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    Understanding the Origin and Function of the Written Word
    Second Edition, April 1998

    Revelation is the disclosure of God to mankind. But in what forms does this self-disclosure take? And how are we to understand these forms?

    Understanding Revelation

      "Revelation has its roots in the intercourse between mind and event. Always the event is the locus of revelation. The mind appreciates this. The prophets saw the movement of God in history. It was there before they saw it. Had they never apprehended it, it would still have been there, but it became revelation to them when they appreciated this divine movement. What we have in the Old and New Testaments is not, therefore, revelation. It is a record made by the preceptor. It is, in the nature of things, a record of an interim experience between the first perception and the working out of what was perceived in the course of time. We cannot expect the divine self-disclosure to be made to us either in or out of the scriptures, but through them" (Arthur Oakman, Theology, Its Place and Meaning, Saints Herald, p.313).

    In short, words are not themselves revelation. They are a medium. The revelation of God lies behind the words, and the words are but a partial manifestation. Often the words are inadequate and frequently they are misunderstood. Whole church denominations have been founded on the misunderstanding of certain Greek or Hebrew words and sometimes terrible acts have been committed in the Name of God because of human misunderstanding. No, the words are not the revelation. They are an expression, on a human level, of that revelation.

    Relating Revelation to the Record of Revelation

      "There are no divinely communicated doctrines as such; there are truths of revelation. These may be expressed propositions which are the result of correct thinking about revelation, but they are neither that revelation nor directly revealed. God is always more than our thought of Him, although it is wise that we think about Him correctly. Always the theologian must correct his ideas in worship, or his ideas may crystallise, crack and crumble away.

      "It has been my contention that revelation is actually always more than our apprehension or record of it... The treasure is held in earthen vessels (2 Cor.4:7), but the vessels in which it is held are and remain earthen. The words (earthen vessels) which enshrine revelation can only convey that revelation as the Spirit which indites them is received into the mind and heart of him who reads or listens..." (Ibid., Treasure in Earthen Vessels, 1 June 1966, pp.6-7).

    I have had many letter friends in my life and each time I have met them personally I have always been surprised by how different they were from my perceptions of them through the written word. The more I have read, the closer I have come to know them. Speaking on the telephone has opened new vistas for me about their personalities but only by talking to them face to face, and over a long period of time, have I come to appreciate them from who they really are.

    Reading God's Word is never enough to know God. We need to read it often and as much of it as possible. But even that is never enough. We need to get at the "revelation behind the revealed words" -- we need to get hold of the substance, and not the limited projection which written words are. That means, in short, getting into a personal relationship with God, getting to know Him as He really is. Such intimacy is, fortunately, possible. It is what God desires. Only in knowing Him can we appreciate the substance of what He wishes to disclose to every man and woman.

    The Meaning of "Inspiration"

    Scripture is "inspired writing". The one who writes Scripture "inspires" (breathes in) God's Spirit. Indeed, the word "Holy Spirit" translates from the Hebrew Ruach haQodesh and the Greek pneuma meaning, literally, "Holy Breath". "And with that [Jesus] breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit'" (John 20:22). "And the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being" (Gen.2:7).

    We read further: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (2 Tim.3:16).

    But with the exception of the Ten Commandments which is the only revelation ever written by the Hand of God directly (and which therefore must stand out before all other scripture), all scripture must pass through the medium of human beings. Clearly such a responsibility is no mean thing and God does not take undue risks when it comes to causing the words of eternal life to be written down. The words given ought to be (and usually are) the best -- at least in the receptor language. Problems inevitably come when this receptor language is translated into others which are not only often inadequate to the task but constantly evolving.

    Therefore when God reveals Himself to a prophet or revelator He gives them the power to perceive that revelation and interpret it. It would be useless, would it not, if the receptor was unable to receive it.

    The spirit of revelation must be present in both the receptor and well as the reader if the written revelation is to be received and understood. Scriptural interpretation cannot be -- and is not -- the picking and choosing of those passages that appeal to us, neither can they be used by us to support our existing traditions or points-of-view. For a scripture to be properly interpreted, the reader must of necessity open his whole self to the claims that the scripture makes on us. Otherwise the scripture, however inspired when written, is dead to the reader.

