Anti-Scholars

Some people spend a lifetime learning Greek, Hebrew, and the principles of textual criticism. Others, like Rick Flanders, have enough faith to just declare themselves an expert, write a mimeographed pamphlet, and call it a done deal.

Keep in mind that this message is being preached at a so-called institution of higher learning to college students who are ostensibly preparing for the ministry..

137 thoughts on “Anti-Scholars”

  1. Why do I get the idea that part of the reason, if not the main reason, for the shallowness is because there is no intellectually defendable reason for KJV only. Having a preference for the KJV is fine. Even wanting the whole church to use the same version while doing any kind of reading out loud is fine. But there is really no reason that I can find to say the KJV is superior!

    1. It’s very very simple: the KJV is rumored to be translated with the help of William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon Himself, Whose Golden Quill That Penned Words of Flame even God does not question. 😯
      Okay, it’s just a rumor, but a girl can dream, can’t she?
      If Bacon wrote Shakespeare, did Shakespeare ever write him back? πŸ˜€

      1. There’s actually a short story by Kipling, which features Shakespeare and Ben Jonson, sitting in a garden when a messenger comes and asks them to help out with a bit of Isaiah. It’s called “Proofs of Holy Writ” – it’s probably in Gutenberg

      2. Any connection of the KJV with Shakespeare would have horrified a lot of the fundies I knew. A playwright? Whose works are performed in THEATERS? Too worldly.

    2. If you want to compare versions, KJV is inferior in many respects, and certainly translated from an inferior Greek text.

    3. The KJV was translated from the Textus Receptus, which is a compilation of hundreds of manuscripts that use the basis of “Most is best” (when any manuscripts disagree). Most, if not all, of the other major translations (NIV, NASB, NLT, etc.) are translated from the Wescott-Hort text, which is a compilation of about seven manuscripts that use the basis of “Oldest is best”; completely ignoring the Textus Receptus and favoring two major manuscripts that conflict with it and are favored by the Catholic church (Codex Vaticanus (found in the Vatican) and Codex Sinaiticus (found in a trash can in a monastery)). By the way, there is evidence that the Textus Receptus is older anyway.

      The KJV was translated by the best Greek scholars of the day for the English speaking people. Wescott and Hort decided that it was not good enough and translated their own versions in the late-1800s (by the way, only the KJV is NOT copywritten). I hold that the KJV is the best translation for the English speaking people, because of the manuscript it was translated from and the great care of the scholars to translate it well. It was used to translate the Geneva Bible (an earlier translation) too.

      1. The original TR done by Erasmus did not use “hundreds of manuscripts”. It used five or six, none of which were complete, and none had some parts of the Bible. He “back-translated” part of Revelation from Latin to Greek because of a lack of Greek manuscripts.

        The Textus Receptus was not even called that until a much later version, many years after the original King James translation, and got the name “Received Text” from what was basically a plug for their work by the publishers.

        So, of which TR do you speak? And what makes 14th and 15th century textual critics superior to 19th and 20th century textual critics? Why not keep the Geneva Bible the KJV replaced, since it was a very good translation for the time? Oh, yeah. Politics. Plain, simple, politics.

      2. Your account is patently false, LtJ. I’m not yelling at you, but I am recommending that you read up on the subject before sharing your opinion. Both your understanding of Erasmus’ method as the guidelines for textual criticism are incomplete and inaccurate.

        1. LTJ,
          As others have pointed out, your analysis is absolutely backward. I don’t know who you have been listening to, but I spent the better part of 9 yers reading books and articles and researching textual criticism. Erasmus’ text was not even the Textus Receptus. That was a designation given later to a text that was based on Erasmus’ and had been corrected. The textual theory behind the original Greek New Testament that Westcott and Hort compiled is a far superior textual method than Erasmus. It does not matter how great the scholars were who translated the KJV, it was a horrendous Greek text compared to the most recent ones that other English versions are based on. The UBS and NA are excellent and produced by the most painstakingly accurate textual scholars. DO they have disagreements? Yes, but Erasmus had no one to help him, and he was in a rush to be the first Greet text printed, and he made some bad blunders. So, as another has said, please get your facts straight before you pontificate.

      3. Looking to Jesus,

        Can you cite your sources of this info? Unlike that Rick Flanders fellow, I do not wish to accept such assertions by faith. πŸ˜€

        1. Truthfully, this is what I’ve been taught and from what I’ve found from supplemental study, I’ve found it to be truth and teach it as such. I do not work to criticize the Bible and do not have a lot of time to get into textual criticism, as it is more a group of people that will never agree that we actually have the Bible, as opposed to being people that are seeking truth. That being said, I’m not against being a scholar and studying; I just have to pick and choose what I study and that must be the Bible, instead of criticism about the Bible. Just trying to put up an opposing view too, since RobM already stated the KJV was terrible. *mutters* “Should’ve just kept my mouth shut…”

        2. I said “inferior” not terrible. And it’s true, it’s not the best translation from the “TR”, and more importantly the “TR” is a much inferior text to be translating from.

        3. * Which obviously the KJV translators didn’t have much choice about improving the TR, and I still like a lot.

        4. BTW, I picked “inferior” because it is antonymous to the “superior” argument that the original poster also was refuting. Wasn’t an insult to the KJV.

