By Kyle Stephens, Pastor of Blessed Hope Baptist Church, Coon Rapids, MN, USA
Want to read part one? Click here
Further, most any dimwit can figure out that personal opinion makes for a sorry final authority. The Charismatics and New Agers need learn the fundamental lesson that feelings and experience make for a deceptive taskmaster. The Moralists must acknowledge the treachery of conscience in that conscience can be both "seared" and "defiled." Mostly though, of all people, it is God's people who need to (in shame) relearn the first principles of final authority. FINAL AUTHORITY cannot be some mythological, untouchable, esoteric, theoretical, fog enshrouded set of writings; writings encased in mystery and currently committed to oblivion, extinct yet nonetheless hailed and exalted as holy. No, if what you have in your lap during Bible reading isn't perfect and entire, you are left adrift clinging to the wreckage of FINAL AUTHORITY, yet unavoidably adrift!
There is a long, complex and intermingled spectrum of theories and dogmas regarding final authority. It ranges from, "the Bible is just so much literary dung and can be ignored because nobody knows what God said, even if there is a God," to "the Bible is extremely accurate, and we believe it, bless God! Unfortunately, no translation is infallible." Now, I'll tell you all here before the Lord and everybody else, that the only significant part of either of those extremes is the part they have in common. Neither is able to profess a workable and practical final authority. One professes none, and one professes a final authority only in theory. Friend, if what you have in your hand is not unquestionable, then it is not final! All your noble creeds, dogmas and theologies are moot. It's all just semantics. Which is the way most folks like it anyway. It's one thing thing to wave a Bible, pound a pulpit, turn three shades of purple, and blow your voice upon a theoretical precept of authority. It is another to retreat to the privacy of an office and face the dual edges of a quick and powerful unsheathed sword that with utter and unbounded objectivity is capable of spilling your spiritual innards. Most just prefer to showcase the Bible in the pulpit and then restrict its power elsewhere. Kind of like Jesus and the wafer.
The product of this relative Christian anarchy is ecumenicism, Promise Keepers, and the overthrow of family and church gender roles. "Every man did that which was right in his own eyes."
Congratulations, pastor, you've just taught your people to crawl out on the limb of faith, then sawed off the limb they sat on. Don't you even think about whining that God's people won't live by faith anymore!
I said the last time that the AV 1611 King James Bible is for this latter day the veritable and enduring word of God. I still mean every word of it. This statement seemed to raise the ire of many, if mail is any indication. The intent of the substance in these two articles is not to present the body of evidence for the authority and perfection of the KJV. Nor was I fishing for the responses and questions that were raised. The intent was to present the two chief reasons, in my opinion, why the AV is rejected as final authority. That will be the aim of the remainder of this article. Some of the questions asked, accusations leveled, and presumptions voiced, do in all honesty, beg treatment, though. I guess I'll plan to address those things at a later time. For now though, it is most important to deal with one issue at a time.
Now, you may not like the implications involved in this issue, and it probably runs afoul of your education and intellectual sensibilities, but an honest man interested in the ministry of God's Book, must certainly see the alarming inconsistency in standing up on Sunday morning and screaming that we must live by the ever enduring Word of the living God, the whole time knowing full well that he himself believes the literal and practical fulfillment of the exhortation is impossible. You see, IF YOU DON'T HAVE IT, YOU CAN'T LIVE BY IT!!
Why are men unwilling to accept the AV as absolute final authority? The reasons in the end have zilch to do with "originals," poor renderings, texts, tenses, etc. Those things are but smoke and fog blown about to mask the true movements of man's deceitful heart.
If you really believe the Bible, you also believe it is possible that God can perform that which He promised. Ps. 12:6-7 does yet stare you in the face, you know. This is not a Bible study so I'm not going to recite the arm length list of passages that exalt the words of God, exult in the words of God, promise their preservation, warn against foolin' with them, and indeed glorify it ( II Thess .3:1). Do you need reminding of God's unequivicated estimation of the word; of His excoriation of those who misesteem it? You have all the verses in front of you. Most pastors and Christian workers can and do quote them on a regular basis. The problem is that you don't accept them blindly and at face value, in disregard for the geologists, scientists, manuscriptologists, and scholastics. Oh, no! You have to check in with the folks that have "dominion over your faith" (II Cor.1:24) before you can embrace what the Bible clearly says!
