Note: This article was Sent to George prior to it’s posting.
George Elerick is a Character. I enjoy his posts on Facebook because, half the time he makes my brain hurt from trying to figure out what in the world he is talking about, the other half of the time I have figured out what he is saying, and I am amazed that anyone could think in the way that he does. Although, I must say that once in a blue moon, George says something just close enough to historic orthodoxy I have to agree with it.
Today I would like you to consider this video from George.
After watching that I am sure you are in one of the two boats that I listed above, for me it was the latter. That being the case I feel that this kind of reasoning needs to be examined.
Let me first the premise of Mr. Elerick. He is quoting Gal. 3:28, a verse that is misused primarily to support women pastors/elders. George uses it in a new and unique way. He is saying that Paul is trying to destroy cultural distinctions with the goal of showing that “Christ is all and is in all. ” He farther says that the Apostle Paul is teaching that ” [. . . ] Actually Christ embodies everybody, Christ embodies the whole of humanity.” The end of this new view on Paul is that he forwarding an idea that Paul is saying Christ isn’t outside of us, that he is rather inside of us and he quotes Christ in Luke 17:21 that the Kingdom of Christ is not outside but internal.
The Problem I have with George here is with his inability to actually use a meaningful hermeneutic. George like many in the emergent church seem to forward a reader response hermeneutic rather than a cultural, historical-grammatical hermeneutic. If George would actually look at the context of Galatians, even just the verse before where he starts quoting this fallacious idea would evaporate. Lets start with the actual quotation:
Galatians 3:28 — There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Notice what George Said — Christ is all and in all… the text doesn’t say this. This is a pantheistic idea that is foreign to Paul and the Bible. The text says,”You are all one in Christ Jesus.” We have unity in Christ Jesus, and this is obtained by Putting on Christ as pictured by Baptism (Gal 3:27). It is important to see that by adding a couple of words not in the text one can make a non-biblical quotation sound biblical.
If we follow the flow of Galatians, the concept that Paul is trying to get across is seen clearly. Lets read v. 28 within its context.
Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
(Galatians 3:23-29 ESV)
I offer to you in contrast to George’s understanding, I would like to offer up the comments from Matthew Henry, in his Concise Commentary.
Real Christians enjoy great privileges under the gospel; and are no longer accounted servants, but sons; not now kept at such a distance, and under such restraints as the Jews were. Having accepted Christ Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, and relying on him alone for justification and salvation, they become the sons of God. But no outward forms or profession can secure these blessings; for if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. In baptism we put on Christ; therein we profess to be his disciples. Being baptized into Christ, we are baptized into his death, that as he died and rose again, so we should die unto sin, and walk in newness and holiness of life. The putting on of Christ according to the gospel, consists not in outward imitation, but in a new birth, an entire change. He who makes believers to be heirs, will provide for them.
I believe that one of these two is faithful to the text. Let us use good discernment, and defend the faith once delivered to the saints.