The Bible: Inspired or Expired

“Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you” (Deuteronomy 4:2).

“And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll” (Revelation 22:19).

Recently I read all of the Statements of Faith from each the churches I have attended in my life to see how they defined the Bible.  Every one, and I attended many different denominations, included one or several of the words inerrant, infallible, inspired or authoritative in their statement.   One statement even went so far as to say that if something isn’t in Scripture it cannot be part of the faith. My question became, “Why, if the Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and inspired, does the church observe doctrines that aren’t in Scripture and discourage those that are?”

Infallible:  incapable of making mistakes or being wrong

Inerrant: incapable of being wrong

Inspired: of extraordinary quality, as if arising from some external creativity

Authoritative:  best of its kind, unable to be improved upon

According to the definitions of these words, each Statement of Faith  claims that the Scriptures are incapable of having mistakes, being wrong or being  improved upon.   This means that the Bible is always right and not subject to being changed because somewhere, at some time, someone made an inspirational mistake.

Let us also remember that Yeshua and his Father are one and not two different voices in Scripture. Yeshua is the Word of God revealed in the flesh of a man.  Their words cannot be divided into denominational doctrines or the idea that “God said this in the OT  while Jesus said that in the New.” They are One voice speaking together (John 1:1-2, 14, John 10:30).

Advent Lutheran Church

“Our congregation accepts the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith, and life.”

I grew up attending this liturgical-based church which at the time was the Lutheran Church in America (LCA).  It is now the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).    This is where I learned about God and received my first Bible.  I was a faithful attendee and never missed any service or activity with my family.   I did not; however, learn about having a personal relationship with Jesus in this church.   I did learn how to have a relationship with church.  Though I was given a Bible in third grade, I never took it with me nor was I encouraged to open it.   This is not to say that I didn’t read my Bible as a child, I did.  I just never read it in church.

Church of the Brethren

“The central emphasis of the Brethren is not a creed, but a commitment to follow Jesus in simple obedience, to be faithful disciples in the modern world. We hold the New Testament as our guidebook for living, affirming with it the need for lifelong study of the Scriptures.”

A Brethren church is Anabaptist in doctrine, similar to the Amish and Mennonite faiths.  I attended this church only for a few short months as my parents took a break from the Lutheran church due to divisional issues about how to spend money.    This was the only church in my youth where I actually opened my Bible.  My Sunday school teacher gave me a verse to read to my fifth grade class.  It was an Old Testament Scripture that has led to my lifelong study of the Word:

“The grass dries up, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8).

LIFE Fellowship

“The Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men and the Divine and final authority for Christian faith and life.”

This is the church I attended soon after I was born again.  It was evangelical in scope, met in a movie theater, and the pastor had serious concerns about psychology being taught in the church.  Here, I learned the difference between a humanistic world view and a Biblical one.     It was at this church that I first raised my hands in worship and called myself a ‘born again Christian.’   This pastor also made a stand against living together and marriage between a believer and unbeliever.  This convicted me as I lived with my future husband and he was, at that time, not a believer. 

Little Church in the Pines

When I attended Little Church in the Pines, the pastor was from a Mennonite Anabaptist background.  Here is a link to their entire position on the Bible since it is quite involved:

This is the church where I was married and my husband and I attended for about two years.  I don’t remember reading the Bible in church, but it had wonderful fellowship and I made lifelong friendships within the community of believers.  It was in this church that I was first introduced to Hebraic dancing and my heart for the Jewish people began to blossom.  This church [building] has now become an historic monument to the mining days in Salina in the foothills outside of Boulder, Colorado. It is considered a spiritual center where anyone can meet and follow whatever spiritual direction they choose.   It no longer has a statement of faith.

Rocky Mountain Christian Fellowship

“We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God, inerrant in the original writings” (Psalm 19:7, 2 Timothy 3:16,  2 Peter 1:21).

My husband and I went to this church with our two young children for five years.  We had excellent New Testament teaching that gave us a solid apostolic foundation.  We were taught that we needed to obey the commands of God, but then were given vague concepts to what that obedience looked like.   When I once asked the pastor how we are to look different from the world, he responded, “All we need is Jesus.”  I knew there was more than ‘Jesus’ in my Bible.  According to John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” I knew there was a Father that I needed to know more intimately and there had to be ways to express it.

When my husband and I began to seriously study the Scriptures for ourselves in order to ‘build on Jesus’, we quickly learned such building was discouraged from anything that remotely looked different from New Testament theology.  Any form of worship apart from what was considered acceptable ‘non-denominational’ was also discouraged.  A small dance group that had begun and brought much-needed intimate fellowship discouraged until it disbanded. 

It was during these years that my husband and I attended a concert at Roeh Israel in Denver. In the twinkling of an eye, the moment we entered the sanctuary, our spiritual lives and walks changed forever.   Many questions I had about the Bible and my faith since childhood were answered as I watched Jews and gentiles worshipping the Messiah together.  We continued visiting Roeh Israel when possible and the Messianic Jewish pastors connected the dots between Old Testament prophecy, the Messiah of Israel, and the Jewish people in an authentic New Testament way.