        5. @Looking–Textual Criticism is not criticizing the Bible. It is a branch of study in literature in which old manuscripts are studied to find the most accurate. The oldest are usually the most accurate, since they are closer to the original so there are fewer copyist errors. No one here is criticizing the Bible. Textual Criticism is a very well respected branch of research. Your beloved Erasmus was a textual critic.

          If you are serious about resources for more study, contact me through the forum. I would be happy to share some resources with you, as well as share some of my study.

          You also need to remember that just because you hear something from the pulpit doesn’t make it truth. It probably isn’t the only thing you have ever heard that is error.

      4. Erasmus didn’t have hundreds of manuscripts available to him. He didn’t even have manuscript evidence for entire passages of the Bible and simply translated the Latin Vulgate into Greek (The entire book of Revelation is an example, if memory serves me well).

        The Complutensian Polyglot Bible that was being developed in Spain was a superior edition. However, the Old Testament portion took longer to translate and Erasmus was able to release his version months earlier. The Pope gave Erasmus a four year monopoly on printing Bibles, so the Polyglot came to the market 3 years later.

      5. I think it probably feels like we are piling on the new guy, but most commenters here have lived through various degrees of KJV superiorism and KJV onlyism, and have spent far more time studying textual issues than the average joe.

        1. I would just like to encourage LtJ. He engaged and tried to have a discussion.

          As has been said, nobody here has attacked the bible; just the view that one particular version is superior to all others. I would encourage him to continue studying the issue, but to start including texts on the subject that haven’t passed the fundy censorship check.

        2. I happen to share a similar opinion with LTJ. That being said, I am not dogmatic about it like the KJVOs. I think the problem arises when rightful criticism of the KJVO mentality morphes into unwarranted attacks of the Bible itself. I am fine with textural criticism, but some who blast the KJVO crowd take the same position (i.e. whatever they like is THE version) as the KJVO crowd. The only “inspired” version was the original autographs…and we are left with translations. To me, there doesn’t seem to be any useful purpose in arguing about translations…each person has their preference (individual liberty). The only way to definitively answer the question is to – when we meet Christ – ask which one He preferred.

        3. That is a fairly simplistic way to see it. I do believe that almost all modern translations, except cultic ones like the Jenovah Witnesses and Mormon one, are reliable representations of the available manuscripts.

  2. The fundie fear of knowledge.

    They’d never admit it openly, but they know that knowledge can lead to doubt. Which means they must regard their own faith as something very fragile indeed.

    So much for faith that moves mountains. This faith needs protection from the Discovery Channel.

    1. If maintaining faith requires a closed information system, something is very wrong. Don’t fundamentalists understand WHY they fear knowledge?

        1. Oh I think they do understand on some level.

          It’s not possible to have a systematic (if bonkers) set of attitudes without some kind of implicit philosophy behind them. And you can’t have an implicit philosophy if it isn’t sometimes made explicit.

          More than that, it needs to be *sometimes* explicit in the minds of the enforcers, if they’re to know what to enforce.

          But stating explicitly and clearly what everyone accepts implicitly and vaguely…is often a bigger crime than breaking the implicit rules themselves.

        2. I’m with the proctologist. My family & fundy friends all think they have some kind of coherent reasons for the insanity, but when they try to express it, it’s clear they don’t. Before I turned 30, I always thought I could point out the obvious contradictions and reason with. I’ve long since abandoned reasoning with the ones I know.

    2. You and me baby ain’t nuthin’ but fundies so let’s do it like they do it at FBC Hammond …

      1. The rhyming needs work, but I like this! 😎
        And from everything I’ve heard, some of these guys don’t need much encouragement to go at it.

    3. The fundy fear of knowledge goes hand-in-hand with the fundy fear of unexplored possibility.

      The fundies around whom I was raised had to have a solid, absolute stand on everything. There was never any room for “I don’t know” or changing opinions as new information is discovered. Academia on the whole was a threat because the IFB church knew they couldn’t defend themselves against every question [translation scholars, scientists, etc] threw at them. So instead of choosing to admit that they were human and fallible, they became ostriches.

      1. I don’t know. I think the fundy fear of knowledge has a lot to do with the fear that the congregation will find out that the pastor has been deceiving them. Don’t want that house of cards to fall down.

        1. Unless the object is to produce airheads. They seem to be “on” something. That might be considered “high”er learning.

  3. I wish I could remember where I read the following, but I can’t. All I know is that I read it on a random KJV-only website.

    Anyway, the preacher was giving reasons he knows that the KJV 1611 is the only version of the Bible that God blesses these days. See if you can follow this. I certainly had trouble.

    1. The KJV 1611 was translated under the authority of a king.
    2. The only government that God blesses is a monarchy (he knows this because God is King, therefore He only blesses governments with kings). 3. All other versions have been translated in countries with democratic governments.
    4. Therefore, only the KJV is God-blessed.

    1. So if the only government God blesses is a monarchy, when are you lot coming back under Her Majesty the Queen? After all, you abandoned a God-blessed government in favour of that nasty democracy.

    2. At least that argument is coherent, unlike the other defenses I’ve seen for KJVO positions.

      Note that I didn’t say the argument is correct; only that it makes sense on its own terms.
      I find its premise that God only likes monarchies to be a highly dubious one.

