I don’t normally criticize other Christians. After all, I am no man’s master. However, with this post I’ll be a little critical. Not of other Christians, but at the way some are going to choose to spend their time.
About once a month, someone leaves a “newspaper” for me at the church I pastor called Sword of the Lord. It calls itself “an Independent Christian Publication, Standing for the Verbal Inspiration of the Bible, the Deity of Christ, His Blood Atonement, Salvation by Faith, New Testament Soul Winning and teh Premillennial Return of Christ; Opposing Modernism, Wordliness and Formalism.” That’s a mouthful.
Before I get into what I found disturbing, let me say something positive. I like a lot of what this publication tries to do. It has a few interesting articles and uplifting stories. There are some written out sermons that I really have enjoyed. I do not agree with some of what they teach or the way that it is sometimes presented.
What I saw, though, in the most recent addition was truly an aggravation to me. There was an advertisement for “The King James Bible Conference” taking place January 16-18 of next year. The conference is basically about why the King James Version of the Bible is the only version that should be read and how anyone who reads a different version is wrong. There apparently will be sessions on the following: “Making the case for an inspired, inerrant, infallible Bible in the English language,” “Is the King James text the Word of God?,” “What’s the big deal over rejecting the new versions?,” “Why a standard text is so necessary,” “Rebutting the extremism of double inspiration, etc.,” “Combating the craze of contemporary scholarship,” and “Communicatin effectively with the any version will do crowd.”
The opening session will be on Wednesday Night at 7pm, with sessios all day Thursday and half a day on Friday. So, 2 full days devoted to explaining why they are using the “right” version of the Bible while everyone else uses the “wrong” version.
Two full days that could be devoted to evangelism instead will be devoted to driving a wedge between Christian of different “bible version” camps. Two full days that could be spent doing good to people who need to know the love of Jesus will instead be spent on something that should not divide Christians, but does anyway.
Two full days wasted on something so meaningless. What’s the use of reading any Bible if we are not going to show grace to those who read a different version than us, even though most versions lead people to the same Jesus.
What is the best version of the Bible? The one that you will actually read. Pretty simple–I didn’t even need two full days to come to that conclusion.
(Forgive me if this was way too negative. There are some things that really get under my skin. This blog is one of the few ways that I can let off steam sometimes. Feel free to leave a comment if you like.)