Monday, December 31, 2012

Statements of Un-Faith: What Do Our Churches and Denominations Really Believe About Scripture?

Practically all churches, denominations, Bible colleges, seminaries, and other religious organizations have “Statements of Faith” that address their doctrinal views on Scripture.  The following is a common template:

We believe that the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, is the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God, and that it is without error in the original manuscripts; and that it is the final authority in all matters of faith and conduct. 
But while it appears to be a Statement of Faith, it’s really nothing more than a “Statement of Un-Faith,” or a “Statement of Unbelief.”  Reading it again, notice the bolded and underlined portion. 

We believe that the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, is the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God, and that it is without error in the original manuscripts; and that it is the final authority in all matters of faith and conduct. 
In short, they don’t believe that the Bible exists today; they only believe that the Bible was inspired,[1] inerrant,[2] and infallible[3] Word of God in the original manuscripts (autographs); and since these autographs no longer exist, then by default the Word of God no longer exists.  But if the Word of God no longer exists, then how can it be the final authority in all matters of faith and conduct? 

If the Word of God doesn’t exist, then how can anyone be sure of anything – including the need for salvation?[4]  If the Word of God doesn’t exist, then how can it be “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: [so] That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works”?[5]  How can man live by “every word” that proceeds from the mouth of God if those very words don’t exist?[6]  And if the Word of God doesn’t exist, then how can anyone be held accountable for teaching error if the Bible itself is full of errors?[7]  To do so would be unjust!  So while these "Statements of Faith" seem bold and authoritative in their pronouncement, they really only mask the unbelief of the church or organization who published it. 

But if this were not enough, many have shortened their Statements to read:

We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. 
Few would disagree with this statement, and it does sound authoritative.  But at the same time, the autographs don’t exist and so there’s no way to test the mettle of a man’s faith as it pertains to the inspiration of the Scriptures.  In other words, it takes more faith to believe that God has preserved his Word than it does to believe that he inspired it.  The autographs don’t exist, but the copies do.  So has God preserved his Word in these copies or has he not?  And if so, which ones?    

Most denominations and churches are of the mindset that “scribal errors” that have entered into the written text of God’s Word thus corrupting it and rendering it unreliable, or not as reliable as the autographs, and so this is why they’ve removed inerrancy and infallibility from their Statements.  They don’t believe that the copies are “without error” (inerrant) or that they’re “incapable of error” (infallible), and so this is why their Statements now only refer to inspiration.  So again, while their "Statements of Faith" seem bold and authoritative in their pronouncement, they really only mask the unbelief of the church or organization who published it. 

But if they do believe in the perfect preservation of Scripture, then they must also name which “version” they think is the Word of God.  You can’t say that you believe in the perfect preservation of Scripture without naming a version because there are two major sources from which all versions are translated.  All modern versions come from the same set of manuscripts used by Rome to produce its Latin Vulgate while the King James Bible comes from a completely different set – and so a side must be chosen.  Two Bible translations that come from different sources that read so differently can’t both be true – despite the marketing to the contrary.  It’s irrational.  This doesn’t mean that one set has more “scribal errors” in it than the other.  It means that one is the Word of God and the other is the word of Satan.  One is a Bible while the other is a (per)version.  This one tidbit alone is enough to provide the saint with a clear mind as to which s of God and which is of Satan.  But given the ecumenical state of our churches, this is unlikely to occur.     

But returning to the point at hand, if our religious institutions don’t believe that God’s Word exists today, then why are we listening to them?  Selah. 



[1] Inspiration – literally means "God-breathed" (2 Tim. 3:16); meaning, all Scripture was written by God as he moved upon men by the power of his Holy Spirit. 
[2] Inerrant – without error.  With God as its Author, Scripture was written without any errors.  God by his very nature is both inerrant and infallible and his Word is the same.  Thus, the doctrine of the perfect preservation of Scripture requires that God's Word remains inerrant else God isn’t all-powerful.    
[3] Infallible – incapable of error.  God by his very nature is incorruptible as is his Word.  This teaches that the Scriptures would be perfectly preserved although it is true that corrupted manuscripts exist (2 Cor. 2:17; 4:2).   
[4] Jn. 5:39; 2 Tim. 3:15
[5] 2 Tim. 3:16-17
[6] Dt. 8:3; Mt. 4:4
[7] Mt. 5:18-19; Ja. 3:1

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