Monday, April 13, 2009

Does God Protect His Word (part 1)?

Mormons believe the Bible to be the word of God "as far as it is translated correctly." The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has published that "all other translations had been corrupted where the Bible translators actually let their religious bias show through their renderings" (The Watchtower, 10/15/85, p.21, Insight on the News). Islam holds the idea that the Bible contains original revelation from God, but is corrupted in one way or another.

When I see or hear statements that draw distrust to scripture, my initial reaction is to ask the person which group they belong to--many are so flippant about their declarations they are not aware they are echoing what others say with no regard to the implication: imagine! Informing scripture!

The problem really is not with the text, but with the author. People simply fail to believe God. This is why Religion Stores are so popular--people can make up their own as they go: keep what one likes, throw out what one does not like and believe in yourself. What else is remains?

Doesn't God protect His Word?

Numbers 23:19-20, "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Behold, I have received a command to bless; when He has blessed, then I cannot revoke it."

These are the words of a pagan (Balaam) who has already tried once to curse God's people--and this is the second try of three. Remember the setting: God's people are surrounded by enemies who would love to see God's people defeated. Not much different than today; but, like God's people then, we have the same assurance today that God's Word that does not change. Balaam says, in effect, "I can't change what God has said: God has determined to bless Israel and nothing is going to change that."

Mormonism teaches, "The Bible has been corrupted by errors of translation and transmission, as well as by deliberate action." (WMT; CJS; 1 Nephi 13:26-29, BOM). If Balaam couldn't deliberately change God's Word, how can anyone else? The Lord blessed Israel in Abraham, long before they became the nation Balaam was looking at that day. Balaam has already made one attempt to intentionally, deliberately, stand up and undo what God has done. What started as murming against authority turns into a startling declaration that what He has said is authoritative.

Matthew Henry points out that if God's people could be cursed, then God must break His word and become false to himself and His people. Men are the ones who change their minds. Men are the ones who lie. Men are the ones who are imperfect. Men are the ones who need to repent of making gods of their own understanding and come under the loving grace of God in our Lord Jesus Christ.

"for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago, but at the proper time manifested, even His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior . . ." (Titus 1:1-3)

[go to part 2]

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