    We are therefore under a divine mandate to invite the Holy Spirit into our lives and be willing to follow where the Lord is trying to lead us. Only then can we transcend, to a certain point, the written word, and make contact with the Spirit that caused its writing in the first place. This is, in any case, the purpose of scripture -- scripture is not the object itself. It is the bridge to spiritual realms.

    Scriptural Interpretation and the Human Response

      "Whenever man makes contact with the Divine, he needs to be careful about what he says has happened in him and to him. What he says needs to be restrained by awareness of his limitations about what he knows of God and about what he knows of himself. He does well to distinguish between his firsthand contact with God and his own interpretations of this contact. In the desirable situation these are not separated. Every experience needs to be examined and interpreted soundly. An experience unexamined can be quite dangerous and misused. Also an experience wrongly examined can be unsoundly relied on. It is essential that we distinguish between our direct contact with the ocean and our conception of what happened to us and what the ocean is. This is so in our contacts with God. This need for care is especially true when the person sets down his story in writing. We need always to remember that the richest experiences transcend our ability to describe them and explain" (Roy Cheville, Scriptures From Ancient America, p.26).

    It is quite natural, then, that a revelator should wish to carefully review his experiences with God not only before he writes them down but, if necessary, after he has done so and, if necessary, correct his wording to more precisely convey the meaning of the original divine contact. Of course, if he has already published divine revelation and decides to modify what he has written later, it is most important that he indicates that such modifications have been made so as to enlighten his audience and preclude the accusation of deception. This is routinely done in every new translation of the Bible that is made. Though this is usually a new translation from the receptor tongue into a foreign tongue, it need not always be so. Thus in the New Covenant Church new translations -- in whole or in part -- are sometimes made from the receptor tongue into the same tongue in order to convey the original meaning more accurately. Ideally, this will be done by the original revelator, whose experience it is that was originally conveyed in words, though it may be done by other translators (and was often done anciently). This is known as pseudepigraphic expansion, especially if extra text is added to render the original clearer (see, for example, the Amplified Version of the Bible).

    The Written Response to Revelation

    We often hear the Holy Bible referred to as The Word of God. But what does this actually mean? Does it mean that every word is dictated by God, much as the 10 Commandments were written by Him? There is a school of Christian thought which maintains this position. The problem they have, though, is that no original Old or New Testament MS exists, so we cannot be 100% sure what the original says. There are, however, sufficient copies of the scriptures, with such tiny variations between them, that we can be 99.9% certain that we have the original words of the prophets and revelators.

    But does having these original words (with 99.9% certainly) mean that we have the "Word of God"? When we confess that the scriptures are the "Word of God" we should not be identifying the words of the record with the words of God (except in special cases like the 10 Commandments or the actual words of Jesus Christ) but with the action of God. There is strong evidence that much of the scriptures we have were written years after the events they record. The testimonies of eye witnesses are not always accorded the status of scripture as we know from the many apocryphal books (many of which are the products of flowery imaginations) which never found their way into the canon. The literary forms used often reflect the crystallisation of events long ago experienced in the form of testimony, invariably oral. To identify the Word of God with the words which are used to interpret and communicate the experiences is to ascribe to them a finality and inerrancy which does not exist. The words used to communicate the insight of revelation are subject to the limits of language, the partiality of human understanding, and the cultural horizons of the writer. Or is it?

    We must be very careful here otherwise we will find ourselves going off on a tangent that misses the mark of what revelation is entirely. Many of the doctrines of the scriptures which may be unpalatable to our modern tastes, like slavery, capital punishment, polygamy, theophanies, prophecy, visions, sex rôles, etc., may well be the result of our own limited cultural horizons and not those of the ancients. Who, then, will decide? In this we meet the great dilemma faced by the liberal-conservative axis of Christianity.

    It is true to say that no two theologians are agreed on all things. People have always interpreted the scriptures differently, and always will. So how is this liberal-conservative controversy concerning the nature of revelation and scripture to be resolved?

    Well, certainly not in words alone. Academic debating knows no end. Philosophers merely fence with words. The only solution lies in the existence of living apostles and prophets who can bring God's Word in their lives with such power that what they say cuts to the very marrow of our bones: "He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shallow of His hand He hid me; He made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in His quiver. He said to me: 'You are My servant, Israel, in whom I display My splendour" (Isaiah 49:2-3). Without prophets who can speak with spiritual authority, theology is mere wind, as this article may well be to some of our readers.