Church of the Nazarene

“We believe in the plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, by which we understand the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, given by divine inspiration, inerrant revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation, so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith” (Luke 24:44-47; John 10:35; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 1 Peter 1:10-12; 2 Peter 1:20-21). 

We attended this church for three months.  During this time I had a molar pregnancy and the pastor’s wife was very encouraging to me in the hospital.   I do not remember any Scripture I was taught in this church as I was sick most of the time.   I do know they were not afraid of all 66 books because I was invited to teach Hebraic dancing to the children at their Vacation Bible School.

Dayspring Christian Fellowship

We attended this elder-directed church for a couple of years while it searched for a pastor.  During these two years, I made the communion bread.  While kneading it every week, I prayed that they would find a Messianic Jew to fill the position.  A Jewish man was eventually chosen from several possibilities and soon after, they began to celebrate Passover.  Dayspring is no longer a church, but a type of school that provides counseling services.  I’m sure they believed in the inerrant, infallible, inspired  Word of God when we attended; however, one of the elders made it very clear to me and my husband that God doesn’t care about the 10 Commandments while another one challenged our ‘legalistic’ views of Sabbath and the Biblical Holy Days.  The Messianic Jewish man who began pastoring this church is now pastoring Cornerstone of Boulder (aka Rosh Pinah b’Boulder), a congregation that is Messianic in vision. 

Calvary Chapel

“We believe that the Bible is God’s authoritative and inspired work. It is without error in all its teachings. As Christians we must submit to its divine authority, both as individuals and as a corporate body.”

When the LORD told us our ‘mission’ was complete at Dayspring, we spent a short time in this church where the people were very loving, however they struggled with good Biblical leadership.  An ‘all you need is love’ Beatles doctrine combined with some camouflaged catholicism allowed sin to run rampant.  At times there were blatant teachings that went against Scripture and were rationalized with the worldview of ‘tolerance.’  Rather than being transformed by the Word, the Word was transformed to allow sinful immoral lifestyles to flourish,  even among the leadership.   

Way, Truth, Life, Fellowship

We attended this church for nine months.  This was the closest example to a Biblical gathering that we had ever encountered.   The pastor had willingly, at the cost of membership, put aside many church traditions for teaching Biblical Truth along with the Feasts of the LORD.   This church did not have a Statement of Faith per se, but used Acts 2:42 as their foundation, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teachings, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread.”   

The Old Testament was taught along with the New to reveal numerous types and shadows of Messiah, past, present and future. There was a healthy view of obedience to the ‘law’ and the dietary commands were followed during meal time. After table fellowship, the pastor led a question and answer time that offered many opportunities to ask lifelong questions and receive sound Biblical answers.  He was the first pastor who, along with his wife,   encouraged me to wear my head covering all the time.

Assemblies of God

“The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct.”

We attended this church for only a few months.  Speaking in tongues was more important than verbally speaking the written Word of God.  Eventually the pastor sent me a letter about some discipleship I was doing with another woman.  He called me a ‘heretic’ and asked that I never step foot in his church again.  The ‘heresy’ was something that actually came from the New Testament; he just didn’t like that the woman was being Scripturally challenged and changed. 

Foursquare Church

“We believe the Bible is God-inspired” (2 Timothy 3:16,17).

We attended this church for a very short time.  After the pastor met with us so we could explain our view of Sabbath, he began calling Sunday the Sabbath in the services.  God will not be mocked.  We could not accept this duplicity so we made our final and last cut from the institutional church.  We have never attended another ‘Bible believing church’ for it became apparent that their Statements of Faith contradicted how they lived out those beliefs. 

What we have come to learn is that revival comes first to the hearts of those who read the commands of God, repent from disobedience and begin to obey by faith.  It seemed that every church leader, when questioned, desired to quench the Spirit that was leading us deeper into the Truth so that we could know and love our Father more intimately.

God-Breathed Inspiration

“Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action).  So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work” (1 Timothy 3:16-17, Amplified Bible). 

I believe wholeheartedly that the Bible is inerrant and there are no mistakes written in the Scriptures.  After all, my first memory verse came from Isaiah 40:8 that the word of God stands forever.  I also believe that because the Bible was inspired by God, it doesn’t or can’t change for if it does, then God changes as well.  This opens the door for the way of salvation through faith in Messiah Yeshua to change and then I am no different from the lost and dying in the world.

“God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind” (Numbers 23:19).

“I Yahweh do not change” (Malachi 3:6).

“Messiah Yeshua is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

The Fourth Commandment and Statements of Faith

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. … the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (Exodus 20:8, 11).

Every church that I attended along with millions of similar church branches across the nations claimed that the Bible is without mistakes because it was inspired by an unchanging God.  The Ten Commandments are part of the inerrant, unchanged Word of God, so why is it that none of these churches keep the Fourth: ‘Remember to keep the Sabbath day holy?’ This was one area where pastors and other well-meaning Christians confronted us with ‘legalism.’  Is it legalistic  to obey a commandment given by the Creator Himself, to remember Him and His Creation?

