124 thoughts on “GOH: That Old King James”

        1. Gimme that old-time religion,
          Gimme that old-time religion,
          Gimme that old-time religion,
          It’s good enough for me!

          It was good for Paul and Silas,
          It was good for Ignatius of Antioch,
          It was good for Irenaeus,
          And it’s good enough for me!

          — Sang no fundy ever

  1. Believe on the King James Bible, and thou shalt be saved! For God so loved the world, that he gave the King James Bible, that whosever believeth on it should not perish, but have everlasting life. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the King James Bible shall be saved! The King James Bible is the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by it. – said the Scriptures, never.

    1. Kind of Bored, you hit the nail on the head here.

      –I believe in one God, the Father almighty,
      maker of heaven and earth,
      of all things visible and invisible.

      –I believe that my wife is cheating on me.

      –I believe Ole Miss will upset Mizzou this weekend.

      –I believe I’ll have another beer.

      –I still believe in the old King James.

      Each one of these phrases makes perfect sense, is a proper use of the phrase “I believe,” and is easily understandable by a speaker of English. However, the nuance of exactly what “I believe” means is a little different in each context. What is the meaning of “I believe” in the context of that hymn?

      Peace,

        1. The audio quality is not great, but it’s obvious that she has talent. Just cause you don’t like the style, don’t mean she can’t sing.

        2. Yeah because REALLY LOUD singing with lots of scooping and sliding but no discernible sense of tempo, dynamics, or pitch is the essence of talent. I’m not criticizing her style. There is bluegrass/gospel sung well and then there is this train wreck. She has no ear for music at all. But plenty of people will tell her she does and she will spend the rest of her life inflicting her horrid “talent” on the world!! Maybe she can even go and “major” in “music” at Bible “college”!!! She seems like a fairly bright and confident kid. I hope someone steers her in the direction of a future that will do some good in the world rather than pigeonholing her into “music ministry” hell.

        3. Come on, Deacon. She’s a child for pete’s sake. Singing is part God given talent, and part learned skill. The skill will come in a few years.

          Peace,

        4. I also hope that she’s not forced into church music ministry. But if singing is what she wants to do, I see no reason to tell her she can’t or shouldn’t.

        5. Deacon’s Son, all the things you mentioned can be taught. What can’t be taught is presence, confidence, and the raw material to work with. My ear (which has listened to and sung a lot of music over the years) tell me she has the essentials and that’s why I said she’s got potential.

          If you gave her a vocal coach, some professional musicians and a good body of music to work from I think you would change (if you’ll pardon the phrase) your tune.

        6. Perhaps. Sorry to be a grouch about it 😳

          It’s just that praising mediocrity is one of my biggest pet peeves. I tend to undervalue “raw materials” that have not been cultivated in any discernible way. Certainly, being stuck in the IFB means there is a pretty good chance that this young lady won’t be given much opportunity to improve her singing abilities, especially since the fact that she is singing a message that they want to hear will trump all issues of quality. I’ve seen it too many times to have much patience with it anymore. My own sister is quite gifted musically and was even offered a scholarship for piano performance but turned it down to go to Bible college, where she is preparing to be a “Christian school music teacher and church pianist.”

        7. OK, giving it a second listen, I’m falling back to Darrell’s position on this:
          She makes some errors, and her voice needs training.
          But she does have potential.

          It’s not classical “art singing,” it’s a folk/bluegrass style. Within that style, there’s good and bad singing.

        8. Maybe one reason I see talent here where you don’t is that I’ve heard some truly cringey stuff in church (as you no doubt have) that makes this sound great by contrast. Still, I believe I can distinguish bad singing from unrefined raw talent. I think the difference is in those who truly love to sing vs. those who feel obligated to sing regardless of desire or basic ability.

        9. Yes, there’s some real feeling behind the singing, expressed rather adeptly. The technical stuff, well that could use some work.

        10. The girl’s got some raw talent, but the most shocking revelation in this exchange is that Darrell’s ear can sing! 😎

      1. Been doing the bluegrass thing for about 20 years, this girl is GOOOOOD! But I was just thinking how sad it was that she didn’t take that time to sing about the Savior instead of(her dad’s) favorite bible translation.

        1. Yeah, she’s young and it shows in places, but I think when it comes to this style of music she has what it takes to bring it. People like different styles. For instance, I love Del McCoury, Stanley Bros., and the like. It sets my wife’s teeth on edge (she likes bluegrass, but not THAT kind of bluegrass!). Needless to say (and I know this indicates the depths of evil in my black heart) I turn it UP!

