Since we started using the name whole Bible Christian in the early 2000’s, we’ve gradually seen somewhat of an increase in other groups who use the name too. Some use it for sermon titles, while others claim the designation for their church. A church in the UK uses a website address of wholelifewholebible. There’s a church in California (led by a former friend no less) that uses a tag line of “The whole Bible, a whole Christian, the whole World.”
Of course, whole Bible is not a new concept. A.W. Tozer for instance gives us a famous quote that “nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.” Lots of people and groups have thought of themselves as believing in the whole Bible through out history.
Pharisees are an obvious example of a group practicing “whole Bible” belief. Except while they “believed” the whole Bible they still crucified the Messiah. Lots of people want to use the name “Christian” too but having the name tag is as far as it goes.
Using the term is not enough. Just like using the name “Christian” is not enough to make it into the kingdom (nor is claiming “Jewish” ancestry). To be “whole Bible” is to do everything God speaks. It is to abide in every word from Him. Whole Bible belief includes whole Bible behavior. It means looking for reasons to do what He says as we discover it rather than making up excuses, or holding to a belief in men’s doctrines according to the elemental spirits of the world (Colossians 2). It includes repentance when we falter, and renewed commitment to eat His body and drink His blood (take in His Words and do them) on a daily basis.
It makes sense that people would want to claim this term for themselves. If one person says they are “whole Bible Christian” then that implies that there are people who are not. No one wants to be pinned down to a “part Bible” belief, though it might be prominent in their lives.
Like the UK church or the one in California, a woman told me she was whole Bible but “not like you.” She meant that she “believes” the whole Bible but that she didn’t observe God’s holy days or modify her diet according to God’s living oracles as I do, among other things. How she manages to say this with a straight face I’ll never know. She, like many, sits in judgment on the Word using the fruit from the tree of knowledge to pick and choose what she’s willing to accept from Him. Unfortunately, this is how she looks at the whole Bible, too. Her attitude of picking and choosing is also apparent in her practice of mercy, justice and compassion. She wants to sit at the table, but is fastidious in her choice of bread and wine. She wants to be at the banquet, but doesn’t want to wear the clothes (Matthew 22:1-14). Lots of people are like this. There’s another ancient name we can use for them too, besides Pharisee.