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Posts Tagged ‘IFB

Why the KJV Only Emphasis?

The reason for my emphasis as of late on the KJV only movement has simply been from interactions with a few KJV only folks.  Occasionally on a Sunday night, if I am off work, I will visit a local KJV only church.  I enjoy the fellowship, the singing, and the preaching.  However, the KJV only emphasis at the church has a cultic feel to it.  One man named Clarence is emphatic about the KJV issue.  The church has a testimony time and this man will stand and testify to the Lord saving him and then he will praise God for the KJV Bible.  He is of the opinion that the KJV Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible, and preserved Word of God.  He even told me that he believes that God inspired the KJV translators to add words in the English Bible for clarity and to avoid confusion.  He now believes that those words, the added words for clarity though not found in the Hebrew or Greek, are inspired by God.

I know that for many of you, the KJV only movement is not found.  It is small and contained.  Here in the South, the KJV movement is perhaps the strongest.  In my city of about 650,000, we have several KJV only churches.  They will often put this on their church marquee (KJV Only).  Most are independent, fundamentalist Baptist (IFB).  Most are small though one church nearby runs around 1,000 people.

The KJV only churches in our area are zealous.  They can be found most Saturday nights street preaching near the bars.  They do prison ministries, bus ministries, and other ministries to reach people.  They are zealous not just for people to be saved from sin but also to reach “neo-evangelicals” with the truth of the KJV.

Those then are the reasons for my emphasis as of late on the KJV only movement.  The KJV issue distracts people from what truly matters.  Further, the KJV controversy divides churches.  It also casts doubt upon the Word of God in various translations such as the ESV, the NKJV, the NASB, or the NIV.  Again, it is illogical to believe that only a 17th century Bible translation is the Word of God and that all other translations are corrupt, from Satan, and are not the Word of God.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

08/14/2013 at 10:53 AM

The Bizarre Logic of KJV Onlyism

I recently had a brief discussion with a KJV only follower and I asked him what Bible did people use before the 1611 King James Version?  Which Bible before the 1611 was the infallible Bible for the English-speaking world?  Was it the Coverdale Bible?  Was it the Geneva Bible?  Was it Tyndale’s Bible?  Perhaps it was Luther’s German Translation?  Was it the Latin Vulgate?  Which Greek New Testament should they have used?

His reply was bizarre and reflects the faulty thinking of the KJV only movement.  He replied, “Most Bibles were corrupt so God inspired the translators to give us the KJV.  The KJV is the perfect, infallible, inerrant Word of God for us today.  God has always had a perfect translation for His people but the Catholics had so corrupted the Greek texts that we needed a new revelation from God and He, in His grace, gave us the King James Version.  The King James Version helps us correct all others.”

The logic here is that the KJV = The Word of God and the Word of God = the King James Version.  All Bibles are to be judged by the KJV.

So I went further.  I asked, “What about non-English speaking people.  Must they learn English to either read the Bible or to translate the Bible?  His reply, “Yes.  Just as Greek was the Bible language for the early Church, so English today is the Bible language for the modern Church.”

Now this man reflects the radical views of the KJV only movement.  He is similar to Jack Chick, Sam Gipp, Gail Riplinger, and Peter Ruckman in his views on the KJV.  The KJV is the Word of God for these extremists.  If you quote the Greek text to point out errors in the KJV translation, these folks will correct you by saying that the KJV overrides the Greek text since it is the new revelation from God given to us to correct the others.

My biggest problem with the KJV only movement is their idolatry toward a Bible translation.  I know of one man who will always say, “I praise God that He saved me and gave me the King James Version.”  He never fails to always mention the KJV in his testimony.  He is 100% convinced that the KJV is the inerrant and infallible Word of God and that it, almost like the Muslim view of the Quran, came down from heaven as God’s revelation to us.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

08/09/2013 at 9:50 AM

Posted in Bible Translations

Tagged with ,

KJV Onlyism and Redefining As You Go

I was listening to a KJV-Only preacher this morning (whom I enjoy by the way) and he was reading from the KJV in Acts 5:13 where we read:

And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.

He read this and stopped and pointed to the word “durst” and he said, “Without removing this word from our King James Bible, can I replace it with the word ‘dared'” to which the crowd agreed.

The NASB translates this verse as:

But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem.

This is just what the KJV-Only preacher translated it as.  I found it ironic that this man did this.  If the KJV is truly the Word of God and if it is the inerrant Word of God, why should we mess with the Word of God?  We should use “durst” since the KJV uses that word.  We should not change its meaning.  We should abide by what it says.

The KJV-Only supporter will cry, “But we don’t use the word durst today so this man was correct to do this.  He didn’t change the Word of God, he just translated the word differently here.”

Agreed.  But why seek then to point out “errors” in the modern translations (all of them) if in fact they are simply seeking to do the same thing as the KJV translators did.  Like William Tyndale before them, the KJV translators wanted the Word of God to be in the language of the common people.  The common language of the 1611 KJV is no longer with us.

In fact, the 1611 reads this way:

And of the rest durst no man ioyne himselfe to them: But the people magnified them.

The KJV we have today is not the “original 1611.”  We would struggle indeed to read it.

The essence of Bible translating is not easy.  I believe the KJV translators did a good job with the Greek texts that they had.  The duty of the faithful Bible translator should be to be essentially literal as possible.  Modern translations such as the NKJV, the NASB, the NET, the HCSB, and the ESV seek to do just that.  They are not perfect translations but they are faithful as best they can be as were the KJV translators.

Some prefer the KJV and this post is not aimed at you.  My point is simply to point out the inconsistency of the KJV-only position.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/23/2013 at 12:09 PM

What Unites IFB Churches?

