I listened to a live 2 hour interview this week with Vincent Bugliosi, who is best known for prosecuting the “Charlie Manson Family”. He is promoting his new book, “Divinity of Doubt”. In listening to him, two things became clear, one-he is very intelligent and well read; two-he is passionate about discrediting Christianity.
Why do I bring that up today? In James chapter 1, James uses a word that Paul used quite a bit; and it is a word that shows up 73 times in the New King James Bible. The first time being Genesis chapter 3:
Genesis 3:13 And the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
Vincent Bugliosi is a perfect example of the fact that we can not intellectually receive the Truth. There is no doubt that the evidence of all Gospel accounts are accurate; however, men can reason away anything. The wisdom and Truth of God is Spiritually discerned:
1Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1Corinthians 1:17-31 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: "I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND BRING TO NOTHING THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE PRUDENT." 20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—31 that, as it is written, "HE WHO GLORIES, LET HIM GLORY IN THE LORD."
Colossians 2:2b-4: attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words.
In James chapter 1, James says, don't be deceived:
James 1:16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
I have been struggling with this for the last couple days because it seems unclear to me if James is warning of “not being deceived” by those that contradict what he “just” said, or what he “is about” to say. This morning as I read, it seems clear to me that the warning “not to be deceived” is for both. If that be the case, what is James 1:16 sandwiched between?
Before this verse is a warning we have seen and discussed many times; so I will make this simple statement about it: “Those that do not repent will not be saved”.
After verse 16, James says:
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
He provided The Way of Salvation, the ultimate Gift. If you have received Jesus, He drew you to Him. If you seek Him, love Him, and serve Him He gave you a heart to do so.
Every good and perfect gift comes from God. All the wisdom of man, including Vincent Bugliosi, does not make this any less true. Just because Vincent Bugliosi, or any one else, can not explain why God allows evil, or does not grant every request (which he mistakenly attributes to not answering prayer) does not make his conclusion correct. Please pray that God will grant him revelation and repentance.