Thursday, April 28, 2016

Biblical Christianity and Scriptural Inerrancy

The Bible is the most fundamental book for preserving faith in God and Christ around the world over the centuries.  It is the word of God to a world in need of guidance.  It came through authorized servants and was recorded for future use.

Is every person that takes the book and goes about preaching from it authorized by God? Not if you believe the book itself. That authority only comes from God through a priesthood called by prophecy and the laying on of hands that he has authorized. It was a function of prophets to be watchmen and shepherds that are recognized as such even though many rejected them. Their testament remains valid.

Bible scholars do not base their opinions on revelation from God. This is why there are so many "Bible-based" churches.  This is a self-evident fact. They say the Bible is the only revelation given to man and they have appointed themselves to be the ones to tell people what it says and means. 

Because they depend on scholarship, debate, and discussion their opinions vary widely.  This seems to be of little concern to them as long as they call it "biblical Christianity" and accept the non-biblical trinity of the Nicene Creed as their doctrinal foundation for explaining God.

In a way similar to scientists, they formulate religious theories, like the Trinity, along with narratives and opinions seeking to give validity to their philosophies and creeds. Religious scholars have combed through the Bible formulating answers to questions that have come up through the centuries. 

The problem is many of their conclusions do not make sense. The scientist hasn't proven his theories about evolution or the beginning of existence, yet he will speak in a narrative that assumes them. Orthodox theologians do the same thing. 

Bible scholars and some Christian apologists use a similar strategy to make their opinions believable. They quote Jesus and the apostles as if they represent them.  A believer might assume that his pastor represents God because he is seeking an authoritative source to look to and confirm their belief system. The Bible scholars that pastors learn from, neither have nor claim an authoritative source beyond their ability to perform biblical exegesis and historical dissertation.

Their narrative defines a deity of unknowable characteristics that have no channel of speaking to men at the present day that is authoritative. The idea that God is a mystery is the predominant theology and they are the interpreters of that mystery.  

The Bible was given through prophets. Theologians have also made up teachings that explain why prophets and a central church are no longer needed. This orthodox narrative is based on the concept that a book, the Bible has replaced God and some connotation of a "Biblical Jesus" has replaced the living Christ.  

There is no true and living church for them. It has been replaced by a congregation of all "true believers".  An organization that can't be found in scripture or on the earth and only those that belong to it know that they are such believers.  

Jesus established a church, men changed it and a restoration of the church and gospel occurred in 1830. The prophet Joseph Smith was called of God to restore all of the ancient truths that had been lost through apostasy.  His message does not undermine the faith of all those sincere believers of the message of the Bible.  There are true believers in all ages.  There have been times, however, when the authority to organize the church was not present. Scholars misinterpret what the "gates of hell" signifies.

Christian Bible scholars do not base their scholarship on an authoritative mission from God. They may claim some special feeling or call it an anointing but they don't do so following any pattern of revelation found in the very Bible they study and quote. With what authority do they sell mercy, forgiveness, and salvation through their paid ministries?  It is of their own accord.

Their claim is that their version of the "Biblical Jesus" is all that a person needs to be saved.  Did they forget that Jesus is still alive! Even so, they persist in limiting God to a book and a time because they deny revelation and living prophets. 

The idea of an inerrant Bible has been held many Bible scholars through the centuries and again formalized in 1978 in Chicago in what has become known as the Chicago Statement on Bible Inerrancy.  This was a group of influential pastors, scholars, and apologists that got together to formalize their assumption of preaching authority. There are still many credible and qualified Bible scholars that hold that the book is not inerrant. 

The effort of the Evangelical community to give a sense of authority to their preaching standards is just a rote fixing of ideology.  These seminary graduates and students have essentially replaced God with a book. Because they know they don't have the authority and can't say that God speaks to them in an authoritative way they must close the conduit and limit their version of the word of God to something they can control. 

They are essentially acting on their own wisdom and philosophy. God has little to do with it. Their efforts have not created a cohesive unity of Bible believers.  Pastors pursue their own course of growing their congregations separate from others. They preach of a narrative based on man-made creeds and philosophy mixed with scriptural phrases and exhortations of love.  While this is admirable it is not the kingdom of God on earth.

Where did the Protestant movement get its authority if it is based on a reformation process of the Catholic church? And evangelicals? Where did they get authority?  Most if not all claim that the Bible authorizes them and Catholics will claim that their authority comes from Peter.  

The fundamental declaration of their faith, the Nicene Creed, which defines God as an incomprehensible trinity was established by what became the Catholic church.  The Protestants hold to it as do evangelical preachers and theologians. There is no real difference in their base theology.

While Catholicism is a worldwide church, one should ask if most of its members know who God is from a doctrinal standpoint. Their ultimate state of salvation is loosely spoken because they don't know what they really believe salvation will be. The rest of Christianity and even Catholicism is fractured into thousands of personalized belief systems none of which are strong enough to unify the groups of so-called Bible believers.

Christian apologists have closed the mouth of the deity. Accordingly, they can put their own narrative on theology according to their individual ministries. Their scholarly endeavors do nothing to add understanding established in ancient creeds and they hold themselves up however humbly by their own appointment.  

They dictate the terms of the Bible's existence, canonization and purpose.  They can say whatever they want to without any real oversight, simply claiming their book is inerrant. 

By calling it an inerrant word of God, while knowing that they themselves don't agree to the details of doctrine, they excuse themselves because the real power is in the book and not in them. The foundations of salvation and purpose of life are replaced with their interpretations and philosophy which are not necessarily true.

Because traditional orthodox theology doesn't offer a rational or reliable theology people have been reluctant to explore options that exist, like Mormonism for example.  They think it is the same but it isn't.

Mormons are Christians.  They are not orthodox Christians, yet the Book of Mormon has produced a unified doctrine of Christ that is held by all members throughout the world.  Why wouldn't the Christian world want another witness or multiple witnesses of their Savior? It is because then they can't control the narrative.

The concept of inerrancy and singularity of scripture causes them to teach concepts that do not allow for additional light and truth through revelation to prophets. They say instead that the prophets ended with Jesus and the apostles because if it didn't they wouldn't be able to preach their version of the gospel for money.

The mainstream orthodox teachers invoke "infallible authority" of the book itself, yet it has never been determined by anyone but them to give such authority.  This is a fallacy of assumption that they base their ministries on.  It is a self-perpetuating myth of authority.

Individual philosophy develops not based on anything factual but simply the opinions of individuals and the idea that there is no comprehensive truth that governs all things. At least not that is organized on the earth.  What they did get right is that the teachings and commandments of Jesus Christ are inerrant.  If we follow them we will be blessed. They will keep us on a path of peace and happiness.

Without divine authority, however, there can be no promise of salvation or revelation to tell us what that is.  For this reason, the orthodox organizations remain in the dark as to what their destiny and possibility really is.  They just don't know because they don't want to accept the reality of living prophets.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the kingdom of God on the earth and its growth and message are expanding throughout the earth under priesthood authority restored through living prophets.

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