A Different Perspective

What Are You Afraid Of?

It has become general knowledge among my readers that I do not hold the Bible to be infallible. Understandably, it’s a shock to many, because I profess to be Christian, and have many posts built on a vast knowledge and appreciation of scripture. Some think that I hold my view ‘by mistake’, that I do not understand the meanings of inerrancy nor infallibility, or that I’m simply misguided, and in time, I will come to know and accept the truth – which is that the Bible is infallible.

However, I’m resolutely convinced that they are not only mistaken, but under a strong delusion. I can’t understand the resistance to this very simple truth, except to consider that perhaps they are afraid of the truth. I am told, quite adamantly, that I hold my position dangerously, and I can’t help but feel that they think I should be afraid to hold such a view.  Am I in danger of hell fire?  I thought my salvation was based on faith in Jesus, not the Bible’s infallibility!

Actually, I have been afraid. Afraid to be seen differently. Afraid that I wouldn’t be taken seriously as a Christian or rejected as a heretic. Afraid that my writings will be discarded, when they realise that I don’t subscribe to the infallibility clause. I have been afraid that I wouldn’t be able to defend my position. However, the more and more I’ve been pushed to change it, the more I realise I owe it to the truth to defend it!

Now, I have to ask, what are they afraid of??? I can think of a few reasons that someone might choose to hold the view that the Bible is infallible. If there is more, please feel free to enlighten me. Here are the ones that come to mind:

1. For moral standards. I think they are afraid that if the Bible is not accepted as infallible, people would not hold to the same moral code, because they would ascribe the teachings they dislike as opinionated or old-fashioned;

2. For historical validity. If the Bible’s accuracy was questionable, then it could no longer be used to prove certain historical facts that attest to God’s relationship with the Jews and the life and teachings of Jesus;

3. For spiritual guidance. I think they are afraid that too many people with diverse perspectives, righteous and unrighteous behaviour, could claim that they are each acting on God’s counsel, direction or inspiration, such that we can no longer be certain what is true revelation or false;

4. For unity of worship. If the Bible is not accepted as infallible among Christians, then there would be no basis in saying that only Christians have the truth, and that Jesus is the only way. It would simply be one of various holy books.

5. For belief and comprehension of God. Since the Unknown God revealed Himself to the Isrealites, the Hebrew Bible is evidence that God exists at all. To be able to discredit it in anyway, may erode one’s foundation of belief in God.

I think I have covered it all. I hope this shows that I fully understand the position I am taking by saying that the Bible is not of necessity infallible.  It seems to me that the whole foundation of the teaching that the Bible is infallible is because God CAN make an infallible Book.  Certainly, He can, but it doesn’t mean the Bible in its diverse versions, (as many are aware that certain books have been rejected from the original canonized scriptures that made up the original Bible) is it!  Still, they pull every quote about God’s Word being pure and true, to ascribe it to the Bible as an entity.  It is simply a false, or misguided association.  Yes, the Bible contains God’s words, but it doesn’t mean every word of it is God’s own words!

If it is infallible, praise God. If it is not, praise God all the more!  Why do I say praise God all the more…? Because it is in the nature of God to use the weak things to show forth His glory! If the objects He chose to use had any glory of their own, He may not get all the credit! That’s why He chose to fight a war with 300 men! That’s why He made the Israelites circulate Jericho seven times to bring down the wall. This is how God put it across to Paul:

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9).

God’s power is more evidently displayed in the Bible, by the collaboration of many great men of God in its compilation, by the authority it commands, by how God has preserved and how God chooses to use it to bring about salvation for mankind. God uses men and uses the Bible, but only Jesus has the fullness of God’s glory and is the infallible Word of God (John 1:1).

God’s power will also be shone in the end, by how He builds, guides and leads His Church, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit…despite our theological and cultural differences, stubborn arguments and incessant divisions! Despite ourselves, God will unite His Church by His Spirit and His Spirit alone.

Those who are a part of His Body are already being moved by His Spirit to unity. They will grow in understanding of Him, appreciation of each other’s unique gifts and abilities, graciousness towards all men and ultimately become more Christlike as they learn to submit to His Spirit.

It was the Spirit of God that reminded the Apostles of all Jesus did and said. As they were moved by love for each other, they also wrote epistles. We too, have been promised this same Spirit. To deny that is to actually affirm that you do not really hold the Bible as infallible or even true, because the ministry of the Holy Spirit is a fundamental aspect of the Christian Faith.

