The Fear of Man
The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe, Proverbs 29:25.
Why do some Fundamentalists reject the perfection of the King James Bible? There are many reasons, but the principal and foremost reason is surely the fear of man. Many years ago, Peter Cartwright bemoaned the coming destruction of his beloved Methodist Church when he came to understand in the late 1850s that the new preachers were all being sent to bible colleges. He cited the success of his generation when he said that he and about 700 other men like him entered into the wildernesses beyond the original 13 colonies and added over 1,000,000 people to the church.
He then boasted that there was not a literate man among them. By literate, he was not speaking of the ability to read and write. All 700 had the homespun education of that time that taught them to read and write out of a King James Bible and The Pilgrim's Progress. What none of them had ever wasted their time doing was to sit in a non-biblical invention called bible college. He said that if God wanted a literate man, let him go save one like he did with the Apostle Paul.
God established the local church to be the pillar and ground of the truth, 1st Timothy 3:15. I received my bible college education from the Gethsemane Anabaptist Church which trained its own preachers. I spent four years in which I was expected to work a job, raise a family, attend services on Sundays and Wednesdays, and to come to church each of the other weekdays at night to have book after book of the bible preached to me. Additionally we were expected to have a regular street preaching circuit on Saturdays.
We were not so much taught each book as much as we were taught how to study. We were all expected to draw the Tabernacle on our own. God help the young man or young lady whose drawing showed evidence of being copied from some other book. We were expected to learn the sacrifices of the Book of Leviticus and to be able to point on our own little drawings where each sacrifice was killed.
Who killed each animal? Who flayed it? What happened to the blood? When did that change? We were expected to know all of those things and to be able to identify New Testament passages that made reference to each sacrifice. If a student was demonstrably weak in any given subject, he was made the instructor in that subject for at least a month. Our pastor would sit in the back of the class and heckle him. Our pastor often said, "If you are going to be destroyed, I would rather destroy you here than to see you go out of those doors and be destroyed."
I have given out one degree in my 13 years here in Black Creek. Dale Morey, a man convicted of violent felonies and whose prison ministry is called Liberty Behind Bars was given a degree after having sat through the teachings of this church on most books of the bible, and in having distinguished himself in personal bible study and in Christian character. To give you an example of his study, he has built his own notebook of every name of a spirit or Spirit in the bible and can speak as a learned man on each title. You can hear a recent service with Dale preaching (by clicking here).
I then instructed Dale to get an accredited doctorate in Christian Counseling from Andersonville Theological Seminary. Being a felon in the State of New York, the doctorate has helped him open doors in government offices. Because he demonstrates a depth of understanding in the word of God, Dale is often asked where he went to school. He soberly explains that he did not get his bible knowledge or understanding out of a bible college.
I think Lester Rolloff summed up the problem with trusting a bible college education. He was once asked if he had any education. He replied that, "He had a little but that he had gotten over it". I would imagine that many of my contemporaries in defending the integrity of the King James Bible can relate to that statement.
Part of the problem with a bible college education is the fear of man. When I talk with the alumni of many of these institutions I find myself frustrated by these men's fear of being seen as too radical or unorthodox by their peers from that same school. These schools are staffed by men whose textbooks are rarely the bible itself. Their list of suggested study guides, and the chapters in Gail Riplinger's epic book, Hazardous Materials are often one and the same.
(By the way, if you have not read Hazardous Materials by Gail Riplinger you have missed one of the most important books published in the last half century. The foundational lexicons and study guides relied upon by most bible colleges were designed and distributed by hell itself. If you can read that book, follow up on the careful and complete footnotes and references and still think those materials are acceptable, you are a very poison puppy in your own right.)
It is my understanding that it was Benjamin Warfield who when confronted with all of the faux evidence drummed up by Westcott and Hort against the King James Bible, constructed the face saving idea that the bible was infallible when it was first penned but does not retain that distinction today. Oh how easily did our college boys accept that! That little rationalization created a way to seem properly educated to a preacher's peers, but to make him appear orthodox to his adoring public.
May I ask what the difference would be if the errors were inserted by the authors themselves, or if they were inserted later? The results would be the same. We would have variant bibles that preachers were carefully instructed not to fully trust. No one would ever really know which verses were correct and which ones were tainted. All of Christian teaching would be boiled down to a prescribed group of truths that enough verses of the bible seemed to endorse.
Doctrinal study would be mostly an intellectual pastime that would be frowned upon as divisive within the walls of any given church. As it is today, a man confronted by a verse in the bible that contradicts his pet doctrines just reaches onto a different chess board and replaces whatever piece he sees in jeopardy. He is no more in subjection to any bible in determining his doctrine than he would be in subjection to gravity on Mars.
Likewise, the Textus Receptus boys fear being ridiculed for being so foolish as to think that the King James Bible could be perfect. The idea that a bible in English could ever be "given by inspiration of God" is just too hard for them to swallow. I once had an email exchange with one of their top scholars who was busy relegating all of fundamentalism to a set of encyclopedias. When I told him that Dr. Waite had read my explanation of why he had found 139 words in a 1611 printing of a King James Bible that were different than what is printed today, and that Dr. Waite had seen no problem with my explanation, the man pitched a fit over the email link.
I had given the man the benefit of reading my refutation of his own analysis of Dr. Waites's published findings. If he found error, so be it. Let him show me the error before I published. Instead he accused me of linking Dr. Waite to the idea that the King James Bible was inspired. Of course I had done no such thing. I merely wrote that upon reading my explanations of Dr. Waites's findings, Dr. Waite himself had written back that there was no problem with it.
It became obvious that our fundamentalist encyclopedia fella, could not refute what I had written. Instead he threw dirt into the air. He obfuscated the issue. What he said though was telling. He said that if I linked Dr. Waite to the idea that the King James Bible was inspired, he could be kicked out of the Dean Burgon Society. There you have it, the fear of man. Men link arms and surround the word of God, but if any man reaches down to touch the word of God and to call it perfect, he is stoned by the crowd.