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Devotionals    H3'ed 7/8/17

Mega-Pastor to the Church -- Lay Down Your Swords; You Read the Bible Too Much

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"It's hard to imagine what it must have been like to be a Christian without a Bible: 100 years after Jesus left it appears that some churches had copies of the collected letters of Paul and a gospel or two, but that's it." -- Brian Jones

I understand that man who clearly does not believe in the sufficiency of Scripture to begin with would simply not understand that the collected letters of Paul are still Scripture. It is still God-breathed and useful for all matters of teaching, living, and correction. I also am unsure where he gets his facts. The early believers also had copies of the Gospels themselves and as many were former Jews, the Old Testament was still relevant. Jones is painting an inaccurate portrayal of a church sitting around without Scripture. He is setting this up as the foundation of an absurd argument as we will soon see.

"Many had collections with books of debated authenticity that were later ferreted out. No-one had a final New Testament like we have today. Whatever copies existed remained in the possession of the local church leadership. No-one, it appears, owned their own copy of the Bible for personal "Bible study" unless they were wealthy enough to pay the substantial cost to have it transcribed (see Luke 1:3-4)." -- Brian Jones

While it is true that only the wealthy might be able to afford their own transcribed copies, Jones casually passes over the fact that leaders in the church did possess the Word of God! This false foundation is the same flawed argument Andy Stanley tried last year when he too was trying to undermine Scripture. That the early church got along just fine without the Bible and so should we. Not. As the key verses teach us clearly, Peter referred to Paul's letters as Scripture! At the end of the Apostolic Age in 100 AD there were already the four Gospels, and the majority of the New Testament, if not all, that we have today. Were they bound in leather and sold for 50 bucks by Zondervan? Of course not! There were no printing presses yet! The egregious error that Jones makes here is that because there were no Christian book stores yet, that the church did not use Scripture and that is historically ignorant and absurd on its face. The key verses were written before the end of the Apostolic Age and Peter already recognized the Pauline letters as holy writ. Jones finishes his foundation of shifting sand:

"Besides, with the high rate of illiteracy among the social groups represented among the rank and file of second- and third-century churches, having a personal copy of the Bible would have been useless anyway. Most Christians wouldn't have been able to read it." -- Brian Jones

Perhaps Mr. Jones would be surprised to hear that the illiteracy rates from the 1st-3rd century Roman Empire was probably around 10 percent. Hardly staggering but the larger point is so what? Exactly what point is Jones trying to make here? That illiterate people should not be given a chance to learn how to read using God's Word? Could these people still have learned the principles of the Bible from hearing them in church? Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Jones now goes for the kill:

"I bring all this up to make one simple point: The modern-day church places a ridiculous amount of emphasis on studying the Bible. It's obvious, from historical observation alone, that one can be a sold-out, fully devout, willing to die a martyr's death follower of Jesus and spend next to no time practicing the spiritual discipline of Bible study." -- Brian Jones

What??? What historical observation is he talking about? He cannot be talking about the first century Christians because they either walked with Christ who is the living Word or they followed a generation after with people who had walked with Him! He can't be talking about anything after that because they did have Scripture regardless of their illiteracy rates! How can someone be sold-out, fully devout, and willing to die for someone they do not even know? The larger point here is what exactly is Brian Jones, Senior Pastor, advocating for? A more biblically illiterate church? An anemic body of Christ that cannot understand God? The answer beloved is yes! That is what all purpose driven pastors secretly want, whether they realize it or not. Why do people in the body, who claim to love the lord, fall for such horrific false teachings as we see today? Because they do not understand His Word. How could Christians in all nations roll around on the ground and bark like dogs for years during the Holy Laughter movement of the 1990's? How did Lakeland fall for Todd Bentley? How does anyone fall for Benny Hinn? Utter biblical ignorance and that is what Brian Jones is advocating for more of.

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
 

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