This commentary was published previously.
A fallacy is a deceptive, misleading, false notion, or belief, etc. John Dewey said, "I should venture to assert that the most pervasive fallacy of philosophic thinking goes back to neglect of context." So, the origin of a fallacy is not doing due diligence. Fallacies are the wrong conclusions based on the incorrect or incomplete information. In informal logic and rhetoric, a fallacy is a usually false or inaccurate argumentation in reasoning resulting in a misconception or presumption. Fallacious arguments are often structured using rhetorical patterns that obscure any logical argument. By accident or design, fallacies may – and can be used to - exploit emotional triggers in the listener or interlocutor (e.g., appeal to emotion), or take advantage of social relationships between people (e.g., an argument from authority).
A great example from the past was the fallacy that the world was flat. Many accepted this fallacy without any evidence. It was not until great sailors like Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan proved otherwise. Columbus was said to observe how ships not only became smaller in the distant water but eventually disappear. (Some believe Columbus read Isaiah 40:22, "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth.") Magellan's crew completed a trip around the globe, proving the planet indeed is round.
When we study the concept of worship in Revelation, it shows us the many fallacies that exist in Christianity. The lesson asks us to consider various texts in Revelation and the reasons cited for worship. We will see that the Devil has attacked every reason for worship by creating fallacies that most professed Christians believe. As we will see these wrong beliefs rob the believer of the peace and healing that God so much wants to give them. Space will not allow us to cover all instances of worship. We will only do a few.
The first citation of worship in our lesson is from Revelation 4: 8 – 11. The first reason to worship God is that the Lord Almighty was, is, and is to come. God was, is and will be. He is eternal. However, many believe that Christ was created; this invalidates John 1: 1 – 2 that the Word was with God the Word is God. On the other hand many believe that Christ will not return, they say, "We have heard that for years, He is not here yet."
The other reason given to worship God in this text is because "… you created all things, and by your will, they were created and have their being." In 2006 a news report said that Nearly 450 Christian churches in the United States celebrated the 197th birthday of Charles Darwin. The churches say Darwin`s theory of biological evolution is compatible with faith and that Christians have no need to choose between religion and science. What has been done is to accommodate what the Bible says to what worldly science says about the creation of the Universe and World; this poses a problem. If creation is an allegory so are the Gospels. You see, the power that Christ used to create the world is the same power He used to perform His miracles. If Christ cannot create the World in six days by speaking them into existence, He cannot change water into wine, heal lepers or resurrect the dead; this would make Christ either a lunatic or a charlatan. His dying on the Cross was in vain, and we are no better off for it.
The next text used in our lesson is from Revelation 5: 8 – 14. The reason given there to worship is because, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing" (verse 12). (The Book of Revelation has 28 allusions to Christ as the Lamb of God.) Is Christ worthy to receive power, and riches, etc.? Can He be trusted? The Devil has attacked this belief by twisting the meaning of the Cross away from a revelation of God's character and achievement of a purified humanity, to pay a legal penalty. That God must inflict penalties and therefore executed His Son, and God will use His power to inflict pain and suffering on all those who don't accept the legal penalty paid. While incarnate and walking among men on earth, did Christ behave in any fashion that would lead us to believe that He exacted revenge and inflicts pain on those who wrong Him? Has the Father ever acted that way? The answer to both questions is "No!"
The next reference to worship is in Revelation 7:9-12. Here the reason for worship is salvation. It is clear from scripture that Christ saved the world (John 3:16; John 4:42; 2 Corinthians 5:19). But, somehow there is a fallacy that God only saves those who believe. And, those who do not believe God will destroy; this is a prevalent view, even among non-Christian religions. Most religious leaders saw "9-11" attacks as punishment from God. A reporter once asked Reverend Billy Graham's daughter, "Why would God allow the attacks?" In a nutshell, she answered, "God could not protect us from the attacks because we asked Him to depart from us." God had to let go, and we suffered the consequences of our own choices. Let me ask you this? Who was in control of the attackers? Was it God? So, from who was the punishment? The truth is that the devil has convinced us that God's motto is: "love me, or I will kill you." That is not God's motto is it the devil's.
The last reference to worship we will look at is Revelation19:1-5. In this verse, God is to be praised because "…true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants" (verse 2). God is right, His ways and methods have been proved true. The false system has been exposed, and an end to sin and sinners has been experienced! How has this been corrupted and distorted as we approach the end of time? In certain circles is said that "The Great Controversy doesn't exist. Satan did not accuse God. Therefore, God does not need to prove His character or trustworthiness. Sin is a willful choice to rebel against God without Satan deceiving. God merely must pay the legal penalty and punish those who remain in rebellion." This fallacy leads to continued sinning and a rejection of God's healing of our hearts.
It is not only vital that we believe but what we believe is also important. Believing the truth about God will lead to eternal life. Believing the lies that Satan says about God will lead to eternal death. It is as if God is like a Doctor saying "you are terminally ill, let me heal you." But, Satan says, "You are not that bad. You can live with your disease. You do not need the medicine. Who cares, you have to die of something. He – the doctor – is saying that to make more money. He is not a real specialist. What if He misdiagnosed you? He is trying to kill everyone that has that disease. He is in cahoots with the pharmacists. Just take something for the symptoms." But, God does not hate you. He hates Sin. But, those who cling to Sin will be destroyed with Sin. As previously mentioned Ellen White says, "In all who submit to His power the Spirit of God will consume sin. But if men cling to sin, they become identified with it. Then the glory of God, which destroys sin, must destroy them" (Desire of the Ages 107). I pray we let the Spirit destroy Sin in us.