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Fabrication of theology by Mr. Samuel Lee 
22nd-Dec-2005 11:01 pm
Fabrication of theology based on personal opinion

This is an excerpt of Mr. Samuel Lee’s message on Matthew 21:1-11

...The leader was unhappy about them and did not bless them. Then soon one of the doctors, who was an anesthesiologist, overdosed a patient for an operation and the patient died. So he lost his medical doctor’s license. Now he is running a grocery store very poorly. Another one, influenced by American relativism, cursed the servant of God. Then he left UBF. After several years, he was in a severe car accident. His body was totally crushed and his hands and feet were paralyzed. The third one got a proper job. But he has rheumatism in his right leg and in his left hand. He suffers day and night. All these events happened when they took God’s word lightly. This is to say that when we obey God’s word, God blesses us; when we disobey, God does not bless us...

I just wanted to consider the structure of Mr. Lee's reasoning a little bit this time.
Comments 
23rd-Dec-2005 05:32 am (UTC)
This excerpt shows some problem in the structure of reasoning by Mr. Samuel Lee. In the first example, he says that when he was unhappy about them and did not bless them, then soon one of the doctors overdosed a patient for an operation and the patient died. So he lost his medical doctor’s license. Other examples take the similar structure as the first one. If symbols are used as follows,

A: He was unhappy about them and did not bless them.
B: Then soon one of the doctors lost his medical doctor’s license.

Then his claim goes like this: when A, B. His claim is clear. He seems to imply that A and B are related. Of course A and B have a temporal connection. But he seems to imply more than just a temporal connection between A and B. He is claiming that A and B have a causal connection in such a way that A caused B to happen. How does he KNOW this? How does he KNOW that A and B have a causal connection so that A caused B to happen? We can consider several possibilities.

1. direct revelation from God
2. empirical evidence
3. theoretical knowledge
4. theological knowledge

We can simply exclude the possibilities of 3 and 4. What if he knows it based on 1? Could he have received direct revelation from God about the causal connection between A and B? I personally think that he could not have and there is some theological support out there for this. (If anyone has any opinion on direct revelation, please put comment on it.)

If his claim is based on 2, he must have had consistent experiences that whenever he did not bless a person, the person always got into a trouble. Even though this is impossible theoretically and theologically, since it is what he claims, he must have consistently experienced this causal connection between A and B in his everyday life. Since he claims to know this, there must be witnesses to his claim in order for his claim to be knowledge based on his experience. Otherwise it just becomes his personal opinion. Since there are some witnesses who can testify against his claim, we cannot accept his claim that there is a causal connection between A and B. Therefore he is claiming his personal opinion to be legitimate knowledge.

What he did here is that he took the temporal connection between A and B and turned it around to claim the causal connection between A and B. Temporal connection might be a necessary condition for causal connection. But it is not sufficient enough to establish any causal connection. For example, he was against reform movement in his organization. Then soon his house was burned to destruction, most of his teaching materials were burned in the fire and he finally died in the fire even though he tried his best to survive. If we follow his logic, we come to the conclusion that he died because he was against reform movement.

What is more dangerous than claiming personal opinion to be knowledge is the fabrication of theology based on person opinion. In final conclusion, he says, “All these events happened when they took God’s word lightly. This is to say that when we obey God’s word, God blesses us; when we disobey, God does not bless us.” This is clearly a theological claim. But when one reads the related passage and try to understand the meaning of “God’s words” in the context, one will find it unclear what he exactly means by it. It seems to me that he is trying to say that his words are God’s words. He seems to claim that his words have the authority of God’s authority based on what happened to the three doctors. He seems to say that they took his words lightly and as a result they got into troubles. This is clearly the fabrication of theology based on his personal opinion about the temporal connection between A and B. This raises very serious doubt on his claim as a servant of God and on the theological soundness of the UBF leaders who glorify him as the servant of God.

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