Religious Myths do Not Come from the Bible, but from Depraved Minds.
"For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty" (II Peter 1:16.) "Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works" (II Corinthians 11:15.)
Satan's ministers, talk much nowadays about the "myths" of the Bible. From seminary chairs occupied by infidels wearing a cloak of Christianity, and from pulpits occupied by their disciples, the prince of darkness, masquerading as an angel of light, sends forth a ceaseless stream of propaganda to the effect that, we are not to take the Bible seriously in a historical sense that it is largely a book of myths, myths indeed; which may convey some valuable spiritual instruction, just as moral lessons may be drawn from Aesop's fables but nevertheless myths. When Bible believers not yet inured against shock at such blasphemy express their honor of these doctrines of devils, there comes an immediate protest of innocence of evil intent. The use of the word "myth," we are told, does not necessarily mean that the user intends to cast doubt upon the truth of the "story." And we are supposed to be ignorant enough to believe that these false teachers are ignorant enough to use words calculated to destroy the faith which they still believe even while they deny it in both practice and precept.
A Monstrous Miracle One thing harder to believe and understand than all the miracles of the Bible is that an educated and otherwise intelligent man can be sincere in professing to worship a God Whose word he flagrantly denies. But, whether sincere or not, such a man is none the less wrong, and an instrument of Satan of whom God's people need to beware. The real myths of religion are not to be found in the Bible, but come forth from the depraved minds of wicked men under the inspiration of Satan. Let us look at a few popular religious myths current in our day, part of Satan's bag of tricks used by his ministers to deceive unwary Christians.
That God Might Lie Of course, the devil is too smart to call God a liar in so many words: put so baldly, the idea would be so shocking to God's people who know something of His true character that they would immediately recognize Satan as the real liar and blasphemer that he is and flee from his presence. No: Satan's method is merely to cast the shadow of doubt upon God's word, and in effect to deny it by propagating lies, usually with enough mixture of truth to make the lies plausible to the simpleminded. This was his method in the Garden of Eden, and it worked so well that he has been using it ever since.
That the Bible is Mythical A sneakier snare for silly souls is Satan's suggestion that, though it may be true that God Himself cannot lie, "That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, ..." (Hebrews 6: 18); "In hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie, promised before the world began" (Titus 1:2), yet we have no sure way of knowing God: the Bible, Satan and his ministers tell us, is just another book, better than most, perhaps, but still just a collection of religious writings by well meaning men who learned something about God and did the best they could to write down some of their experiences and ideas. Of course, we are told in effect, these good men of old did not have all the advantages of modern scholarship. Still, considering their limitations, they had some pretty good ideas (rather primitive, naturally) and we can learn a few things from their imperfect gropings for the truth, though not as much as they might learn from us if they were fortunate enough to live in our enlightened age, and so on, and on, ad nauseam. Now, the Bible represents itself to be the pure word of God, and if it is not so it is a fearful fraud. Even while we pity we can have some respect for an honest infidel, but it is hard to either pity or respect the hypocrite that in one breath pretends to regard the Bible as a sacred book and in another pronounces it full of error. Take thy choice, thou hypocritical denier of God's word: if God be God, believe Him; if His word be not true, claim not to believe in any god worthy of a creature's worship. But if thou do so claim, know even so that God's people who know His truth may recognize the falseness of thy pretensions.
That Others Must Interpret for us Baptists through the centuries have shed their blood for the principle of soul liberty, the freedom and competence of the individual soul to approach God directly through Jesus Christ as revealed in His word, without the necessity of any other mediator or of any authoritative teacher except the Holy Spirit. But now we hear from so called Baptists the strange Catholic doctrine that ordinary Christians cannot understand the Bible: that some higher authority in the world must interpret for us and we are bound to accept that interpretation. I have heard a Baptist Sunday School "teacher" stumbling through the comments in a "quarterly," hardly able to read, but practically sure that the comments were inspired and infallible. I have heard a Baptist "preacher" with a seminary degree for whom the answer to any theological question is to be found in what "Dr. Big Name" said. Such "teachers" and "preachers" may be far apart educationally, but spiritually they are equally to be pitied. Jesus said: "If any man will do his will he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself" (John 7:17). "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth but because ye know it and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son the same hath not the Father: but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him" (I John 2:18-27.)
That Christ's Church has Failed A myth almost universally believed and enthusiastically propagated by the ministers of Satan is the fable that the church which Jesus established to carry on His work utterly failed, but that the imaginary "invisible church" of human vanity or the counterfeit "churches" of human invention are doing a better job and will soon "bring in the kingdom." Catholics and Protestants agree on the myth that Catholicism is the oldest existing "church," but most Protestants "protest" that Catholicism is apostate rather than apostolical Christianity. Baptists ignorant of their heritage join in the chorus, allowing themselves to be wrongly classed with Protestants. Jesus sarcastically reproved the Pharisees for acknowledging as their fathers the ancient persecutors of the prophets, adding in bitter irony: "...Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers" (Matthew 23:29-32.) It is no accident, but a natural consequence, that so called Baptists who claim a Catholic ancestry show strong tendencies toward Catholic style organization and practice.
That Human Programs can Succeed Characteristic of those who despise the quiet operations of the Spirit of God is the myth that human plans and programs can succeed where the word and Spirit of God have failed. To such people it is unbelievable that Baptist churches preserved a ministry and testimony faithful to the word of God for eighteen centuries before there was a Southern Baptist Convention, and to many Southern Baptists it is incredible that Southern Baptists carried on worldwide missionary work for generations before there was a "Cooperative Program." So not only among Baptists but among Christians generally the people who have least faith in the promises and in the revealed purposes of God are most ready to put their faith in human plans and programs, making these things their idols instead of turning back to God. "And the same time there arose no small stir about that way. For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen; Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth. Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands: So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought: but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth. And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians" (Acts 19:23-28.) Diana of the Ephesians, commanded no more devotion of her craftsmen than do modern hierarchical denominations of their blind followers.
That we can Avoid Responsibility When all else has failed, Satan quiets the consciences of Bible believers with the myth that we can shift to some church, committee, or board the responsibility for the heresies we abhor. Not so. "So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Romans 14:12). Even a church, even a true church of the Lord Jesus, has no rightful dominion over the conscience of an individual member, who must in the end "...bear his own burden" (Ga1atians 6:5). So when our Lord was shut out of His own church at Laodicea, He appealed for fellowship with the individual members. "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched; and miserable, and poor, and blind; and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed; and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches" (Revelation 3:14-22). Much less does any board or commission, originally created by messengers of the churches to serve as agencies of the churches, have the right to demand support of a program well calculated to destroy what these churches have believed and stood for in past years. Well may we ask today, as Moses asked of old, ". . . Who is on the Lord's side?. . ." (Exodus 32:26). ================
[From AAB, various issues. -- jrd]
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