Question:

Ok, that clears up some objections.  Thank you very much, dear sir, for answering me by showing the Scriptures and not using just your own opinion.  My dear sir, I hope that you will continue to be faithful in doing that.  And may you be used by God to help me understand His words. You see sir, I have been attending a local Baptist church for almost three years now, but I have seen that there are many doctrines in that church which are contrary to the Bible. So I am searching for the truth and testing the spirits.  There is one popular and controversial preacher here who has great knowledge of the Bible.  He answers many questions extemporaneously to a live audience and quotes verses from the Bible to his answers. You have almost similar doctrines like baptism for the remission of sins and many other.

I would just like to ask if you have read the whole Bible? Do you also memorize the Scriptures? I noticed that you have great knowledge of the Bible. Thank you.


Answer:

Thank you for the kind words. Yes, I have read the entire Bible many times. I haven't read it from cover to cover as you would a book. Instead, I have read and studied each of the books as the need arose or I decided I needed more knowledge in that area. Now that I have been preaching for about 32 years, the accumulated knowledge begins to show.

I have memorize portions of the Scriptures, but I find that my mind doesn't retain the words accurately -- memorization is just not one of my talents. However, I can do a fair job of recalling what I have read and where I have read something. Since I take Peter's admonish seriously, "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen" (I Peter 4:11), what I prefer to do is direct people back to the Bible so that they may read the passages for themselves.

Being able to quote verses is nice, but other people can't do that. If they don't go and look in their own Bibles to see that my quote was accurate and to be able to read the context to see that the quote was used properly, all my memorization would be near worthless. Thus, when I present lessons, I very rarely will even put the text on a screen. Even though I might be able to quote a verse from memory, I don't. I turn to the passage in my Bible and ask everyone studying with me to do the same. I then read the verse out of my Bible while they follow along in their own Bible. If I'm studying one-on-one with someone, I'll give them a verse and ask them to turn to the verse in their own Bible. In the study I ask the student to read the passage out loud, I don't read it for them. I learned long ago that by listening while a person reads, I can pick up what they understand or don't understand. People tend to stumble over words they don't comprehend. I can then spend time helping them understand the verse before we discuss how the verse applies to the topic we are studying.

If the preacher you are referring to is sticking to teaching only what God says and is willing to teach all that God says, then of course the teaching will be the same because we are both using the same source. It is only when men attempt to edit God that you find variation from the Scriptures. "Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (I Corinthians 1:10).