Updated: Jul 27
How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?, John 5:44.
We tend to think of the above verse as it pertains to lost people who through peer pressure will not get saved. There is no doubt that when Jesus Christ said those words that there were men standing there whose principal barrier to ever believing that Jesus was the Christ was that they feared the opinions of men. However, there is more to unbelief than trusting whether or not Jesus is the Christ.
These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue, John 9:22. There are conventions of men who have made it their business that no one associated with them is allowed to believe that the King James Bible is infallible. When I was researching my book Further Thoughts on the Word of God, I interviewed a couple of authors who had written things seemingly contrary to what I believed. One of them severely rebuked me for quoting his colleague about a minor point in my book. By writing that his colleague agreed with me on this minor point, his colleague risked being kicked out of the Trinitarian Bible Society. They had a rule that no member could believe that the King James Bible was infallible.
There are many schools of thought and many interconnected fellowships in Fundamental Christianity. Many of those make it a point to break fellowship with anyone who believes that the King James Bible is perfect. I think of the Apostle Paul's comforting statement to the Galatian Gentiles, They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them, Galatians 4:17. There are men who feel energized and part of the big boys club if they feel that they can exclude you.
There are few things that can trigger them more than finding out that you believe a King James Bible to be perfect. I corresponded regularly with David Cloud until he discovered that I advocated for a perfect King James Bible. Men like him hide behind the ruse that the basic text behind the King James Bible is perfect, but that the translation itself is flawed. That is an absolutely worthless stance. It looks good. It keeps you in the cool kids club, but it leaves the user of a King James Bible with unlimited options to believe whatever he wants to believe.
For every word translated as it is in our King James Bible there is a lexicon awaiting a disgruntled reader which will offer him many choices of how to render that word differently so as to make the bible harmonize with the reader's doctrine. I was recently helping a woman in my ministry whose mother has been ensnared in Jehovah Witness doctrine for most of her life. Wherever any bible including the New World Translation disagrees with Jehovah Witness doctrine, their leadership will quickly search the available lexicons of Greek or Hebrew words to find some justification for changing their bible again.
No bible is the final authority for what they believe. A headquarters in Brooklyn, New York is the final authority for what they believe. They merely search the lexicons, find some excuse to translate the word differently, and change their text. Then they piously tell their people that they are only following the bible and the true ancient faith.
When a mother orders her child, "Go clean your room.", it would be best not to let bible college professors to get to the order before her children hear it.
"Go" can be more than an imperative command. In our study of 21st century English we find that "Go" can refer to a green light. When a person said we have a "go" on that, they were implying permission.
"Clean" implies a perfection, something with all impurities removed. It also means a background check which shows no previous crimes.
"your" can be plural or singular. It implies ownership or possession.
"Room" can apply to large open spaces as well as a particular division within a building.
Modern Fundamentalist are far more subtle when playing with alternative definitions. They consider themselves to be the pinnacle of doctrinal understanding. Any passage in a King James Bible that appears to contradict their well ordered universe of doctrine becomes subject to their pen knife. They carve that word out and place it in the margins of their followers' hearts and minds.
If there is one lesson that has been learned in 2000 years of state churches, cultish movements, and rigid dogma it is that the devil does not fear men reading their bibles as long as someone is whispering in the readers' ears what each word and passage really means. Nothing terrifies the devil quite like a person actually believing his bible as it actually reads.
The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe, Proverbs 29:25. Fear of man is killing our churches. About 5 years ago, a missionary who had spent many years on a foreign field came back for a furlough. He had been trained in the David Cloud School of Dance. As he visited each of his supporting churches, he noticed a stupor and a dryness. There was simply no life in them. They were just gatherings of like minded people going through the motions.
He mentioned that to an old friend who suggested that he contact the Black Creek Baptist Church. He came here and for a few days we rejoiced in this man and he rejoiced in us. We fellowshipped on the Jesus Christ through the word of God. He remains dear to us.
God is done with the men who believe that their doctrine is superior to the King James Bible exactly as it reads. It is obvious that in prior generations God winked at such unbelief. It is also obvious that he winks no more. The path forward with God is to abandon the fear of man and to fear God. Trust your King James Bible exactly as it is written.
It is impossible to take any passage exactly as it is written in a King James Bible as it stands in the Pure Cambridge Text c1920-1985 and subsequent reprints, keeping in mind to whom it was written and for what time it was written and to teach a heresy. It is impossible to alter or retranslate any word in a King James Bible and to teach a truth. God hates any doubt of any word in a King James Bible. Churches who teach that doubt will slip into a death spiral of either formal stifling dryness, or the wretchedness of snappy music, silly Christianity and a show in the flesh.