106 thoughts on “Blessings”

    1. America has been blessed. And what have we done with it? Cheapened it with stuff like this. They’ve made blessings into meaningless slogans.

  1. They might as well be direct and say what they’re thinking: If you’re not a white american and if you read bible versions other than kjv you’re pretty much doomed to hell.

    1. My wife and I recently moved to Noble, Oklahoma. Not the most conservative city in the state, by any means (many people have yard signs for the local Democratic politicians due to our proximity to the University of Oklahoma). And yet, as I was driving home from work one day, what should I see but an old man driving a suburban and flying the flag of Israel! The conflation of and identification of America with Israel by fundamentalists/evangelicals is just bizarre, especially when one considers how many nations have claimed to be the new Israel and how many cities have claimed to be the new Jerusalem. And when one considers how anti-Semitic American conservatives generally were until after WWII.

      Then again, the USA is the only nation that has literally created a religion (Mormonism) out of the belief that America is the new Israel, so there’s that.

        1. It’s highly unlikely. There are so few Jews in Cleveland County Oklahoma that they famously can’t get enough of them together to build a synagogue.

      1. Deaconson,

        Do follow the yellow brick road often in your straw man arguments? Your preterist beliefs, which you share with the majority on this blog, have about as much to do with Mormons and America as a fish needs a bicycle.

        I am not a KJV-only person and find the belief divisive and false. I think it’s such a small minority of people who have actually even heard of the “issue,” and such a much smaller group who actually believe in it, that to bring it up on the blog as an issue is a red herring. It’s like trying to come up with a following for people who are left-handed, drive a blue car, went to a college starting with “B,” live in a state that starts with “R,” and play the guitar and the harmonica at the same time as a hobby. Very, very few people have even heard of the KJV-only issue, and to purport is as being representative of fundamentalism does not seem genuine.

        1. Dude(tte). KJVOs take up a pretty good chunk of the Fundy pie.

          When my spouse was a Fundy pastor, fully half of the missionaries asking for support were being sent by KJVO churches.

        2. Stacy, my sister! I was amazed to see an only slightly mangled feminist slogan in today’s screed! Who knew? The original quote, often attributed to Gloria Steinem, is “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” but I suppose it could be applied to Jews in Oklahoma and Mormons and/or America. I’m not sure exactly how, but we’ll run with it. Well done!

        3. Stacy: I always follow the yellow brick road in my straw man arguments, yes. I am not a preterist and I imagine few who post on this blog are. Many of us are still struggling with the question of what actually constitutes biblical prophecy to bother much with whether it has been fulfilled already or not. That being said, whether America is the new Israel has NOTHING to do with preterism. It is a fact that Mormons believe that America is the new Israel – a belief which is at once anti-Semitic and ahistorical. I would have thought someone like you would have your conspiracy theories straight and would know that the Mormons are just an exponent of the Illuminati’s attempt to use Freemasonry to take over the world!

        4. EVERY student passing through Pensacola CC, Bob Jones University, Hyles-Anderson, Northland, Tennessee Temple, and a myriad of other, smaller big-boy wannabes encounter the issue in their very first semester, either pro or con. It is one of the Big points on which many fundamentalists disagree with the Southern Baptist Convention.

          Try this in your Google search: “king james only” Youtube. I got 56, 700 results! “king james only” by itself (in quotes) gets 114,000 results.

          I’d say it was pretty relevant to generate that many hits.

          Not to mention that in my own personal travels, I have encountered King James Version onlyism in lots of fundamentalist churches I have visited just a single time. Was I just “lucky,” or is it really easy to find lots of examples of it?

  2. Well, the Bible is a serious book. But the King James Version has become almost like the Serpent of Brass that King Josiah (iirc) destroyed because it had become an object of worship.

    God had blessed the people through the Serpent of Brass. But the Serpent of Brass did not save anyone in and of itself. It simply was a focal point for the children of Israel to demonstrate faith in God by. They looked at the Serpent, impaled on a pole, and they survived their snakebites. (Of course, there is a lot to be said about that! Including the question of whether every bite would really have been lethal.)

    Similarly, the King James Bible has been used by God to bless people. I don’t think it needs to be “blessed” itself! But having become an object of worship, it is now a hindrance to the truth.

    I still use it, having done most of my memorization from it. But I use others, too.

  3. We can learn and show who Christ is by showing love and kindness to our neighbors and being a decent human being.

    Doesn’t the Bible tell us the world is flat? So is that true or not true? In Isaiah 11:12, it mentions the “four corners of the Earth.”
    Does the Earth have four corners? Could a tree in the center of the Earth be observed from the furthest bounds as in Daniel?

    Don’t get me wrong. Great book. In my view though It’s humankind’s attempt to connect with God.

    1. Bean, my late brother used to say, “I think the Good Lord cares about how we treat our fellow man.” I don’t pretend to understand all of the complexities of the bible. As I age, I just want to make sure I treat my fellow man kindly, and with dignity.

      And I totally agree with you. The bible is man’s attempt to get in touch with God.

