Bruxy Cavey, Pastor and Teacher at The Meeting House, denies the inerrancy of the Scriptures. Further than that, he teaches that certain parts of Scripture are not just mistaken, but sinful and wrong. In demonstrating this he pits certain portions of Scripture against others. To prove the errancy of the Bible Bruxy has a few examples he uses, one of which is Titus 1:12-13. He says:
“So now he (Paul) quotes a secular saying ‘Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons’ and then Paul validates it ‘clearly this saying is true’. He not only validates what really amounts to a racist slur of an entire people group, he validates it as true and then goes on to give pastoral advice based on that racist slur. ‘This saying is true, therefore…’ Therefore, in light of the truth of this saying ‘rebuke them sharply so they will be sound in the faith.’ Now, I think if you pushed Paul to the wall he would admit ‘okay maybe not every Cretan is ALWAYS a liar and an evil brute and a lazy glutton’ um, I guess that was an overstatement, I get that. And we say ‘Paul, should we really base our discipleship on that assumption every time we come across someone who’s from Crete? So I have a young woman in my congregation who’s from Crete and she’s very sensitive and can be easily discouraged but you’re saying I should still be sharp with her because she’s from Crete?’ ‘Well, no maybe I over-spoke there’ and in fact Paul here is teaching something that is contrary to what he himself teaches in other places. He teaches that in Christ we shouldn’t relate to one another according to our ethnicity in Galatians 3. Ethnicity just shouldn’t be a factor in our identity within the church. He teaches that we should always think on what is good and what is lovely and what is pure in Philippians. That we should always hold up what is best. He teaches that love believes all things and hopes all things, that is gives the benefit of the doubt in 1 Corinthians 13. Love moves into a situation believing and hoping the best in someone, not assuming the worst before they even get a chance to open their mouth just based on their ethnicity. On multiple points the totality of Scripture, just restricting ourselves to the writings of Paul, corrects ourselves. So I’m not thrown off by this. I think Paul, after he had a chance to step back would look at what he wrote here and say ‘Wow, I don’t even believe this! This is an example of me getting carried away, oversimplifying based on perhaps some very recent experience I’ve had with some Cretans and I didn’t need to say that’. And yet I’m glad it’s recorded in Scripture – why? – because it encourages me that God uses imperfect people. And even as I listen to the Apostle Paul long enough, I’m not going to judge him! I’m not gonna judge him as someone who is a write-off, I am going to judge this saying as inappropriate, and I am gonna thank God that He has left it in Scripture because even through the continued thinking of the Apostle Paul I’m led to see ‘oh, I’m glad I didn’t write Paul off because Paul sees better than this, Paul himself knows better than this, the Spirit is working through him and is teaching me things about Christ’.-Inspired #3 Drive Home– (19:03)
So, when Bruxy reads Titus 1 what he sees is that Paul is guilty of perpetuating a racial slur. As Bruxy sees it we can write this entire section off as Paul overdoing it because elsewhere Paul has taught against what Bruxy perceives him to be doing.
Here I want to argue that Bruxy Cavey’s view of Scripture is not only flawed and his understanding of the text extremely poor, but renders all of his teaching as a Pastor utterly incoherent. Not only does Bruxy not understand what inerrancy is, he calls into question the entirety of God-breathed revelation and the character of God, and sets himself up as the ultimate authority over Jesus.
Bruxy Does Not Understand Inerrancy
In the quote above, Bruxy Cavey’s understanding is that “the Spirit is working through him (Paul) and is teaching me things about Christ”. Later in the same podcast he says:
“If I were to ask you the question ‘Well did everything that the Apostle Paul ever say – was that always perfect? Was everything that he ever said perfect?’ you could say ‘No, no, obviously not’. Okay, well then how about everything he ever wrote? Do we have to believe that everything he wrote was perfect? Or can we say he was inspired by God to write it down, his imperfections come through but the Holy Spirit was so involved in the process that He uses even the errors, even the imperfections to bring us to the perfect truth of Christ?” (27:18)
In these two quotes it is obvious that Bruxy Cavey thinks inerrancy and inspiration have to do with Paul himself. He is teaching that it is Paul who was inspired, but is that the case? Let’s check the Scriptures to see what the Bible itself says.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:16,17 ESV
The portion “breathed out by God” is a Greek word (theopneustos) that is rendered “inspired” in other translations. So what, exactly, is inspired or God-breathed? From the text we see that it is the Scriptures themselves, not the writers, not everything they say or write or do, but specifically the Scriptures. The doctrine of biblical inerrancey does not make any claim to the veracity of anything outside of the Scriptures themselves.
