Tuesday, 4 February 2020
But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, 2 Peter 2:12
There are two views on how to translate the word “natural” here. The first is to connect it to the words “brute beasts.” The second would be to tie it to the words “caught and destroyed.” The second option seems more likely, so the second view will only be cited here. Charles Ellicott translates it as “born naturally for capture and destruction.”
Either way, Peter continues to speak of those he has been describing. They are people who walk according to the flesh, who despise authority, and so on. He now says that they are “like natural brute beasts.”
Here, he uses the word alogos. It is the word logos, meaning “reason,” which is prefixed by the negative particle a. Therefore, it signifies “unreasoning.” Just as an animal is unable to reason things out, these people have become so degraded in their minds that they live by animal instincts. They are unwilling to simply stop and think things through in a logical, rational way.
Peter notes that such animals are “made to be caught and destroyed.” He is not actually calling for these people to be culled from the pack, but that is the expected lot of the animals which they are like.
In other words, though not calling for them to be caught and destroyed, this is what would otherwise be expected of them because they have reduced themselves to the same state as such animals that do need to be destroyed. They have not only reduced themselves to a state of no value at all, but they are actually harmful to society. Logically then, unless they come to their senses, the Lord will handle them as they deserve in due time.
Peter continues by saying that because they are like such irrational animals, they “speak evil of the things they do not understand.” What God has ordained in the universe, from the movement of the atoms to the movement of the cosmos, is perfectly ordered. Each aspect of the created order works in a harmonious way. This then extends to the thought that God is infinitely wise and what He has done should be considered as such.
And yet, a good example of the type of people Peter speaks of are those who attribute these magnificent workings of God to time and chance. They blaspheme God by saying that order was brought from chaos through an evolutionary process. This is but one of countless examples of how people take what is good and true about God, and what He has done, and they twist it or ignore it, they speak evil of it, and yet they have no true understanding of it. Of them, Peter says that they “will utterly perish in their own corruption.”
The Greek of these words has a play on words which is not seen in the English. By taking the noun and verb forms of a word, Peter says something like “in the destruction of them, they will also be destroyed.” The probable meaning of his words is that just as they have reduced themselves to the state of irrational animals, so they will be destroyed as irrational animals are destroyed. Their own moral corruption will be as a sentence against them, and because of it, they will get what they deserve.
Life application: In Revelation 2 and 3, we are given a direct look into the thoughts of how carefully Jesus considers the state of His church. We stray from His precepts at our own peril, and those who add to or detract from His word do so at their own condemnation. The words there carefully reveal the truths that Peter writes about in this epistle.
An example of what Peter is referring to is reflected in the attitude of the Episcopal church. All the way back in 2011, they stated, “On Good Friday, the day we mark the crucifixion of Christ, God in the flesh, might we suggest that when Earth is degraded, when species go extinct, that another part of God’s body experiences yet another sort of crucifixion…” The note goes on to state that it is notable that many religious leaders are celebrating both Good Friday and Earth Day as “holy.”
Equating their perverse climate agenda with the crucifixion of Jesus is not only contemptible, but the theology made in the comparison is severely deficient. The earth is not a “part of God’s body.” Rather it is a part of His creation. Man has been given dominion over the earth, but the earth – its climate, its future, and its existence – is under the complete control of God. Man’s role in earthly matters will be judged based on his relationship with Jesus, not on global warming.
As the years have passed since that Good Friday statement was issued, the levels of depravity within the Episcopal church have increased almost exponentially. Those who teach such corrupt theology, rather than the truth of Christ, will have to face God someday, and they will be treated just as irrational animals, which they are, should be.
Lord God, surely sound doctrine is of great value. When it is lacking, there can only be a departure from the truth of Your word. This, in turn, will lead to separation from You and eventually to destruction. Open our minds to properly reason out our theology so that what we hear and believe will be acceptable in Your glorious eyes. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen