A few days ago I was doing some research for a blog I was writing called "Is Phony Theology the Result of "New" Bible Translations?" During my research I came across a sermon by a man named David Koresh. Now for those of you who don't know who David Koresh is, here is a bit of back ground. David Koresh was a Seventh-day Adventist who left the church and started his own movement known as the Branch Davidians. I wont go into details here, but if you would like to learn more about the teachings of David Koresh then I recommend you read this article.
Now back to my post. David Koresh was, to put it simply, a cult leader. He led his cult, the Branch Davidians, into a complex in Waco Texas that was eventually raided by the authorities and burned to the ground killing everyone inside including children. Koresh himself was killed. Now what does this have to do with my blog title "Why 'Sola Scriptura' Is Not Enough"? As I mentioned earlier, I had the opportunity to hear a bit of an excerpt from one of Koresh's sermons and I couldn't believe my ears. Although the recording was bad, it was good enough for me to clearly hear him say, "if you are going to be in this message you're gonna be in your Bible." Koresh was advocating to his followers - study the Bible. Don't just study it, know it. As soon as I heard this it became clear to me that the easiest way to lead someone into a phony church is to patronize them with cliches about how they have to study their Bibles, defend everything they believe from their Bibles, and follow the Bible alone.
But shouldn't we do all of the above? Absolutely! But under one condition. Sola Scriptura doesn't mean "the Bible and the Bible alone points to me (ie. David Koresh or anyone else) as the only one who knows the truth." It would be so easy to tell someone, "I believe in the Bible alone and that's why I follow Koresh because the Bible tells me to." This is exactly how David Koresh deceived the people that followed him into their fiery deaths. He convinced them that the Bible and the Bible alone was the truth and that the Bible pointed to him as the prophet/messiah that they should follow. Therefore, Sola Scriptura only works when it points you back to Sola Scriptura and not to some so called spiritual leader. The word of God exalts Jesus Christ as our guide and no one else. Koresh was able to trick his followers by preaching Sola Scriptura that points to me. Today I would like to suggest that the only safe guide is this formula:
Sola Scriptura that points to Sola Scriptura.
Thus. I conclude that Sola Scriptura is not enough. What we need is Sola Scriptura Monstrantem Se Sola meaning "Scripture alone pointing to itself alone." This is our only safety.
Further Reading: Ellen White vs. David Koresh
photo credit: Adam Polselli via photopin cc