The advent of media has all of our minds swimming with information. One recent study explained that more new “information” changes hands every hour then it did between all the years 100AD-1850AD. That pure amount of data makes it hard to stop, analyze, and process what is right and what is wrong. Thus, many are simply ignorant in their understanding of the Bible and Cults. Specifically, “What is historic orthodox Christianity and what is distraction or deception?” Before we speak towards Osteen, Bell, Catholicism, the Jesus Calling, and others, let the foundation be set true:
How Do We Know the Bible is True?
- The Bible was remarkably formed. The Bible was written over a time span of 1600 years, written by over 40 authors, containing 66 separate books, and never contradicts itself. Just imagine trying to gather 40 different scientists over almost two millennia to agree on one thing, let alone all things. It would be humanly impossible.
- The Bible has remained unchanged. God has preserved numerous Greek texts, and by analyzing these texts, it’s possible to determine what the original Greek New Testament said. There aren’t as many early texts for the Old Testament, but one historical element proves its preservation. Before 1947 the oldest Hebrew text (The Masoretic) dated from A.D. 1000. But, in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls were found dating to 100 B.C., and at least one portion of every Old Testament book of the Bible was discovered in those fragments, except for the Book of Esther. Miraculously, there was no variation in meaning between any one of the earlier Dead Sea texts of 100 B.C. and the later Masoretic texts of A.D. 1000.
- The Bible has remained indestructible. The Roman Emperor Diocletian said, “The Christian religion is destroyed and the worship of the gods restored.” However, only ten years later, Emperor Constantine made Christianity the state religion. Voltaire also said, “Fifty years from now the world will hear no more about the Bible.” Yet, fifty years later, the Geneva Bible Society bought the very press that Voltaire used to print his statement, and used it to print Bibles. Tyndale was persecuted, yet Christianity was printed. Thomas Payne criticized, yet America was founded on much Scripture.
- The Bible contains unique truth. Inside the Scriptures we learn of subjects which no other man has conceived and which exist in no other philosophical, historical, or sacred writ – Concepts such as the Holy Trinity, a six day creation, Christ’s dual nature as God and man, and God’s provision of salvation via the atoning sacrifice of His own Son – All complimenting the overarching principle that God will glorify Himself and bring joy to those who love Him. In the Scriptures we read of fulfilled prophecies, which retain a likelihood of 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
- The Bible retains its influence. The Word of God remains earth’s all-time bestseller and continues to influence law, order, character, and society for both the believer and unbeliever alike.
How Should the Bible Impact Our Daily Life?
Everything in Christianity rises and falls on the question, “What is God’s true Revelation?” The answer to that is, “The Bible.” Because the Bible is the objective Word of God, infallible and authoritative for our daily decision making, our entire life and relationship to Christ can be tested through it’s pages. Because it’s perfect and been proven over multiple millennia, we can trust it. Because it doesn’t indicate one direction today and another tomorrow, we can rest in it.
The mind of a man must be subservient to the mind of God through His revealed Word. It is not the mind that judges the Scriptures, but the Scriptures that judge the mind. And, if a man is truly a believer and has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit to walk in new life, he is by this very relationship to God, receiving enlightenment from the Holy Spirit through the Scriptures. Know the Bible, know God!
The true Christian will trust the supremacy of the Bible, immerse themselves in the truths of the Bible, and live out their obedience based on the Bible, knowing that the more they turn each page, the more God flows into their heart.
What Are the Common Distractions From God’s Word?
- Rationalism. Rationalism holds the mind as supreme, often denying that God exists at all, and that if He did, wouldn’t write things down. Atheists, Agnostics, and Deists, such as Greek philosophers and many of America’s founding forefathers, all held to some level of rationalism, even if simply believing that God existed but was largely indifferent towards humanity. Rationalism currently resides in many institutions of higher education, criticizing the Scriptural texts, looking for holes, and boasting in intellectual prominence, of a faith that cannot save. Zeitgeists, such as Rob Bell, mark the path for this generation of apostates.
- Mysticism. Mysticism holds that experience is supreme, often using the Bible as a tool, but validating it based on special emotions, feelings, dreams, and coincidences. Taught historically by the Quakers and Thomas Kempis, mysticism is prevalent in charismatic circles today through pantheistic publications such as “The Jesus Calling” and others. Mysticism also prioritizes experience in it’s preaching, holding that the more emotive the worship, or blessed the congregation, the more God has appeared. Joel Osteen currently drives this bus full of deceivers.
- Romanism. Romanism holds that church authority is supreme, using the Bible but trusting the church to be it’s ultimate interpreter. Romanism claims that the Pope is without error and authority must be based in tradition. Thus, the Scriptures are often obscured, forcing people away from personal growth in the Word, and back to the church for all their supposed answers. Much blood was shed that Protestantism could reform Rome’s lie. We must be wary not to halfheartedly dip our hands in that blood by accepting ecumenicalism without notice.
- Cults. Cults hold that the Bible plus some other written word is supreme, often claiming that another text is illuminated beside (or above) the Scriptures. Historically, Mormonism holds the Book of Mormon as inspired and Christian Science holds Mary Baker Eddy’s book as inspired. Other cults practice a form of Neo-Orthodoxy choosing to eliminate certain portions of the biblical text, a modern example being the Jehovah Witness’s who cut away the Scriptures which maintain Christ as God’s only Son. Understand that cults are not ignorant pups showing up lost on your doorstep. They are preachers of the devil, to be reprimanded, and not allowed into your home.
These false views of the Bible can be easily summarized. In Rationalism, the mind is supreme. In Mysticism, experience is supreme. In Romanism, the church is supreme. Among cults, the Bible plus writings from the founder is supreme. Beware, the hottest fires of hell are reserved for those who twist God’s Word to deceive (2 Peter 2).
The historic Orthodox view of Scripture holds that the Bible alone is supreme. Orthodox Christians will affirm that the Bible is divinely inspired, inerrant, and authoritative for ALL matters of faith and practice.
- Fruchtenbaum, Arnold “The Nature of the Bible”
- Pinnock, Clark “Biblical Revelation”
- Chafer, Lewis Sperry “Systematic Theology