      1. I remember Sam Gipp teaching that the texts used in the TR came from Antioch, which is where the church is. The texts used in W&H came from Egypt. And we all know nothing good comes from Egypt.

        1. Next time you hear “nothing good came from Egypt”, ask for an explanation of Matt. 2:15-And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. Hosea (11:1) is the prophet quoted by Matthew in his Gospel.

        2. As you know, Gipp is a pompous nitwit.
          The churches of Egypt are as old as those in Antioch.

      2. I guess that leaves Israel right out, then, since they’ve embraced all that “democracy” stuff, and no longer have a king. Does that mean that they’re no longer the Chosen People? If not them, then who would the Chosen People be? Maybe the Saudis, since they’re an absolute monarchy? Boy, won’t they be surprised!

    3. Ironically, Vatican City is the only absolute monarchy left in Europe, possibly the world, so by that thinking it should be the most blessed country on earth. If only it weren’t being run by that pesky Pope and those darn Catholics… πŸ™„

  4. So, he claims the pulpit, but cannot understand things that are intellectual and scholarly.

    In other words, he, along with other anti-knowledge folk, claims to be wiser than the wise because he is a fool for Jesus.

    Sigh.

    Sounds about like most other endeavors. Pastors pontificate about science, knowing nothing about science but the anti-science lies printed by Creationists. They pontificate about other denominations, having never visited another service or studied their theology. They pronounce their judgment about what illnesses are spiritual and which are physical. They still talk about demon possession! (That conjures up the image of the Pastor as a witch-doctor with a bone in his nose!)

    I was in my IFB church when my Pastor started talking about the evils of evolution and the demonic influences scientists were under to deny the book of Genesis. I started shaking my head (“no”) in an attitude of disbelief at his gall. He looked at me from the pulpit and said, “Stop that!”

    I *should* have gotten up and left. I wanted to. My wife had her hand on my arm as if to restrain me. But it was not too very long after that I was looking for another place to worship. I suppose that by not walking out I didn’t “burn my bridges” behind me. My wife and daughter still go there.

    The Pastor is by many measures a good man. But he is much more ignorant than he thinks he is, because he listens to the voices of anti-knowledge.

    1. Here here! I still occasionally attend church with my wife (a conservative Baptist church…not Fundy, but still not my cup of tea).

      Whenever the topic of Creationism comes up I cringe…it’s always a painful experience.

      1. Ummmm…evolution is impossible, both scientifically and logically. There is no way that protozoa evolved into a human being (or even TWO for reproduction) over millions of years. Too many variables are involved. By the way, it is not even real science, but theory, because real science has to be observed! It also takes more faith to believe in evolution, because Man had to come up with the theory ON HIS OWN! At least Bible believers have the Bible to tell us how God made the heavens and the Earth!

        1. Sigh.

          All I can tell you is that you need to put aside what you think you know about science, and start fresh. Creationism lies about what science actually says.

          Get a good intro to biology book — a modern one. It will tell you what evolution is, and what the evidence for it is.

          Like you, I used to think I knew. I had all the creationist literature telling me how impossible it was and how even the evolutionists knew that, but were hiding the “truth.” Then, when I actually started reading science from scientists, I found out how creationists quote mine scientists to twist what they say into something they did not mean. The more science I read, the more I began to understand how fundamentalist creationism is built on a pack of lies.

          It was a painful experience, but a necessary one. It opened my eyes to what fundamentalism is and does.

        2. No thanks. If I cannot have faith that God created the heavens and the earth and formed Man from the dust of it, as the Bible clearly states, then I cannot believe that Jesus paid for the sins of mankind and is enough for salvation, as it also clearly states. Evolution is clearly debunked by the Bible. If I cannot believe one part of the Bible; what part can I believe?!?

          Romans 1:20-23: For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

        3. “If I cannot believe one part of the Bible, what part can I believe?”

          I understand where you’re coming from here. It’s so difficult to respond to your question without coming across as a complete arrogant jerk, and I don’t want to come across that way, or seem like I am talking down to you in any way, becaus it seems like you are a person who wants to know the truth.

          So, let me just say this: truth is often much bigger than mere facts.

        4. In other words, you think that you have to believe everything in the Bible literally in order to be saved?

          I thought salvation was dependent upon believing that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again. Believing in everything else is very much akin to the Pharisaical demand that the Gentiles have to become Jews and keep the Law of Moses in order to be saved.

          I admit, Creationism does a good sell in that area. They try to make it imperative that you have to be a Creationist in order to believe in sin (you don’t). They add to the Gospel — which Paul says brings a curse.

          I almost lost my faith. If Creationism turned out to be a pack of lies — and it is, without any doubt at all in my mind — then what else was a lie? Was any doctrine that had to be supported by lies and deception worth supporting?

          Genesis was not written to be either a science text nor even a history statement. It was the background story of the Jews, people who believed that the earth was basically a flat box, that above the sky was the waters of chaos that God had wrestled the creation from. When God opened the windows of heaven, the waters flowed to create chaos again.

          God did not try to reform their beliefs. He used what they already believed to form a relationship with Him. Yes, even evolutionists can trust Christ as Savior.

