THE title of this booklet is partly objective and partly subjective: that is to
say, partly factual and partly a matter of judgement. One Bible-Many Churches
is surely indisputable? Does it matter what we believe? is open to
discussion. It seems sensible to begin where there is likely to be the greatest
measure of agreement -- that there is one Bible. Surely this is manifestly true?
Of course there are several versions and many translations -- but one Bible,
whether the language is eastern or western, ancient or modern. The text is not
open to alteration in order to bring it into harmony with this point of view or
that. There are hundreds of scholars quick to detect any interference with the
book. Thousands of pens are poised ready to indict any attempt to meddle with
the words. The Bible is unique, using the word in its proper sense -- there is
one Bible. In every nation it is the same and the Bibleís unity is intact.
That there are many Churches seems equally self evident. There are some who
say that there are many names but the church is one. This is a verbal device to
hide the divisions. The different names do stand for different causes. True,
they are alike in some respects but the differences are real enough. There is a
difference of teaching between one church and another, and sometimes the
difference is very substantial, even fundamental. Then sometimes within the
same church there are ideas and practices which contradict each other. In any
case the effect speaks for itself -- somebody seeking to find the true church
is puzzled and perplexed and forced to cry at last that they cannot make up
their mind when faced with so many different churches clustered around one
Bible. The problem is intensified by the fact that the differing churches all
claim to have based their teaching on the one Bible. How has this situation
The Development of Differences
When the Protestant Reformers opposed and subsequently separated from the
Church of Rome, their battle cry was "The Bible, the whole Bible and nothing
but the Bible". Underlying that cry was a theory that if people could read the
Bible for themselves they would discover the truth about God and His purpose,
would shed their old errors, and consequently would be united by a common faith.
One of the great disappointments of Protestantism has been that the theory
did not work. Instead of the unity which its founders expected, it produced in
the course of time a diversity of opinion and an increasing number of competing
religious communities all claiming in some sense to be founded on the Bible,
resulting in the religious chaos in Christendom today. One of the reasons for
the modern ecumenical movement is the awareness that the existence of so many
different churches is a reproach to Christianity itself. That personal freedom
which was an essential feature of the Protestant cause has produced the very
things which have weakened it. Supposedly centred around one Bible, the
Protestant churches have in the course of the centuries multiplied their
Was the theory wrong -- the idea that the teaching of the Bible was all-
sufficient and, to men of sense and goodwill, self-evident? The fact that
results fell far short of the ideal does not make the theory false. As will be
shown later there were other factors which spoiled and limited the unifying
effect of religious truth. The Bibleís claims about itself assert that its
teaching is all-inclusive and all-sufficient. It is God speaking to men. It
proclaims that God has spoken all down the ages by His holy prophets and now
at last He has spoken by His own Son Jesus Christ. What has been spoken, by the
prophets and by the Son, for us is imprinted on the pages of the Bible. Take
away the Bible and, as far as we are concerned, God is silent. Some religious
people claim to have seen visions and received special revelations, apart from
the Bible, but for the vast majority of men and women there is no sign or signal
from heaven. The voice of heaven is heard in the printed sentences of Godís Word
in the scriptures -- and nowhere else.
Consider the testimony of the Bible about its all-sufficiency. Our Lord often
rebuked the people of his own day -- but never did he rebuke them for reading the
scriptures, rather he rebuked them for not acting in accordance with what they
read. He said, "Ye search the scriptures, and these are they which bear witness
of me; and ye will not come to me, that ye may have life" (John 5:39-40) R.V.
To the Sadducees he said about their attitude to resurrection, "Ye do err, not
knowing the scriptures" (Matthew 22:29), and then went on to say, "But as
touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken
unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the
God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living". Jesus said
this was God speaking to the generation of that very day, and because they
ignored it they were going astray.
The Holy Scriptures
The Apostle Paul had a companion in the ministry of the gospel named Timothy
-- the son of a Jewess from Lystra. Two of Paulís epistles were written to that
young man and in one of them the Apostle used these words: "From a child thou
hast known the holy scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation
through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (II Timothy 3:15). From this letter to
Timothy we also see how he received his early knowledge of the scriptures: it
was from his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois. In Acts 17 there is a
record of how Paul and Silas preached the gospel to the Jews at Berea. They
received the word gladly, but tested the truth of what Paul and Silas had said
and "searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so". Paul did not
rebuke them for doing this but rather commended them for their zeal.
