Can there really be a Bible-based Christian church?


*]Jesus established a Church
*]Jesus did not establish a NT nor any scripture therein.
*]The Church produced the God-inspired NT scripture.
*]The Church established (by using church teaching and tradition) the list of books that are included in the of NT.

(To not get off topic of my post, let’s side aside the issue as to whether or not the Church established by Jesus was the Catholic Church.)

If Jesus made a Church and the Church made the NT then clearly the NT is Church-Based.

How can a church exist that is based on a bible that is based on a church?

I agree with what you’re saying, but I think most ‘Bible- Churches’ (at least the one my family and I attend) are merely trying to make sure their teachings do not contradict the Scriptures, and that (by implication) other ‘non-Bible Churches’ do not. I understand and admire their zeal for the Scriptures, but I don’t exactly take to the implication that somehow if you do not go to a ‘Bible Church’ that must mean you do not care about the Scripture. At least that’s the vibe I get from the ‘Bible Church’ I go to currently.

Of course if these people really wanted a church that held up Scripture, and didn’t teach anything that contradicts what the Bible says (the whole Bible) then they would go to the Catholic Church.

In terms of the bible founding a church? There can’t be, there needs to be individuals first who gather and commune and then write a bible, hmmmm.

For a short time in my teens and early 20s my family were Jehovah’s Witnesses.

They take pride in declaring themselves a Bible-based religion. In fact they make note that they reject any and all Tradition that came before. For them Jesus was not God’s revelation to man. Only the Bible in written form was God’s ultimate revelation to man, a written work that would await the coming of the last days to be understood by their leaders. “We believe in the Bible, and nothing but,” is what they would make us say when we knocked on people’s doors.

Because they believe in understanding the Bible in a vacuum, void of and rejecting the rich heritage and Tradition that formed it, they end up with such unorthodox beliefs such as no Trinity and soul-sleep.

So you can have a “Bible-only” based religion or church. But as you said, it causes a great paradox.

The Bible is actually based on a religion. It was not meant to be used or understood in a vacuum or independent of that faith. That is why Catholics learn so much about the Jewish faith and have many aspects that are similar.

Having the Bible but rejecting the religion that produced it is like taking the writings of the Dalai Lama and following his writings but rejecting him and Tibetan Buddhism. Sounds silly doesn’t it? Why do it?

If the writings are a reflection of the religion but you reject the religion from which they came, you are left only with a reflection.

And if you attempt to read and follow a reflection you will only end up getting things backwards.

The Bible is the inerrant word of GOD, however it is the cumulative experience of first the Jewish people and then the life of Jesus.

It is truly bottomless, the more you study it the more it reveals to you which can be good and also very bad.

Because without a referee, someone that can call us “offside” we can come up with the most outlandish claims. With the result that we erect ourselves as popes and interpreters of the Bible.

Why do you think the protestant movement has degenerated to what; 40000 denominations?
Some believe in the Trinity, others rejects it, some believe infant baptism, others don’t, some believe baptism saves (Sacrament), others don’t and on and on and on. :shrug:

That is the direct result of a “Bible-based Christian Church” :thumbsup:

Peace :thumbsup:

I would put that as Holy Spirit-Based, since JESUS told them that the Holy Spirit will be with them always, and the NT has been written after that quote.

I would say both the Church and Scripture are God-based, as they both were created in part by all 3 persons of the Holy Trinity.

The Christian Church:
Formulated by God the Father
Initiated by God the Son, Jesus Christ
Protected from error by God the Holy Spirit

The Bible:
Record of God the Father’s revelations to and covenants with Man
Record of Jesus Christ’s, God the Son incarnate, time on earth and his general teachings to the apostles and early Christians
Whose writers were inspired by the God the Holy Spirit


I understand your point. However, I would distinguish the establishment of the Church and the NT in the following way:

*]Jesus directly established the Church himself.
*]The Holy spirit worked through the Church to make and canonize the NT scripture.

In other words there is a direct correlation between the cause (Jesus) and the final effect (the establishment of the Church). With the NT, there was a sort of cooperation by the Church with the Holy Spirit.

I think the biggest challenge to churches that rely on the Bible alone will be the NT canon. The Catholic Church did not create the canon, the Magisterium was the publicly visible means through which God communicated His will. The Church declared the canon of Scripture “open”. The Church declared which books were in - and out - of the NT. The Church declared the NT canon “closed”. Up until the last few years there was little discussion of the NT canon, it was considered a “given”. Nobody asked how do we know it is “closed”, or by what visible human means God’s decision to close was communicated.

Today there is far more discussion of the canon, in Protestant books and websites. Part of this is because some mainline religious groups are cautiously introducing readings from other “scriptures”, like the Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Mary, etc, into their education programs and services. Churches serving gay persons have begun using scriptures that omit verses considered insensitive to them. This trend of omission will only grow. It will get harder for Bible-based churches to refute groups that claim to be equally Bible-based, when they use different canons.

In a few years, it will be much harder for churches to continue clinging to the traditional 27 while still rejecting that there ever was a visible, human agency with authority to close the canon, and keep it closed, now. I predict most bible based churches will either join the mainstream and compromise on the canon, or else recognize the Magisterium.

One of the problems that Bible-churches will face is that they are trying to become the mustard seed, when the Church that Jesus founded is now a large mustard bush.

Luke 13:18 Then he said, “What is the kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? 19 It is like a mustard seed that a person took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and ‘the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.’”

They look to the Book of Acts to try and craft their church just like the Church that existed in the 1st century. It is simply impossible. And they miss the big picture because they are looking for a mustard seed, instead of looking for the mustard bush (the Catholic Church).

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