Do you believe in the Bible? Do you follow what the Bible says? I am not looking for you to say yes so that I can then say why don’t you kill your kids when they smart off to you, or when you wear poly-cotton blend you deserve to die or eating shrimp is the equivalent to homosexuality. I ask because while we have all heard the nonsense of these arguments we also tend to ignore the larger more important idea these silly challenges represent.
Christians are hypocrites, all of them, all of us, every-single-one-of-us. I know you once had a friend who lived his/her entire Christian life without being a hypocrite, I know your grandpa was not a hypocrite, your pastor, you sister, your mom etc. ad infinitum, but that just makes you a liar when you say something foolish like that so just don’t! By the way, little side note here, anecdotal arguments are almost as weak and irrelevant as ad hominem arguments. Ok back to your regular unscheduled blog post. Christians, all of us, are hypocrites. Some to a greater degree than others, but all of us are hypocrites. Incidentally, every living human, and most of the dead ones, on the face of the earth today are hypocrites to one degree or another. For instance (anecdotal argument commencing in five…four…three…) I hate the lousy no good stinking (add your expletive here) Ohio Buckeyes. HATE them. That makes me a hypocrite. I did not attend Ohio State (I refuse to write The Ohio State University) I did not attend one of their rival schools. I have no reason to hate Ohio State. When Ohio State plays in a bowl game, unless they were to play U of M I would and have rooted for Ohio State. My reasons for cheering them on are irrelevant, if I hate them I should hate them when they represent the Big 10 (which has 12 teams now) in a bowl game. Everyone has their faults, and everyone is a hypocrite, but there are degrees.
So, fellow hypocrites, lets vow to keep our hypocrisy to a minimum. We are complex volitional beings endowed by God with rights, purpose, values, intelligence, and the ability above all creation to have a relationship with God. God expects, and even commands us, Christians to love one another, and to operate in unity. There, I said it, u-n-i-t-y, but it does not originate with me, God said it first. Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! But hey, that is Old Testament. God doubles down on the unity in the New Testament, just read Ephesians 4. We are to be united in the cause of Christ. The problem we all find is the whole unity thing flies in the face of our ego, id, and whatever other pyschobabble you want to pull out here.
I find the IFB churches to be sadly lacking in the unity aspect, and the iBFers to be completely void of unity whatsoever. In my last post I said you cannot be fundamental enough in the eyes of an iBFer. No matter how fundamental you think you are it just isn’t good enough for the iBF minded. I want to be clear here, I am not an ecumenist. I know some of you just said “yes you are” and I cannot stop you from thinking that, but it just is not true, I am not an ecumenist. I do not believe there is any reason for all denominations to join together as one. The denominations are there for a reason, some of the reasons are very good reasons some not so good, but there needs to be different denominations. However, we do not need to spend precious pulpit time bashing other denominations. We can still have that unity between brethren even though we cannot see eye to eye on all doctrinal issues. No matter what you flavor it is, it is all ice cream…if you know what I mean.
The KJV is an excellent, even the best, translation, but it is only a translation. I believe it is the correct translation, but I am not a Greek and Hebrew scholar. In my studies I have found the KJV the final authority for all matters of faith and practice. However, I have never seriously used any other version of the Bible. I do not intend to use any other version, I have never taught or preached from any other version and I do not think I ever would. When I was a teen I had, and still have, an NIV Bible. The NIV claims for itself to contain the word of God. If it contains the word of God why would a preacher suggest it be used for toilet paper? I do not deny that any of the versions contain the word of God. I am certain that a person can be saved based on the knowledge of God acquired through the study of the NIV, NASB, RSV, or any of the other versions. I do believe there are flaws in those versions, I do believe the translations are incorrect in places, but as far as doctrine and facts are concerned there is little to no difference between our beloved KJV and the despised NIV et. al. Nevertheless, we IFB and iBFer, insist on separating from others who do not share our passion for the KJV. Not only do we separate from them, we are at war with them. We teach our people to despise those who refuse to bend to our preference for the KJV. I was one of those, but I believe I was wrong. Again, let me stress, the KJV is the Bible for English-speaking people, in my opinion it is the best translation there is, but I am not a Greek and Hebrew scholar.
The Bible was written in Hebrew, Greek, and a few chapters of Aramaic. These original languages have ceased from being used in these modern times. The overwhelming majority of IBF and iBF preachers 99.99999999999999998% do not know Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic, and 99.999999999999999992% are not linguistic scholars. The fact is most of our ordained preachers have only had a very basic Greek class if that and no Hebrew at all. Yet we somehow consider ourselves experts in Bible translations. We have read all the books; Sorensen, Grady, Ouellete, Kiplinger, Crabb, and whoever else I have missed but most of us have never read books on the opposing argument, and we surly do not teach it in our so-called colleges. It just does not make logical sense to have such vitriol against other translations and break fellowship with other God saved blood bought believers over which translation of God’s word they decide to use. Think about it. More to come…..