If Bruxy Cavey is going to claim that the fact that Paul was not perfect in everything he said or wrote or did is some kind of argument against the inerrancy of the Scriptures then, in reality, all his argument proves is that he is either completely ignorant of what inerrancy even is, or he is purposely misleading his hearers.
Bruxy’s Teaching on Scripture Calls into Question all of Scripture and the Character of God
If the Bible truly is an errant document with many errors throughout then what do we make of the fact that it claims for itself to be God-breathed (2 Tim 3:16), that Jesus said it was God speaking to us (Matthew 19:4-6, 22:29-32), and that Peter taught that we could be more sure of the word of Scripture than what we see and hear with our own eyes and ears because it was holy men speaking from God (2 Peter 1:16-21)? God is omnipotent, cannot lie, and cannot deny Himself. If Scripture is what it claims to be, and God is who He says He is, then can God speak error? Would God breathe a sinful racial slur and provide misguided pastoral advice to Timothy? This is absurdity, and it puts a huge question mark over all of the text of Scripture.
The point is this – if God would not speak error or sin, then those sections of Scripture that Bruxy Cavey claims are in error or sinful are not God speaking, and are therefore, not Scripture. We are then left with the Bible, some of which is Scripture, some of which is not. If Bruxy wants to maintain that it is all Scripture then he must explain how it is that Scripture is all of the things that God has claimed for it, and yet God would speak error and sin. This is where his position is utterly incoherent, unable to account for Bruxy’s own appeal to the Scriptures in his teaching.
So, which is it? Does God speak error and sin, or are parts of the Bible just not Scripture?
Bruxy’s View Makes Bruxy the Ultimate Authority
Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that Bruxy is right about the Bible – it contains errors and even sinful instruction. Some of it is true, some of it is not. In this scenario what we really need is an objective standard, a greater authority outside of Scripture to inform us which portions are true and which portions would lead us into serious error and sin!
So, what exactly is that standard? Bruxy seems to have access to it, since he is not shy about proclaiming what is and what isn’t error. I would like for him to share this standard with all of us so that we can evaluate his own pronouncements by it. The problem is, no such standard exists! Bruxy might claim that Jesus is the ultimate standard and so we judge Scripture based on Jesus, but everything we know about Jesus comes from the very Scriptures that he claims contain errors, so how do we know that what the Scriptures say about Jesus are accurate? It is the very definition of begging the question.
Essentially, Bruxy’s view of Scripture makes Bruxy the ultimate authority. He is able to look at the Scriptures and decide for himself what is true and what is not based on his own opinion or preferences. I’m sure he would admit he could be wrong, but that only makes the situation worse! Now his congregation is left with a fallible, ignorant authority informing them of what is truth, what is error, what is sin, and what is pleasing to God. In this way Bruxy is really lifting himself up, putting himself on God’s throne as the authority, and saying “has God really said?…” It reminds me of another Bible character.
Bruxy Cavey, in a demonstration of ignorance of what inerrancy is, has decided that the Bible is an errant document. Of course, this is irreconcilable with what Jesus and the Bible claim about Scripture. He is left with a scenario where either the Scriptures are not what they claim (God speaking), some of the Bible is Scripture and some is not, or God is not who He claims to be. Without an ultimate standard outside of Scripture we are left in utter darkness when it comes to any knowledge of God, Christ, and the gospel. Bruxy is left as his own authority over what is and is not Scripture and what is and is not sin. He has called into question what God has said and has set himself up as the arbiter of truth. This is not the teaching of a faithful Christian.