Archive for August, 2016

Did The Catholic Church Give Us The Bible?

August 26, 2016

You have probably heard the bold claim (like I have many times) that the Catholic Church gave us the Bible, so they have the right to interpret it for us. Here is how Catholics made that claim in “Who Gave The Bible To The People” (by the Knights of Columbus): … in 390 A.D., at the Council of Hippo, the Catholic Church gathered together the various books which claimed to be scripture, passed on the merits and claims of each and this council decided which were inspired and which were not.

Let’s talk about some problems with that claim …

· So I guess all the faithful Old Testament saints (and Jesus and the apostles), without an infallible Council to tell them, didn’t know what the Old Testament canon was until 390 A.D.? No, the Catholics admit the Old Testament saints had a reliable canon even without any kind of infallible Council. Why not the same now?

· Are the books of the New Testament inspired because they were canonized by the Catholic Church, or were they canonized because they were inspired?

· The Council of Hippo was a mere rubber stamping of what had long been the universal standard for the majority of Christians. No problem with God using this rubber stamp (as one of a series of events) to help establish the canon, any more than God using Judas to betray Jesus – leading to our salvation.

· These Catholic councils didn’t end disputes. In the 1500’s, Martin Luther called James an “epistle of straw.”

· Hippo may have decided the Canon for the Catholic church, but they sure didn’t decide for the rest of us. For example, the protestant Bible’s “Table Of Contents” is different (has no Apocrypha).

The Catholic Church didn’t give us the Bible; God did:

· II Tim 3:16a All scripture is given by inspiration of God …

· II Pet 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

The Silence Of The Scriptures

August 19, 2016

Passages like Col 3:17 (“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”) show us we are not free just to do anything we want to in religion. No, we must have “authority” for everything we do (Matt 21:23-27). This is because Jesus has been given all authority (Matt 28:18); He is our boss. (if it weren’t Jesus, then it would be the Father) Good company employees do not act without the authority of their boss (specific or general authority). And so just because the Bible doesn’t specifically condemn something, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is okay. Jesus acted with this principle in mind with regard to the Father (John 5:19,30 – “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. … I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”), and we should do the same.

Also consider how a scripture like Heb 7:11-14 (“If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.”) shows that when God specifies something, that rules out other things in the same category. That has been easily illustrated through the years with Noah: When God told Noah to build the ark out of gopher wood, of course that ruled out using pine or oak.

Most churches don’t really consider God’s word when it comes to how they are going to operate (worship, practice, organization, etc.). They have rock bands because they enjoy rock. They have sports teams so they can draw in more people. Instead they should let the scriptures be their guide, because as we’ve seen, the Bible is like a guidebook for how God expects us to operate in religion.

With Most Approved Examples, It Is Obvious As To Whether Or Not They Are Binding

August 12, 2016

Some are unsure that approved New Testament examples are binding today, and the main reason is because no one can come up with any fail-safe infallible man-made rule that determines which examples are binding and which are not. But it seems to me that with about 99% of the examples – it is obvious as to whether or not they are still binding.

Some things in the Bible are obvious without a hermeneutical rule you know. For example, it is obvious from the context of John 13:18 that “He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me” is referring to Judas Iscariot right? We didn’t need some hermeneutical rule to know that, did we? All we had to do is read the context and understand what we were reading (Eph 3:4).

Similarly, regarding what is required for us to do today, it is pretty obvious the instruction Paul gave in II Tim 4:13 (“The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments”) is specific to only Timothy, and not for all time, isn’t it? I may not know a mathematical formula that rules it out, but we all know that instruction is not binding on us today, correct?

On the other side of the coin, it is mega obvious the example of the Bereans in Acts 17:11 (“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so”) is intended by God for us to emulate. If for no other reason, you can tell because of how much the Bereans are praised by God for such actions, and we certainly should covet the praise of God (John 12:43).

The way we determine if approved examples (as a general rule) are binding is not necessarily because we can answer every solitary question on the topic. The way we know approved examples are binding (required to be followed) is because God says they are … in passages like Phil 4:9, I Cor 11:1, I Cor 4:16, Phil 3:17, II Thess 3:9, Heb 6:12, and I Thess 1:6. Those scriptures should settle the question.

Questions For Those Who Believe Once Saved Always Saved

August 4, 2016

For those of you who believe in “Once Saved Always Saved,” please consider these questions …

What does II Chronicles 15:2 (“If You Forsake Him, He Will Forsake You”) say about a saint who forsakes God?

Who does Psalms 31:23 (“O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful …”) say God will preserve, and who does that imply He will not preserve?

In Genesis 2:17 God said to Adam and Eve – “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” So weren’t Adam and Eve saved, then lost?

What happens if a Christian commits the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (according to Matt 12:31-32 – “All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men … neither in this world, neither in the world to come”)?

What happens to a Christian that is unwilling to forgive their brother (according to Matt 6:14-15 – “if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”)?

What about a Christian who is unwilling to confess his sins (according to I John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”)?