Listen! "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." You aren't supposed to have scientific proof for the things you are to believe! God's people have so glorified the "science" of it, the "seen" part, that they have adulterated the "faith" part. Hark! We now must wait with bated breath the next DISCOVERY which will Verify, even Quantify scientifically what you were supposed to believe to start with! Oh, saints, what will happen if science doesn't confirm the Bible? Where then will you be? What then will you do? AVOID...."the oppositions of science falsely so called!" (I Tim.6:20) Some of you have read and absorbed so much of the scholastic propaganda, that you have forgotten that many of the developments that have supposedly overturned that old "outdated" King James, were and are hypotheses! Theories! Like evolution, man. P H I L O S O P H I E S !! Col. 2:8: Beware lest any man SPOIL you through PHILOSOPHY.....
Look, I don't profess the expertise of a lifelong linguist, manuscriptologist, theologian, researcher or scholar. I am, though, a preacher called to preach the word of God, and as such I've been over the river and through the woods, and BACK, over this Bible version issue because in order to minister it, I have to know where I'm at. I've read. I've studied. And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the evidence, the actual discernible and systematic data, for the AV is voluminous, certifiable, indeed even scientific. The reason folks don't receive it is not a profound lack of evidence. The reason is a profound lack of faith. You want 100% test tube type evidence from God or else "I will not believe." (Jn. 20:25) You and I deserve no evidence. You have all God's promises concerning this matter clearly written, yet you raise your intellectual fist in the face of God and DEMAND proof!
There is a common and predictable objection to our position summarized thusly: "It is nowhere written that God inspired the King James Version." No, it is indeed nowhere written so, and for some that settles the argument once and forever; however, I'll ask you this: Did God promise you and me His infallible word? You may well disagree with me, but I still read my Bible, and the answer to that question is a resounding YES! Once that question is settled by faith, and you begin with an honest search, the road to the AV 1611 is short and sure. Most of your problem is that the original question set forth is never SETTLED. Why? Lack of Faith. Can't take God at His word.
A dying thief can rest his eyes on a naked, bleeding, agonized, crucified Jew and say from the heart, "Lord, remember me...," and you can't by faith embrace a book that has born God's fruit for over 350 years in the English language, that is still the standard by which all new versions are compared, and that by elementary side by side comparison is manifestly superior in its attributes to all others. I bet most of you new version defenders have never undertaken a side by side comparison. You ought to be ashamed. You better be.
You know, it's a good thing you didn't demand as much proof for Christ's death, burial and resurrection before you believed the Gospel as you require before believing the words of God. Sizzle city, friend.
No, sir, you do not have an intellectual problem. You have a heart problem. I know it's a heart problem because you'll believe somebody that wrote a book before you'll sit down for three hours and compare the profound variances between the KJV and the new Corruptions. Furthermore, for those of you who have seen some of those differences and then shrugged your unyoked and frail little intellectual shoulders, you are a case in point.
Our Christianity has lost its impetus. It has had its superstructure of courage and boldness systematically dismantled. That it is my duty to ever and always please God first and foremost, in utter disregard for the stares and the mockery even when those things emanate from among my family, friends and most respected colleagues, is almost wholly lost upon the present generation of Christians. Now it is our priority to be liked. Now our "self esteem" demands that we be properly valued. Mostly though, we must be respectable. See, we've come a long way since Paul, and it is no longer our "cross" to be the "offscouring" (I Cor. 4:13), the "filth of the world" (I Cor. 4:13), the "spectacle" (I Cor. 4:9). Actually, I think most folks have grown to like Jacob's pottage.
Jesus said,"How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and SEEK NOT THE HONOUR THAT COMETH FROM GOD ONLY?" ( Jn . 5:44 )
It is utterly horrifying that your ministerial colleagues, your friends at church, your old professors might laugh at you isn't it? Ah, the nightmare of it all should the words "cult","sect," "fanatic," "bibliolator" be applied, even intimated, to my case! Hey, Haman, what if they made you parade around your alma mater with the sign around your neck that read," RUCKMANITE?"
That's really the issue isn't it? Respectability. May I suggest a Bible study on the matter? You know. Abram leaving Ur, Noah working on the ark, Moses before Pharoah with his puny stick, Mordecai not bowing, David dancing, Nehemiah's travails. And let us not forget Esau, and Saul and Agag, and Pilate, and Herod with John Baptist's bloody head on the platter.
Were you waiting for the King James to become popular? Dare you wet your finger and hold it up in the perverse winds of man's silly opinions?
Of the virtuous woman of Prov. 31, a type of the Church, it says, "She perceiveth that her merchandise is good." I have a treasure that many of you don't have. I "perceive" I know the value of it. Alleluia for the King James Bible!
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