However, as I shared in my post, MY CASE FOR JESUS, THE WORD OF GOD AND THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, one of the dangers of holding the Bible as complete and infallible is the accompanying teaching that God has ceased giving His children inspiration to write or revelations of any nature! That is a lie from the pit of hell!  Is it not the same Bible that declares that in the last days, God will pour out His Spirit on all flesh (Joel 2:28)???  In the Book of Revelation, chapter 11, we also read about two witnesses who will minister as prophets of God before Christ returns.  I do fear that they will be disregarded and persecuted by the mainstream Church as heretics, at the rate we are going!

If we discard the Holy Spirit, how then will God grow His Church? Is it through our bickerings over the one thing the majority of Christians actually agree on (being the Bible)???  It is not enough that I accept the Bible’s authority and submit to its revelation of Jesus Christ, I must also profess that is infallible?  And I must agree with you on every point of contention within its pages?

Many accept that the Holy Spirit inspired men to write the various books of the Bible, but deny that the same Spirit is at work among Christians today, inspiring us to write poetry, music, literature and more.  I am not saying that there needs to be a Bible Part 2, or that Christian writings should be cataloged as sacred scriptures.  What I am saying is that we cannot simply declare the Bible as complete and infallible, just to stop the critiques from our opponents!  We can see how totally ineffective that approach has been.  What is more, it has done more harm by convincing our opponents that we are either ignorant, deluded or just plain liars!

So really, what are you afraid of?  That there will be chaos?  There’s chaos anyway!  That people will not submit to the same moral code?  They continue to do as they please, even as they faithfully attend Church carrying their Bibles!  That people will try to discredit the Bible?  They do so regardless, and by your stubborn stance, you’re giving them ammunition!  That Christians will not all hold to the same belief in Jesus?  There’s no unity there either.  My ability to accept the Bible as it is, infallible or not, has only caused me to see and accept the true treasure – JESUS CHRIST!

Maybe if we had enough faith in God to unite His Church through the Holy Spirit, and not declare the end of revelations, more people will have real relationships with God, which will lead more of us to unity of Faith; understanding and practice.  Maybe if we had not blocked our ears from hearing God, the world would not be able to deny that His Spirit is at work in us, and actually listen to what we have to say.  But, we have pretty much declared God dead, by the claim that He cannot speak a word outside of what is already written in the Bible.  I can imagine that the Real Sovereign God will be very angry at such a notion.  And dare I say, it could be the reason you are unable to perceive Him outside of the Bible.

Copyright © Ufuomaee

Photo credit: http://www.nowtheendbegins.com

If you liked this post, you might like A CALL TO UNPLUG OUR EARS

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29 replies »

  1. They are afraid of a God that they cannot hold in their own hands. God, his Word, is bigger than a book of ink and paper, but we take comfort in the knowable. We have become like those who, despite their vast knowledge of Scripture and well-developed theological perspectives, missed Salvation when it stood right in front of them.

    Jesus is the Word. Jesus is the Truth. Jesus desires worshippers in Spirit and Truth. It is the Spirit of Truth that makes the Scripture useful to the believer. Otherwise the Bible is just an idol, an object that people use to reduce God to their own size and keeps them from their true inheritance. Knowledge of a book is not enough.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joel, I haven’t shared this before, but I think now is a good time to. There was a day I was so moved by God, early when I became a Christian and so excited about what He was teaching me through the Bible, that in the throes of emotion, I kissed it!

      Instantly, God rebuked me! I felt it in my spirit strongly, that I had done something wrong – idolatrous. Immediately, I got on my knees and asked for forgiveness. From that day, I have always known the difference.

      We can make idols out of the things God sanctifies or the instruments He uses. We have to be very careful to ascribe glory and worship only to Him, because He is a jealous God.

      God bless you and everyone who reads this.

      Love in Christ, Ufuoma.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was raised in a church culture influenced heavily by the Fundamentalist movement. At some point it simply didn’t work for me. There’s no extraordinary evidence to prove the extraordinary claims of the Bible and believing a book because it says it should be believed is circular reasoning. There needed to be energy into the system.

        Some point later I realized that the Bible never claimed to be the center point proving my faith. Faith was a gift from God, something injected into the system and manifested in our obedience. I prayed for faith. I was freed from trying to find my salvation in devoted religious duty and began to understand my Bible for the first time. Since then I’ve been preaching the promises of the Bible rather than Bible-thumping and making the book an end to itself.

