Mystical Misinterpretation of Jesus’ Temptation - Critical Issues Commentary
Solitude, Silence, Stillness - Critical Issues Commentary • 28m
Matthew’s account of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness makes a purposeful comparison of ancient Israel’s temptation in the wilderness where they failed. Enneagram mystics like to cite Jesus’ temptation to validate their program of silence, solitude and stillness. In their misuse of the passage they also distort the biblical doctrine of Christ. Christopher Heuertz analyses the temptations of Jesus using categories from modern, pop psychology. We examine each of his claims and refute them using scripture. The meaning of scripture is determined by the Holy Spirit inspired authors, not the contemporary readers. The pop psychological approach completely ignores Matthew’s meaning. Heuertz’ abuse of Matthew’s account serves as an example of why it is seriously wrong to read meaning into the Bible rather than understand what the Bible teaches us. Jesus responses to temptation showed that He is the faithful Son who succeeded where ancient Israel as God “son” (Exodus 4:22) failed. By switching categories using a semantic sleight of hand, mystics turn Jesus’ responses into a program of self-discovery or self-actualization rather than believing God’s promises in Scripture as Israel had failed to do. Also, we point out that the Bible does not command Christians to go into solitude and silence and consequently does not promise us to find the “true self” if we did go there. We urge our listeners to gain a solid, Biblical understanding of the person of Christ. He is the transcendent Creator, not our role model for gaining better self discovery.
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