Monday, April 17, 2006


(gleaned from Dean Gotcher of

God just said it.
But the devil talked about what God said.

God, the patriarchal Father, said "Do not eat from the tree" (Gen. 2:17).
But the devil, the rationalizing questioner, said "Did God really say?" (Gen. 3:1).

The devil introduced a situation with Eve where feelings came in conflict with standards. This was done simply with words in Eve's conversation with the devil. This is called neu·ro·lin·guis·tics: (the study of the relationships between the human nervous system and language especially with respect to the correspondence between disorders of language and the nervous system).

Eve's feelings affected, or played a part in, the standard, i.e. what God said.
The devil persuaded Eve to evaluate God's command instead of just of obeying it.

The devil's action of questioning God's words, was a direct rejection of a Patriarchal authority and a collapse into a group think framework. Now where am I going with all of this?

The same thing happens many times in our churches through small groups where conversation and discussion of God's Word replaces the study of God's Word. The priority for many small groups is to build relationships more than to teach scripture, therefore the discussions in these groups are characterized by exploring, evaluation, feeling, etc., even on those things that are clearly stated as black and white issues in the Bible. This is a dangerous practice and leads to a Pandora's box of biblical error and deception.

Dean Gotcher said that we were created to obey, not to evaluate. Now understanding is good, but in doing so, the goal must always be obedience. If Eve would have ended her encounter with the devil in obedience, then she would have been faithful to God. But because she entered into a conversation about whether or not she should obey, and what God "really was saying" she fell into sin and disobedience. She also, like the devil, questioned "did God really say?" What was there to discuss? God said don't eat it. Therefore, don't eat it. Case closed.

Too often in small groups, there is everything taking place but what God commands the church to do, to teach, to preach and the public reading of scripture. 1 Tim. 4:13 says "Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching."

The small group discussion method is referred to as the HEGELIAN DIALECTIC PROCESS. This process has been used by governmental groups and fringe religious groups for decades to change people's way of thinking from patriarchal authority to group-think ways of determining truth. The goal of the group is to get along. If your words are harsh and hard to deal with logically, then the "facilitator" will make sure you do not leave the group without patching things up. Everybody's friends. Right? The goal is good relationships and not ultimately the truth.

The problem is that this technique of thought/feeling manipulation is being done in thousands of churches across America. But this approach is not compatible at all with God's Word. The ultimate outcome must be God's Truth as revealed in scripture. Without this as the goal, you can rationalize and question everything and anything. Dean Gotcher further explains that those who embrace a group think mindset eventually end up unable to even condemn sinful practices like homosexuality or adultery. The preacher when asked where he stands on homosexuality will often say, "Well, it's a complicated issue and we need to be understanding and sensitive...". Instead he should say "well, it is a sinful lifestyle and the person involved in it needs to see it as sin and repent and receive forgiveness".

There is much more to be said about this issue. It is very interesting. For further study, I suggest listening to THIS AUDIO interview of Dean Gotcher discussing this process. This is from the radio program Crosstalk, March 29. Or this excellent article which explains in detail the HEGELIAN DIALECTIC PROCESS.

God is the Father. He described himself that way for a reason. Let's accept "What God said" instead of questioning "did God really say?"



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