To the believers at Thessalonica he wrote, "Prove all things; hold fast that
which is good" (I Thessalonians 5:21). These references lay emphasis upon the
fact that the scriptures are able and sufficient to teach the truth about God
necessary for salvation and uphold the right and duty of ordinary people to
read the scriptures for themselves.
It is perfectly true that the Apostle Peter warned the believers against
those who twist the scriptures and make them mean something which is not
intended. But he never warned them against reading the scriptures, for he exhorts
them "as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow
thereby" (I Peter 2:1,2). Their spiritual growth and increased knowledge of God
depended upon a careful reading of the Word of Truth. There is not the slightest
suggestion that by doing this they would be exposed to danger or would be led
away from the faith. On the contrary the essential and central feature of these
passages is that the scriptures are able to teach men the truth about salvation
and that truth is comprehensible by ordinary people. According to the Bible,
then, the Reformersí theory was right, but something went wrong.
Since the Bible is intended not to conceal but to reveal, not to cause
confusion but to establish unity, how has it come about that since the Bible
has been made available to all in the vernacular and with the advent of religious
freedom, Christendom has become a multiplicity of different churches, resulting
in modern religious chaos? In the main, two factors have produced this unhappy
result. Firstly, if the Bible is to be understood properly, it is necessary to
come to it with an open mind, ready to be instructed and willing to submit to
its teaching. The trouble has been that so many people have come to it with
preconceived ideas, seeking in its pages support for doctrines already
formulated from other sources.
There has been a marked tendency for people to make God after their own image
-- to fashion their ideas about Him out of their own desires, so that they
invent a God in accordance with what they wish Him to be, rather than as He is
revealed in the Bible. They come to the Bible seeking support for a self-invented
God and very often they are satisfied that the Bible supports them.
This satisfaction is secured by a superficial reading of certain passages of
scripture, a capricious selection of parts of the Bible which appear to be
favourable, and a rejection of those parts which are not. Furthermore, doctrines
are formed or supported on isolated texts without reference to the general
teaching of scripture. Very often doctrines tend to be isolated from each other,
like parcels tied up separately, and the final and logical outcome of their
teaching is not looked at penetratingly. So the discrepancies and contradictions
are not brought to light.
Secondly, certain churches have been dominated by particular doctrines upon
which more than usual emphasis has been laid, which has resulted in the neglect
of other important teaching. The outcome of this has been a dislocated and
unbalanced view of Bible truth leading to false conclusions and a disordered
conception of salvation.
In the religious world today, therefore, it would be impossible to get a
clear and unanimous explanation of the Kingdom of God, the Authority and
Inspiration of the Bible, the Second Advent of Jesus Christ, the importance
of Baptism, the nature of the Church, the meaning of the Lordís Supper, the
nature of Man, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and Life after Death. Churches
which for years have been teaching their people a theology based on the doctrine
of the immortality of the soul, now find that some of their leading theologians
and writers are saying that this doctrine is not Biblical but pagan; that
survival of the individual will not come about by flight of the soul to heaven
at death, but by the resurrection of the body at the second advent of Jesus Christ.
This is the Biblical view of the nature of man, but only a few believe it.
The Bible says that man is mortal. It says it categorically and emphatically,
and yet in the religious world there is uncertainty, doubt and deliberate
contradiction. This one thing alone is representative of the confusion and
multiplicity of ideas which confront the seeker after religious truth and which
so often fill him with dismay and despair, or which breed an indifference
leading to apathy and agnosticism. Sometimes that indifference is expressed in
the belief that it does not matter which church you attend or what you believe
-- with so many to choose from, one is as good as another.
Does it Matter?
