Last weekend my husband and I watched a video I purchased at our nearby Christian bookstore entitled: "God's Outlaw; The Story of William Tyndale"
As the story unfolds it brings up the Roman Catholic argument that it is dangerous for the laity to read the Bible because they lack the education to be able to do so, and that it takes men who are well trained to be able to explain what is needful for us to know from God's word. It was the means by which the RCC kept control of it's members. In William Tyndale's time the English speaking people had to hear the scriptures read in Latin, and it was a crime punishable by death to even pray in English.
It really made me appreciate the fact that we have the Bible in almost every language all over the world. I have the double blessing of being able to read Dutch so I can compare the English with my Dutch Bible.
Recent discussions have made it clear to me what added blessing it is to not only have a Bible that is written in our own tongue, but to have the Holy Spirit who teaches us and reminds us of Jesus' words. The world does not have this added bonus of God's Spirit. They have their religions and many worldly sects even read the Bible. The thing that I found interesting is the RCC argument about the danger of misunderstanding what one reads in the scriptures is that it is a partial truth. There have been many wars waged and lives burned at the stake over the misrepresentation of scripture, to be sure. However, that argument to keep the laity from reading it is not a valid one when we consider that our God is greater than that. Those lives that were martyred became the soil from which many seeds were planted in the hearts of lost people who found the Lord as a result...and those martyred lives were not lost because these have been taken up to be with the Lord (Revelation 6:11).
So in all things it is the Lord who gets the praise. He gave us His word in the written book we call the Bible, His word made flesh in Jesus, and our teacher, the Holy Spirit, who makes known to us all things. As I watched the film it struck me how I take for granted that I can pick up and read my Bibles anytime I want to. I remember what it was like to try to understand it before I was saved but the words made no sense to me. I listened to "the worldly wise" with all of their theologies...and to be honest, I only listened to the ones who were the furthest from accurate. I started out as Seventh Day Adventist as a teen (some will say it is a Christian denomination, believe me it is not), then a Mormon, and then into the New Age movement. Each successive step in my regression, brought me tantalizing tidbits of "facts" which cast doubt on the authenticity of God's word.
When the Lord truly brought me to the end of myself, I begged Him to save me, I pleaded that He would break down the door of my hard heart, and help me to know Him truly. He did that, and showed me that I was in complete rebellion against Him. I clung onto Him knowing that He alone could save me no matter how horrible I was. He cleaned me up and made me renewed, in Him. I cling to His word because it brings me His words of LIFE. This world is filled with darkness, death, and treachery. But God in His mercy provided us with His light!