Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hooray for Sola Scriptura!

**Note: “Sola Scriptura” is Latin for “by Scripture alone.”  It was the war cry of the Protestant Reformation and the sole authority upon which it was based.

My experience:

Outside of the scope of much objective and historical proof that the Protestant version of the Bible with its 66 books constitutes the divine and inerrant testimony of God is my personal and powerful proof—albeit subjective—that it is divine and effectual to cause and maintain salvation.  After a tremendous encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ (in the summer of 1979) wherein there was no doubt of not only His existence, but His divine and loving posture towards me, I began to voraciously devour the Bible (the Protestant Bible) and attend Protestant services (of a Pentecostal or Non-denominational bent).  Not only was I “saved” but I got baptized in the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues.  God was alive to me and was with me everywhere I went in palpable Presence.  Though I was immensely impacted by the reading of Scripture and the services, and they both stirred me more and more to the core, I still had many questions.  But mostly I had a burning desire to KNOW THE LORD better and quicker than I seemed to be able to know Him; it was an insatiable appetite that sometimes tended to frustrate more than satisfy.  This tremendous desire to know Him is the backdrop of the following vision/experience and which happened mere weeks following the day of my conversion:

I worked as an assistant to a maintenance man at a beach resort hotel in that summer of 1979.  One early morning as the sun was rising I was dutifully cleaning the pool.  As I mindlessly skimmed away debris with a large net my mind began to be crowded with more Scripture verses—and thoughts of their meaning—than I could possibly manage or organize in my brain.  I honestly thought I was going insane.  But just as quickly as it became confusing and overwhelming, a complete stillness possessed me as I saw in a vision the word “JESUS” in emblazoned letters come up from my feet and impact/imprint my forehead; at the same time this happened, I heard the words, “THE WORD!” emphatically communicated to me at the center of my being (not to my mind straightway—though I did understand in my mind also).  I knew as a knowing beyond my comprehension made through study or observation or any other way that a man might know something that the Bible (and the Protestant Bible in particular) was the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ and the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth!  The instant calm and perfect peace that accompanied this experience is—even to the day—more convincing to me than any argument for or against the inerrancy of Scripture as it is constituted and comprised of within the pages of the Protestant Bible (without the Apocrypha and other supposedly “divine” books).  Without this “revelation” experience, it is doubtful that I could maintain such assurance based solely on my human intellect; all the arguments, on the whole (by themselves), do not persuade me.  But God, in glorious splendor and convincing proofs of His love and divine Presence (and always in line with and through the words of the Protestant Bible), convinced me in the beginning of this way, and continues to convince me now that it is a living document, the revelation of Jesus Christ and the restoration narrow path to life.