As a first step, apply the test of common sense. Imagine someone in hospital
waiting to undergo a surgical operation who finds that the surgeon who is to
perform it holds the opinion that it does not matter about the principles of
surgery -- the important thing is to get the instruments and proceed with the
work. It is almost certain that the patient would discharge himself! Imagine
someone preparing to travel by plane who discovers that the pilot thinks it
does not matter about the principles of aerial navigation -- the really important
thing is to get the plane into the air and trust to a sense of direction. It is
almost certain that one passenger would choose an alternative form of transport!
These illustrations are, of course, hypothetical and outrageous. Yet when it
comes to religion, what in the case of surgery and navigation is obviously wrong
and dangerous, is too often accepted as reasonable and harmless. Plenty of people
hold the view that it does not matter what you believe about God so long as you
lead a respectable life. On the face of it, does this seem sensible? Is it likely
that God, who made the world and sustains it day after day by laws which are
unchangeable and absolute, would be indifferent to how men regard Him? Would it
not be reasonable to expect that this God would be vitally interested in what
men and women think about Him and how they treat His word? But the truth is that
man is not left to his own feelings on this matter. God has spoken and the Bibie
claims to be His word. It is there that God reveals the principles of true
religion, principles whereby we may come to God and be accepted by Him and
receive His salvation.
Upon reflection, therefore, it is just as dangerous and just as foolish to
neglect the principles of true religion as it is to neglect the principles of
surgery or navigation. The only difference is that the results of neglect in
the case of religion are not so obvious at first, but at the last are more
permanent and irrevocable. In the case of religion, just as truly, somebodyís
life is at stake.
What About Tolerance?
Religious tolerance is a blessing when it means freedom to worship God
without interference, but it is something less than a blessing if it infects
people with a kind of religious colour blindness which robs them of the capacity
to distinguish black from white. In the old days when men and women felt strongly
about their religious beliefs, they were prepared to speak boldly about what
they thought was right and wrong, but now in this age of broadmindedness and
compromise, religious controversy is reckoned to be out-of-date; almost something
to be ashamed of. Intransigent positions are taken less often -- moderation is
the key word and anything which is likely to fan the flames of controversy is
In some quarters it seems that the great thing is not to come to definite
conclusions about anything. ĎDiscuss and consider but never decide.í ĎSome
religions may be better than others -- but all religion is good.í ĎChoose the
one that suits you and brings out the best in you and does no harm to others.í
This point of view has the appearance of moderation and reasonableness -- but
it contradicts the teaching of the Bible. Intrinsic in true religion, as
revealed in the Bible, is the idea of intolerance -- that is to say,
because there is a true religion, that which is in opposition to it and
contradicts it must be false. This point of view is unpalatable, but to the
honest mind it must be logical.
About the method of approaching God, the Bible uses words which are imperative
and categorical. An example is in Hebrews: "Without faith it is impossible to
please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a
rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6). Notice the words impossible
and must. The writer does not say it is better to come to God with faith or that
it is difficult to come without faith. He said, "It is impossible to please God
without faith and whoever comes must believe". Those words allow no middle course.
Whoever comes must believe and it is no good coming without faith. This provokes
the question, "Why wonít I do as I am? Whatís wrong with me like this?" The Bible
reveals that God is not prepared to accept anybody because of their natural
goodness. It is unacceptable and it would be unfair. Some are born in bad
circumstances and live in degraded conditions, so that natural goodness is a
struggle; others are born in good circumstances and live in congenial
surroundings, so that being good comes easier. God does not accept people on
this unfair basis.
The Basis for Godís Acceptance
In the sight of God all are sinners and their goodness is inadequate to justify
them in His presence. There is only one standard of righteousness, holiness and
justice, and that is Godís standard, and God will not at any time compromise that
standard in order to accommodate the fickleness of men and women. Sin today is
no less sinful than it was in the days of Noah or Eve. God has not evolved from
a God who hates sin to a God who merely overlooks it. Human goodness compared
with Godís standard of righteousness is stunted and impoverished. It is no good
coming to God with our Ďscorecardí which testifies that we are decent people, we
pay our debts and never harm our neighbours. In the context of respectability
this may be important, but in the context of salvation it is paltry. Our bit of
righteousness is no passport to Godís favour. The Bible teaches that we have to
repudiate our own withered morality and confess that we do not measure up to
Godís standard. This is called Repentance.