          We have been above the sky. God does not dwell there. There is no “Heaven” as a city you can climb to with a staircase or ladder. Yet even though the cosmology of the Hebrews was all wrong, people can still trust Jesus as Savior. There is no proof for — and an abundance of proofs against — a universal flood of Noah. Even if that was a story illustrating a spiritual belief, even if that was not scientifically real, yet may one learn from it, yet I may still trust Jesus as my Savior.

          Truth often hurts. Fundamentalism molds you so that, when you see its lies you feel you have to turn and believe in the lies anyway or be destroyed. I refuse to let their lies destroy me.

        5. That’s probably not a wise test of faith to establish. All authors of scripture have lied, prevaricated & otherwise mislead throughout their entire lives. All human beings lie.

          If you impose a modern scientific journalist the standard by which you measure what the authors of scripture wrote, you are the one creating the lie, not the author of scripture.

        6. I’ll quote from my own essay which I’ve linked further down in the page:

          Some young earth creationists will assert that what they are defending is the tradition of Biblical interpretation and authority dating back to the beginnings of time. But readers can find historically important Christians living centuries before the nineteenth century who did not read the first chapter of Genesis as the young earth creationists do. I’ll mention one.

          Saint Augustine, from a short book entitled The Literal Meaning of Genesis:

          In matters that are so obscure and far beyond our vision, we find in Holy Scripture passages which can be interpreted in very different ways without prejudice to the faith we have received. In such cases, we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search for truth justly undermines this position, we too fall with it.

          The point of that for today is that if we can believe that God created the universe without subscribing to young earth creationism, we would be wise to do so. In his letter to the Grand Duchess Christina, Galileo asserted that when science seems to be in dispute with the Bible, the Bible is not wrong, the science is not wrong, but the interpretation of the Bible is wrong. I’ll conclude here with recommending a recent book, The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate by John Walton (InterVarsity Press, 2009). It offers an literalist interpretation of Genesis 1 which is amenable to the current status of science and which is consistent with the beliefs of the ancient Hebrews which produced Genesis 1.

          Back to not quoting: There’s no use in saying that evolution is impossible when the science offered by the six-day creationists is so abysmal. Having a 20+ million dollar “museum” in Kentucky just doesn’t make the case. If one wants to really be in the Christian tradition on this issue, one has to account for what Augustine, Galileo, John Milton (who says, within Paradise Lost, that the six-day narrative was adjusted to Adam’s limited understanding), and Francis Collins.

    2. Please correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t the evolutionary process require that death be a natural part of it?
      If so, then why would God say that death is a punishment since He used it to create? “For the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) Also, why then would it have been necessary for our Savior to die on the cross as a punishment for the sin of the entire world if death is a natural function that God used to create the human beings?
      Isn’t it more logical that death is NOT natural and that God created His creatures to NEVER die? If He made man in His image and likeness, wouldn’t they naturally be made everlasting? He then gave them the choice to know either just good only–which is Him alone (for we know that God is the only source of good), or the choice to also know evil (which must entail separation from a Perfect and Holy Almighty God–also known as death) Our loving, merciful God knew before He created anything that the choice to know evil would be made. He made a plan to save us from that fatal choice…oh Praise His name!!
      Seeing that this is true, it is impossible for evolution to be compatible with God’s Word.

      1. I appreciate your question. The problem is, we have been fed many of the wrong questions, and we have been taught to read the Scripture with a certain expectation in mind. Doing that, we completely miss so many obvious things that otherwise jump out at the reader.

        The fact that a “garden” was prepared, that there was life in the sea, and that man named the animals means that death was present and known.

        Not spiritual death. Physical death. It was in the creation.

        What do fish feed on? Other fish. Smaller forms of life, to be sure, but life dies to feed other life. If the fishes had to wait until Adam sinned, they might have starved!

        The trees had root in good soil — the result of death and decay bringing richness and nourishment to the ground. The trees in the garden were not planted in barren ground-up rock.

        And even Adam’s intestinal flora had a lifespan. E-coli has an essential symbiotic relationship with man, digesting his food (death) and releasing its nutrients. However, it also has a very short life span.

        We know the doubling rate of e-coli. We know what e-coli weighs. A single e-coli weighs one-trillionth of a gram. Not much! Under optimal conditions, e-coli can double their population in 20 minutes.

        No death? Then no e-coli die, either. Start with 1, when Adam was created. In one hour there are 8. In two hours there are 64. In three hours, 512. Still, not much! Six hours there is a colony of 262,144. In twelve hours, there is 0.06 oz of e-coli in the body. By the passage of one day, at a doubling rate of 20 minutes, no death, there are so many e-coli that they weigh 147.5 tons.

        There must have been death. At least for bacteria and for fish.

        Oh, and Adam named the animals. The name for the eagle means “One that tears.” It is not a name given to grass eaters! According to the Jews, their language did not change with Babel. They kept the original language of man!

        And if there was no death, God’s threat to Adam for eating of the Tree would have held no meaning. Adam would not have understood what death was.

        And in fact, Adam ate of the Tree, and did not die. According to the Lord, “the Man has become as one of us, knowing good and evil.” Instead of causing man to die, the Lord thrust him out of the garden. And so, in that story, the Serpent told the truth, and God broke his promise (aka “lied”).

