Is the Bible the true and complete Word of God? We only need to go to Revelation 22:18-19 in which the Apostle, John, testifies that God warned us not to add or subtract anything to or from the Holy Bible. That means we are to take teachings and commands in the whole context of the Bible. As Christians we are given the ability of discernment that was not available to us before salvation. For example, Scriptures that once were confusing or seemed so wrong, suddenly make sense to us.
What does that mean for us today? How can we be discerning? The answer is both simple and difficult. Obviously, we need to examine the Scriptures to be sure that our beliefs and practices conform to the examples that Jesus set forth for us. The hard part is separating the truth of the Scripture from the intrusion of tradition and cultural practices.
In this study I would like for us to look at a number of practices in the churches around the world. Please understand, this is not a criticism of any church or any practice. We will look at what is happening and see if it comports with what we find in Scripture. Whether you agree with me or not, I welcome your feedback. A lively discussion among discerning Christians will enlighten us all.
Some of the topics that we may discuss here are:
- What does Salvation mean?
- Is Christ the only way to God?
- Sources of influence
- Cultural expression in worship
- Misperceptions of Western Christianity
- Forms or styles of worship
- Forms of baptism
- Prophecy and Word of Knowledge
- Glossolalia (speaking/praying in unknown tongues)
- Signs and wonders (healings, promises of wealth, and other miraculous acts)
- Manifestations of visits by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
- Commanding the Holy Spirit, the devil, and evil spirits
- Expressions of emotion, slaying in the Spirit, appearance of demon possession
- Can you exorcise an evil spirit from a Christian?
- Return to life after death with memories of heaven or hell