The Whirlpool’s Deadly Trap: Disenfranchising Jesus -- By: Zane C. Hodges

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 32:62 (Spring 2019)
Article: The Whirlpool’s Deadly Trap: Disenfranchising Jesus
Author: Zane C. Hodges


The Whirlpool’s Deadly Trap: Disenfranchising Jesus

Zane C. Hodges1

I. Introduction

In his famous epic poem the Odyssey, Homer describes Odysseus’ danger-filled return from the Trojan War to his home in Ithaca. Among the legion of dangers he faced was the whirlpool called Charybdis.

Odysseus was warned that his ship must pass between two great rocks no farther apart than a bowshot. On one rock dwelt the monster Scylla that could snatch six men off his vessel at one time and devour them. At the foot of the other was the whirlpool. It was called the dreaded Charybdis because it,

…sucks the dark waters down. Three times a day she spews them up, and three times she swallows them down once more in her horrible way…you must hug Scylla’s rock and with all speed drive your ship through, since it is far better to mourn the loss of six of your company than that of your whole crew.2

Reluctantly, Odysseus took this advice and, although he suffered the loss of six of his men, he passed safely by Charybdis. Thus Odysseus escaped the whirlpool’s deadly trap.

II. A Theological Analogy

A whirlpool, in fact, is an extremely appropriate figure of speech to describe the enormous confusion that characterizes today’s Evangelical views of eternal salvation. This roiling vortex pulls into itself not only individuals, but whole churches, denominations, and Christian organizations. A cacophony of voices extols virtually every theological view that the human mind can imagine.

But of course it is not really the human mind that produces this confusion. Paul tells us in 2 Cor 4:3–4:

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the glory of the gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

The simple decisive fact is this: Satan vigorously seeks to prevent the salvation of the lost. His stratagems are many, but one of the most obvious involves the preaching of unclear and/or false gospels by those who profess to be Christians. This happened quite early in the history of Christianity. Luke records that when the leaders of the early Church met to discuss the inclusion of Gentiles, there were different opinions. We learn in Acts 15:1 that one such opinion was given by a certain group: “And certain men came down from Judea and ...

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