International Bible Reading: Disassociation

Someone has handed me a copy of Fresh from the Word. Produced by the International Bible Reading Association, it celebrates 135 years of their work, and offers ‘three months of daily study notes on a variety of themes’. It’s an organisation about which I know little, though I note its founder, Charles Waters, died in 1910 and was an evangelical baptist minister. By the time of his death, a million people were reading the scriptures around the world, following its programme. I flicked through it with interest; it claims to have contributions from over fifty ‘international writers’. One such is Paul Nicholson. I looked him up. He seems a pleasant chap concerned about poverty etc., and he’s clearly well educated. After his name come the initials SJ. This stands for the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits. These were once called the Pope’s ‘Stormtroopers’, an order whose direct loyalty to the papacy bypassed the local bishops and hierarchy. The organisation was initially dedicated to the suppression of Protestantism and was staunchly obedient to the Pope, the Man of Sin. It was therefore with some puzzlement that I learned that one of the organisation’s British leaders is offering Bible studies courtesy of the International Bible Reading Association. I read some of them- they’re quite interesting- but that’s not the point; Muslim, Mormon and atheistic scholars can all offer interesting comments on the Biblical text.

My advice is to read the Bible, but don’t bother with the International Bible Reading Association or any of its publications. Neither take up their suggestion of ordering extra copies to send to friends. It’s gone the way of all flesh, compromising its founders’ initial standards, offering a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.  

And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in, who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage. (Galatians 2:4)

Image by 1045373 from Pixabay