By Irvin Himmel
When pioneer preachers thundered the plea for the restoration of first-century Christianity across America, they urged that men “speak where the Scriptures speak, and be silent where the Scriptures are silent.” They insisted, “Let us do Bible things in Bible ways, and call Bible things by Bible names.” Another slogan heard often in those days was this one: “No creed but Christ; no book but the Bible.”
The Bible claims to thoroughly equip man for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). This it could not do if it were not the full, final, and perfect revelation of God’s will. Many religious groups profess to believe, respect, and teach the Bible, but in the final analysis they are governed by some other book.
Some churches have an official creed book. Others have a book of discipline, or maybe a catechism, or a church manual, or a confession of faith. Some use books that were not designed to be creeds, as if they were official statements of faith. They have a book that governs, and it is something other than the Bible.
There are numerous books that may assist one in studying the Bible. Such is the sole purpose of Bible dictionaries, concordances, commentaries, books of sermons, study outlines, lexicons, Bible atlases, etc. These books have their place when properly used. But no such book should be allowed to take the place of the Bible or elevated to equality with the Bible.
If we cannot give book, chapter, and verse for what we teach in religion, it is not from God. One may support a proposition by appealing to human writings, or he may defend his contention by quoting what some man has said. Notwithstanding, his argument carries no real authority unless he gives scriptural proof.
Sometimes people are told to follow the Bible, then are expected to conform to some other book. This is plain hypocrisy. We should teach people to follow the Bible, then rejoice when they conform to it.
People who complain that the Bible is not being preached in “their churches” should start looking for Christ’s church. If one finds himself attending services where the Bible is not taught, why not go elsewhere? Why support and encourage a religion that puts the Bible on the sidelines?
No book but the Bible stands as the basis for the Christian’s faith. No book but the Bible should be preached. No book but the Bible came from God. No book but the Bible is needed to officially express what we believe and practice. No book but the Bible will endure forever.
Truth Magazine, XVIII:29, p. 2
May 23, 1974