    2. I see expressions as “the four corners of the earth” to be metaphorical, even as I personally speak of the sun rising and setting, though I do not believe that the earth is stationary (as my words on the surface would seem to imply).

      1. Today they are metaphorical. Back then? Not so much. When you look at their cosmology, the earth was basically flat, covered with a hard dome (the firmament) on which the stars were hung. The earth had “foundations” on which it rested. And the sun ran its course across the firmament every day. Even John the Revelator saw a third of the stars of heaven shaken off and fall to the ground.

        God had separated air and land from the waters of Chaos in a protected little space. There was no concept of a Universe as we know it. They used phenomenological language in a literal sense.

        It pays to understand the culture of the people at the times of the writings.

    3. The word translated as “corners,” KANAPH, simply means the furthest borders of something. Traditionally, the earth has four extreme boundaries (north, west, east, south), and a guardian over each one. Those guardians (who show up much later than Isaiah as the four horsemen of the apocalypse) figure far more in ancient thinking than 21st century western minds realize.

      1. Absolutely. Jewish theology changed a lot during the Babylonian captivity, and afterward as Ezra and the scribes compiled the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings.

        Even then, there was no standard Canon until about 100 or so AD (or CE). The Jews hadn’t seen the need for it. But with the advent of Christianity and the perception by the Jews that Christians were abusing the Scripture, they agreed on a Canon. IIRC they used the Masoretic (Hebrew) instead of the Septuagint.

    4. Of course, if you really want to look for the four corners of the earth, check out Timecube.com

    5. Wait, are there people who use this verse to support that? I have no trouble accepting figures of speech. Or are there also people who would insist Jesus was literally a door. I mean, ok we don’t have accurate pictures but I have a hard time accepting that a rectangular piece of wood was able to enlist so many followers.

  4. Words tell a story, you are correct. I’m not saying the words or the stories don’t have value. God can speak to us through the Bible. No question. God can also speak to us through the friend who is there for us when others aren’t, too.

  5. In the case of Moses, about 15 generations of oral transmission from when he lived to when it was written down. (300-350 years) The gospels were not written right away. They came a good 40 to 70 years after Jesus lived and taught.

    How did the church decide what books to include? What about the Gospel of Thomas? 1 and 2 Esdras?

    1. The council of Nicaea determined what made the cut and what didn’t. As for many of the books that didn’t, they were Gnostic in origin and therefore deemed heretical by the council.

      1. But still, it was humans who made the determination as to what was Scripture, and what wasn’t. And their choices as to what was canon and what was not were often arbitrary.

        If you read them both, Jude (canon) quotes the Book of Enoch (apocryphal). Jude treats it as authoritative.

        Even Paul mentions a letter he wrote which is not in our Canon. I find that interesting.

        1. Christ expressly decreed that His works would be carried out by His body on earth: the church. He also handed authority over to that church. So, yes, Christians can gather in convocation to determine the canon used by the church throughout the ages.

        2. “Is God incapable of doing his work in the world through human beings?”

          See, here we go again:
          Men wrote the books
          Men copied it.
          Men selected collections of books
          Men translated them
          Men interpret them
          Men decided to call them inspired and inerrant.

          When I ask any questions about this process, I am asked why am I questioning God.

          I have no problem with God. I do have problems, many with men.

        3. AND, the very people who call them inspired and inerrant often live evil lives, demonstrate no redemptive qualities in their lives and ministries, and lead multitudes in their destructive ways.

          If Christians actually imitated Christ, there might be a reason to believe. But how many do? Especially among the most fervent fundamentalists who consider themselves the True Remnant?

          “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Christ’s own words command us to disbelieve these frauds.

  6. It’s a fairly unusual group of Fundies who would say “God bless … the KJV Bible,” because that sentence only makes sense if God and the King James Version are two separate entities.

  7. The sign is from the New Genesis Baptist Church. What about the Old Genesis?

    Maybe I should be part of this “New Genesis” movement. The new Genesis movement believes that the 6-day creation story is a myth that symbolizes the eons that it took the earth and its inhabitants to evolve. The new Genesis movement believes that the history in the OT is largely a mythological narrative meant to motivate and inspire a nation.

    1. I was wondering if there was a “Genesis Baptist Church” already, so they had to have a “New Genesis Baptist”. Something like going to a Second Baptist Church. Like the First, but new and improved!

      Or perhaps it’s Genesis in the NKJV?

    2. I was wondering is “New Genesis” an attempt at a cute way of saying “New Beginning” or “New Creation”–it really is an odd name.

    3. @baldjonesgrad…absolutely. It’s a history of the Jewish people, written by the Jewish people. It is tribalistic to say the least. Winners write the history they want to write. You are spot on with what your brother said too.

      Have you ever read anything by John Shelby Spong? You might enjoy him. He is a retired Episcopal pastor. I read “Rescuing the Bible From Fundamentalism” and am currently re-reading his latest, “Reclaiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World.” Lots of very deep and insightful information!