        Yes. If you read it for what it says, that is what the story says. No talk about “spiritual death.” That concept does not even appear in the Old Testament. Adam lived, for over 900 years!

        The problem is that we have been taught what to believe, and what to expect to see in Scripture, not what is actually there. And yes, it was a shock to me, too.

        If you don’t want to believe this, I do not blame you. I didn’t either. It took months after I became aware of this before I was emotionally ready to admit it to myself. By that time I was noticing other, rather blatant abuses of the Scriptures.

        I wish you well.

        1. “in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago” (Titus 1:2)
          God does NOT lie.
          You are comparing the perfect Garden created by God which no man living today has ever seen to a modern-day, post-flood garden.
          “Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food, but God will do away with both of them (side note–even though we will eat in heaven).” (1Cor 6:13a) God, Almighty will return our bodies to the perfect state in which they were created before we sinned.
          Your argument also proves that God did NOT lie. Your Science lesson showed me the detail as to how the body changed and death started in it at that moment, e-coli and all.
          Death is separation from God proven by the fact that Adam and Eve hid themselves from Him. They died spiritually the moment they ate the fruit and no longer wanted to be around Him, and their bodies began to die from that moment also.
          Yes, there are things God cannot do–One is lie and the other is look upon sin.

        2. I’m sorry this took so long to reply to your last reply. It seems that the website was down.
          Anyway…this is in reply to your remarks about death and being separated from God:
          I am terribly sorry that I caused you confusion as to which death separates us from God. The statement should have read that SPIRITUAL death separates us from God. “Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.” Rev 20:14

          There are two deaths–spiritual and physical, just as there are two births–spiritual and physical. This is a hard concept that even Nicodemus struggled to understand. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?’ Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.'” John 3:3-6

          Being caught in the trap of legalism which is only a set of man-made standards to please God is definitely angering. But, we cannot be like Adam and blame God (or His Word) for listening to foolishness. “May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar,” Romans 3:4a.

          Please do not throw out the baby with the bath water…or in biblical terms…don’t throw out the wheat with the chaff…

        3. I was not confused about death and spiritual death. The trouble is that Spiritual Death is a concept not found in the Old Testament anywhere.

          Nada, never, zip.

          Physical death, on the other hand is a concept well-understood in the Old Testament.

          My examples were to show that using “Spiritual Death” for what God was talking about in the Garden episode is ludicrous. There is no distinction of words. The fact was that God promised Adam he would die “in the very day” that he ate of the fruit.

          Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

          That “die” in Genesis 2:17 is the same “die” in Genesis 27:4. More particularly, it is the same word “died” in Gen 5:5 “And all the days 3117 that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died 4191.

          Look, JIL, I have not rejected Christ, rejected the Gospel, or lost the real faith. What I have put aside in Fundamentalism is their tendency to read ancient scriptures in light of twenty-first century ideas and cosmology. I do not believe that the Bible was meant to be either a science text or a literal history text. And I do not believe that it is necessary to believe everything in the Bible literally to be saved.

          What I do believe is that I am a sinner (not necessarily Adam’s fault, but definitely my own!), that Christ died for my sins, and that He rose again. According to Scripture, that is all I need to be saved.

          When someone comes to God in faith, they do not “believe” everything in the Bible. Most people have no knowledge of “everything in the Bible.” And over the centuries, good men have disagreed on interpretation and meaning.

          I happen to disagree with the Anti-scholarly approach that most fundamentalists take, the Three-Card Monte they play with words and meanings and context, and the absolute glorification of ignorance as if that is what God blesses.

          I am, by grace, a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ. But that does not mean that I cannot look at Scripture and see discrepancies with what it says and what people say it says. And I have to admit that with a lot of Scripture, if you actually read it you will have more questions than answers.

          But we are not called on to have all the answers! Nor must we actually think the writers of Scripture had all the answers, especially when they themselves admit they didn’t.

          I hope I am not offensive to you. But there are large issues and large questions unacknowledged in Fundamentalism that I am wrestling with. “Having Faith” is no answer to these questions.

        4. I really hope that you do not think that I was accusing you of rejecting Christ. That is very certainly not the case. It was just that in your comments you obviously are disgusted with the “Anti-scholarly approach”. I was only hoping to have some dialogue with you regarding some of the questions you have about Scripture. It really has nothing to do with being an IFB.

          You are right, no one, except God alone has all the answers. But, He has chosen to reveal Himself to us through Scripture. The more one studies it, the more one sees how beautiful and non-contradictory it truly is. And yes, it is possible to believe every Word of it. You say, “But we are not called to have all the answers!” Exactly correct. When we have questions about Scripture, we take them to the One who wrote it. His Holy Spirit will guide us either through reading, other teachers, or whatever other way He uses.

          Spiritual death is not something that the IFB’s made up. It is true and is very much so a part of the Old Testament, even though not specifically called as such. Balaam obviously knew the distinction when he was asked to curse the Israelites. “Who can count the dust of Jacob, or number the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the upright, and let my end be like his!” Numbers 23:10 The people of the Old Testament were very aware of Sheol and separation from God.

          Born again is also not specifically mentioned in the Old Testament, but Jesus expected the teachers of the Old Testament to know about such things. In continuing with the account of Nicodemus: “Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can these things be?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?'” John 3:9-10.

