OK here is my 2 cents: Sorry its so long, but Thought I might as well jump in with both feet, and cover a lot of territory:
True and False Christianity...Both have been produced by the Bible.
Christians will answer that God, preserved the bible for us, and it is a miracle.
I have an opinion, based upon my miniscule understanding of Scripture...Everything is contrast (light, dark, evil, good), or it's to express God's glory...
The contrast in Christianity is the true church, the ecklesia -vs- the large visible body of people on every church corner. The wheat, and the tare. The good seed, and the bad seed. The Pharisee, and Jesus. This modern day replay of the life of Jesus in HIS body plural is so close, that it could even fool the elect....
So how does God establish the tare? It all started with two trees. The tree of life, and the tree of knowledge. We see the essence of these two trees, in many forms. One is wheat and tare.
They exist and are sustained by the visible, tangible, written word (Bible). They find themselves at home with the text, they can control it, they build laws, rules, and doctrines, they also remove God, who is Spirit out of their midst by these same issues of control.
While most of the members of this group are wonderful people and well intentioned, they are still like the Pharisees of old. They search the scriptures daily, but won't come to Christ, that they might have life.
The true body, the ecklesia exist by "the word", the hidden walk, knowing the masters voice.
This has got to be the common denominator throughout time, since many could not read, and the few that could read, didn't have a copy of the bible.
Yet the Ecklesia flourished, in the dark ages, and in countries that never allowed sacred texts, like China, and Russia...
Today both flourish, and this thing called church, or churchianity, has said to all, we represent God. But they do not, and God is getting ready to show this world, his true ecklesia….God's mercy and the world demand such an event, to rid God, of the stain, caused by all the TV preachers, and all the pain caused to so many in the name of God.
Now of course many may disagree, and I could be wrong, BUT I don't think so, and these are simply my opinions.
I think God is separating HIS people "The Ecclesia from this thing called church, which is churchianity.
He is building his kingdom, it is on the inside. That is what Jesus says.
There is no way for light and darkness to fellowship together and there is NO way all those people in all these churches are truly born again via an encounter with Christ. That encounter must take place...
So there is no way they can fellowship with one another. You might as well go to a Safeway store and try and do church with all the people there.
As in my sheep hear my voice, man shall not live by bread alone, the word of the Lord came unto, peter rise and eat. You see what I mean
"The word of the Lord" "The scriptures" can become a fresh word to you, but, we can not use the terms "The word" and "the bible" interchangeably.
The point I'm making is, there is a lot written in the NT about hearing, hardly anything about reading.
Everything written in the bible was spoken, before it was written. Genesis was spoken, and then written by Moses.
We must come to a common denominator, for people to receive Christ, the message, or to experience Christianity, and it cannot be the bible.
Still I love the scriptures, and they are true, they are God inspired. They have just been elevated to a place where they have taken the place of God, in many circles today.
Also to express my point, do this: Every place in the scriptures where it says, "the word" or "the word came unto" replace every instance with "The bible"....
It just will not make sense... As far as people studying "The word" vs studying "The scriptures"
I see a big difference between the two. One is heard, one is read. Many can read, few can hear. One is always spoken, and one is written, but can be made alive to you, and become a spoken word.
Thus we have interchanged the two, elevating "The bible" above God, and the leading of the Spirit, and "The Word"…
I wonder, could we say that we love the scriptures, and that they are inspired, but God never meant for us to live by them, but instead by the Spirit of promise, leading us into all truth?
We would have two types of church. Those led by the Spirit, and those seeing and leading only on "The book".I love the scriptures, and I have several bibles. BUT we must not elevate the bible above God, and I'm afraid that is what many churches (people) have done.
I agree God has a basic foundation of truth; His character, TRUE experiences, and TRUE interpretation, go hand in hand.
God has asked people in the Old Testament, to do / say something's, that the present day Christian institution would condemn...
We cannot put God in a box, and try and make Him acceptable to our doctrines.
The "Word" and "The bible" are not one and the same...
The common denominator throughout time Has been God reaching out to man, possibly by a sunset, or a person "LED" of the spirit witnesses to you, or God speaks to you, but God is not at all times used the bible. Of course there are times that the Spirit moves someone, through the use of Scripture, but that is not my point.
What do we say of the first 3000 yrs of man, until Moses wrote the torah, where was God? He was doing what he has always done, personally interacting with man.
The faith we have is more than intellectual knowledge, it IS LIFE...Two trees were in the garden; today don't we face that same thing? "Knowledge" OR "Life"