DDNI Featured News Article – ‘Let The Bible Do The Teaching’: Trusted Pastor Warns Against Denomination-Linked Biblical Illiteracy

Trusted Ministry leader Jack Hibbs, the senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, called attention this week to a denomination-linked stumbling block plaguing countless church pews.

During his Wednesday night service, the California Pastor warned about the biblical illiteracy that arises from relying upon denominations rather than personal study of God’s Word.

Pastor Hibbs pointed to the apostle Paul’s rebuke in 1 Corinthians 3 against dividing into different sects, following men rather than Christ:

1 Corinthians 3:3-5 KJV – “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?”

“Some people will say, Well, I’m of Calvin, or I’m of… fill in the blank. That’s sad. I’m sure that if John Calvin was here today, he would slap you and say that you should say you’re of Christ,” Hibbs explained. “The Bible is one, but the views of men have divided things up… When you get carnal, you begin to follow the teachings and traditions of men instead of the Bible.”

“Too many of you who have been trained—if you know it or not in your previous denominational experience—to approach the Bible in what I call a pre-emptive or a pre-loaded manner, reading into Scripture the doctrinal influences of the denomination that you’ve come out of,” he stressed. “I want to tell you, every one of us should always let the Bible do the teaching.”

Many in the church are quick to confer with their “denominational manual” to interpret the Bible for them, Hibbs asserted, adding that this mistaken thinking is “why people have no unction, no passion, and no power about God’s truth—they don’t own it for themselves.”

“Growing up, there was a commercial on TV. Granted, it was, I think, black and white TV in those days. But there was a pair of fingers walking, and it said, ‘let your fingers do the walking through the Yellow Pages.’ That’s how you found stuff. A good thing to keep in mind is this: Let your fingers do the walking through the Bible,” the Pastor underscored. “What is the correct view? Can we know? Oh, yes, we can know if we let our fingers do the walking through the Bible.”

“Every Christian is to know how to use their Bible,” Hibbs implored. “Not Google, not denominations, not pastors, popes, or priests. You being directly connected to your Bible is the will of God.”

“It’s so important that when a pastor, pope, or priest is teaching from the Bible, Acts 17:11 says that you are to be judging those who teach the Word of God, against/by the Word of God. Did you know that?” he stated. “How are we going to know if we’re being led astray? You won’t know unless you know your Bible. Thus, a lot of people are being led astray today. Because they’re not reading the Word.”

A 2022 survey conducted by George Barna found that a mere 37% of Pastors hold to a Biblical Worldview. However, as noted by Lee Weeks for Decision Magazine, “pastors of nondenominational and independent Protestant churches scored the highest for upholding Biblical beliefs” among the 1,000 pastors surveyed.

“Calvary Chapel is not a denomination,” Pastor Hibbs highlighted. “Some people want to say it is, but it’s actually not. [In] a denomination, you pay fees and dues to the hierarchy, [and] there’s a governing body that tells you what to do, what not to do.”

“You didn’t walk into a pre-loaded service whereby we must maintain a denominational foundation. We don’t have to come from a Catholic approach of this verse. We don’t have to come from a Baptist approach. We don’t have to come from an Anglican approach. We don’t have to come from a Lutheran approach, a Presbyterian approach, none of that,” he maintained. “Let the Bible interpret the Bible.”

Hibbs then pointed to Second Timothy 3:16-17, which states, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

No denomination needed. No need to add water. It’s all there, right here in the Bible,” Pastor Hibbs declared.

By Breanna Claussen

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