      1. Spong is the retired Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark.

        His agreement with the diocese was that he could write a book every two years, and he did. Knowing the problems facing a heavily urban diocese adjacent to America’s largest city, I wonder how he found the time.

  8. When you insist that a certain translation of the bible is pure in itself, that all others are inferior, that you don’t have to study biblical greek or hebrew because the KJV is perfect, and that all churches that don’t agree are compromisers, and actually try and claim that the Devil is behind the work of well-meaning and educated christians who have worked hard to bring us a bible in a language that we can actually understand – then you do not have a movement that honours the bible, but a movement that worships a specific translation of it.

    My old church did those things. They invited Sam Gipp to come and convince everybody in the church of those things, and they sold books in the bookstore (and had them on the shelf in the church library) teaching those things. And, strangely enough, they almost never mentioned Jesus in their sermons, despite the fact that they were claiming to be Christians.

    My old church was involved in bibliolatry.

    You can honour the bible, you can study it, you can apply it to your life, but when you do the things I mentioned above, you cross a line.

  9. I find it odd. I have never seen anyone state God bless God……and yet in a way this sign actually says God bless our gods…
    There is a definite deification of America in American Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism. And the IFB has long held the KJV as equal to God.

  10. Wow . . .

    my first thought was, here we have the IFB trinity: God, America, and the KJB.

    my second thought was maybe we are reading this sign wrong. Maybe they are saying: “God bless America and the KJV Bible [bless America too].” That would certainly be in line with their theology that the KJV is God and is therefore capable of blessing America.

    1. I think the Fundy Trinity is the KJV, the USA, and the MannoGid.
      God is way down the list. Jesus Christ isn’t on the list.

  11. It baffles me that my family is afraid to really learn ABOUT the Bible, which they worship and adore. They read it cover to cover, and the more they read it, the more they are convinced that they’re magically “growing in the Lord.” Are they really reading it? We all know that they are definitely cherry-picking it. Besides reading it, I want to learn as much as I can ABOUT it! Isn’t that kind of a normal thing or am I a freak? I want to learn the history, the whys, the hows, the wheres, the whens of this important book that has influenced pretty much all of western civilization. It’s influenced the men and women who influenced the men and women who directed the outcome of my life! Yes, tell me more! I want to know! Well, after a few years of research, the more I learn about the book, the less I’m able to worship it. And sadly, I cannot discuss any of my research with those closest to me, because the Bible to them is perfect and not to be questioned. This is an excellent article that sort of sums it up, entitled The Blasphemy of Bibleolatry: http://danizier.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/the-blasphemy-of-bibleolatry/

    1. This was really an excellent link, “Huh?” — I especially loved the handy “chapter and verse” references that make it easy to find the parts of the supposedly “inerrant/infallible” error-riddled Bible the cherry-pickers never tell you about and, more hilariously, watch the expressions on your Christian friends’ faces when you show them those verses right there in their own Bibles!

      Yes, the Bible, like all works of primitive mythological literature, does have its occasional point of wisdom or inspiration, but they have to be put in the context of the barbaric warrior culture that produced it.
      It was clearly the work of men, very violent men, not the work of gods.

  12. God bless the KJV sounds so divisive to me – “We don’t want God’s blessing on any translation EXCEPT THE ONE WE LIKE.”

    Whereas I say, God bless the proclamation of His Word; He has said it will not return void. May those who read it and hear it come “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”

    (And HASN’T God blessed the KJV? 400 years of tremendous influence and veneration from western civilization?)

  13. Dear Stuff Fundies Like Reader:

    My first thought when I saw that sign was, ‘I’d love to ask them if it meant anything that their sign asks God to bless America and THEN asks God to bless the Bible.

    But then, you KNOW how I love to cause trouble …

    Christian Socialist

  14. It occurs to me that perhaps the sign was a lame attempt at a parody of what fundies think they pray in merrie olde England about God blessing the country and the King. WE MERKINS SAY: Gobbless AMERKA and the KING JAMES BIBLE, haymen!!

  15. If the KJV was good enough for Paul, it’s good enough for me :-/
    I do love my KJV but I love to use the Phillips, Amplified and NASB as well, but I especially love my KJV because that’s the version I’ve spent the most time in and memorized the great bulk of Scriptures from. But to say that the KJV is the only translation to be used only shows one’s lack of knowledge. Dogmatic overbearing bombastic mindless rhetoric produces odd and very strange church people. If we are not manifesting the fruit of the Spirit we are manifesting the fruit if the flesh. The fruit of the flesh can and IS manifest while adhering to a strict unyielding allegiance to the KJV only crowd. Some of the most vicious caustic and downright cruel individuals I’ve encountered in my Christian life have been in the KJV only camp.
    I love the Scriptures and I use many versions, but I must say I particularly love my Old Scholfield KJV Bible.

    1. Former Funny Mentalist, I hear what you are saying. I can safely say that some of the most obnoxious ****wits I have ever met, are Christians who would only read the King James Bible, and expertly quote individual verses out of contxct to show how “holy” they are, and how quickly I am going to Hell…..

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