Subtle Lies?

Video Talk

I read a meme on social media that had me concerned that it might be giving out a subtle false message. It was quoting a passage of Scripture, but the translation was not identified, so I don’t know the source. But then I read the passage of Scripture in the ESV, so I am going to share both with you, and I will share what I am seeing, and you can decide for yourself if what I am seeing makes sense to you or not.

“For the source of your pleasure is not in my performance or the sacrifices I might offer you. The fountain of your pleasure is found in the sacrifice of my shattered heart before you. You will not despise my tenderness as I bow down humbly at your feet.” Psalms 51:16-17 (translation unknown).

Now my concern with the meme’s translation was that it might be giving a subtle false message. And my concern is based on many years of hearing the lies which have been spewing forth from these market-driven “churches” (businesses) and from their market-driven pastors and their people.

For when this begins with, “For the source of your pleasure is not in my performance or the sacrifices I might offer you,” I immediately heard again those lies which say that we don’t have to do anything to please God for he is already pleased with us because we believe (not defined) in him. But then I know that the Scriptures teach that we are to give our lives to God as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing/acceptable to him, and I know that many times in the Scriptures that we are taught to do what pleases the Lord.

Pleasing God: [Rom 8:8; Rom 12:1-2; 2 Co 5:9; Gal 6:8; Eph 5:10; Col 1:9-11; 1 Thes 2:4; 1 Thes 4:1; 2 Tim 2:4; Heb 11:6; Heb 13:6; 1 Jn 3:22]

So, this “raised a red flag” for me, and so I looked up the passage of Scripture in the ESV:

“For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Psalms 51:16-17 ESV

And then I read it in context. This was part of King David’s confession of sin to the Lord after he had done what he did with Bathsheba, in committing adultery with her, and after he had her husband murdered, and after Nathan, the prophet, confronted him with his sin. What he was acknowledging here was that a burnt sacrifice was not going to suffice, for what the Lord desired was that he truly repent of his sins and turn from them in humility and in true sorrow for his sins, not in worldly sorrow.

But when you quote it out of context, especially with a more loose (my opinion) translation, and especially in light of what I know is being taught today in the gatherings of the church (or the institutional market-driven church/business), I can’t help but feel that this is intended to be a subtle lie which is to say that God gets no pleasure in what we do or in the sacrifices we offer to him, which is true if this is of the flesh, but it is not true if what we are doing and if our sacrifices are of God and consistent with his Word.

And, to me, “shattered heart” and “tenderness” do not speak the same message as a “broken spirit” and a “broken and contrite heart,” especially if read in the full context of Psalms 51. For in the full context we see this broken spirit and this broken and contrite heart, for King David acknowledges his sin before the Lord, and that he had done evil. And then he called on the Lord to purge him with hyssop so that he would be clean. And then he asked the Lord to create within him a clean heart.

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Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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7 thoughts on “Subtle Lies?

    • Thank you, Bruce. Could you share some links with me where you have written about the TPT? I am not familiar with this translation, but it concerns me, well at least this one did.


      • Thank you. I read through the first one so far. I found it interesting that what I had picked up on was that the section of Scripture I read in that translation was feelings oriented and then to read that was the intention of the translation to be more feelings and emotional oriented.

        Bruce, the deception is getting worse and worse by the day and so many people are falling for it. Do you know anything about the new movie that is out called “Jesus Revolution “? Also, what is your take on the revivals going on at Asbury and Lee colleges? I find the timing of the revivals and the new Jesus movie to be interesting and to possibly overlap each other in some ways but I have not dug into this very deeply yet. All that takes time. Your thoughts are appreciated.


      • Hi Sue, the TPT has been around for a few years now and a good number of evangelical churches have spoken out on it, but that doesn’t stop many from using it or advocating its use. Obviously exercising biblical discernment is not considered valid criticism in their opinion. I’ve read a few articles on the movie called “Jesus Revolution” with mixed reviews. I’d have a tendency to think that it is a watered-down witness but I would have to investigate it further to confirm that. With regard to the Asbury revival, again I have read mixed reviews from quite a variety of attendees. Short story is I don’t know. There appears to be a definite correlation of timing involved on these “events” but whether that is deliberate or not, I do not categorically know. As you have indicated, Sue, doing thorough research on these events takes considerable time and as of yet, I haven’t been directed by God’s Holy Spirit to do so.

        There is so much going on these days that it seems one is tempted to jump from one lily pad to another and I honestly have not felt the leading of God to do that. Stick with the basics and solidify God’s truth persistently is the direction I am led to go in. I’m pretty sure that if God wants me to do otherwise He will make His will known to me. There is a delicate balance involved with regard to voicing justified criticism and urgency. Periodically God will draw my attention to look at what I call an “off ramp”, like I did recently with the Enneagram, and prior to that, Roman Catholicism, but I try really hard to follow God’s leading in these diversions. I also am of the opinion that time itself will validate or invalidate some of these “events”. Hope this answers your questions and that it is helpful. Blessings, Sue.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree. I have followed some of the same types of thinking and reasoning, and bottom line is that we need to be led by the Holy Spirit. Thank you, Bruce, for taking the time to answer my questions. God bless you. Sue

        Liked by 1 person

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