The institutional church–the human structure as opposed to the Spirit indwelt members of the Body of Christ–has long wanted to keep people ignorant of the Bible.
This was done most effectively in these ways:
- Lighting people on fire. Consider carefully why there is a church tradition of burning people at the stake for wanting to make the Bible understandable. Why would that be?!
- Confusing people. Human philosophy is confusing and makes little sense. Yet human philosophy is the basis of much established doctrine. Add to that tradition and human power and the institutional church becomes more hindrance than a help.
Institutional theology–what the institutional church teaches–eventually tell people that they don’t need the Bible. This is done by literally telling people that, or more subtly, teaching doctrines that get you to doubt the authority of Scripture.
You know you are hearing institutional theology when you hear people bash the Scriptures as too confusing, irrelevant, subservient to new revelation, needs to be taken with our interpretation, or other such tactics.
Bible Bashing always boils down to: You need us to tell you what the Bible really means and what God wants you to do.
What God wants you to do always, for some reason, ends up serving the people who tell you what God wants you to do. Weird how that happens.
You need the Bible. That’s why God revealed it!
As institutional theology belittles the Scriptures, the Scripture remains firm that you need Scripture!
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
Scripture was written for our learning so we can have hope. If you can’t understand scripture then you can’t have hope!
Institutional churches know that this is true. They don’t want you having hope! They want you to live in dependence upon them, that way they can have hope that at least they’ll get paid!
OK, there goes my cynicism again.
But seriously, the more institutional a church the less hope and the less talk of growth and learning. Churches can’t afford to have their people learn and grow for fear they will leave.
Better to eliminate such ideas and keep everyone happily conformed and obedient.
Faith is risky. It’s scary for the one exercising faith and it’s terrifying for the institutional church to see people walk away from established church doctrine, because then the institutional church won’t be needed anymore.
You can understand the Bible with the Holy Spirit and a true desire to know what the Bible says. The Church, by which I mean people in the Body of Christ, are mutually equipped by the Spirit to help others grow in their understanding of Scripture and growth into Christ.
Church without the Holy Spirit is just a bunch of people waffling around in ignorance, pretending to know stuff to sound spiritual. They will fall into a ditch.
You can know God and you can understand the Scriptures; that’s why the Scriptures were revealed!