        Unfortunately I have a long way to go in convincing my coreligionists. I brought my paper Bible to church for the first time in a long time. I typically use my phone Bible because it contains many translations, is easier to use, etc. But I wanted a prop to make a point during Sunday school devotions and forgot. However, an older woman in the church, an icon of devotion, came to me to compliment me for my carrying the ‘sacred’ object. She got more than she bargained for in response.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ufuoma, my understanding of the infallibility of the written word of God is that, the Bible, having been inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the true Word of God and is incapable of being wrong. I really don’t think I am afraid of anything if someone else thinks otherwise.

    As far as I know, the Bible is historically correct, its prophecies accurate and its truths time-tested and true.

    I do also recognise that the Holy Spirit is still at work in our lives as Believers in Christ; He does reveal things to us. But I am convinced that His revelations are, and should be, consistent with the written word of God, The Bible. Such other ‘revelations; will be ‘suspicious’ if they are found to be inconsistent with the Bible. I say this, because I know the Holy Spirit cannot contradict Himself.

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    • “As far as I know, the Bible is historically correct, its prophecies accurate and its truths time-tested and true”! I am with you there. I am also with you on the belief that it was inspired of God, and as such, profitable for teaching and instruction as Paul said concerning scripture.

      I also agree that God will not contradict Himself, and any revelation He gives will be consistent with His previous revelations. As such, the Bible can serve as a benchmark, reference, guage or even anchor, to help us discern the Spirit of God.

      What I am not declaring is that the Bible itself is infallible. I will not go so far to say that. It is trustworthy, like those used to write it, but not infallible, just as they were not.

      Sincerely, Ufuoma.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s good to know that we are on the same page on the highlighted points. What is not clear is why you still think the Bible is infallible, despite the congruency in our expressed individual opinions.

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      • I’m a bit surprised at your question, because I think I have expressed why I hold my position in this post already, and also in the post I linked, being My Case for Jesus, the Word of God and the Ministry of the Holy Spirit. I also expressed why I do not take it to be infallible in my post A Classic Conversion Mistake.

        Simply put, to say that the Bible is infallible is a conclusive statement, based on the assumption that it could be. It isn’t a statement of fact, but a statement of made by faith that it could be. Perhaps if the entire Bible was written by the hand of God, like the first tablets given to the Israelites, there would be no doubt that it is entirely the infallible word of God. But, it wasn’t. It was written by men under different levels of inspiration, yet this doctrine gives them all the same weight, such that Paul’s words are equal to the words of Christ. It is illogical.

        I have insufficient reason to make such a statement in all sincerity. However, if the Bible is actually infallible, glory be to God. But if it isn’t, glory be to God too.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I think you build a lot of straw men concerning what inerrantists believe. It sounds like you place the inspiration of scripture on an equal plane with the ways in which God inspires us today, which he does. You hint that we ‘deluded’ ones don’t believe God inspires us at all, which is simply not true God inspires us, the Holy Spirit brings the truth of scripture to our hearts and minds. We just don’t believe that God is adding ‘new, never been seen or heard of before’ material/revelation to his written word. I would also like to add that your sentiments are not new. The inerrancy debate has been around for a long time. You might not even publish this comment. That’s fine. I just wanted to talk about it.

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    • It’s OK, Dan. I have no desire to persecute you for your belief. I just ask that you grant me that same respect. The Holy Spirit will lead us to unity of Faith in the end. We’ll settle all these issues in Heaven, and I’ll be glad to see you and everyone who disagreed with me, because we think we know so much, but God knows it all.

      Stay blessed, Ufuoma.

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      • And no persecution intended from this end. Just what should be uncomfortable truth. I wouldn’t want you other readers to take your very less that truthful remarks concerning the ‘deluded ones’ who believe them’heresy’ that the Bible IS the very word of God. A public comment to a public blog.

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      • I’ve never been uncomfortable with your belief. Majority of Christians hold that belief without question. You’re the one who started this campaign against me for having a contrary view. For me to declare that I think you’re deluded in your campaign, is simply to state my unbelief at your blindness in this regard.

        I have no issue with the Bible or the truth. You’re the one who seems to have an axe to grind.

        All the best with that.

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  4. “Actually, I have been afraid. Afraid to be seen differently. Afraid that I wouldn’t be taken seriously as a Christian or rejected as a heretic.” I take Christians who examine the Scriptures, set their minds to accurate understanding, think things through for themselves and add a layer of logic to their faith (“Come, let us reason together”) much more seriously than I take those who merely parrot what the church tells them.

