Help me understand something. Is it written in the Bible that it is a sin if we read or just touch the books of other denominations? In my opinion, if we read books where it is God’s Word then it is not a sin. Is my point of view right?
I do not know any Bible text that says that it is a sin to touch the books of other denominations or religions. But God warns us …
To watch over our mind
In the book of Proverbs of Solomon it is written:
Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)(NASB)
In ancient times, people believed that the ability of thinking and emotions are in the heart and so this word has been sent to our nation until today. But in fact, the author refers to watch over our minds because the things that enter our mind can influence us for life.
I heard that in Russia has been recently translated the book of Adolf Hitler “Mein Kampf”, but authorities have banned its publication. Why? Because it has a very negative potential to influence many minds. It’s sad that people do not see any danger in the books of Friedrich Nietzsche that promotes the same values as Hitler and which, moreover, has most influenced the formation of the Nazi philosophy because Friedrich Nietzsche sought to reverse all values.
When you buy a book from the library, or when you are about to start reading a book, you wonder why you want to read and how it can affect your mind and then the course of life.
The Apostle Paul wrote to Christians in Colossae city the following:
Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority. (Colossians 2:6-10)(NASB)
The danger of being taken captive by bad and wrong teachings is a reality for everyone. Therefore, we are exhorted to guard ourselves, to be firmly rooted and strengthen in the teachings we were given, that are written in the Holy Scriptures.
Study the Scriptures
When he was in prison in Rome and lived his last days before his execution, Paul wrote to his disciple Timothy thus:
You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17)(NASB)
Carefully reading the whole epistle, it is easy to see that there were many people who came to bring false teachings and undermined the truth of the Scriptures. Therefore, Paul urges Timothy to continue in the Holy Scripture, to study it and to preach it with purity, without adding or removing anything from it. Only so, by studying the Holy Scripture one can be a man of God thoroughly equipped for every good work.
But I often heard some say: “We must read heretical books to be able to refute their false teaching.” I do not think this thing is always true, especially when people begin to spend more time studying what they want to fight against than studying the Scriptures.
The knowledge of the truth protects us from lie
I read somewhere about an unsurpassed expert in identifying false money. When someone came to know his secret he asked: “How much time do you spend studying false money? The answer was this: “I do not study false money … I spend more time studying real money and when someone brings me false money I can recognize it because I know well how authentic money looks.” This man’s example should teach us something, namely, to study the Scriptures to know God’s truth and a good knowledge of the Word of God will guard us against any destructive heresies and false teachings.
Guard ourselves against heresies
In the first century some philosophers, coming to Christianity did not leave their former doctrines and tried to make a stirring symbiosis of Greek philosophy with the teaching of the New Testament. This heresy was called “Gnosticism” and it has taken many forms. Some of them, called “Doketists” were saying that Lord Jesus did not come in the flesh, but He was only a ghost. That is why the Apostle John wrote in his second letter as follows:
For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. (2 John 1:7-11)(NASB)
Heretics are people who leave the teaching of Christ and add or remove something from it. The true teaching is found on the pages of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. One can not identify heretics or their heresies if s/he does not know the Holy Scriptures. It is the duty of every Christian to constantly study the Bible as to be built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets and be protected from heresies.
To fight for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints
Lord Jesus’ teaching has been written by evangelists and apostles through the Holy Spirit who wrote the New Testament. The 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament are the revelation of God. The teaching of the Lord Jesus is in the New Testament books. Heretics of all ages tended to add to their writing and give them the same degree of authority that the canonical books of the Bible have. Moreover, some have tried to exclude the books of the Bible and replace them with theirs. This things has not started today or yesterday, but since its beginning, the Church has dealt with this problem. Here’s what St. Jude writes in the Epistle that bears his name:
Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:3-4)(NASB)
I draw the reader’s attention that we are called to fight for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints, without adding or taking out something from it. This faith is written on the pages of the Holy Scripture.
Not all other religions are heresies or sects
One of the characteristics of the sects and heresies is that they claim to be “the only true church” and they constantly criticize other denominations or churches. In the world today there are over 30,000 Christian denominations. It is true that there is an overwhelming number of sects and heresies, but we can not say they all are so, excepting the denomination and church that we are members of.
Let us study and know the Holy Scriptures to be able to distinguish between real Christians and heretics and that we may guard against the books that present a danger to our faith in Christ Jesus, which was given to the saints once for all.
Translated by Felicia Rotaru