Thursday, January 12, 2006

Prophecies do not add to the Bible

Being a Reformed-Continuationist--believing that the spiritual gifts still continue today--is not always easy. Mention to people that you believe that the gifts still continue today and the first accusation thrown at you is that you do not respect the Scriptures enough and that you want to add to the Scriptures.
This is an absolutely false accusation! I know a lot of Charismatics and not one of them believes that a prophecy today could be added to Scripture. The so-called revelatory gifts run through this gamut of accusations the most. These gifts are the gifts tongues and interpretation, prophecy, words of wisdom and words of knowledge.
The argument is simple: the canon of Scripture is closed, as a result these gifts should also have ceased. The use of any of these gifts brings revelation and revelation adds to the already settled Word of God in the Scriptures.
Let me make this clear. I do not believe that anything can be added to the Scriptures. Nothing! The Scriptures are inerrant and infallible and complete.
However, if prophecy, for example, brings revelation and revelation should be added to the Scriptures since it is from God, then why is the Bible so thin? I am now not talking about modern day prophecy. I am talking about prophecy in Biblical times. Is what we see in the Bible all the true prophecy that ever was spoken in Biblical times? That obviously cannot be true since the Bible speaks very clearly of many more prophets than those who have their written material included in the Bible!
Just because someone is a prophet (an office that I do not believe is still in operation today - Eph 2:20) or prophesies, does that mean that the word in this case must be added to Scripture? This is the impression that I get from the arguments of many cessationists. If this is the case, then where are the prophecies in the Bible by prophets such as the prophets from Jerusalem (Ac 11:27), or what about Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius and Manaen (Ac 13:1), Judas and Silas (Ac 15:32), Philip, the evangelist's daughters (Ac 21:9) and the rest of what Agabus prophesied (Ac 21:10)? If it is true, as cessationists seem to want to propose, that prophecies today will add to the Scriptures, then where are the New Testament books of these prophets mentioned in the book of Acts?
I just do not think that if someone prophesies today that the word spoken by this person must be added to the Scriptures! Why should it be so today if it didn't happen in Biblical times?
Let me make it clear, some of my favourite authors are cessationists. I do not hold that against them since I do not think that I should choose whom I enjoy reading or fellowship with on the basis of the cessationism vs continuationism issue. Some of my favourite authors are John MacArthur, James White, R.C. Sproul, etc. I also enjoy reading material written by Phil Johnson who has a very clear head when it comes to most issues, including the issue at hand. Even though I disagree with him on this issue (even though he hasn't really touched on the issue on his blog), does not mean I should ignore his ideas on this issue or any other issue. In fact, the first blog I read every morning is Phil's blog because I think he has a lot to say to us that is well worth spending the time reading.
I do believe that cessationists and continuationists can learn from each other on this issue. Many times we think that the "opposing" camp believe a certain way when they simply don't! This is why we can learn from each other and find out first hand what we really believe in. And simply because someone doesn't have all the answers does not mean that they are wrong on any issue.
So, if there is any debate on the issue (there is very little proof for such a current debate), let us listen to one another with the idea of learning from one another and not to find mud to sling at one another!
Just thinking...

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