A friend shared Abel Damina’s video with me on Facebook. In that video, the pastor made a claim for the Bible, which I doubt even the book makes for itself.
“The totality of the revelation of God is communicated to man in written form,” he said
“There is no other way to know God other than the written document and that ducument is called the Bible,” he declared.
For many Christians today, God has become four-in-one: God the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit…and God the Bible. There’s even “God the (wo)man of God” but let’s not go there, not today.
Christianity as is practised has placed the Bible, a document canonised by fellow Christians who lived centuries ago, on a pedestal that even the Bible doesn’t place itself.
The Bible, to me, is as John the Baptist was to Jesus: it bears witness to the Truth, to the Word of God. And no, that Word is a person, not a document, not the Bible. And that document is called the Bible”
When Jesus was leaving he didn’t promise to leave us a book. “I won’t leave you as orphans. I’ll leave you the Holy Spirit”. That’s what he said.
“Christianity is not a lifetime of rigorous Bible study”
The Bible is invaluable. Yes. And I believe God helped preserve the document as a witness unto many generations. But to assert that God cannot be known outside of the Christian holy writ would amount to “bible worship” which could be rated “idolatrous”.
I heard of a Muslim who converted to Christianity after studying the Qur’an.
Paul (in the Bible) wrote that God could be known from the very things he made that men may be left with no excuse. This was a man who knew the scriptures as an expert but yet didn’t know God until Jesus personally appeared to him.
Paul later wrote that Christians, and not his own writings which were later included in the Bible, “are the epistles the world reads”. This means that unbelievers could come to know God by how believers relate with them.
Why? Jesus is alive and he lives in people by his Holy Spirit. That’s why. God’s not dead.
The most powerful guy in wherever, whom even Heaven cannot contain, cannot be condensed into a book.
The odd thing about this is that those who knew the scriptures in the days of Jesus didn’t know God until God personally revealed himself in Jesus.
“You search the scriptures because in them you think you have eternal life,” Jesus told them.
“The scriptures testify of me, yet you refuse to come to me,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jesus was personally revealing himself to the unlettered, so called, on the streets.
It’s also worthy to note that the early Christians had no Bible. And Biblical authors wrote that God’s totality is embodied (packaged) in Jesus, not in the Bible — which is only a witness.
Christianity is not a lifetime of rigorous Bible study.
Let me end this by rewriting Damina’s words:
The totality of the revelation of God is communicated to man in Jesus. There is no other way to know God other than Jesus. The Bible and other experiences aside the Bible bears witness to this.