    1. I visited his website, which hasn’t been updated for a year now, and found where he sings this song with his daughter. It actually sounds better, if you can ignore what she’s singing. Personally, I applaud her…when we were fundy missionaries on deputation, the pastor put me on the spot and asked me to sing a special. I grew up in a church without music (I have this thing about belonging to cults…crazy!) and I’m very timid. I couldn’t get a note out and had to sit down. Embarrassing to say the least. I still can’t believe all the craziness I heard and saw on deputation. This site brings back SOOO many memories!

  2. I love some folk, and she has the perfect voice for it. Sadly it seems to be not as useful as it could be: no backup guitar, dobro, or dulcimer or anything, and just an atrocious song… It almost sounds more like a dirge or religious chanting.

  3. I love how they reference “My God’s on the throne and he’ll never change” to theoneandonlyauthorizedversionkingjames1611 being the only version that will never change. Someone please tell me how many times theoneandonlyauthorizedversionkingjames1611 has been revived…Any takers? ❓

      1. One of the reasons I began questioning my beliefs about God and the bible was precisely the way God is portrayed (mostly in the OT, but the NT as well–just ask Ananias and Sapphira). There’s a whole lot of smiting and cruelty attributed to God.

        Dost thou curse thy parents? Smote. Dost thou sacrifice to another god? Smote. Dost thou dare stretch forth thy hand to steady the Ark? Smote. Dost thou have sinners in the midst? With thee I’ll haggle for just ten righteous, but if an half-score be not found, the whole ragged lot of you (except for Lot and his family . . . well, sorry about the wife) will surely burn in the furnace of my wrath, even infants. Happy, O how happy, shall he be that dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

        No thanks.

        1. Well, that stuff really is in Sacred Scripture, so I think Christians have to figure out a way to deal with it.

          Some things are fairly easily explicable, IMHO. When the psalmist talks about dashing babies against rocks, he is expressing his own limited understanding (and human passions), not God’s perspective.

          Here’s the way I see it, FWIW: God revealed Himself slowly and gradually to the people of the OT; not until Christ arrived did the Jews receive the fullness of Divine Revelation, including the commandment to love their enemies.

          IOW, I don’t think the Bible is telling us that God wants to dash babies against rocks. Only that the misguided psalmist does. (BTW, C.S. Lewis offers a nice insight on this: He says Christians should treat these passages allegorically, so that the “babies” are our sinful habits, which we must “dash against the rock” of repentance and metanoia.)

          As for the other stuff — the wholesale slaughter and so forth — I think we have to bear in mind that, from God’s perspective, (a) everybody dies; it’s not as if death is confined to Egyptian charioteers or Canaanites; and (b) death is not the worst thing that can happen to us. I always like to imagine that many of the slaughtered Egyptian charioteers, Canaanites, et al., were able to repent before death (by God’s grace) and gain everlasting life.

          I believe that, in Christ (Who is eternal, outside of time, as well as Incarnate in time), every single human being who has ever lived has access to God’s saving grace and mercy. Some refuse God’s Grace right up to the bitter end, but others do not. But everyone is offered the opportunity to respond to Grace, IMHO. (I think this makes me a Molinist, in the great Thomist-vs-Molinist debate.)

          I wonder whether some of the Egyptian charioteers, for instance, called out to Israel’s God as the waters of the Red Sea swept over them. I think it’s highly likely — especially given God’s desire to “save all men,” per the Bible. (No, I am not a universalist. I think some people do refuse salvation; but I believe, as Saint Faustina Kowalska put it, that “Hell is self-chosen…God condemns no one.”)

          Anyway, sorry for the long-winded response. This is just how I try to reconcile all the OT tales of brutality with the doctrine that God is Love…as I fully believe that He is!

        2. Thanks for taking the time to respond. Christians (which I still consider myself to be, though a very reluctant and uncomfortable one) do have to come to terms with this, since the bible is our sacred text.

          My current view is just what you suggest–there are many sections of the bible that are purely human perspective, how a particular human or group of humans have imagined God to be or act. Which leads me to what many Christians would term a “low” view of Scripture. I am familiar with the allegorical approach and the other attempts to make sense of all this, but they have ceased to be convincing to me. I hope that’s not offensive to you or to anyone here–I really do respect everyone’s particular views (as long as they are harmless to others).