          I do not want to argue with you, but instead enjoy a little “scholarly” interaction.

        5. I appreciate your kind words, and I apologize for a bit of overreacting.

          That said, I do not believe that Numbers 23:10 has anything to do with spiritual death. The concept of Sheol is death and the grave. It does not carry the connotation of separation from God, although the idea of death and the power of death is definitely shown to be a horror in the Old Testament, and hope was expressed that God would rescue them from that terror.

          As a note, when Saul called up Samuel, Samuel chided him for “bringing me up”, and said that by the end of the next day Saul would be where Samuel was. Samuel did NOT mean heaven.

          But “spiritual death” as a concept does not exist in the Old Testament. In fact, the concept of an eternal hell of fire and brimstone and eternal torture does not exist in the Old Testament, either. Despite an obscure reference in Daniel which talks about two resurrections, there is no reference to the lake of fire at all. “Hell” in the old testament is the word “sheol” and simply means the grave.

          The Old Testament view of death may be summed up in Job’s lament: Job 14:12 “So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens [be] no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.”

          Even the New Testament concept of Resurrection is absent in the Old Testament, despite the verse in Daniel.

          I tend to object to New Testament theology being inserted into the Old Testament where it does not belong. Old Testament passages stand on their own merit. The writers of the Old Testament did not write with New Testament ideas in mind.

          Nor are there NT ideas “coded” in. I believe that when God gave Scripture to the people, the people at the time were able to understand what was said and what was meant. To try to insert ideas not used at the time is to do violence to the passage.

          So, while New Testament passages may give some thought as to how people looked at the Old Testament passages hundreds of years after their writing, no NT passage actually creates the meaning of the OT passages. And in point of fact, some of the “prophesies” in Acts and Matthew are pretty fancy stretches of the OT passages quoted out of context.

          I know. Shocking. But it an inescapable viewpoint if you decide to read the Scripture without preconceptions.

          Regards

        6. Hear hear, on the anti eisegeting NT concepts (or modern science, IMO) & theology into the Old Testament

        7. I don’t consider myself stupid, but I’m not prepared to wade into this debate. I haven’t studied these things to the depths you apparently have. You bring up many good questions, not that I wanted more 😯

          May I ask you (and all others with similar viewpoints, you’re just handiest πŸ˜€ ) to consider that, just as one may be Christian and evolutionist, one may also be scientist and creationist? I have a degree, be it only Bachelor’s, in Biology. I did not study evolution in great depth, though it featured in many courses. Perhaps I should have studied it more intently, perhaps I am a coward or lazy for not doing so. But I have heard many arguments for, and against, evolutionary theory, and I have chosen to believe in creation. I still consider myself a scientist and have great faith in science in general.

          I just ask that you consider that some may not be anti-intellectual and still come to a different conclusion than you have. I suppose it depends largely on where one chooses to apply one’s intellect. I left the evolution debate to those more committed to it once I had settled it sufficiently for my own mind, which may have been a simplistic understanding, admittedly.

          I enjoy debates, so long as both sides understand the other side may not/is not likely to change their minds. Is refusing to change my mind without overwhelming evidence anti-intellectual? I am willing to listen.

          Ok, I’ve reached rambling stage. 😳 I keep trying to explain my thoughts because I’m not sure they’re clear. If what I’ve written is unclear, feel free to ignore me. It’s just food for thought, though hopefully not just thinking “what is she talking about?” 😯 :mrgreen:

  5. Their god is so small, so unintelligent, so non-scholarly… I mean why even keep Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, and Luke 10:27 in the cannon of Scripture at all?

    The Fundie pulpiteer is more interested in manipulating the minds of the sheeple than he is in expositing Truth, or teaching the whole counsel of God. Yes, I do paint with a broad brush and I am certain that there are very few who get painted that don’t deserve it.

    How can God be honored, exalted and praised when men stand before others and reject, belittle deny, despise, disbelieve, discard, discount, discredit, disdain, dismiss, eliminate, exclude, jettison, nix, pass up, put down, rebuff, refuse, renounce, repel, repudiate, scoff, scorn, scrap, shed, shoot down, shun, spurn, throw out, bad-mouth, criticize, cut down, decry, deprecate, depreciate, deride, derogate, diminish, discount, discredit, disparage, dispraise, downgrade, downplay, dump on, knock, lower, minimize, pan, pooh pooh, poor mouth, put down, rip, run down, scorn, shoot down, slam, smear, sneer at, squash, squelch, take a swipe at, take down, tear down, underestimate, underrate, undervalue, and write off one of God’s greatest gifts: the mind and our capacity to think! They hate and besmirch anything that requires the individual to have to think for themselves because everyone knows that only pastors are allowed to think and come to conclusions in the IFB cult.

    The IFB movement requires that group-think be maintained. The easiest way to maintain group-think is to reduce everything to the lowest common denominator and simplest terms. The Gospel is reduced to John 3:16 and the Romans Road arriving at the so-called sinner’s prayer and a visit to the altar. Christ is reduced to a poster boy for “The Ministry.” The focus is not on what Christ did but rather what the individual can do and the whole movement pivots on performance.