    It is true, of course, that the words of revelation are restricted by our own cultural horizons to some extent. Generations of "soul sleeping" advocates have haggled over whether a spirit has any consciousness after death not understanding that the vocabulary and understanding of the ancients was highly limited in this area of theology. The state of souls after death was poorly understood by priests and laity alike, until the time of Christ, some (for example) advocating the resurrection of the dead (the Pharisees) and some denying it (the Sadducees).

    Is it true, then, as many liberals would maintain, that the Scriptures mainly "contain" the Word of God, or that they literally are the Word of God, as conservative proponents of the doctrine of scriptural infallibility and plenary revelation advocate? The truth, we New Covenant Christians maintain, is that both are right -- at certain times, in certain places, and in certain ways.

    The Presence of the Revelators in Their Revelations

      "Prophets of former centuries have spoken in the thought forms and literary styles of their time. They would have to do this if they were to be understood. Jesus used the forms and ideas of His own Jewish people. Yet they were not limited to these. They used their own initiative and individual resources and expressed themselves in their individual ways. Inspiration quickens and refines a person's ways of speaking and writing, but it does not take away his personal traits. We can recognise the characteristics of an Isaiah, a Hosea, or a Luke in his writings in the Bible" (Roy Cheville, op.cit., p.136).

    The prophets of the New Covenant write in their own particular styles also, though they have more often than not attempted to emulate styles familiar to Bible readers, particularly the syntax and word forms of old King James English. Yet despite imitating Jacobean English, the style and thought forms of the revelators unmistakably intrude. Indeed, you will sometimes find completely different styles of writing coming from the same revelator, dependent upon circumstances and to whom the revelation is being addressed. Not untypically, therefore, in the revelations of the New Covenant you will find a mixture of modern and old English intermixed in order to give the written word maximum comprehensibility.

    We ought not to be surprised, therefore, to find revelations employing many variations of style. Over the years a revelator will perfect his language. One only has to look at the development of an uneducated fisherman called Peter as he grew in experience and as the Spirit of God worked so powerfully upon him that he became a master of koiné Greek prose. To this day many theologians refuse to accept that Peter wrote the Epistles that bear his name because of his semi-literate background, even though they ought to know better.

    The Nature of the Response to Revelation

      "There are, strictly-speaking, no revealed truths. There are "truths of revelation" -- statements of principles which stem from the actual revelatory experience. These may be, like the map, guides to the beatific vision -- but they are not the vision itself. Revelation is based upon the intercourse between the mind which guides the event and the mind which views it. When an appreciation of Divinity in nature and history comes to man, revelation takes place.

      "Sacred writings and formulated statements of doctrine are neither the substance nor the reality of revelation. They are records of the divine acts in which the revelation was given, or they are the formulated statement of faith. The purpose of scripture is to point the way by which men may find a renewal or a duplication of the experience which conveyed the nature of deity. The object of the formulated statements of belief is God as revealed in Christ, and no sensible Christian worships either the scriptures or the creeds. Statements of belief... are not themselves revelation but compilations of inferences drawn from living experience with God, the object of which is to bear testimony of that living experience and thus aid men to find a similar blessing" (Arthur Oakman, Theology, Its Place and Meaning, Saints Herald, 1 May 1966, p.313).

    Because of the tendency of creeds to crystallise out into dogma impeding the spiritual life, the New Covenant Church has avoided credal statements having experimented with them before. We acknowledge only the most fundamental one, namely the Apostles' Creed. Valuable though such a creed is, it is not accepted as the final statement of what Christianity is. It is merely the one which encapsulates most precisely and in a way understandable to the lay person the foundational historical and theological truths of Christianity. Other creeds, which are complicated neo-Platonic Greek philosophical systems of words that try to define the Godhead, are expressly avoided by us for the very reason that they inhibit rather than promote the quest for God and do not accord with the New Covenant experience.

    Bible Versions and the New Covenant Understanding
    of Plenary or Verbal Inspiration

    Over the years much has been written by the Church on this subject and whilst we have given a great deal of comment we have never made a dogma out of it. Rather, we have tended to look at Scripture rather as one would classify a rock bearing veins of gold. In some places the veins are thicker, in others thinner.

    Neither has the Church pointed to an exclusive translation of the Bible which it regards to be the "best translated version". Rather, we see value in all translations, even paraphrases. However, Church life does demand one version for congregational use if only to make group scripture study easier and to aid in verse memorising.