          I made my way through IFB churches, Presbyterian (a very short stint), 2.5 yrs. pastoring a Reformed Baptist church, to the Orthodox Church, and now I find myself still dealing with the same deep questions that started my spiritual quest. I have hit the books, so to speak. I know the arguments. I’m just no longer able to ignore the profound doubts that I have harbored since, God, I don’t know, I was 7 or 8 yrs. old.

          Anyway, thanks for your kindness in responding, I really do appreciate it! Pray for me, a sinner.

        3. I definitely see where you are coming from, believe me. I cringe every time I read about that jerk who pushed his poor concubine out the door so she, rather than he, could get raped to death. Chivalrous, eh?

          And that’s just for starters. So many other examples.

          Let’s pray for each other. πŸ˜€

    1. Yes! I realize that not all fundies are equally extreme on the King James issue, but I sense a growing cult within the broader IFB movement that essentially worships the King James version as deity.

      My own mother offered this syllogism in support of her belief that the Bible is God:

      The Bible is the Word of God.
      Jesus is the Word and Jesus is God.
      Therefore, the Bible is God. QED.

      Granted, when she said this, my mother was not a King James extremist, but I noticed the last time I visited her house, that she had cleared off The Shelf in the Living Room That Holds The Most Important Books in the House and replaced the great classics of literature that used to be there with a row of Gail Riplinger books. Yay! πŸ™„

      1. Wow! I will certainly be praying for her! I used to have her books, then I decided to get rid of them because I hadn’t believed it in a long time. I was going to donate them to the youth yard sale we were having, but her son-in-law solved my dilemma when he took them from the stack of donated books we had left in the church gym. I was angry at the time (not because I cared at all about the book, it was just the principle), but I’m thankful they won’t end up in the hands of poor, unsuspecting people. Her credibility (what little she had), has taken a nose dive in recent years, however.

  4. I can hear it after the song:

    “Weeeeeellll glooorrrrrrrryyy….how many still love the old book. Ammaaan *ducks shoe throwing* ….I wanna thank my daughter for her heart to wanna sing these songs that promote the book, the blood, and the blessed hope. See WITH TALENT LIKE THAT…she could be on tv, but she stays near the cross..HAAAYYMMEEEN. I read in an article, because we don’t own a tv *makes eye contact with everyone in the audience* about this show called the voice. They sing all these ROCK, DEVIL PROMOTING, SIN LOVING songs while 4 homosexuals are judging these contestants. You wanna hear a voice…THATS MY DAUGHTER….you know..i’m feeling the unction to talk about “WHAT’S YOUR VOICE”…”

    **shoe throwing is something i saw in a fundy service. When one enjoyed the monotone singing and when shouting was not enough, the shoe would be removed and thrown on stage. Not lying.

    1. Shoe-throwing. Now that’s a new one for me. But perhaps there is biblical precedence for it:

      God told Moses to “put off thy shoes from off thy feet.” And Christ told the 70 to “carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes.” And God commanded Isaiah to go naked and barefoot. Moreover, as the Psalmist says, God swears by his holiness that he will cast out his shoe over Edom; therefore he himself is a barefoot God. (Amazing what can be proven by an earnest application of a Strong’s Concordance!)

      Besides all of this, my Mamaw used to get in the Spirit, kick off her shoes, and walk on the backs of the pews. That settles it for me. But Oh! the smell that must permeate the air of the First Independent Fundamental Baptist Shoeless Church. That’s not the sweet breath of the Spirit you’re smelling.

        1. I think (and hope) that this was something that was just particular to the church, which was southern, independent, kjv only fundamental baptist.

          Their explanation was that at a youth camp, the preaching was SOOO good that no one wanted to leave. So to show this as a sign to the MOG to keep on preachin’, people would put their shoes (or throw them…whichever was most blatantly dangerous/spirit led) on the stage.

    2. Dear Pastor Ssssteeeeve:

      After that Iraqi guy chucked a couple of shoes at President Bush, I acted out of sympathy by mailing our President my old loafers. Does that count?

      Christian Socialist

        1. Dear Ben Padraic:

          Those statements may not be mutually exclusive. πŸ˜‰

          Blessings!

          Christian Socialist

  5. I wonder if Good Ol’ King James ever looks up from his grave and cringes at the members of his cult-like following and says. “If I had known all of THIS…” πŸ™„ πŸ™„

    1. I wonder what gay old King James would think about that people who most revere his bible, also slaughter the English language on a regular basis. Or have a vocabulary that mostly consists of words with one or two syllables.

