by Rayola Kelley
Q: I have been taught that the Bible is the infallible Word of God. Lately, I have had people encourage me to read other so-called “gospels” that would add to my spiritual enlightenment and walk. What is your understanding of such matters?
A: As many readers know, I was saved out of a cult. The cult I belonged to downplayed the validity of the Word of God while exalting other religious books and materials as containing greater truths, revelations, or insights. Needless to say, these materials superseded the authority of the Bible, nullifying its claims and credibility.
When I became a Christian, I had to come to terms as to what kind of attitude and understanding I needed to develop towards the Word of God. It was at that time I reasoned that I either had to accept the Bible as God’s complete revelation or reject it as a complete lie.
In the initial stages of my Christian life, I was given Scriptures that validated the author and validity of the Bible such as Matthew 5:17-18; 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 1:23-25; and 2 Peter 1:19-21.
As I weighed this matter, I realized I could only consider the infallibility of the Bible in light of God. If God was and is who the Bible says He is, He is powerful and capable of maintaining the intent and consistency of the purity of His Word, regardless of man’s attempts to constantly meddle in it to adjust it to his way of thinking. In fact, to preserve the purity of His Word is a promise. It was from this premise that I had to make another conclusion. If the Bible is not true, neither is God. If the Bible is a lie, then the God of it is an imposter as well and the faith of many will prove to be vain and useless (1 Corinthians 15:14-19).
It was obvious that I could not disbelieve the Bible and claim that God existed. It was clear that the Bible confirmed the existence of God and that the very attributes of God validated the authority of the Bible. It was from this understanding that I had to choose to believe that everything I needed to know and must know is contained within the pages of this incredible book. In other words, it is complete as to the truth I must receive, the revelation I must embrace, and the promises of life that are available to those who believe. As I chose to believe by faith that the Bible was true, I could also believe that what it said about God was true as well (Romans 10:17). In fact, I was banking my eternal well-being on such conclusions.
When people express the concept that God’s Word is not complete, absolute, and applicable for today, they are in danger of undermining the only source that could ensure their eternal destiny. It is clear that such individuals do not realize that they are walking in unbelief towards God and His Word, and they do not know the history of how the Bible was brought about. For instance, the first and foremost responsibility of the leaders of the New Church was to ensure the validity of what we now know as the New Testament.
These misguided individuals are also doing away with the only immovable center in which they can test whether a matter is truth or a falsehood. When you consider the warnings of the curses, wrath, and damnation that are associated with those who mishandle, twist, or pervert God’s Word in any way, you will realize it is a fearful and foolish thing to downplay, negate, misuse, and disregard it (Matthew 15:3-14; Romans 1:18; Galatians 1:7-9; Titus 3:10-11; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 3:16)
We also have Scriptures that warn people not to add to what God has already established as truth or take away from the intent of it. To add or take away from something is to pervert it. We see in Deuteronomy 4:2 that individuals are not to add to His word. God’s word is final!Deuteronomy 12:32 warns not to add to His commandments. God’s Law was complete!Proverbs 30:6 states that if anyone adds to his words he will be found to be a liar. God’s Word is not only absolute truth but it is eternal and will never change! In Revelation 22:18-19 it warns that if anyone adds to, or takes away from, the words of the book of this prophecy, God will add unto him the plagues written in the Book and will take away his part from the book of life that will identify them to their future home and inheritance.
It is dangerous to pervert God’s Word, Law, truths, prophecies, or revelations. If you find people who declare that the Bible is God’s Word, but then begin to offer some other enlightenment or question fundamental beliefs of Christianity, be prepared to either rebuke or flee. Such an individual is considered a heretic. Titus 3:10-11 instructs us to admonish or warn such an individual twice, but if he or she refuses to be instructed according to God’s Word, you need to reject him or her.