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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
E. L. Bynum
From the Plains Baptist Challenger, N.D.
“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” (Matt. 22:29)
I have been asked the question, “Why are there so many religions in the world?” This has been a mystery to many people, but it can be answered with the one verse quoted above. Some people seem to think that every religion must be true, so why not choose any one you like?
Of course we know that Satan exists and he always has been busy in the religious field. We find him active in the Garden of Eden; as a good friend used to say, “Satan was under the tree of knowledge in Genesis 2, and he is still there.” There have been many intelligent people who have promoted false doctrine and started deadly religions, and we can give them the answer of the Lord Jesus, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.”
The Sadducees and the Pharisees were two religious sects that promoted a false religion. One promoted the resurrection, and one did not. While arguing over whether or not the resurrection was real, they tried using their ‘intellect’ to persuade Jesus to side with their viewpoint. Neither one of these groups believed the Truth because they did not know the Scriptures, nor did they understand the power of God. This is the same problem we face in Christendom today.
The Pagan Religions of the World
When Noah and his family came out of the ark after the flood, they all believed in the true and living God, but in just a few hundred years we see that most people had abandoned God and were building the Tower of Babel. This was the religion of Nimrod and was an attempt to build a tower for the worship of their false gods. (Genesis 11)
There are many non-Christian religions in the world and they are simply too numerous to name. These false religions have begat other religions and it continues to this very day. We see the results of the generations of errant worship existing in the lofty temple of the Hindus, where people worship more than 300 million false gods. We can also see it in the simple pagan who worships a piece of stone or wood.
Today, there are many non-Christian religions in the world: the Shinto, the Buddhists, and the Islamic to name a few. But the worshippers of these religions always have a common thread; they all reject the true and living God. Why do they do this? It is because of their sinful and depraved hearts. Jesus said it well in our text when he said, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.”
The Roman Catholic Religion
The Catholic religion is a special case because it is a strange mixture of Christian and pagan religions. The Catholic Church sprang from apostate Christian Churches. When they departed from God, they found it reasonable to adapt various pagan doctrines and holidays so they could lure the pagans into their churches. The truth is debased by the introduction of the poison of paganism into it, thus making a deadly religion. The Mass, confession, and a multitude of other false doctrines cannot be found in the King James Bible. An interesting note: these doctrines cannot even be found in the Catholic Bible.
Why do we find such deadly doctrines in the Roman Catholic Church? Jesus answered that by saying, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.”
The Many Cults in the World
This is an area of belief that continues to grow. To name a few we begin with Christian Science (which is neither Christian nor science), and then move onto Mormonism, Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah Witness, and Unitarianism. While some of them may contain a five-cent worth of truth, they also contain ten dollars’ worth of error.
Everyone should know that a solution made of 99% pure milk and 1% rat poison is a deadly drink. Most of the cults contain very little of the truth and an abundance of falsehoods. Four blocks from my house there is a Mormon Temple, and there they baptize for the dead and seal marriages for eternity, so they say. It is made of beautiful marble imported from China and cost millions of dollars. Many highly educated people are members including professors, doctors, lawyers, and successful business men. Just like the Sadducees, and the Pharisees they should know better.
What is the problem? They are deceived and ignorant, because they “do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.”
Many Protestants know and practice more of the scriptures than the groups listed above, but remember the Reformers, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, came out of the Roman Catholic Church. Their mistake was that they brought the baggage of many Catholic doctrines: infant baptism and sprinkling for example. Martin Luther has been noted as a great believer in justification by faith, but at the same time believed in the necessity of infant baptism for salvation. It makes no sense whatsoever and leaves them with just a slight chance of knowing the real truth.
I attended a funeral service in a Lutheran Church, and as I waited for the funeral service, I picked up the following Holy Communion card which seemed to be in every pew. Printed below is a copy of that card.
Redeemer Lutheran Church Holy Communion Registration
God Himself holds each communicant personally responsible for the body and blood of Jesus Christ truly present in the sacrament of the altar (I Cor. 11:27-29). Therefore communicant Lutherans who are repentant of their sins, believe the forgiving grace of Jesus, and are desirous of amending their sinful life by the power of the Holy Spirit are encouraged to participate in this close interaction with the Lord of life among His people. Before communion for the first time among us, please make yourself known to the pastor or an elder. Please hand this card to the usher as you come to the sacrament. For the strengthening of my faith and the forgiveness of my sins, I desire to receive Christ's body and blood in The Sacrament.
Even a babe in Christ should be able to spot the false teaching on this card. Yet, millions of Lutherans do not see anything wrong with this.
The problem of Martin Luther and the other reformers is that they did not give up this false doctrine and join the Anabaptists who were holding to the truth of the Bible. The Anabaptists and their forebears have been in existence since Christ founded His church. Instead of joining with them, the Reformers began to persecute the true churches. The same Scripture that Jesus spake applies to the Protestants: “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.”
The Apostate Modernistic Liberals
To be honest with you, I have an unalterable abhorrence to every form of liberalism that exists in Protestant and in many Baptist churches. I cannot stand the stench of their false doctrine that defiles and robs people of the truth. It damns the souls that come under its teaching, and it destroys the churches that fall under its influence.
These apostate liberals deny the inspiration and preservation of the Bible. To them it may contain some truth, but they claim it contains errors as well. Their denial of the biblical Creation of man then finds them embracing some form of evolution. They deny the universal flood in the days of Noah. They deny the Virgin Birth of our Saviour, His sinless life, His atoning death, His glorious word, His glorious bodily resurrection, and His wonderful second coming.
They infiltrate and inhabit the halls of the great places of learning. The place where preachers are being trained holds special attraction to these disciples of error. In these places they can influence the candidates for the ministry, and thus they are able to infect churches which may have at one time preached the truth. Church members who have been trained in secular universities are ready recipients of their deadly doctrines. Many careless people who have never studied the Bible for themselves are easily misled. Their problem is defined by the words of Jesus, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.”
What About the Baptists?
Unfortunately many Baptists have adopted the protestant errors, such as alien baptism and the universal church. They have become little more than Protestants with ideas that are contrary to the word of God. Loose living and other forms of sin are accepted without fear in many houses of worship. They dare to deny the Divine Inspiration and preservation of the Word of God. The Baptist distinctive, which comes only from the Word of God, is no longer looked upon with favor. Truth is denied and error is proclaimed in such a way that their candlestick is removed, thus making them unworthy to bear the name Baptist.
Many of the doctrines of apostates prevail in so-called Baptist Churches, because they have stopped looking to the scriptures as their authority and guide for practice. They have a name, but are inwardly dead, because they wallow in the mire of false doctrine.
I thank God there are some Baptist churches standing free from the apostasy and going the way of the scriptures. Although they are few in number and are sometimes hard to locate, God has promised that the gates of Hell, including the doctrines of Hell, will not prevail against His church. If you are a member of a sound New Testament Baptist Church, you need to get on knees and thank God, and get up and be faithful and supportive of your Church and make every sacrifice to keep it going forward until Jesus comes.