Only Book.

21. Only Book.

In fact, to these religions, the chosen individual is not merely an intermediary, he is also a saviour, a mediator. He intercedes on behalf of his flock with God. He can even delegate this authority to his disciples who, in turn, appoint their own officials who too have the power to “bind and loose.” As a result, these religions tend to deal not with God but with God- substitutes.

From a chosen intermediary inevitably comes the idea of the only Book, the depository of all truths. God gives out his truths finally and once for all through his only Son or his last Prophet; these truths are placed in a book which is now revered as the only Book, containing the true word of God, His revela­tion to man. The other revelations and books are either denied or they are considered as merely preparatory; they exist merely to confirm the truths of the new revelation. Subsequent revela­tions become false or redundant. If they contain anything new or different they are false, if they contain the same things, they are redundant. In either case, they have no right to exist.

The theory is supported by its votaries’ appropriate practice. In places where their triumph was undisputed, they destroyed the scriptures of the local people systematically. Missionaries boast of giving pagan India the first printing press. But the very first tracts Carey’s printing press at Serampore published contained nothing but filthy attacks on Hindu scriptures. Some years ago, we bought from a mother and her daughter (volunteer missionaries of the Watch Tower group who walk into your house to covey the message of the Bible and to announce the end of the world), one of their more fundamental books. It contained a long list of points to help a reader to find for himself whether a particular revelation was divinely inspired or whether it was the work of the Devil. And of course it found to its own satisfaction that the Bible has a divine inspiration while the Hindu scriptures are the handiwork of the Devil. Even before buying the book, I had told the young daughter (about 15 or 16) that I was sorry for her and that at her age, she should have been learning rather than teaching. But teaching comes more naturally to a missionary spirit. It has nothing to learn.