I was listening to R. C. Sproul today and he spoke on something I thought was relevant for me considering some of my opponents. Much of what he spoke about had to do with the idea of getting insight from the Holy Ghost (I'm feeling nostalgic for the term "Holy Ghost"). There are among these opponents those that have formed their positions on Christianity on Scripture, but also on their prayer meditations wherein the Holy Ghost revealed truth to them. Thus, for some, they have come to much different understandings regarding the faith, the Bible, and the concepts of right/wrong. Some have come to their pro-homosexual positions this way.
Well, the point Sproul was making was that God's Revelations to us can only be found in Scripture. He was saying that there have been no revelations since. And he clarified the difference between "revelation", which we received from Biblical study, and "illumination" which the Holy Ghost can provide. I found it humorous to hear him say how if he had a dollar for every time someone said they came to an unChristian or unBiblical notion after having prayed for answers or help. They don't seek the answers from the Bible, but convince themselves they've received revelation, which often is in contradiction with Scripture. It's the same thing I, and other conservative Christian bloggers and posters, have encountered in our debates and discussions. The bottom line is that the revelation needs to conform with Scripture, whether it comes from "prayerful meditation" or other sources.
Also in the same lecture, Sproul spoke of the early church restricting lay reading of the Bible. I've heard of this even in more modern day churches, mostly Roman Catholic. Some of the early churches would actually chain the Bibles to prevent their being taken. This practice is often held up as an example of the desire by the church to control people. Sproul explained that the practice was to protect the people from themselves. Martin Luther wanted to provide for the people the opportunity to read God's Word, but his opponents feared that the people were not educated in the proper way to read the Bible, and this could lead to numerous, perhaps countless, factions forming as everyone would come to different conclusions. This wasn't a looney fear considering how many different denominations exist today. And it's certainly what I have seen in these blog debates, that some feel that everyone needs to find what it means to them. I've always opposed this notion, not to tell people what to do, as I am often accused, but that the point is to determine what God means by Scripture. A true study requires removing one's self from the equation and simply determining what God wants. He has indeed revealed much in Scripure. Not everything, but plenty. Certainly all we need in living our lives here on earth.