Why The Swordbearer Ministry was Founded
Back when I was a young born-again Christian attending a self-described Bible believing church, I encountered questions when studying the Bible that I (wrongly) thought most Christians – especially preachers – would already be familiar with and therefore could answer my questions with Scripture. A few examples of some of the things I asked them about:
TYPE OF GOVERNMENT
Most people today – Christian and pagan – believe dictatorships/monarchies are evil forms of government that must be overthrown. How, then, does Christianity reconcile the fact that God is a dictator? And consider the fact that God made King David a dictator over His people; and God also put His people into servitude under the pagan Pharaoh of Egypt and the pagan dictator of Babylon...because He wanted His people, who were supposed to be learning how to be good and faithful servants, to learn about submission to authority – even to pagan governmental authority they didn't agree with or like (2 Chron 12:1-8; Neh 9:34-37).
ORIGIN OF DEMOCRACY
Western civilization dumped monarchy and embraced democracy as its form of government…even though democracy was the invention of the pagan Greek philosophers! Is there anything in the Bible, I asked, that justifies Christianity’s use of pagan philosophy to overthrow the kind of government we got from God? I realized there were several reasons this question is important – not the least of which is the fact that God in Colossians 2:8 warns us to avoid philosophy! Why, then, were so many Christians offended by my questions...and so embarrassed by their inability to give answers to every man that asketh that they resorted to defensive anger?
THE KING JAMES BIBLE
As a new Christian I attended a church that used the KJV but did not believe it is the inerrant word of God. A church member who is a KJVer quietly introduced me to the war that theologians and modern Bible versions are waging against the KJV. He gave me some literature that described the huge, easily-verified differences between the inerrant KJV and the error-laden modern versions. Why isn’t this info widely known, I wondered.
DOMINION, SEX, MORALITY, CUSSING, IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL, ETC., ETC.
Then I found out there are many other doctrinal issues that are never taught in churches. I found these topics are avoided by churches because they don’t like what the Bible says about them! So they timidly keep quiet about them and let denominational traditions and societal common knowledge establish doctrine rather than God’s word. For a quick glimpse at the subjects covered in the chapters in this Bible study, see the Site Map (HERE), or for a brief description of each of those chapters see the book's table of contents (HERE).
WIDESPREAD FEAR AND IGNORANCE
As a young Christian who was determined to learn the Bible, I continued innocently asking preachers and pewsters about the above topics and more...because I hoped and expected some of these experienced saints would be ready, willing, and able to have Scripture-based discussions about these doctrinal issues. Boy was I naïve! In immature attempts to cover their ignorance and indifference, they resorted to attacking me as some kind of jerk who was "making waves" by asking questions about which verses in Scripture establish various doctrines...when I should just trust the leaders of the church! But I couldn't shake the feeling that something was fundamentally wrong when a young Christian is ridiculed for thinking Christianity is supposed to be based on trusting the Bible rather than men. (Later I was reassured by Acts 17:11.) I gradually learned that even evangelical Christianity's ignorance-based fear of discussing Bible doctrine is causing it to retreat into a vague religion of “love and tolerance” that vigorously, blindly, and wrongly focuses on social conservatism and political activism – even though the Bible warns them that a time will come when Christians will not endure sound doctrine, and therefore we are explicitly commanded to study (2 Tim 2:15) so we can use doctrine to "reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering" (2 Tim 4:2,3).
I had a lot to learn and a long, long way to go. But the Lord sustained me over the years as I diligently studied His word. After about 20 years I established The Swordbearer ministry and published my free Bible study (that took 7 years to write). It answers all of these questions and more. I wanted The Age of Reason Bible study to show my fellow servants that we can and should rely on God’s Book alone for our doctrine because I had seen that all Christian denominations were subtly drifting away from a firm belief and reliance on basing their doctrine and lives on Thus saith the Lord. They did so because for centuries scholars, theologians, and “modern” society have succeeded in convincing Christians that changes in language, new discoveries, and mankind’s growing knowledge and sophistication have made the “old-time religion” that believed in the literal truth, authority, and necessity of the Bible too “old-fashioned.” We now needed “experts” to teach us what the Bible really means. That’s why and how in the 1800s so many cults sprang up – they invented other authorities besides the Bible that tell their people what the Bible “really means”…but doesn’t say. That gave Christians in non-cult denominations opportunities to congratulate themselves that they were wisely trusting their denomination’s leaders to teach them what they should believe and how they should live…all of which gradually decreased faith in the efficacy of studying the Bible alone, and increased a foolish reliance on a combination of denominational traditions, social culture, morality, and what we think is right and good…which caused today’s ignorance of the Bible to be so widespread and common that it has become acceptable! I say again, comrades: God is no longer shepherding us via His holy Bible because we now rely on Self and on well-intentioned men that we like and trust. Studying and knowing the Bible has become “unnecessary.” And that caused “Bible studies” to devolve into the kind of ear-tickling, denomination-promoting, mush-mouthed wastes of time that do not (and you know what I’m talking about) give you the understanding-based confidence to walk in the word and freely discuss Bible doctrine at any time or place.
The purpose of this ministry’s free Bible study is to show that you really can and should base your doctrines and lives on the literal words our Good Shepherd gave us to feed us and guide us.
The immediate worldwide response to The AOR Bible study revealed that there are lots of Christian preachers, pewsters, Bible institutes, and Christian discussion groups around the world that have noticed some of the same doctrinal issues and inconsistencies I've encountered, and/or they just want to be good servants who understand how and why some of the difficult things they read in the Bible perfectly fit into place without contradiction – which then helps them see the big picture of Christianity and life itself. On the Testimonials page you’ll identify with some of the things Bible believers around the world have gone through during their search for the kind of Bible study we all wish we'd had when we were young...and you'll read what the AOR Bible study did for them.
May God bless your quest to make Thus saith the Lord your sole authority in all matters of faith and practice as you develop a real, truth-based, submissive, and confident relationship with Him.
Have ears that hear...
and endure to the end, comrades!