“Just me, my Bible and Jesus.”
There are at least three false concepts that this popular one-liner implies:
1. The individual believer does not need the Body of Christ.
It does not require master level courses in Church History to know that from the beginning “Christians” were only definable as such due to their association with the Church—the worshipping community. No Body of Christ = No Christian.
2. That one can know truth through the prism of his or her own mind.
This assumption is actually a combination of at least two other assumptions: (a) my own unaided reasoning can arrive at truth (an thorough-going Enlightenment mindset), and (b) my mind is “filter-free” so long as it’s learning tool is Scripture. There is a common misunderstanding about how the mind and human language works which serves to answer both assumptions if it is properly addressed and understood. In short, the reader cannot be removed from that which is read. The reader brings to the text – any text – his or her own beliefs and presuppositions that must first be dealt with before real learning can take place. Without at least the awareness of one’s own ‘truth-filter,’ language is little more than a hired-hand performing the beck and call of its master – me/you. One can spend all day recalling examples of people they already know who simply project all of their own wishes and desires on the Biblical text, making it say whatever they want it to say in order to satisfy their preconceived notions (quite a dangerous prospect really, 2 Peter 3:16).
3. That the Bible is all one needs in the Christian life in order to know God.
This one really falls under the category of Sola Scriptura (sorry to be a broken record on this point, but it covers so much terrain). Essentially, such a doctrine posits that one sacrament—the reading of Scripture—is sufficient in the life of a believer. This idea would be hard to counter unless the Bible itself testified against it. Hundreds of Scriptures could be used to make this point, but a few should suffice: (a) in the gospels Jesus instituted many sacraments—many avenues of grace—other than Scripture reading, i.e. baptism, the Lord’s Supper/Eucharist, confession, the priesthood, etc, (b) Scripture itself points one to the Church and the Apostolic Tradition for staying on the right path (1Cor 11:2; 2 Tim 3:14; 1 Tim 3:15), and (c) Church history is replete with the working out of heretical doctrines that leaders within Her own ranks developed as a result of their own “revelations” of Holy Writ. The Creeds and Councils of the Church stand as a testimony to the true unifying work of the Holy Spirit within the Body of Christ from the earliest days of Her journey through history. And there has never been a Church Council of one person, with his Bible and Jesus.
Truly, the “me, my Bible and Jesus,” idea is one hatched in radical individualism, characteristic, not of historic Christianity, but of the philosophical ideals of the Enlightenment; ideals long expired, and in need of total removal from modern Christian thinking. Just my $0.02.