Today’s Consistent Inconsistency
When Pastors Don’t Believe Their Bibles
The most difficult proposition is put forward to a discerning congregation when the Pastor, who professes to believe his Bible, contradicts or corrects it. What is a congregation to think when the man employed to Preach the word of God feels justified in teaching the Bible is in error?
Today, saying you believe the Bible to be true and then correcting it seems to be the most consistent inconsistency in the Church and even, shockingly, in Independent Baptist Churches. This is the inconsistency found inherent in phrases such as that noted earlier, ones like ‘a more correct word is’ or ‘this word should have been translated…’. It is inconsistent simply because the Pastors employment before God is to expound his (God’s) words and not the Pastors words.
APPEAL TO EXTERNAL AUTHORITY
To justify the correction of the Bible, Pastors and others appeal to external authorities.
Again, here we have yet another consistent inconsistency; Pastors tell us they believe the Bible to be the FINAL Authority in all matters (or the lessor, ‘all matters of faith and practice’), yet they are quick to appeal to their preferential choice of language dictionary as justification for altering the said ‘final authority’. It is this very appeal to an authority outside of the Bible that becomes the greatest warning signal that the individual doing the correcting of the Bible, does not believe they have ‘GODS OWN WORDS’, in other words they don’t truly believe the Bible is (Present tense) the inspired, inerrant, infallible, preserved word of God.
Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 3:16 which begins.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable…”
need to be re-worded to “was given” and “was profitable”, for that is just how they preach it, and that perfectly describes how it is received. The faithlessness of the modern church and its move toward feelings, emotion, opinion, signs and wonders is the fruit; one authority becomes naturally replaced by another, and that by preference, not commandment.
Fallacy of Appeal To External Authority.
The appeal to external authorities on “all matters of faith and practice” rather than the Bible, manifests itself by the use of Language Dictionaries called Lexicons.
Teachers and preachers choose by their own personal preferences that one or other Lexicon, in their view, qualifies to be more trustworthy than a given word in the Bible. They look to these to see what the Bible “really says”, I was once of the same camp.
The ultimate question naturally comes in two parts; Which? & Why that?
These questions might be followed just as naturally by; Who says so? & What authority do theyhave?
A cursory glance in my own library I can see Lexicons by William Vine, James Strong, Spiros Zodhiates, The Browns and Drivers Lexicon, William Lane, William Whitaker, Henry Liddell, Robert Thomas, Henry Thayer, Eugene Nida, Xenophon with 30 more Lexicons standing in line ready to take their preferential place.
Authority Must Be Singular
But having more than one Lexicon suffices to get my point across. If there is more than one single authoritative Language Dictionary which is used to correct a word in the Bible, how can you trust in them enough to be confident that you have corrected the Bible justifiably? Are you sure you have shown ‘thyself approved unto God..’? (2 Tim 2:15).
The very fact that each one of these Lexicons must demonstrate a quantifiably, distinct, derivative, original work in order to obtain its own specific Copywrite protection, should be enough to dispel ANY pretext that a Pastor can ever be justified, logically or biblically, to “Correct the Bible”. In my view, the willingness of any Pastor to correct the Bible perfectly demonstrates he does not believe the very book he is employed to Preach and Teach irrespective of which version the Church has ordained. This is a disqualifying proposition.
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other…”((Matt 6:24)
We will either hold to God or to that which displaces him. The manifestation of our loyalty is revealed by our service. The Church in the modern world has lost its moorings, and it is not a coincidence that it has occurred since the creation of counterfeits of Gods word. The Devils very first question in the Bible (Gen 3:1) led to the most catastrophic collapse of all mankind, are we to somehow think creating doubt in the Bible will have any lessor impact today? Who do we serve best when we create doubt in the Bible?
There was once a single distinction that separated Independent Baptist Churches from the Laodicean mainstream, it was not their doctrine, not their manner of dress, not their shying away from alcohol or their stand on contemporary music, but it was their ardent hold upon ONE BOOK. But sadly, I am witnessing that this distinction is disappearing with every word corrected by the Pastor. Most tragically of all, to many, the desire to hold consistently to this inconsistency is absolute, for most will simply not consider that God might indeed have perfectly kept his promise to preserve his words, and thereby hold us accountable.
“He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”(Jn 2:48)
There needs to be a desire to become consistent with what the Bible teaches on this matter. Our imperfection and our brokenness, together with our pride and ignorance cannot ever qualify us to consider this matter outside of Scripture, yea let God be true but every man a liar.
If the position we hold to, contradicts what the Bible teaches of itself, we simply must be willing to put our own position on hold and into question, until we are settled on the matter. It’s not enough to believe the King James Bible is the best translation, we must be willing to at least admit to being naïve enough, and frightened enough, to not alter a single word until the position we hold on the matter is consistent with what scripture teaches.
This is vital, the Bible warns time and again of the danger of adding to (Deut 4:2), removing from (Rev 22:19) or altering (Prov 30:6) Gods words. How is it that so few fear God enough to be admittedly naive until that which they believe is consistent with Scripture?
Both humility and fear are a prerequisite for us all, but most importantly for the man whom God has led to minister his word to his flock.
Pr Edi Giudetti