Why "Sola Scriptura" Is Not Enough

I recently came to the realization that Sola Scriptura, the Bible and the Bible alone, is not enough. Now before you head down to the comment line and demolish me allow me to explain. Trust me, its not what it sounds like.

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

"Jesus is more than an intriguing cultural icon, more than a fascinating story, more than a worldview, and more than another religious guru among the myriads. Jesus is truth, and although the culture mocks the declaration, those who know it cannot help but predicate it. Jesus is real. He can be experienced. He can be known."

9 comments:

  1. Amen,
    I agree absolutely that Jesus is our only guide. As far as scripture is concerned there can be deep meanings to them when discerned spiritually through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and linked to other scripture that reveal so much more than some realize.

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    1. Amen Brenda!

      If you have time, I encourage you to read the article on Koresh I linked above at the bottom of the second paragraph. There you'll be able to see just how far this guy took his people away from the Bible even though he would tell them to study it.

      Blessings,
      Marcos

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  2. Hi Marcos.
    That's basically OK.
    But I would like to add that it is not good enough for Scriptures to point to Scriptures.
    All Scriptures point to the Lord Jesus Christ alone and to no one else.

    To establish any fact there needs to be more than one witness, at least two or three witnesses.
    The Bible (the Word of God) is one witness, but that alone causes men to debate and argue about its meaning etc. therefore there needs to be a second witness.
    The second witness is the Holy Spirit who always and without fail agrees with the Scriptures and only points to Jesus Christ alone and anyone who does not have the Holy Spirit does not belong to God.

    Now, there is the third witness and that is the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ you and I and everyone who testifies to the Lord Jesus Christ alone and anyone who does not testify to Jesus Christ alone is a false preacher, a deceiver and a false witness.
    (Those are the three witnesses mentioned in Scriptures) the Word, the Spirit and the Church.
    Regards
    Paul

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  3. Paul!

    So good to hear from you man! It's been a while. Iv'e been meaning to visit your blog but have been extremely busy. Are we following each other? If not, I suggest we do.

    Thanks for your comment also. Your thoughts are always welcome. To respond I would say that I agree with what you are saying. My contention in this blog is not that the Bible never points to anyone outside of itself. That would be silly. It is from scripture that Israel could determine that prophets like Jeremiah or Isaiah were genuine. John the baptist and even Jesus himself were pointed to by scripture and the Bible says that there will be prophets in the last days. As you rightfully mentioned, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the church are all pointed to by scripture so there's no disagreement there.

    What I am saying is that the Bible never points to any agency outside of itself, whether human or spiritual, which has authority over it. This is why Paul said, "if anyone preaches another gospel to you, be it a human or an angel, let it be cursed." and the OT tells us, "To the law and to the prophets, if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them."

    Sola Scriptura is great, but it has been abused by men like David Koresh and others. I can easily approach you Paul and say, "Since you believe in the Bible and the Bible alone then you ought to believe in me because the Bible points to me as the modern incarnation of Jesus who has come to teach you the truth. Oh and by the way, only I can tell you what the Bible means." This is what Koresh did. He told his followers that the Bible pointed to him as the messiah. So my suggestion is, the Bible should only point to itself as the ultimate authority not to some outside entity. There is no pastor, prophet, or church who has the right to reinterpret, redefine, or overrule scripture.

    Blessings,
    Marcos

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  4. Hi Marcos,
    I read the post that you suggested and left a comment but for some reason the whole comment is not showing now. Why would that happen?

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    1. Hi Brenda,

      I honestly have no idea. I don't have to approve my comments so it should have come straight through. Maybe there was a glitch somewhere? If you'd like just go ahead and retype it.

      Looking forward to your thoughts!

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  5. Hi Marcos,
    It was just saying that it was quite clear that it is their coming to you with the word of God which clarifies whether a person has any authority over you or not as a believer in Christ, which makes that word the authority in itself. As you state in your post, the Bible remains the supreme authority and standard by which all teaching is tested. I think there was a bit more about prophesy but I don't remember exactly and it does not matter.

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  6. Well brother; If I follow you, you might lead me astray and if you follow me, I might lead you astray but if we both follow the Lord Jesus Christ, then He will lead us into all the truth and we will never perish.
    Haven't you read that if the blind leads the blind that both will fall into the pit :-)

    Yes Marcos, David Koresh is a sad story, that is a good example not to follow any man or woman no matter how charismatic they might be. Consider Jim Jones (Jones-town) and you know how they ended up, they all believed in Sola Scriptura with a slight addition, they think that they have the right interpretation of the Scriptures and that they are the mediator between God and their church.
    Very sad indeed!
    Paul

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  7. Amen to not following any man or woman no matter how charismatic they might be. We can build one another up, but there is only One we are to follow, that is Jesus.

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