Since men and women cannot be received on the basis of their natural goodness,
which is inadequate and unfair, God receives them on the basis of their faith
. The faith they show is counted by Him as righteousness. This is the great
doctrine of justification by faith and explains why it is impossible to come to
God faithless, and why those who come must believe. In order to show how the
great principle operates the Apostle Paul takes the case of one man, Abraham.
Abraham received certain promises from God which, at the time they were spoken,
appeared, humanly speaking, to be impossible of fulfilment. But Abraham had faith
in the promises in spite of adverse appearances and God counted this for
"He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was
strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had
promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for
righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to
him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that
raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and
was raised again for our justification" (Romans 4:20-25).
Paul insists that the principles which operated in the case of Abraham are
true for every man who will come to God for salvation.
Faith in the Word of God
The essential feature of the process is faith in the word of God. This is the
beginning of the new life, the basis of true religion. The Apostle Peter writes
of "being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word
of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" (I Peter 1:23). This is why so many
parts of the New Testament lay emphasis upon the necessity for belief and faith:
"He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many
as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them
that believe" (John 1:11-12).
"Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh
to God must believe" (Hebrews 11:6).
"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:15).
Faith or Superstition
As faith is so important, it stands to reason that the faith which God
requires cannot mean believing in what is false or self-invented. The faith
which God insists on is faith in what is true, because faith in what is false
is really superstition. The Bible says, "As he thinketh in his heart, so is he"
(Proverbs 23:7). It tells us that ultimately a manís actions are conditioned
and regulated by what he believes, and therefore it follows that a false
belief could result in a false life.
The writers of the New Testament knew this and were constantly urging the
believers to hold fast to the truth. Consider the strong words which the Apostle
Paul used on this very issue:
"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel
unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we
said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you
than that ye have received, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1 :8).
These are solemn sentences. Paul pronounces a double curse on those who preach
falsehood. This is an example of the Ďintoleranceí already referred to, and which
is so different from the modern attitude of easy tolerance towards ideas about
God which are totally divergent and sometimes mutually destructive. Paul insisted
that the gospel he preached was the truth and anything which contradicted it was
a lie. He maintained that there was a definable standard of truth about God and
His purpose and those who departed from it were in danger.
It is popular today to say that the Christian faith cannot be defined in
propositions. It is supposed to be too personal and too mystical for that. It
is this point of view which encourages so many to say that it does not matter
what you believe or which church you join. But such a view is manifestly false,
measured by the teaching of the New Testament where the church is called "the
pillar and ground of the truth" (I Timothy 3: 15). There is a solemn duty laid
on every believer to ensure that their faith and their church is built on that
true foundation, as it is revealed in the Bible.
When Jesus was speaking to the Samaritan woman about true religion, he used
some very significant words:
"The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall
worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to
worship him" (John 4:23).
What Jesus meant was that true religion does not consist of mere outward show
and external ritual, nor only the performance of certain acts of praise and
submission, but rather it is an inward condition, of the spirit and not just of
the letter. This emphasises the importance of living according to the way God
has commanded. It is possible to praise God with our lips but in our lives to
dishonour Him. It is possible to sing songs of submission and bow our heads in
humility and yet in our hearts to be as proud as peacocks. We prove the truth
of our religion by the obedience of our lives. The need is to discover the
truth by humble reference to Godí s word, and to apply it in daily living. This
is worship "in spirit and in truth".
A Matter of Life and Death
The issue is not just of concern to those interested in theology or who like
a religious argument. It is a matter of life and death for all who seek salvation.
The question whether it matters about finding the truth can be answered only on
the basis of eternal principles revealed in the Bible. The principles which
govern our approach to God are perpetual: they have always applied; they are
In Leviticus there is a record of two men who ignored the principles and
ended their lives tragically. Nadab and Abihu were priests of the Lord and their
lives were regulated by Godís commandments concerning His worship:
"And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his
tenser, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire
before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the
Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto
Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them
that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified" (Leviticus 10:
Priests were right to offer incense before the Lord, and the way of doing it
was carefully prescribed by God. But these two men ignored Godís commandments
and offered unhallowed fire obtained from some other source than the altar of
the Lord. Perhaps it was due to carelessness, or indifference, or just plain
disobedience, but God rejected their worship because it was done in a way He
had not commanded.
