The Love of the truth Part III
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them, Romans 16:17.
Many years ago, not long after I had become convinced of the accuracy of the King James Bible and the grave damage being done by those who corrupted it or used the new versions, I was discharged from the military and came home seeking a likeminded church. There was a church which had shown me kindness in my youth and had shown an active interest in me when I began professing faith in Jesus Christ. It was quite natural for me to seek fellowship there.
That church had unfortunately just started using the new versions in its preaching and teaching. My knowledge of the texts behind those versions was incomplete at that time, and my ability to defend the King James Bible was also very limited, but with what grace and knowledge I began to discuss the issue with the pastor and a few key members. After a few weeks of this with nothing getting too out of hand or without stirring any great divisions, a key member of the church stood up in a testimony session and read Romans 16:17 out of the NIV.
I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.
He then looked my way.
I was struck with the futility of trying to make any point with people who switched rule books with ease. That isn't really what my bible had said. He was the man holding a bible which caused divisions contrary to the doctrines of the word of God. His bible said, "watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way contrary to the teaching you have learned". These people had been taught that the new bibles were just fine. I was causing divisions and putting obstacles in the way of that teaching. I left after that service.
I learned something that day. You can't make a point, win an argument, overcome a heresy or teach anything to someone who does not stand on the same platform of truth. The new bibles are a triumph of relativism. There is not really any bedrock truth whereon a man can stand. It is like playing chess with someone who walks over to another chess board, picks up an extra piece and puts it on the board and uses it. It is like being in a spelling bee only to find out that your opponents are using multiple dictionaries with variant spellings. Imagine a group of carpenters building a building who all use diverse standards to measure. They can't agree on how long a foot is so they just hug and sing songs while building an unwieldy house.
The new bibles are like an invasive species. They crowd out the real thing, absorb the resources that normally would be used on the King James Bible, and then defend themselves from criticism. It is no wonder that the ministries that have given themselves over to the new versions have become averse to any dogmatic teaching. The only really firm rules in these churches (which get sillier with each passing decade) is that no one cause any divisions.
I participate in an online forum hosted by Facebook called King James Bible Debate. On that forum we eschew any doctrinal discussions other than those places where the new versions attack a doctrine. It is a necessary forum because brethren from all over the world share their own research and observations on the bible issue. People new to the subject can ask questions. Within the King James Bible community are many diverse doctrines. Even when everyone could hear Jesus Christ speak there were many who had difficulty understanding him. Even when the original documents were available to the church, Peter warned of Paul's teaching; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction, 2nd Peter 3:16.
Having a perfect bible has not lead to having one set of doctrines. Among the principal contributors to the King James Debate are brilliant men such as Will Kinney or Jack McElroy. I know from other avenues that I would not always agree on all things with either of those men. We might disagree on certain doctrines. Regardless of that, I have the utmost respect for these men because they never reach beyond the text of the King James Bible to prove any point. If I was to have a doctrinal discussion with either man, I can have the confidence that we play by the same rules. We have the same standard. It is my honor to labor with such men to broaden the collective understanding of our bible. What all King James Bible believers have in common is that we believe that we can know the truth from within the pages of that bible. New versions have not broadened the general bible knowledge of the world. It has shrunk it.