God. Thus defined, it may happen in different ways.

The prodigal son (Lk 15) repented. He thought he would be happy with his father’s money and unlimited freedom. Instead, he experienced shameful failure and loss. Then, while working on a pig farm, he became so hungry that he envied pigs because they had pods. Hunger helped him realize that he was a fool, and his father was wise and good. So he went back to his father. His repentance started with his hungry stomach. For many, repentance follows tragic failure or severe hardship...
22nd-Oct-2005 06:35 pm (UTC)
In this part of the poor message, the author tries to explicate the meaning of repentance by making the meaning of the word, “repent”, clear. He starts with the etymology of the word. So he introduces a Greek word, “metanoeo”. Based on this one Greek word and shedding some of his personal ideas on it together with common Christian understanding, he finally comes up with the definition of what it means by “repent”. Subsequent passages that follow it are just applications of this definition of “repent”. But the problem with this kind of hermeneutics is that the meaning of “repent” thus defined has nothing to do with the passage of the current Bible study. The meaning of “repent” is already defined even before the study of the passage of interest. The study of Greek word is important part of studying the Bible. But the study of a Greek word cannot be in itself a substitution of the Bible study itself. The meaning of “repent” must be defined in the context of the current passage of interest and the study of a Greek word is just a tool to help do this.

We can understand the meaning of “repent” by just looking it up in the Webster’s dictionary. But it is very important to remember that the Webster’s dictionary is not the Bible. Therefore, it is absolutely important to understand the meaning of “repent” in the Bible ever after we look it up in the Webster’s. The author of the poor message didn’t put in extra effort to elucidate the meaning of “repent” in the current passage even after he finished the study of a Greek word, “metanoeo”. Thus even after this long message, the meaning of “repent” still remains on the level of elementary study of Greek word and the biblical meaning of “repent” based on the passage of interest is totally missing in his message. So any practical applications of the study of the passage that he draws in the message do not have any biblical meaning or support. His mistake is that he is equating the study of a Greek word to the Bible study.

He should have worked hard to understand the meaning of “repent” in the context of the passage, especially in terms of verse 2. But he only introduces the verse 2 and goes off to study a Greek word. Then he comes back with the definition based on the Greek word and arragne the meaning of the passage in terms of the meaning of the definition of the Greek word. This shows that the author lacks even the basics of the biblical hermeneutics. He should have pondered upon the meaning of verse 2 itself in the whole context of the passage or in the context of the whole Mathews Gospel until the Holy Spirit finally came to help him to understand its meaning and dig out the meaning to serve his people with a message from God instead of the message from his own personal understanding based on the study of a Greek word and common-sensical Christian understaind. His message lacks any spritual originality. I think it is mainly bacause all ubf messengers are required to copy the original poor message by Samuel lee. Whenever they deviate even one sentence from the original poor message, they receive training to correct their "proud" and "humanistic" mind. So we can say a poor message begets another poor message.

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