Some people would say that wrong ways ought to be excused if the objective
is right-that doubtful means are ennobled if the end is good. But this is
evidently not true when it comes to worshipping God. This story unmasks and
condemns the theory that the end justifies the means. It shows that God is not
indifferent to the methods men invent for worshipping in His presence. indeed
we may claim the right to please ourselves but it may not please God.
The Bible teaches us over and over again that truth is not advanced by false
means, neither will it rest upon corrupt foundations. You cannot worship God by
disobeying His commands. We cannot glorify God by being indifferent to His will,
any more than could Nadab and Abihu. It is no good coming with "strange fire"
now any more than it was then. God has not changed in nature or in purpose.
Those who stand in His presence for worship must be those who have bothered to
enquire about His will and who have a master passion to do it and obey His word.
The old principle which Moses reiterated to Aaron is still true: "I will be
sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be
glorified." If God is to be glorified He must be obeyed. Any church which leads
men to believe that Godís word is unreliable, or that His commandments can be
ignored, or that it is a matter of choice whether we believe in certain
fundamental doctrines, must be false because in the final analysis it teaches
men to disobey Godís word.
The Test of Truth
It is no good pleading that we have been misled by other people. In the high
court of heaven this is not a valid defence. Jesus said, "If the blind lead the
blind, both shall fall into the ditch" (Matthew 15:14). It is no good urging that
clever and scholarly men have taught us what to believe and what to do. The test
is not scholarship but truth measured by the word of God. Man-made religion is
no substitute for Godís religion, be it ever so clever. Jesus made this clear
when he took the words of an old Hebrew prophet and reinforced their meaning:
"In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the
commandments of men" (Matthew 15:9).
This is far removed from popular religious teaching of today. There are
prominent teachers in Christendom today who deny Bible teaching about God and
His purpose, who explain away the reality of Christís resurrection, who throw
doubt upon the authority of Godís word, and water down His commandments. The
moral is that we ought not to be too impressed by the credentials of the
Ďscholarí. Where scholarship is faithful to Godí s word and helps us to
understand it better we ought to be grateful for it, but the Bible never
suggests that human cleverness is the passport to divine knowledge. instead it
tells us that the truth unveils most of her face to those who are humble and
of a contrite spirit.
The great doctrines of the Christian faith are based upon facts. Deny the
facts and you falsify the doctrine. Deny the virgin birth of Jesus Christ and
he becomes the son of Joseph and not the Son of God: he is made a man of his
time and no more. Deny the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ and it strikes
at the very foundation of the faith and makes Christís apostles false witnesses,
and leaves the dead in their graves for ever. Deny the fact that Christ worked
true miracles and he is robbed of his authority and real status, because he said
that the miracles were signs of his divinity. In the end the seeker for the truth
has to show a spirit of independence and look carefully at the teaching of the
Bible itself rather than accept conclusions second hand.
One of the first things the New Testament emphasises is that doctrine can be
defined. Sometimes today it is said that the Christian faith cannot be stated
in propositrons and that it is something mystical which cannot be analysed. If
that be true, here is a strange thing -- the Apostle Paul in the letter to the
Galatians marvels that some of them had turned away from the truth and had
departed from the gospel to another. The point to notice is this: how can it be
said that somebody has departed from something if that something cannot be
defined? Surely the teaching of the New Testament is that there is a definable
objective standard by which judgements can be made. Now if the Lord God has
gone to great care to reveal the truth about Himself and His purpose it is
illogical to behave as though it does not matter, and that people can please
themselves about what they believe.
In the Old Testament there is a passage which settles this point clearly:
"To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a
contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word" (Isaiah 66:2).
Trembling at the word of God means understanding it, believing it and obeying
it. People are not entitled to please themselves if that leads them to be
indifferent to what God has revealed. Men and women ought to look carefully and
sincerely at their beliefs.
