Nothing is more important to the Christian than the Word of God. It is the one thing that he can physically hold in his hands that is eternal and sure. There is no tradition, philosophy, creed or catechism that can replace the word by word revelation of God to man.
It is by His Word that all things were created. He spoke and it was done. And it is by His Word that all things will be judged. No authority exists on earth or heaven that exceeds or is even equal to His Word.
Jesus Christ is The Word. His incarnation was the written words of God expressed in physical form. This was the eternal GodHead perfectly revealing Himself in the Son. The “express image of His person”. (Hebrews 1:3)
ABOVE even His Name
You would think that the church would guard and elevate the words of God above all else. But this is often not the case. In fact, the Biblical church is engaged in a bitter struggle for the authority and purity of God’s Word. Even in its own ranks.
From within, we have groups that would place signs and wonders, extra-biblical revelations and prophecies, “Christian” psychology, humanism, social relativism, feminism and many other influences above the scriptures. They choose to interpret God’s Word based on whatever faddish influence demands attention. This is conformity to the world.
And there are those groups who would place church traditions or creeds equal to or above God’s Word. But God never allows for this denigration of His words.
“… for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” (Psalm 138:2)
Even the Lord, Himself, regards His Word above even His name! Because His words are precise. And they define clearly and intricately who He is. So that we can be sure of what we believe. So we can defend our beliefs in the midst of false religious subtlety and deception.
A Return to The Dark Ages
The “Dark Ages”, whatever that phrase may have originally meant, is a fitting description of the spiritual darkness of the Middle Ages. That darkness occurred due to the removal of the Word of God from the hands of common people. The words of God were stolen away by the religious authorities who set themselves up as the sole interpreters of truth. These religious leaders dispensed a false salvation only to those who were in proper relationship to their system. So men lived in fear of losing their salvation if they did not follow this false system. And they had little access to the true Word of God to help them to stand in faith against these false teachers.
The few Bibles available were preserved through these times by brave, faithful men and women willing to risk their lives to possess a copy.
It is fascinating how the secular world claims that it was the Bible that kept people in darkness during the Middle Ages. But that is absolutely contrary to the facts of history. During this period, those common people, found to be in possession of a Bible, were sent to prison, had their property confiscated, were tortured and put to death.
The real reason for the darkness was due to the lack of Biblical exposure. Not the other way around.
The Rise of the Mystical Church
Today, the world would again silence the truth of the scriptures. It wants nothing of the gospel. Or it wants only a distortion of it. A humanistic, Universalist gospel is spreading rapidly across the world. One that has all the trappings of religious sentimentality and beauty. All of “tolerance” and “open-mindedness”. Nothing of the absolutes of Biblical truth.
Many Bible churches, desiring to win a world of “seeking” souls, are slowly eliminating all the outward symbols once clearly identified with Christianity. In addition, they are continually accepting new Bible translations based on corrupt texts; only to further confuse the clear Gospel. All to win the approval of the “non-churched” seekers or false religions offended by us.
But, while Bible Christians continue to throw away their heritage, many other young seekers are rejecting the “contemporary worship” we have offered them. They are, amazingly, beginning to return to those traditional symbols and experiences found in old cathedrals with stained glass windows, candles, smoke, bells and ancient musical forms.
It is not that they want any part of the authority of the Bible. Nor that they are choosing Jesus Christ exclusively. They seek something deeper than our contemporary shallowness can offer them. They are searching for a profound “experience”. For answers, peace and fulfillment in their souls that they hope can be found in this mystical and ethereal “new gospel”.
In other words, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…” (II Timothy 3:5)
Finding Our Way Back
So the Bible churches have made a bad exchange. The permanent has been sacrificed on the altar of the immediate. We have supposedly “reached” more people. But at what cost?
And, while we make these sacrifices to reach the world for Christ, the world is moving more aggressively to silence the Biblical church. It is all very reminiscent of ancient Rome; where a man was allowed by the State to be a Christian, but only if he accepted the other gods as well.
So there really is “nothing new under the sun”, as Solomon said.
This is why the Christian must be vigilant. He has been given a charge to follow and guard the Words of God. To stand upon the Truth. To defend the Truth. To keep His words.
“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and My Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” (John 14: 23)