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Should the Bible be our guide for Church doctrine and practice?

June 27, 2019

I recently had a debate with a woman concerning whether a woman was authorized by the Scriptures to preach or hold an elders role in the church. She had been given a theory from a Bible College professor that Paul's directive to Timothy concerning the role of women in 1 Tim. 2:12-15. Here Paul tells Timothy who was a minister at the church in Ephesus, "And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control."

Her theory was that since Ephesus was the city with the pagan temple of Artemis (Diana). That possibly a few of the women who served as priestesses in that pagan temple had received Christ and now were desiring to have the same roles in the church that they had at the temple. Some of them lacked a true Holy Spirit gifting for this purpose and had begun to teach things that were contrary to correct doctrine. Thus because of the threat of false teaching Paul imposed a ban on all women holding such roles, but only at Ephesus.

Now there is no "concrete" evidence to prove, nor disprove such a theory. However, one must recognize that the Bible claims to be the product of God through His own Holy Spirit. In 2 Tim. 3:16,17, Paul states, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." Peter echoes Paul's affirmation of the Divine inspiration of Scripture in 2 Pe. 1:20,21, "knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."

So the Bible itself states it is the product of God and came to us through the pens of men who were guided by the Holy Spirit. This is consistent with what our Lord Jesus promised the disciples concerning the role of the measure of the Holy Spirit that they were to receive in Jn. 16:12-15, "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has is Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you." Note that this measure of the Holy Spirit was promised to the eleven, those who along with Matthias and Paul would be the chosen Apostles of our Lord. God realized the need for an absolute source of Truth. Initially the source were the teachings of the Apostles (Acts 2:42). These teachings DID NOT originate with them, but GOD! The Father told the Son, the Son told the Spirit and the Spirit told the Apostles. As time went on, they as well as Mark, Luke, Jude and James were prompted by the Holy Spirit to record these words for the benefit of the Church for ages to come. This beloved, is how we know that the Bible alone is our complete source for the truth of God!

Many today do not agree with the Bible as being the one source of God's truth. Sadly, many "churches" insist on teaching and practicing things that actually conflict with God's word. Some suggest that somehow men have tampered with the Bible; scribes changing the manuscripts, books that should be recognized not included in the Cannon, verses omitted and as my debater alleges verses not written clearly, but with ambiguity.

Let me submit to you an undeniable truth concerning our Great God beloved. If God is able to resurrect Christ from the grave by His power (Rom. 6:4). If God is able to impose His will on the writers of the Bible. If Jesus Himself plainly stated, "Sanctify them by your truth, Your word is truth." (Jn. 17:17). Shall we believe that God Who can do all things, was not powerful enough to clearly state His truth in Scripture? Shall we also dare think that God is not powerful enough to preserve His truth? This is why now more than ever before we must recognize our only source of truth is the Bible, because it alone is God's word! To that end, any church that supposes that it is the church of His Son MUST stand upon HIS word. Anything else is simply the words of mortal men.- David Miller

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