    Historically, the New Covenant Church started with the Authorised King James Version, and there is much to be said for this translation, despite it being very old and, at times, hard to understand because of the evolution of the English language. For sheer literary beauty, simplicity, and accuracy, it is still highly recommended and may be regarded as one of our "standards".

    Recognising that this is a difficult version to understand, even for experienced scriptorians, the Church began to favour the Revised Standard Version which, despite preserving much of the old syntax, was easier to read and understand. But it has its weaknesses, one of which is that it is not widely used anymore.

    Since then, the Church has favoured the New International Version which may, with some justification, be said to be the "King James Version of the Late Twentieth Century". It is theologically flawed in certain areas, though, particularly in regard to the Law.

    More recently the Church has been favourably struck by the felicity of the Jewish New Testament which, though custom-translated for a Messianic Jewish readership, comes as close as is possible to the original Hebrew roots of the Gospels, puts a correct perspective on the Law, and removes the cultural biases of the gentile versions like the NIV and KJV.

    Whilst the New Covenant Church has no one single standard Bible text it has picked out three -- the KJV, the NIV and JNT -- as a "collective standard", selecting the NIV as the main version for public use. The NIV is always cited in our articles save where stated otherwise. We do not, in making this selection, reject other translations, many of which are excellent in their own right. Versions like the New King James Version and Amplified Bible are also looked upon favourably and members are free to use whatever version that pleases them in their private studies The only version that we have categorically rejected is the Jehovah's Witness New Word Translation which is thoroughly perfused with error and may be said not to be a true translation but a version designed to fit pre-conceived doctrine.

    We do, however, make our own translations of faulty texts, and have done so with the KJV and NIV. Though producing our own version is not presently practical (and may never be), a collection of revisions of the NIV has been contemplated though never actually taken further.

    New Covenant Christians do not believe any translation of the Bible to be infallible nor any other revelation that passes through human hands. But we believe it to be infallible enough as to be trustworthy. A man may place the eternal welfare of his soul in the words of eternal life provided he reaches behind and obtains the substance, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

    We do believe that some of the Bible is verbal, plenary revelation. We believe, as I have already said, that the Ten Commandments, along with other dictations from the Lord, to be verbally inerrant (provided the translation is correct). We believe that the words of Jesus are inerrant also. These words, then, are our first line of revelation -- the "thick veins of gold" in the ore of scriptures. And in recent times (1996-) we have begun to extend the imprimatur of infallibility to the Torah (first five books of Moses), Isaiah, the Book of Revelation and some others in the light of the recent discoveries made on the Bible Codes.

    Our second line of revelation is the words of the prophets and the apostles, bearing in mind that sometimes (as Paul admits) they are only giving their opinions.

    The final and third line are the words of the historians -- the chroniclers which, being what they are, do not contain much of spiritual value (even if they are historically accurate). Lists of David's military heroes don't, frankly, have much value to most New Covenant Christians.

    It is also important to make a clear distinction between local and general revelation. Many of the commandments, ordinances and statutes of the Old Covenant have, for example, been superseded by other ones. Animals sacrifice has been replaced by ordinances like the Lord's Supper. Many commandments are local and not relevant any more -- instructions in the New Testament on how to handle slaves is meaningless save in those few countries (the only one I know of is Mauritania) where slaves still exist. In the New Covenant Church revelation has, in any case, been received abolishing the right of Christians to practice slavery, and in Christendom in general it is no longer rightly acceptable.

    Revelations received in the earlier New Covenant Church (then known as the "Independent Church") are similarly no longer valid, being local in time, and have therefore been removed from use. These, along with certain Old Testament practices such as circumcision, are therefore of historical interest only.

    Scriptures once regarded as important in the first and second century Church (such as the Gospel of Peter) are no longer regarded as necessary, historical or inspired enough and were removed from our Bible canon many centuries ago. Similarly, scriptures used by the early Independent Church are no longer regarded as necessary, historical or inspired enough for the modern New Covenant Church and have been removed from our canon of scriptures.