    I’ve been rejected as a heretic by some for questioning the way the church has translated and taught some of Paul’s writings and for wondering whether Paul’s letters might be more suitable as adjunct to the New Testament rather than as Scripture itself – much like the Talmud is supplemental to the Torah. But I don’t mind. If I’m a heretic then I am in good company. Jesus was called a heretic and so was Paul for that matter. By definition, they were. Heresy is not a sin.

    Keep banging your drum sister. God has more to say.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I’m so glad you asked because directly after I posted the comment, I regretted that I did not write heresy is not NECESSARILY a sin.

        Heresy is merely a “belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine.” (New Oxford American Dictionary)

        A belief that goes against the Truth that God puts forth is blaspheme. A belief that goes against the doctrine that man puts forth (the traditions of man) is heresy.

        There is some overlap. Much of the doctrine that man puts forth is Truth. Going against that would be railing against God (blaspheme) and therefore, sin.

        But when the doctrine of the church is blatantly in error or just misses the mark, then going against it (still heresy by definition) is not sin.

        Jesus had opinions and beliefs contrary to the orthodox religious doctrine of His day and He spoke against it. If all heresy is sin then Jesus was a sinner and, therefore, not a suitable sacrifice.

        Paul went contrary to the orthodox religious doctrine of his day, too. Which is why he was hated and hounded and followed from town to town by those who were desperate to silence him.

        Paul, being human, may have been wrong at times. Some of his heresy may have been sin.

        But Jesus’s heresy was never sin. Hence my revised statement that heresy is not necessarily/always sin.

        I hope that clears it up. I’ve only had one sip of coffee so far this morning and the sleep hasn’t quite cleared from my eyes, so let me know if it does not.

        The Lord bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I understand your explanation and agree that just because the Church calls something heresy doesn’t make it so.

        Heresy is also false teaching. What is false teaching? Teaching that contradicts the teaching of scripture and the doctrine of the apostles.

        Does the Bible really teach that God has ‘more’ to say than what is recorded and can be tested by scripture – ‘new revelation’? If God has spoken by Jesus Christ in these last days (Hebrews 1) and that Revelation of Christ has been recorded in scripture, what ‘more’ is there and WHY do we want ‘more’?

        The Biblical inerrancy debate is an important one. If we want something ‘inerrant’ and the Bible isn’t it, what is inerrant and how do we get it? What could possibly be the standard?

        Those are some of the questions I bring to the table. I am not providing my personal answers. That would be a debate.

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      • Julie,
        I understand your explanation and agree that not everything That has been labeled heresy by a religious institution is actually heresy against God, that is to say ‘false teaching’. But discussing the inerrancy of scripture as heresy (the Bible isn’t the word,of God) is simply false on both counts. It is against Christian orthodoxy as well against God himself. A good study of inerrancy is helpful here. Does God really have ‘more’ to tell us than he has already revealed to us and is new or foreign to scripture? If he does how do we know it is inerrant? What’s the standard? Every Christian cult on the planet began with denying the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. TBN is full of modern day ‘apostles’ and ‘prophets’ who are no such thing. It’s a ‘new revelation’ free for all in which everyone is saying ‘God SPOKE to ME’ with their bony chests poked out as if they are possessed of a higher form of spirituality. To call it Pandora’s box might be too kind.

        Dear sister, please don’t fall for it!

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  5. On reading this piece, what I feel you fail to understand is the wholesomeness behind that word infallible, FIRST,you need to understand that the holy spirit will not give you anything teaching contrary to what was written in the Bible.. The Bible is a standard….@julie if heresy is not sin,then what is sin..you need to understand the fact ,that you don’t believe a scripture view ,does it then make it a lie……I BELIEVE THAT THE BIBLE, IS THE INFALLIBLE WORD OF GOD AND THE ABSOLUTE…… your opinion doesn’t make it a LIE

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    • Hi Jude,

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I respect your opinion, and the fact that you believe it is the truth. I also hold the Bible as THE WRITTEN STANDARD. It is the only body of Scripture I use and honour as sacred.

      Like I said, in my response to you on TNC, the problem here is your need and the religious need in general to ascribe INFALLIBILITY! There’s no need to ascribe infallibility before something has authority or truth or value… The Church is not infallible, but God has chosen to use the Church to lead the nations…

      Now, the Church felt it needed the infallibility claim to ensure obedience and following and order… But what has resulted is not that at all. The infallibility claim began with the Papacy…which I think you and I agree is far from infallible. I doubt it is even inspired.

      We need to stop boxing God up in a package for multiplication! God is able to lead each and everyone of us by His Spirit, and He has used and continues to use the Bible… it doesn’t make the Bible infallible, just sacred.

      Have a great day.

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