Every other week I attend a prayer group for the persecuted church through the organization Open Doors. We come together in the middle of suburbia because our hearts ache for believers who are tortured, imprisoned, killed, harassed, and kept from the freedoms we so recklessly enjoy here in the States. During a recent meeting the Voice of the Martyrs program “Bibles Unbound” was discussed. The gist of the program is this: Pay a small fee ($6) to cover the costs of the text, shipping, and labels for one Bible to be sent to a closed country (China, Egypt, Columbia, or Indonesia) to believers who cannot buy the Scriptures for themselves because it is forbidden and dangerous.
It’s amazing that there as such an opportunity for us to furnish believers with the Words of God. I was thrilled to hear about this program; but one major point seriously disturbs me: why is it that only half of the Word is being sent? Why only the New Testament? I am going to be a stick in the mud and say that I will not support a program that divides the Scriptures in half. It goes against the very words of God and I will not be a participant.
Open Doors says on their site:
Due to the enormous growth rate of Christianity in China, Bibles are not available to many Christians. The Word of God is essential for the growth and establishment of the Church. Without it, false doctrines lead many astray and believers are limited in their Christian growth.
It’s painfully true that the Bible is not available to many believers. VOM’s program is doing an amazing job in response to this issue. At the same time hey are perpetuating the spread of the disease of false doctrine within the young isolated churches of the world.
By splitting the Bible in twain, one loses the entire basis for what’s written in the half they keep. Without the Old Testament, the New Testament has no roots, no meaning, and no basis whatsoever. Bedrock truths such as the Oneness of God, relationship with God through covenants, the chosen people of Israel, sacrifice, atonement, sin, and the very concept of a messiah cannot be explained or understood without the Torah, Writings ,and the Prophets. None of what Yeshua teaches in the Gospels makes sense without the original Scriptures. The allusions, quotations, and teachings based completely on Old Testament writings and concepts throughout the New Testament lose their Hebraic context, spiritual meaning, and theological depth.
They’ve cut Jesus off at the knees.
2 tim 3: 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Does VOM realize that this verse is not just speaking of Matthew through Revelation? That at the time this passage was written the Scriptures had already existed and those Scriptures that are authoritative and good for all of the above are now called the “Old Testament”? Do they realize what they are doing by handing young believers the equivalent of an arrow without a bow? How can they be truly effective and teach correct doctrine if they don’t have the whole Truth?
The Torah specifically tells us (Deuteronomy 4:2) “You shall not add to the word that I commanded you, nor shall you subtract from it.” Revelation 22:18-19 says “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” So on both ends of this book we call the Bible there are commands not to add or subtract from it. So how can we only value one half? Does that not show an attitude of subtracting from the Word?
So am I a bad Christian for refusing to support this project by VOM when our brothers and sisters in the lord are in such need? Or am I simply speaking up for a truth that should not be compromised? Is there a lesser of two evils in this situation? You’ve heard my schpeal. Feel free to speak your mind.