  6. As a child raised in the IFB cult, I’m now pretty protective of the cult’s children. Let’s all be kind, please, to this little child who is very talented.

    1. Yes. I’ve noticed the idiotic tendency in myself to look at certain kids (e.g. celebrities) as I imagine them years from now following in the footsteps of harmfully-influential adults, instead of as the vulnerable and innocent children that they are now.

        1. His music has been an inspiration to me–I listen to The Protecting Veil quite often.

          I also feel some affinity for his spiritual views. Like him, I made my way to the Orthodox Church, but I’m not entirely comfortable with the exclusivism that comes from identifying with a particular faith community.

          Anyway, enough about me. Though I didn’t know him personally, I will miss him and I thank you for posting that link.

  7. I’m as far from fundamentalism as I can possibly be, but I went to college with the Vance’s and they have been to my house here in the OR a couple of times. They’re very caring and real people who love the Lord and the people of WV. I don’t agree with everything they do, but for those of you who are going after Adalee, you are just out of line. She’s a cool cat who has the guts to get up there and go for it. Probably not as easy as hiding behind a keyboard and doing the same thing under a pseudonym tho. Huh, Deacon’s Son…

    1. Caring about people, loving the lord, being a “cool cat,” and having guts do not make someone a good singer. But, apparently, we are all supposed to pretend that she is amazing because of all these other non-musical traits. Thanks for proving my point!!

      Don’t worry, my musical snobbery isn’t just targeted at this young lady. The whole IFB tradition of “special music” is built on this notion of “if you want to make a joyful noise, who are we to judge, as long as you sing the songs we want to hear.” Never mind the fact that the Bible makes it pretty clear that God wants people to use their actual talents to serve him, not make up fake talents. I love my four sisters (mostly), but all but one of them are just like this young lady: talented singers in their own minds only. Yet, every time there is a family event (e.g., a funeral or wedding), we are all subjected to one of their performances. Even my mother in law, who usually can’t stand my family, says that she just loves to hear my sisters sing because they sing her favorite hymn, Come Thou Fount.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mC9ukdQb0jU

      1. “Come Thou Fount” is one of the all-time greats, IMHO. For my money, the best YouTube performance is by the kids at Brigham Young University. They may have the world’s weirdest theology, but boy can they sing. True, the orchestration is overblown and over the top, but that doesn’t bother me. As Prokofiev or Toscanini or somebody said, “Never underestimate the power of cheap music.” That goes for cheap arrangements, too. πŸ˜€

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUhU0HgTq94

        1. “True, the orchestration is overblown and over the top”

          Doesn’t seem over the top to me.

        2. I agree, Alexander. But some people prefer a more chamber-music approach, I guess. Me, I was teethed on Verdi operas, so I kind of like those big humongous musical climaxes.

  8. IFB pet peeve #146: I hate it when people shout while other people are singing. I have this theory that men are upset that someone is getting attention besides them, so they shout to get attention. Let the poor girl sing, and then cut loose.

    Rant over.

      1. Agreed. I think the shouting to get attention is not so much because they don’t want someone else to get attention. Rather, I think it is more of a “look at me, I’m a yes-man” kind of thing, where loud, public approval of a speaker’s (or singer’s) message is viewed as the way to get in the MOG’s good graces.

  9. I love the quick walk-off at the end. I could picture her doing a mike-drop. Good pitch, and tone. She’s got a little bit of a Bonnie Rait/Linda Ronstadt hybrid thing going on…

  10. The young lady who is singing, is quite talented. I enjoy bluegrass music which this seems to emulate. As a Canadian, the song has no meaning to me or perhaps lacks context (my family is primarily francophone). I guess the poor French speakers of Canada and the US (yes, they’re French speaking Americans in Maine and Vermont who have survived an unbelievable effort to make them speak English only).

    1. The writer Jack Kerouac was born of a Franco-Canadian family in Maine, and grew up speaking French. ‘Canadiens’ actually speak a purer and more medieval French than the French do…

  11. I thought she had potential, too. I think she has the potential to be kind of a female Ralph Stanley, if she’s trained. I’m not knowledgeable enough to object to the scooping and stuff. It sounded very raw and “mountain” and “high lonesome sound”-ish to me, but I kind of like that sound.

    The song was atrocious, though.

    1. @Catholic Gate Crasher; I agree with your comparison and your description of her style. Gillian Welch, another Ralph Stanley fan, had her musical epiphany when, while living in a ‘sort of commune’, she heard the Stanley Brothers on a record player for the first time. Some people, like you, apparently ‘get’ it. I share your affinity for this style of singing, which Gillian would probably describe as a “combination of a hymn and a field holler”.

