Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Is Justin Peters Competent to Condemn False Teachers?

Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere : Is Justin Peters Competent to Condemn False Teachers? · Great Bishop of Geneva! : Adoptionism is Heresy : Therefore, so is Paulician Sect

He claims to be so in this video, which I saw to 12:40. It is 28:22 long in full.

FALSE TEACHERS EXPOSED: Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel | Justin Peters/SO4J-TV
SO4J-TV | 28.X.2015

Joel Osteen's word on Hindoos is perhaps uncautious, and the question of how many are in a preliminary justification without yet knowing Christ or if such a one can last to death without them coming to know Christ is above me.

On that one, I'll neither back Osteen nor Peters to the full. But here are two cases where I can take issue, Peters' condemnations on Victoria Osteen and Jesse Duplantis.

Victoria Osteen
see, Jesus was a man until God touched him and put the Spirit of the Living God on the inside of him - and that's encouraging today.

Justin Peters
No, that's heretical today.

Jesse Duplantis
God asked for my opinion .... the Bible says he who wins souls is wise.

Justin Peters
Yes, and he who thinks he can counsel God is a fool.

God's speaking:

[DRBO: Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words?
Job 38:2]

[Biblegateway KJV: Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
Job 38:2]

[Cited on video:]

Who is this that darkens My counsel by words without knowledge?
Job 38:2

Found it on a blog by Tim Archer on Hope for Life Blog

“Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2)

Not sure which version Tim Archer is using.

Job 38:2 doesn't say that God speaking in the conscience of someone never takes the approach of "what do you think?" God actually did in the Gospel on occasions.

It most amply doesn't say that God never listen's to someone's appeal for some salvation, spiritual or material, since God was ready to spare Sodom if five righteous were there, on Abraham's request.

So, I don't know the full story behind Duplantis' case (the man he appealed for the conversion of), but what he did does not seem like something forbidden by God, not in Job 38:2, nor elsewhere. Eliu was not trying to counsel God, he was trying to counsel Job - and it seems God was not satisfied with him.

Now, speaking to God like this may seem exotic to some, including Jstin Peters, who may have learned to relate to God on a daily basis on some other mode of words and tokens of respect or familiarity than Duplantis is showing, and either way, as long as it's not a canonised saint, there is a possibility that some of the interactions with God are from his flesh rather than from God.

I wouldn't say such a thing about St Therese of Lisieux bombarding God with sacrifices to achieve the conversion before execution of a man who, after rejecting the priest, finally did kiss the cross before being beheaded. She is a canonised saint. I am confident the criminal is if not in Heaven at least Purgatory.

However, Victoria Osteen is a totally different matter (and if Duplantis agrees with those words, he is a heretic), that is the kind of Ultra-Nestorian Christology which lurks behind some Protestant or Evangelical rejection of Eucharist, Mary being still Mother of God, Glorified Bodies needing a place which is beyond the stars, all of which are sound Catholic teaching.

Tim Archer: "In dealing with Job, God shows him the expanse of God’s work throughout creation, reminding Job that Job is a man and God is god. When we pretend to know better than God, we’re showing just how truly ignorant we are."

I am sorry, but it is very far from clear that Job 38:2 is saying sth about Job's action. The Catholic Haydock comment has a whole little discussion on Job 38:2.

Here it is:

Ver. 2. Words. Many explain this as a condemnation (C.) of the last speaker, (D.) who would otherwise pass without any reproach, (H.) though he had spoken with less reserve than the rest. C. --- Pineda allows that this opinion is very plausible; but he thinks that Job himself is reprehended, not for any grievous offence, but for indiscreet expressions. C. xli. The context also seem to require this, as Job take it to himself. C. xxxix. 33. C. --- The change of persons might rather imply the contrary: Who is this? Eliu. 3. Gird up thy loins. Job. H. --- Can we admit that the devil got the victory; or, that God falsely declared that Job had spoken right? C. xlii. Houbigant. --- Did not the latter maintain the truth with greatest zeal, while his friends certainly mixed unskilful words or inferences with sentences of the greatest consequence? His face I will accept, that your folly be not imputed to you; for you have not spoken right things before me, as my servant Job hath. C. xlii. 8. Heb. "Who is this that darkeneth counsel, by words without knowledge?" Prot. "Who is the who concealeth counsel from me, keeping words in his heart, and thinketh to hide from me?" Sept. Eliu pretended to explain the counsels of God, and perhaps did not utter all that he had in his mind; but God condemns the very harbouring of thoughts, which are contrary to truth and justice. H. --- Job's friends laboured under great prejudices, and condemned him without cause, (C.) thinking that they were doing a service to God, like those who put the apostles to death, and persecuted Catholics on account of their religion. But this plea will not excuse them. Here one line suffices to refute the long harangue (H.) of Eliu; (S. Greg. Ven. Bede. T. &c.) though we have observed, (H.) some understand the words to be addressed to Job, as a rebuke for his too warm expressions. S. Chrys. S. Aug. &c. C. --- The remainder of the discourse is designed for Job's instruction. H. --- Hoc (Eliu) despecto ad erudiendum Job verba vertuntur. S. Greg.

The last speaker, if one looks back on what came before, seems to be Eliu. Not Job. And it seems Saint Gregory (probably in Moralia in Hiob) took that course too.

So, through Haydock, God is telling me (see reserves since I am not yet departed and therefore not a canonised saint, no one is obliged to take God's words to me as God's wors, except I, if they are His, OK? - but on the other hand, Haydock comment is an authority, as I am not, OK?) I was right in thinking Justin Peters wrong on Job.

But this is not all.

I actually did a search for the very words used by Justin Peters.