Vital Doctrines to be Discovered
Those who have responded to the exhortation to look penetratingly at their own
religion and measure it by the word of God have often been surprised to discover
that things they had believed all their lives were untrue! The writer acknowledges
that this was his experience: such a process exposed the false doctrine of the
immortality of the soul and its associated ideas concerning the destiny of the
soul after death. It brought release from the doctrines of demons and devils and
disembodied spirits and instead brought to light the real and vital significance
of resurrection as the method of survival, at the second coming of Jesus Christ
as King of the World. It brought enlightenment and understanding concerning the
kingdom of God -- a realisation that it is a real kingdom to be established on
the earth, in the very place where the kingdoms of men are crumbling to decay.
It opened up the prospect of life eternal, a life unsullied by sin and unwearied
by any disability, a life immortal and wonderful, to be lived with Christ in the
Kingdom of God.
It also brought the sobering conviction that one of the most solemn
commandments of the Lord had never been obeyed: to be baptized. With an
understanding of the Bible doctrine about baptism it became evident that what
had previously passed for baptism in the form of christening was quite out of
harmony with scriptural teaching and practice. The word of God demonstrated that
baptism is an act of obedience, resulting from faith -- a voluntary burial in
water as a sign of death to the old life, and a rising again from the water to
a new life of obedience.
In the days of the infant church many believers were stoned, beaten, starved,
hunted, hounded and eventually martyred. They endured all this because they
believed that what they had to say was vital. In the words of Peter, "We ought
to obey God rather than men". If it does not matter what we believe or with
whom we worship, then they were mistaken in their determination to preach the
truth at all costs.
Examples of Living Faith
It is profitable to observe how the apostles put into practice the principles
already outlined about the importance of knowing the truth revealed by God. There
is an interesting case in Acts 10 about a man called Cornelius. The record says
that he was a devout man and one that feared God with all his house. He prayed
to God always and gave much alms to the people. God sent Peter to find this man
and his companions and preach to him the truth about Christ and his kingdom.
When they had heard and believed they were baptized into the Saving Name of the
Redeemer. Why it is so interesting is that Cornelius was such a good man in
every way, fearing God, praying regularly and living faithfully and generously.
But notwithstanding all this, he needed to know the truth and respond to it in
order to be saved. By todayís standards many people would say he was good enough
to start with, but the narrative proves that it did matter what he believed. He
needed to know the truth so that he could respond in faith.
There is a significant case in Acts 8 which concerns a man who by todayís
standards would be called a Bible reader and a regular churchgoer. He was an
Ethiopian, returning to his homeland after worshipping at the temple in Jerusalem.
He was sat in his chariot reading from Isaiah 53. An angel directed Philip to go
to the Ethiopian and help him with his understanding of what he was reading. So
Philip joined the man in his chariot and explained to him the truth about Jesus
Christ. As they proceeded on the journey they came to some water and the Ethiopian
asked to be baptized. Philip replied, "If thou believest with all thine heart
thou mayest". Once again it is emphasised that faith is essential in the process
The third example has to do with Apollos, a man of considerable eloquence,
"mighty in the scriptures" (Acts 18:24), said to have been instructed in the way
of the Lord, fervent in the spirit. But the record makes it quite clear that more
was needed. Two disciples, Aquila and Priscilla, took him and "expounded unto him
the way of God more perfectly". It was a matter of vital importance that he
understood the way of God more perfectly.
So there it is -- a devout man who prayed every day and lived a faithful
life; a Bible reading man who worshipped God reverently; a man mighty in the
scriptures who was fervent in spirit and preached diligently-in every case
needing to be taught the truth more perfectly. None of these examples gives any
support to the idea that religious people can please themselves about what they
believe. On the contrary the evidence is that those who mean business about
their religion should take care that the basis of their faith conforms faithfully
with the teaching of the word of God. Saving faith is faith in that which is true.
Any other kind is likely to prove abortive.
ĎOne Bible, Many Churches.í Does it matter which one? In the final
analysis the answer will depend upon what the questioner is seeking. If the
quest is for friendship, or to satisfy the belief that one ought to worship
somewhere -- then the answer is No, it probably does not matter. The answer is
Yes, however, if the quest is for eternal life, and a form of worship
acceptable to God.