    This philosophy is deadly to the gospel of Christ. If you find yourself in a church that practices this reductionist religion I beg of you to run to the nearest exit and don’t look back. To sit under men who preach this is to practice idolatry. (in the clip we see self aggrandizement and a sales pitch worthy of Madison Ave.)

    I sat for too long under such men. Learn from my mistake. In the immortal words of Gandalf, “Fly, you fools!”

      1. Yes I did. πŸ˜‰ but it was totally worth it.

        These reductionist types are the enablers of error, and abuse because they encourage men of lesser character to fill pulpits where error, abuse, false gospel and idolatry are compounded.

    1. Rather than loving the Lord with all of your mind, I have a pamphlet here for you to read. Because, well, I really don’t want you to love the Lord at all. I would rather you love a little “k” king.

    2. God gave me a brain. I cannot imagine that He would want me to misuse it any more than any other part of my body!

      1. Yes!!!!!!! So much yes! That was my refrain for a many years when I first began to be extremely question-filled as a teen. I had been lead to believe that questioning was bad – “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”. But I went with the logic, not the catchphrase: I have a brain. God would want me to use it.
        While watching a documentary about the process of discovering facts about space throughout history – the program began with the pre-B.C. Greeks and ended with Hubble discovering that there was another galaxy – I felt such amazement. I couldn’t stop thinking “Wow, God must be so proud of us”. When a parent or older sibling sees their child read an entire book for the first time, or heck, when I watch my cat figure out how to open a door – that pride God must feel as He watches us figure these things out. Wow.

    3. ‘The easiest way to maintain group-think is to reduce everything to the lowest common denominator and simplest terms. The Gospel is reduced to John 3:16 and the Romans Road arriving at the so-called sinner’s prayer and a visit to the altar. Christ is reduced to a poster boy for β€œThe Ministry.” The focus is not on what Christ did but rather what the individual can do and the whole movement pivots on performance.’

      Rather profound, that.

  6. This guy (and many fundy preachers) don’t want their people wasting their time to study and learn new things. But I am sure they would have no problem with their people wasting their time taking the questionnaire from yesterday.

    1. Scorpio – MOGs most certainly do NOT want learners…they want listeners and followers. The more one learns, the more one sees that the MOG has no clothes (especially when he’s in his secretary’s office). Fundydom is no place for scholars…so let’s go get a drink. Bro Bluto

    1. Admittedly that would be one thing Fundies should be right on, as it just sounds so cool, fighting a T-Rex. 😎
      My old principal used to insist that Behemoth, from the book of Job, was actually a brontosaurus, citing Job 40:17, “He moveth his tail like a cedar,” and a bronto’s tail is pretty impressive. Of course that works best in the good ol’ KJV, of course. πŸ™„

        1. I know, it’s just that “brontosaurus” or Thunder-Lizard, sounds so impressive, “Apatosaurus” may be accurate, but lacks that final Oomph.
          Darn Reality, always derailing my dreams. πŸ˜•

        2. From what I read, Brontosaurus is still considered scientifically redundant synonym, and not necessarily inaccurate. I’m sticking with Bronto, just like I’m still calling Pluto a planet. πŸ™‚

  7. “Anyone who has faith can understand it.” Interesting point. So, when I conclude that KJVOism makes no sense, has NO Biblical basis, is a completely false doctrine with no Scriptural support whatever, and that all the KJVO arguments are based in illogic, fallacy after fallacy . . . . and see it as total nonsense . . . that is because I don’t have faith? Interesting how faith makes sense of of nonsense. What else does it do? So if I am not KJVO, then I don’t have faith = not saved so anyone who is not KJVO is not saved because they don’t have faith. I call it nuts, just plain nuts.

  8. “back in the early days when churches were switching Bibles.”
    oh, you mean like 1611?

    1. (Sarcastic weepy voice) Oh whatever did those poor people do without a real Bible before 1611? How did the Church survive all those years? How did people ever get saved? And what about all those poor people who couldn’t speak the King’s English?

      So sad that they all are consigned to hell for daring to be saved without the right Bible! 😈

      1. I once had a pastor who preached that no one was truly saved unless he was led down the Romans Road in a 1611 King James Bible.

        1. If it were true that one could only be saved from the 1611 KJV, then very few would be getting saved today since nobody uses the 1611 KJV; not even KJV onlyists. The KJV used in modern times was revised in 1769. In 2013, the average English-speaking person would have a very difficult time reading the 1611 KJV.

          I’m always quite amazed when people use the argument that someone can only be saved if they’re using the KJV. It completely diminishes the power of the Holy Spirit, and makes salvation dependent on a Bible version that didn’t exist until 1600 years after Christ walked the earth.

        2. They have made the Bible their God. Steve “Don’t taze me, bro!” Anderson in Arizona has done this.

      2. Not even then. It took a while for the King James Translation to be accepted. Especially by the Puritans and other non Church of England groups. One of Ol’ King Jimmy’s problems was the Geneva Bible footnotes did not properly teach the “right of kings”. One example was from Exodus, where the midwives disobeyed Pharaoh (the king). The margin notes stated that their disobedience was proper. Good James VI of Scotland and I of England was big on divine right of kings and that what they said, went. Period. His opinion was that this and other explanations in the Geneva were seditious.
        While it is an excellent translation for its time and has been around many years, its origin was politically motivated and not widely accepted for 50-60 years.