"he who thinks he can counsel God is a fool"

Or rather, the words "counsel God".

I did not find a single verse saying "he who thinks he can counsel God is a fool" so far ....

Hit number 57 is actually half and half a victory for Justin:

Tobit 3: [12] And it came to pass on the third day, when she was making an end of her prayer, blessing the Lord, [13] She said: Blessed is thy name, O God of our fathers: who when thou hast been angry, wilt shew mercy, and in the time of tribulation forgivest the sins of them that call upon thee. [14] To thee, O Lord, I turn my face, to thee I direct my eyes. [15] I beg, O Lord, that thou loose me from the bond of this reproach, or else take me away from the earth. [16] Thou knowest, O Lord, that I never coveted a husband, and have kept my soul clean from all lust. [17] Never have I joined myself with them that play: neither have I made myself partaker with them that walk in lightness. [18] But a husband I consented to take, with thy fear, not with my lust. [19] And either I was unworthy of them, or they perhaps were not worthy of me: because perhaps thou hast kept me for another man. [20] For thy counsel is not in man's power.

Sara the daughter of Raguel did say that God's counsel is not in man's power.

On the other hand, some Protestants might imagine that she was - in the sense Justin Peters gave the words - counselling God when she said I beg, O Lord, that thou loose me from the bond of this reproach, or else take me away from the earth.

In fact, she did get what she prayed for, Asmodaeus was defeated.

But, first hit was perhaps not quite what Justin Peters was looking for:

For who among men is he that can know the counsel of God? or who can think what the will of God is?

[Wisdom 9:13]

First of all, he might reject Wisdom as apocryphical, too bad for him. Second, it only says we cannot know God's counsel (probably meaning beforehand, before events reveal it), not that we cannot express our desires or opinions to God.

So, I totally agree against Victoria Osteen, but (apart from Duplantis being a Protestant and therefore at least technically a heretic, though he need not be that on the issue, any more than Kent Hovind is so on Creationism), I can't see how Justin Peters (arguably also a Protestant) can call him a false teacher for that. Reasonably, that is.

And in fact - it is not just normal events revealing the will of God in our lives, but also one who came down to Heaven, and the apostles He sent, who do not as far as I know include either Duplantis or Peters in their succession, who can know God's counsel once it is revealed, see hit number 3:

For I have not spared to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

[Acts Of Apostles 20:27]

And, just before that, hit number 2:

But the Pharisees and the lawyers despised the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized by him.

[Luke 7:30]

So, no, these are the three verses that contain "counsel of God" and no verse seems to include the exact sequence I searched "counsel God", so, Justin Peters is not taking his observation from the Bible, here.

Justin Peters
The fact, that God has not struck these people dead, is a testimony to how merciful our God is. These people are not Christians. Dear friends, a Christian, a born-again Christian, someone who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God cannot utter such blasphemies, can't happen, such a statement cannot be said from someone who knows God, Jesse Duplantis does not know the God of the Bible.

Trent, Session VI

Against the vain confidence of Heretics.

But, although it is necessary to believe that sins neither are remitted, nor ever were remitted save gratuitously by the mercy of God for Christ's sake; yet is it not to be said, that sins are forgiven, or have been forgiven, to any one who boasts of his confidence and certainty of the remission of his sins, and rests on that alone; seeing that it may exist, yea does in our day exist, amongst heretics and schismatics; and with great vehemence is this vain confidence, and one alien from all godliness, preached up in opposition to the Catholic Church. But neither is this to be asserted,-that they who are truly justified must needs, without any doubting whatever, settle within themselves that they are justified, and that no one is absolved from sins and justified, but he that believes for certain that he is absolved and justified; and that absolution and justification are effected by this faith alone: as though whoso has not this belief, doubts of the promises of God, and of the efficacy of the death and resurrection of Christ. For even as no pious person ought to doubt of the mercy of God, of the merit of Christ, and of the virtue and efficacy of the sacraments, even so each one, when he regards himself, and his own weakness and indisposition, may have fear and apprehension touching his own grace; seeing that no one can know with a certainty of faith, which cannot be subject to error, that he has obtained the grace of God.



That a rash presumptuousness in the matter of Predestination is to be avoided.

No one, moreover, so long as he is in this mortal life, ought so far to presume as regards the secret mystery of divine predestination, as to determine for certain that he is assuredly in the number of the predestinate; as if it were true, that he that is justified, either cannot sin any more, or, if he do sin, that he ought to promise himself an assured repentance; for except by special revelation, it cannot be known whom God hath chosen unto Himself.


CANON XII.-If any one saith, that justifying faith is nothing else but confidence in the divine mercy which remits sins for Christ's sake; or, that this confidence alone is that whereby we are justified; let him be anathema.

CANON XIII.-If any one saith, that it is necessary for every one, for the obtaining the remission of sins, that he believe for certain, and without any wavering arising from his own infirmity and disposition, that his sins are forgiven him; let him be anathema.

CANON XIV.-If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because that he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema.

CANON XV.-If any one saith, that a man, who is born again and justified, is bound of faith to believe that he is assuredly in the number of the predestinate; let him be anathema.

CANON XVI.-If any one saith, that he will for certain, of an absolute and infallible certainty, have that great gift of perseverance unto the end,-unless he have learned this by special revelation; let him be anathema.

Adding a personal note
While my experience is far less than the council of Trent in assessing the attitude of Justin Peters, I can only say that people telling each other and sometimes me (who was a child) that "someone who has the Holy Spirit cannot do this" or "cannot say that" was one reason why I opted out of the ideology known to some as "born again Christians" and to me as "frikyrkor" - I went first Lutheran, and then Catholic.

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