Answers varied from “it was changed,” to “Sunday is a memorial to the resurrection,” to “Sabbath can be any day I want it to be.”  Each of these responses suggest that “God changes,” “the Word changes,” or “the Bible is fallible so I can interpret it.”  One pastor recently told a friend that ‘No one changed the Sabbath and the Ten Commandments are still in effect.”  If that is true, then why doesn’t this pastor teach about the Sabbath? Have his congregation meet on the Sabbath?   By neglecting the seventh-day Sabbath, what leaders are really saying is that God is not the inspiration of the Scriptures, we are.  Or, God doesn’t or can’t remember what He said from one prophetic generation to the next.  Or, God changes.

Several of the Statements of Faith stated that the Bible is the final authority on life and faith.  One claimed the Bible is a guidebook for life.  Another makes the assertion that anything that is not contained in the Scriptures is not part of the articles of faith.  All of these Statements of Faith would imply that Sabbath, because it is in Scripture, should be the guide for a weekly lifecycle.

Yet every church that I attended met on Sunday mornings –  even the one that taught the types and shadows for the Feasts of the LORD which includes the Sabbath.  ALL of them.  Let me state at this point, worship on Sunday is not wrong.  We are to worship every day of every hour of every week, but Sunday worship does not replace the Sabbath day given by God to His people.

Not one Statement of Faith ever mentioned the seventh-day Sabbath because they wrongly divide the Word of Truth.  Their two-edged sword cuts their Bibles in half and teach that the seventh-day is the Jewish Sabbathand the first day is the Christianone.   Of course there was that one leader who believed that God doesn’t even care about the Sabbath because it’s part of the Ten Commandments done away with at the cross.

Every one of these Statements of Faith has chosen to embrace manmade doctrines over the inspired, infallible Word of God contradicting their own Statement of Faith.  Even the Statements that said we mustsubmit to Scriptural authority made excuses for why that authority no longer has a hold on their lives.  They used a grace doctrine of  freedom from the law which is nothing more than a lawless doctrinethat encourages everyone do what is right in their own eyes. Remember the time of the Judges?

Somewhere along the line, most obviously through church fathers and the catholic church,  conviction for sin, correction of error, discipline in obedience, training in holy living by conforming to God’s will has been put aside and called ‘legalism.’   Believers are no longer proficient in the Word, equipped for good works or receiving the gospel message in its entirety.

Institution or Kingdom

As I look back over my church experiences, the only consistent consistency is the hypocrisy of saying one thing and doing another. Love God, but don’t ask Jesus into your heart for a personal relationship.   Here’s a Bible, but don’t open it.   If you do read the Bible, only read the New Testament.   Read the Word, but only so you can sword stab some unbeliever with the name of Jesus.   Our cornerstone of faith is Jesus Christ, but ignore his Jewishness.   Build your faith on the  apostles and prophets, but don’t include anything in the laws given to the greatest prophet, Moses.   Preach the Word in season and out, but most really isn’t for our time or culture.  All Scripture is God-breathed except the Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus taught from and then removed.  The Old Testament is for the Jews and contains burdensome rules; we’re under the grace of the New Testament.  Even though all of the first believers in the resurrected Jesus were Jews and it was Jews who wrote the New Testament,  make sure you don’t do anything like them  because you don’t want to look Jewish because the Jews rejected Jesus.

Only through divine intervention have I learned about the God of the Bible and His desires for my life and faith because it didn’t come through any denomination or church leadership.  Because I wanted the never-changing Word of God to correct my errors, I was willing to accept the teachings of Scripture even though it contradicted many manmade authorities and cherished church doctrines.  I learned through the power of God’s Spirit that simple obedience to the Word of God would guide me into Truth even while I endured persecutions and accusations of being a Judaizer, a heretic, a legalist, and a Pharisee.  I never questioned God’s Word because it not only stands forever as I learned as a child, but challenged what I was taught to be true.  It was only the Spirit of God that gave me understanding of the Word of God which changed the direction of my spiritual walk, transforming me into a vibrant born-again child of the Kingdom of God ruled by the King of Kings and his infallible, inerrant, inspired, and authoritative Word. 

©2011 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this article,  please purchase Journey with Jeremiah: Nourishment for the Wild Olive.  

3 Responses to “The Bible: Inspired or Expired”

  • Renna says:

    Thought provoking!

  • Diane Harrington says:

    Thank you Julie, I started a bible study with Wendy on Monday and we are studying Shabbat! Your writings are confirmation of exactly what she showed me. I have long believed in the inerancy(?) of Gods word and see life issues as black and white. G-d says no, its no and thats it, but am only recently beginning to have my eyes opened to all the pagan practices (Christmas, Easter etc) for what they really are. Now to move forward in the truth !!

    • yahuliani says:

      You’re welcome Diane. I know that the Father is going to take you on the adventure of your life getting to know HIm and Yeshua so much more intimately through His Word and His Appointed Times! STAY BLESSED!

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