All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching. 2 Timothy 3:16 ESB
Long ago in a desert far away, my father, mother, and sister took a tour at a tabernacle.
The tour told of an angel appearing to a supposed prophet, giving him gold plates to be translated into a book that was to be an addition to the Gospels found in the New Testament.
Evidently, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John needed help to be current and relevant.
I remember looking at my father while saying, “What a cool story. Do you think it is real?” My father looked at me and replied (I don’t remember his exact words) but his emphasis was, “It doesn’t smell Biblical to me.”
My father read the Bible.
I’ve found notebooks with his handwriting where he wrote scripture verses and added comments to each verse. My dad didn’t have a college education, but he read his Bible.
My father taught that teaching not based on the Bible was “stinky thinkin’.”
The Bible does say that we should be able to taste that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). If we can taste the Lord, perhaps error opposing His word does smell bad.
My father based his opinion of the new gospel taught at the tabernacle on two verses:
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! Galatians 1:8
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. Revelation 22:18
A signature sign of the end-times will be an abundance of false teachers.
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions. 2 Timothy 4:3
My father sensed error because like a chef with lots of experience in a kitchen, his Bible reading gave him a taste and a smell for truth and error.
When I attended Bible college and seminary, these questions were asked:
Where is that in the Bible?
What does the Bible say about that?
I still ask those questions today as they summarize the “smell test” to me. If a topic isn’t in the Bible, tread carefully. It might be there, but caution! When someone tells me that a new prophet has another gospel, I think, “What does the Bible say about that?”
Issues are complicated today. When it comes to canceling or Critical Race Theory or political views or gender issues – the smell test is helpful.
Does it smell Biblical? Sniff? Sniff?