  12. Finally got around to listening to the clip…
    Meh.
    And not to toot my own, but I was a semi-professional (read: paid) musician/singer for years. Not great, you understand, I would never claim that… but I did bring a couple of people to tears (in the good way, shut up!). The song choice IS very important. But I don’t hear anything awe-inspiring here. Darrell is being far too generous.

  13. My father-in-law was a pastor. On the last Saturday of every month, the church had what they called a “Sing.” Talent was not a prerequisite. The dialog typically went like this:
    Sister Smith, do you have a song for us?
    No Brother Jones, I didn’t come prepared.
    Oh please, we’d love to hear you sing.
    (Sound of rustling in her handbag)
    OK, Brother Jones, I found something.
    (Brother Jones leads congregation in applause.)
    Before the service in concluded 100% of those present had a special number.

    1. Wow, this brings back sooooo many memories:

      -Sometimes the special music would be listed as “Pastor’s Choice” which meant he would get to select some random church member and have them come up and sing a song. It was quite sadistic, really.

      -Being told “be instant in season and out of season” whenever you were asked to do special music on a whim. This was supposedly a great laugh line.

      -Being forced to be part of a “scrap-iron quartet” when the pastor would decide that humiliating one person was not enough and would throw together a group of 4 hapless souls. He really had a knack for selecting combos of people that (1) didn’t like each other much and (2) sounded hideous singing together.

      -One famous service (and it only happened once, lol) in which we had all special music and the pastor promised to preach for only 10 minutes. He went for 12, but that was still a record for him.

      -The really old man (kind of a sweetheart, but another one of those cases of “he’s an amazing singer” even though he wasn’t) who would hum throughout the entire introduction and then sing the TENOR line of the song.

      -We were lucky to have a truly gifted church pianist (his improvisational skills – both on hymns and jazz – were legendary) so he could usually make anyone sound pretty good, but there was this one lady who NO MATTER WHAT would start singing “Last night, I dreamed I saw my Saviour bent low, he was bearing the cross” and when she got to that part she would SING (not say) “Gary, I am going to need you to lower that key because the one you picked is to high/low for me!”

      1. How contrary to Paul’s concept of the body of Christ in which people are DIFFERENT. Not everyone is supposed to be singing special music.

        I was in a church where an old couple LOVED to sing. He’d play the harmonica and she’d warble out several verses of a hymn, more or less in tune. However, sometimes they’d get confused and they’d stop in the middle of the song and argue a bit over where they were supposed to be. The pastor finally had to ask that they be put only in the evening service as their squabbling, while familiar to us, could be off-putting to visitors. They were not happy about not getting to sing Sunday AM. (This was a small country church.)

  14. I still believe in the K J V;
    Approved by St. Paul, and beloved by me–
    The blest E T H, the thou and the thee.
    Yes I still believe in the K J V.

    Sounds like that’s possibly something along the lines of what a lot of folks are hearing.

    Having grown up Catholic and having become a born- again Christian outside of Fundystan, the KJV isn’t a trigger for me like it is for some here. As a matter of fact, a small, green KJV New Testament (given to me by a member of the Gideons) was probably the most important tool God used to convict me of sin and bring me to a personal faith in Christ. The 1769 KJV was my Bible going into and coming out of Fundystan.

    With that said, one thing that’s really disturbing about the whole KJV thing is that if you’re deeply suspicious of the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus, and if you’re a believer in formal equivalency, people automatically assume you believe all the nonsense and heresy surrounding that translation.

    The subject of source texts and translation methods has been poisoned by what sometimes amounts to cultic teachings regarding a wonderful, reliable translation.

    Don’t want a kerfuffle over this, by the way.

    1. People will assume a lot of things, usually wrong… and THEN, when they realize it, they try to lump you in with those who they made an ass out of (themselves)….

      1. Actually for someone raised KJVO it’s probably a pretty natural assumption. For some it may even be a difference without a distinction.

        As far as being an ass goes, I’ve found I seem to have a natural gift for that, unfortunately.

  15. This style of signing would definitely not be smiled upon in the brand of fundamentalism I grew up with. All the swooping and sliding, she sounds just like Carrie Underwood, what is she trying to do seduce me?! Also, when did she get off thinking it is ok for a young, godly women to get highlights in her hair, who is she trying to impress? Certainly not Jesus.

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