I read this blog post and I wanted to briefly comment on it.  I agree with the author that it is true that the IFB (Independent Fundamentalist Baptist) are not a denomination.  Unlike say the Southern Baptist who are based out of Nashville or the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP) who are based out of Greenville, SC, the IFB has no central headquarters.  You’ll find no central church in the IFB that leads the group.  You’ll find no president or bishop who is the leader of the IFB.  In that regard, he is correct.

The author also notes that the IFB is diverse.  I would agree with this.  For example, the brethren at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary would not agree with the KJV-only position of the author but they would identify themselves as IFB.  It seems in the IFB that while there is diversity, they usually unite around certain ministries that are alike.  In some cases, those in one corner would bash those in the other corner for not holding to what they hold.  In this case, many IFB evangelists and preachers would bash DBTS for “being liberal on the KJV Bible.”  IFB folks at Pensacola Christian College would claim that IFB folks at Bob Jones University and DBTS are liberals.

My point is that IFB folks typically unite around a few churches or a few evangelists that they agree with.  In the past you would have a group of IFB pastors who would all unite around Jack Hyles or around John Rice or around Bob Jones.  This is still true today.  IFB’s are not united because I believe of the spirit that they present: one of a fighting fundamentalist.  Someone said a fundamentalist is an evangelical who is mad about something.  Perhaps this is true.

From my point of view, the IFB is often divided over ridiculous issues such as whether a 17th century Bible translation is the inerrant Word of God, the length of a man’s hair, whether rock music can be used by God or not, whether you should own a TV (yes I personally heard an IFB evangelist say that no true Christian would ever own a TV).  This tendencies, to fight over pointless issues has led to the IFB’s being viewed out of suspicion and often not taken seriously.

Let me close by saying that I have met many godly IFB people.  I know of several IFB preachers who love God, love His Word, and love to see people saved.  While we would disagree over the KJV Bible, they don’t make it an issue of salvation.  Further, they are dedicated to reaching people with the gospel.  So I want to be fair here and not paint all IFB people as bizarre or divisive. They are not.  Many of them love the Lord and do want to honor Him.  DBTS is a great example.  Godly leaders, expository preaching, evangelism, a heart for prayer – all this is found at DBTS.  So please understand my heart here and don’t believe that I view all IFB preachers or churches as what I described above.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

05/06/2013 at 9:35 AM

Posted in church, Theologial Issues

Tagged with ,

Short Thoughts on Independent, Fundamentalist Baptists (IFB)

In many ways I would describe myself as a fundamentalist if by that definition you mean that I stand for the essential doctrines of the faith such as the doctrine of the Trinity, the virgin birth of Christ, His sinless life, His vicarious atonement, His bodily resurrection.  I believe in the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible, in justification by faith, and in the second coming of Christ.  I would gladly stand with anyone who teaches these truths including my many Calvinist brethren.  In this way, I am a fundamentalist and I am willing to fight for the truths of Scripture.  I don’t believe the modern evangelical approach to trying to stay in the middle on all issues is helpful.  We should stand for the Word of God and be willing to defend the essential doctrines of the faith (Jude 3).  Titus 1:9 says, “holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able to both exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict” (NASB).  This would be true of all true disciples of Jesus who love His Word and fear Him.

I also believe in biblical separation.  I believe that, at times, we can separate and should separate from those who deny the essentials of the faith (2 John 8-11) or who cause divisions (2 Thessalonians 3:14-15).  I would not, for example, serve in a ministry with Roman Catholics or with cultists.  I would not serve with Word-Faith teachers.  I believe there is a place for separating from those who do not hold to sound doctrine or who serve openly with false teachers.

That said, many IFB people go too far in my estimation with regard to separation.  They separate for ridiculous reasons such as the use of a Bible translation other than the KJV.  Before his fall into sin, Jack Schaap was being attacked by his own IFB folks for making a few comments about how he believed the KJV was not a perfect translation (or something to that effect).  In fact, when Schaap fell into sin, some IFB folks claimed it was the judgment of God for his denying the KJV as the inerrant Word of God (and it alone!).  The IFB is splintered with groups over here who will not associate with groups over there because they associated with this man over here.

This is how IFB separation works.  Let’s take Mr. Smith.  Mr. Smith is pastor of Calvary Baptist, an IFB church.  He is disassociated by other IFB churches because he is friends with an evangelist named Mr. Tucker who once visited Dr. Albert Mohler in Louisville who once spoke at a Billy Graham Crusade and as everyone knows, Mr. Graham allows Catholics to attend his meetings.  Therefore, since Mr. Smith is friends with Mr. Tucker who is friends with Mr. Mohler who is friends with Mr. Graham, we must separate from this dangerous man.  And if you attend Mr. Smith’s church, you are a neo-evangelical as well and to be cut off from your IFB brethren.

Do you see how ludicrous such separation is?  My wife and I have tried to be friends with an IFB pastor and his wife here in our town.  They are always nice to us and since I am a fundamentalist at heart, I enjoy, at times, visiting their church.  Yet this pastor wants little to do with me.  I believe the large part is that I am not an IFB member, do not hold to the KJV only position and even oppose it, and I attend an openly charismatic church.  This requires separation.

Frankly, I would love to see a reformation movement started where the core doctrines of the faith are held in high esteem, where we abandon the fads of the evangelical movement, and where we preach and defend the truths of Scripture with passion.  There is a place for separation especially from the world (1 John 2:15-17).  Yet the IFB goes too far in their separation thinking.  There are hopeful signs. Just last week I visited Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC and was blessed to see their wide range of books in their bookstore from Puritans to a few Arminians to shelves of ESV, NASB, and NKJV Bibles.  Their doctrinal books were wonderful!  So there is hope and I praise God for that.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

02/25/2013 at 11:52 AM

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