Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: Flies in the Ointment

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Flies in the Ointment

“Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour” (Ecclesiastes 10:1).

          With “reputation” comes overwhelming responsibilities.  As a man of God becomes a man of “reputation,” he must carefully consider everything he does and everything he says lest he misrepresent the truth of God’s Word and lead thousands astray.  When a man influences thousands, he influences the hundreds of thousands that those thousands influence.  The man of God understands that he will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ and be held accountable for every word that comes from his mouth. 
          The “ointment of the apothecary” was intended to mask the stench of a corpse in preparation for burial and during the time of mourning.  The “ointment of the apothecary” had noble purpose intent upon making the inevitable time of death less unpleasant.  The dead bodies attracted flies and the flies laid eggs that soon turned into maggots.  These flies came to be known as death flies.  These death flies tended to corrupt the “ointment of the apothecary” fermenting it and causing it to stink. 
God connects the death flies metaphorically to “a little folly in the second part of the verse.  God connects “the ointment of the apothecary” metaphorically to “him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.”  The point is that it does not take much “folly” for “reputation” to be perverted.  The paradox is between the words “folly” and “wisdom and honour.”  “Wisdom” is to know the truth.  “Honour” is given to people of reputation.  When “wisdom” is perverted by “folly,” the “honour” given to people of “reputation” because of “wisdom” is no longer deserved. 
The Words of God are the Words of “life” (John 6:63).  When God’s Words are warped or distorted to any degree, what those Words mean are distorted and perverted.  Any distortion or perversion of the Word of God takes the power of “life” from those Words.  The man of God who loves the Words of God is careful with his interpretation of God’s Words and with what he says about God’s Word. 
There are men of “reputation” today who are telling us that the things that have been important to fundamental Christianity are no longer as important as they used to be.  They are telling us that there are certain doctrinal errors over which we used to separate that are no longer fundamental to Christianity.  They are telling us that differences in doctrine in the areas of Ecclesiology, Pneumatology, and Eschatology are non-essentials to Christian “fellowship.”  They seek to redefine orthodoxy on a much broader scale of theological toleration.  Yes, they still consider Liberalism outside of the main stream of their broader definition of fundamental Christianity.  However, they do want to include almost all degrees of what they view as Reformed orthodoxy within their definition of fundamental Christianity. 
The point is that there is no such thing as Reformed orthodoxy.  Reformed orthodoxy is an oxymoron (but we are not supposed to be able to say such divisive things).  All true Reformed Theologians are wrong about their Ecclesiology, Pneumatology, and Eschatology (although there are variants who call themselves Reformed who may be correct in varying degrees of these areas of theology).  The vast majority of Reformed Theology is also wrong on their Soteriological, i.e., Calvinism (even though we are told that we are not allowed to make that distinction).  Clearly, those proposing this broadening of acceptable orthodoxy are really redefining orthodoxy.  They say they are trying to redefine separation, but that is not what is going on.  That is a smokescreen
These men of reputation, who are trying to redefine orthodoxy, are flies in the ointment.  They have compromised their professed orthodoxy.  Compromise always brings death to true fundamentalism.  What they are doing is “folly.”  Although they have a “reputation” for “wisdom” and have been given “honour” for years of faithfulness, apparently there has always been fly eggs of compromise and Inclusivism within their theology.  Those fly eggs are now hatching and revealing their presence as maggots in fundamentalism.  There is not enough perfume in the world to cover the stench created by such folly. 

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Numerous studies and series are available free of charge for local churches at: http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/ 
Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist. 
He has served the Lord for over 40 years.


Gary said...

Brother Ketchum,

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for having the courage to "tell it like it is." Living in an area of the Pacific Northwest known as "the liitle Grand Rapids of the West," I see the fruit of Reformed doctrine all the time. I have come to refer to it as a "damnable heresy." Strong words? Yes, but the truth nevertheless.

Again, thank you for continuing to sound the alarm of warning against such unbiblical teaching.

Lou Martuneac said...

Dr. Ketchum, I've likened what you describe here as "termites" chipping away at the foundation.


Brian said...

Dr. Ketchum,

Appreciate your timely words of exposition, admonition, and rebuke. Far too many are absorbed with their supposed "exposition" of the Scriptures that they do not allow for Its admonition, rebuking, or reproving and are probably crying Foul as they may read your words. It is to their shame.
Thank you,

Lance Ketchum said...

Gentlemen, Charles Spurgeon once wrote, " I make no personal references, but I see the spirit of compromise concerning holiness and sin, truth and error, far too prevalent. The spirit of compromise comes not of the spirit of God, but of the spirit of the world. It is always wisest and best to exhibit clear decision upon fundamental points; we must draw the line distinctly and then stand to it firmly. Do not altar your course because of winds and currents. Do not try to make pleasant all around."