Adopting the Greek Way of Life

This excerpt is from 2nd Maccabees 4, a historical intertestamental apocryphal book. That is, it isn’t part of the Old or New Testament, and it is not Scripture. But, it is a mostly accurate history of part of the intertestamental period.

This passage stuck out to me, as it sounds like the seeker driven / purpose driven churches. Adopting “the Greek way of life” and turning away from the things God has commanded. Exchanging the worship of God Most High for things that please the world, and the wordly within their churches. Rather than the faith once for all delivered to the saints, preaching life changing messages of moralism, works, and practical life tips for living well. Or, in the case of many of the seeker-driven churches, especially during the summer, showing movie clips that exhibit worldly wisdom or entertainment rather than God’s Word.

7 When Seleucus died and Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes, succeeded to the kingdom, Jason the brother of Onias obtained the high priesthood by corruption, 8 promising the king at an interview three hundred sixty talents of silver, and from another source of revenue eighty talents. 9 In addition to this he promised to pay one hundred fifty more if permission were given to establish by his authority a gymnasium and a body of youth for it, and to enroll the people of Jerusalem as citizens of Antioch. 10 When the king assented and Jason came to office, he at once shifted his compatriots over to the Greek way of life.

11 He set aside the existing royal concessions to the Jews, secured through John the father of Eupolemus, who went on the mission to establish friendship and alliance with the Romans; and he destroyed the lawful ways of living and introduced new customs contrary to the law. 12 He took delight in establishing a gymnasium right under the citadel, and he induced the noblest of the young men to wear the Greek hat. 13 There was such an extreme of Hellenization and increase in the adoption of foreign ways because of the surpassing wickedness of Jason, who was ungodly and no true high priest, 14 that the priests were no longer intent upon their service at the altar. Despising the sanctuary and neglecting the sacrifices, they hurried to take part in the unlawful proceedings in the wrestling arena after the signal for the discus-throwing, 15 disdaining the honors prized by their ancestors and putting the highest value upon Greek forms of prestige. 16 For this reason heavy disaster overtook them, and those whose ways of living they admired and wished to imitate completely became their enemies and punished them. 17 It is no light thing to show irreverence to the divine laws — a fact that later events will make clear.

Just as this passage ends, the same will be true of those who exchange God’s word and commands for the world’s desires. Exchanging the Law and Gospel for entertainment and life tips. God will have the last word. It is no light thing to show irreverence to God’s laws — a fact that later events will make abundantly clear. Jesus is coming back, and He will judge  the quick and the dead, the false part of the visible Church will face judgment. Repent and believe the Gospel.

How doth it appear that the Scriptures are the Word of God?

Q. 4. How doth it appear that the Scriptures are of the Word of God?

A. The Scriptures manifest themselves to be the Word of God, by their majesty and purity; by the consent of all the parts, and the scope of the whole, which is to give all glory to God; by their light and power to convince and convert sinners, to comfort and build up believers unto salvation: but the Spirit of God bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very word of God. – Westminster Larger Catechism

I’m reading through Johannes G. Vos’ commentary on the Westminster Larger Catechism. His thoughts on this aspect of question four seem especially relevant. I know many believe the Bible to be errant, or at least fallible when it comes to some things, but that it contains truth when it comes to things regarding salvation. I agree with Doctor Vos, if we can’t trust all of the Bible then we can’t trust any of it.

We believe that the Scriptures are entirely free from errors, not because we find no apparent errors in the Bible, for it cannot be denied that a few apparent errors have been pointed out in the Bible, but because the Bible itself claims to be free from errors. Our belief about the Scriptures must not be an inference from facts of our own experience, but a formulation of the teachings of the Scriptures themselves about themselves. If we find some apparent errors in the Bible, that is a matter of our own experience as finders. But if we observe that the Bible represents itself as being free from errors, that is an observation concerning the teaching of the Bible. We must accept the Bible’s teaching about hell and other matters. The fact is that the Bible teaches that the Bible is inerrant. Even though we may have some unsolved problems concerning apparent errors in the Bible, still these problems do not justify setting aside the Bible’s teaching about itself, unless it can be proved that the Bible really contains errors, and that they exist in the genuine text of the Hebrew or Greek original. If that could be proved, the trustworthiness of the Bible as a teach of truth on all subjects would thereby be destroyed. If we are to trust the Bible in what it says about God and man, sin and salvation, we must also trust the Bible in what it says about its own infallibility. –  The Westminster Larger Catechism: A Commentary by Johannes G. Vos, edited by G.I. Williamson. pg 13 commentary on Westminster Larger Catechism Question 4