        1. I was raised KJVO, and I was amazed when I found out that the Pilgrims at Plymouth did NOT use the KJV! (No one had ever shared that bit of truth with me!)

    2. “Unbeknownst to these worshipers, we’ve replaced the KJV 1611 Bibles in this church with Folgers’ Instant Coffee…” πŸ˜†

  9. This is an interesting approach to the Priesthood of All Believers doctrine:
    Since God has ordained all believers to read and interpret scripture, the opinions of completely ignorant people are every bit as good as the opinions of those with knowledge about the subject in question.

    Can I get a hay-men?

  10. I can absolutely appreciate the desire to explain things to pretty average people in simple and understandable terms.

    However, what I cannot appreciate is when preachers fail to take deep and difficult things and gradually and systematically teach those things to average people in simple and understandable terms.

    There’s a big problem with always keeping things simple!

    The author of Hebrews wrote, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.”

    1. I’ve been thinking about this lately, too. In the rush (laziness) to make the message simple (not require any work to understand, not necessitate any temporary cognitive dissonance), some parts of the church have settled for simplistic. Bumper sticker theology, if you will.

  11. I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them.

    Galileo

  12. I do LOVE the essential declaration that “we are gonna have a good time, avoiding any kind of thought process, analysis, or intellectual effort”. I would rather be in a water slide or have some kind of harness on when I’m having a good time doing that doesn’t require any of those, but I guess everyone deserve some fun(dy) avocation!

  13. I see Flanders is an honorary, courtesy of PCC, and that he hangs out with R. B. Ouellette. There are two strikes immediately. Besides those, he then lowers himself further by bragging about his lack of scholarship. And Fundies wonder why people are leaving………..

    1. The first pastor my husband worked with after we were married would often brag from the pulpit, “I went to college for four years and never learned a thing.” I HATED that. It was such an ignorant statement. I always wished I had the guts to tell him to his face, “Then there was something wrong with the school you chose [Midwestern] or something wrong with YOU.”

      1. Unless you were in a coma, it’s pretty shameful to admit that you ever went four years without learning anything, no matter where you were.

  14. Sadly he is one of the better thinkers in that group and actually does an ok job when preaching expositional messages.

    1. I don’t think a knowledge of Greek and Hebrew or an understanding of text criticism are necessary for one to be a good preacher. A couple of semesters of Greek, especially from a poor school, is much more dangerous than no knowledge at all. And most pastors don’t have the time to really stay current with their knowledge. That’s why we have translators and translations.

  15. The fact that many fundies view textual criticism as an evil is very disturbing from an educational standpoint. Verifying truth strengthens faith. They fear questioning their basis for their faith.

    1. I think back to when I began encouraging my children to write in their Bibles. Not to write “my nuggets of wisdom” but to write question marks… Big fat question marks. “Write one everywhere you didn’t understand” I would say.
      I taught them to not run to their written doctrine to find the answers. But rather, study. Then study more. If still no answer in the Bible and time in meditation, seek wisdom from someone who loves the Lord. Seek wisdom from someone who doesn’t approach the question with one hand ready to speed dial the MoG and the other hand on their handbook o’ rules.
      This teaching has helped shape them into loving and humble people. I look up to them now in many ways. I thank God for that. This philosophy though was part of what ushered us out of their system. Or at least it became obvious we didn’t fit any longer.. For that too, I am thankful.
      I have always been puzzled how a person could believe in sanctification, yet deny that they may be wrong.

  16. It looks like King James prefered same sex marriage.

    http://etb-history-theology.blogspot.com/2012/03/king-james-was-gay.html

    http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/king-james.html

    ——————-

    Read the real 1611 KJV here-

    http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1611-Bible/

    Including the classic book, Bel and the Dragon . Not in your KJV??? It was in the original KJV, you heathen.

    http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1611_Bel-and-the-Dragon-Chapter-1/

  17. Ah yes.. “all it takes is faith”… “just believe the man-o-gid” “reference the man-o-gid” “he has the words of gid”. Faith here means credulity. That is why they don’t want you to go and actually study on your own. PCC preached this same message basically.

    1. “All you need is Faith! (trumpet) la-di-di-di-daah!
      “All you need is Faith! (trumpet) la-di-di-di-daah!
      “All you need is Faith! Faith!
      “Faith is all you need!
      “Faith is all you need!
      “Faith is all you need!”
      :mrgreen:

  18. I grew up in Rick Flander’s church. Around the time I was twelve he became really closely connected to a cult-like college called BCofM. Because my parents were on staff, he made rules that I and the other female staff children could no longer wear pants. Our music and movie selection was already monitored.

    I am have very bad memories from that part of my life, and struggled with eating disorders and depression because of all the spiritual abuse.

    1. I saw your post earlier today, and I wanted to acknowledge. About all I can say is that I’m at a loss for words. I hope there are now inroads of grace in your life.

  19. This “pastor” was doing nothing more than circular reasoning, or what I call Fundy Sleight-of-Hand, using tricky wording that goes over the heads of those in these “Bible” colleges who are still wet behind the ears.

  20. The resentful bitterness on this thread makes me pucker! It sounds like nothing more than crybaby whining masked as enlightened intellectualism. Get over yourselves already!

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