    Scriptures and Maturation

    A matter of some debate in Christendom has been whether the scriptures we have today could have come into existence without first the maturity of Christian ministry. Most, if not all, the New Testament books were likely written 20 to 60 years after the events they portrayed. The earliest, the Epistle of James, is very different from the latest ones, the Epistles of John, in content and doctrinal emphasis, the former being traditionally Jewish and the latter addressing the more esoteric side of the Gospel with Gnostic heretics in mind. The same is true of the sub-apostolic writers such as Clement and Ignatius (whose writings are used by the New Covenant Church) who address a much more stable Church situation than the apostles faced.

    In the New Covenant Church we build upon the experience of the apostles and sub-apostolic fathers. The Church is an ever maturing creature, forced to meet different circumstances and needs wherever it is planted. We hold, though, that certain tenets and practices are fundamental and unchangeable. In addition, we are looking forward to the Millennial Kingdom for which, if we are to be ready for it, we need vital apostolic instruction. There are many forms of Christianity today -- what form will the Christian Churches take in the theocracy that will be established when Christ returns? Will there be many forms of Christian Church, as there are today, or will there only be one? Will State and Church be one or separate? Will there be women priests? What sort of religious calendar will there be, if any? How many forms of marriage will there be -- monogamy and polygamy, or just one or the other? What economic system will exit -- capitalism, socialism or some other form? What place will temples have in the Christian Millennium? What of matters not treated by the Bible, such as surrogate motherhood? Will we be vegetarians or have the freedom to choose what we eat? What of democracy? Will it continue to exist? And if so, in what form? And what will the implications be for the Millennial Church Government?

    Revelation is needed -- and indeed exists in the New Covenant Church -- for all of these and other important questions.

    Scripture and Authority

    That scripture has authority is clearly to be understood by Jesus' endorsement of the Old Testament. Scriptural authority is not, therefore, incompatible with human imperfection. Authority does not imply inerrancy but it does imply that it is accurate enough. Is scripture therefore universally and finally binding upon us? Conditionally yes, so long as no apostolic mandate has been given saying otherwise, it is -- and the condition is that apostolic and prophetic revelation does not contradict what has gone before but builds upon, and sustains, it.

    The spirit of revelation functions on different levels, however, and clearly revelation and scripture has different authority depending on whether its message is local or general. The commandment to circumcise eight day old children clearly possesses no authority today (because Jesus superseded it) whereas the commandment to abstain from sexual immorality does (because He and the apostles continued to re-affirm it). We are obliged to obey the apostolic teaching and with few exceptions (such as slavery) has it been superseded by new revelation.

    An Open or a Closed Canon?

    The early Independent Church had an open canon of scripture, which meant that the Bible was considered to be "one of many" authoritative, inspired books of scripture. This no longer obtains in the New Covenant Church which today not only uses a two-tier system but has rejected as unhistorical, and often uninspired or only partly inspired, texts used by the Independent Church.

      "It is much easier to try to live by past revelation, which is hoary with the weight of years and contained forever in a book, than it is to live for constantly fresh and challenging revelations which take note of the expanding means of understanding which the years have brought, and require us to purposefully move toward new high lands of understanding. It is because our natural spiritual inertia has thus led us to seek a standard rather than a guide, that a theory of revelation has grown up which regards the Bible as the infallible and final revelation of the will of God. This theory is not true to experience, nor to the claims of the divine Word itself.

      "The attempt to find a static finality in religion has never succeeded. The "faith once delivered to the saints" has actually grown and developed, even while always remaining consistent with itself, as any faith must develop when it is directly related to growing experience in a changing world. John Robinson was true to the very genius of Christianity when he declared to the Pilgrim Fathers that "the Lord has yet more light and truth to break forth from His Word" (F.Henry Edwards, A Commentary on the Doctrine & Covenants, 1958 edn., p.10).

    The New Covenant Church of God acknowledges the tendency of humans to respond with greater faith to that which is "old and tried" not because it believes it is the only way to approach the question of the scriptural canon, but that probably it is the only safe way. Accordingly the Bible is recognised as the only Primary Canon of the Church.

    At the same time a Church like the New Covenant, which is guided continually by revelation, can neither ignore that revelation not deny access to it by the people. Accordingly a secondary body of canonical scripture has evolved which includes not only the older sub-apostolic epistles (Clement, Ignatius, etc.), some of the apocrypha (found in the Catholic and other canons), and some of the pseudepigrapha (which modern Christians are taking an increasing interest in), but the Church's modern revelations and prophecies, formerly known as the Covenants & Commandments which are today being gathered together into a new collection which has not presently been named (suggestions include Prophetic Words of the New Covenants, Revelations and Prophecies of the New Covenant, Oracles of the New Covenant, etc.) To this new body will be added a modern "Acts of the Apostles" called Apostolic Epistles of the New Covenant.

    The idea of an "open canon" is not viewed with particular sympathy by most orthodox Christians and with some justification considering the many false writings purporting to be of God which are in circulation and which are deceiving millions. However, the New Testament Church knew no such fears because in spiritual nature it was very different from most modern Christian Churches -- it was guided by apostles and prophets. There are, admittedly, many Christian groups who claim to possess "apostolic ministry" and "prophetic ministry" but few (save some heretical groups) claim to have actual "apostles" or "prophets".

    The New Covenant Church, as a denomination within the wider Body of Christ, does not see itself as a competitor with other Christian Churches and therefore has voluntarily limited itself in the matter of canon for the sake of harmony with other Churches. For this reason we have a main canon and a "sub-canon". In practice this is what obtains in Christian churches anyway since many of them have their own collections of prophecies, revelations and traditions which they regard as being inspired but not on equal par with the Bible. We do not desire to quarrel with such an ex officio arrangement. As we have seen the aim is not, in any case, to spread more words around the world, but to encourage people to make contact with the power behind them -- the Holy Spirit. In the end it is what we have inside that counts and not who has the biggest pile of scriptures.

    The Spirit, the Letter and Culture

    "He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant -- not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" (2 Cor.3:6).

    The message of the Scriptures is more important than the exactness of its verbiage. When the apostles wrote their epistles and gospels they never imagined for one moment that scholars would dissect them and strain every possible meaning out of each word they wrote. The preciseness of words, the way the revelations came -- these things are not so important. What is important is not "the letter" but "the Spirit" -- that which moves a soul to make contact with the divine and change his life in a meaningful way.

    Throughout the centuries the Bible has either been loved or hated. It has been accused of being "the opium of the people" by Marxists, a collections of fairy tales and myths by sceptics and liberals, and the very words of God Himself by extreme conservatives. The same has been said of the revelations of the New Covenant -- they have been derided as mere fantasy or hailed as sublime spiritual truths which free the soul. It is, I suppose, a question of how you look at it -- in terms of a collection of letters or as a manifestation of the divine. "The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."

    Scripture exists to be a springboard into divine life and a set of rules and commandments for living. I wonder how you view them? Do you study them "because you think that by them you possess eternal life" or because you want to come to Christ "to have life"? (John 5:39). The purpose of scripture is to point you towards Christ who is Himself "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6) because the scriptures in and of themselves have no life. As a map is to one searching for water, so are the scriptures for one searching for eternal life. To search the scriptures for any other reason that to come into a life-creating relationship with the Saviour of Mankind defeats their purpose. That is not, of course, their sole purpose. Having come to Christ, He continues to teach us through them so that we might live our lives aright. Jesus is Himself the Living Scripture -- the Word (John 1:1).

    Living scripture for scripture's sake is like living life for culture's sake, as most of the world does. But culture is dead. It is what remains when we forget everything that we learn. Similarly all too many Christians have only the Bible to turn to when they have forgotten how to learn at the fountain of eternal life, Jesus Christ. The Bible becomes their world, instead of its author, feign though they would profess His Name. The Bible becomes a holy relic, provoking anger and hatred when it is profaned or insulted, as though it were God Himself. The Bible has, alas, become an idol of thousands.

    Consider two responses. One, a Spanish army of conquistadors in the New World. A pagan grabs a Bible and throws it on the ground. An infuriated platoon of soldiers then cuts the pagan down with the sword and a massacre of innocents begins. Then consider a Christian imprisoned for his beliefs. A guard finds his Bible, tears it up, throws it to the ground and stamps and spits on it. The Christian prisoner is unmoved. "You may destroy my Bible," he says, "but you can never destroy what is in my heart." The Bible has been attacked, scorned, mocked, banned, burned, locked away, and much else, but no-one has been able to erase it from the heart of a true born-again follower of the Way. Similar things have been said about and done to the revelations of the New Covenant. The truth remains where it was always supposed to be -- in the heart.


    Our citation in this article of material from writers from the Community of Christ is not an endorsement of that Church, its traditions, or its scriptures.

    This page was created on 10 April 1998
    Last updated on 10 April 1998

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