1611 King James Version??

I have been called a child of Satan more than once for encouraging folks to use reputable modern English translations ( NASB, NLT, NIV, ect. ). If someone wants to use the King James, that’s their choice. But King James Onlyisim borders on cult status by many proponents and is close to idolatry by worshiping a translation. I firmly believe God’s Word is meant to be read and understood by the reader in their native language, especially new believers and those we reach out to with the Gospel without stumbling over archaic English we no longer use. For the King James Only advocate reading this saying, “If you had the Spirit you would understand the Bible.”, O.K… read this:  فَقَدْ أحَبَّ اللهُ العالَمَ كَثِيْراً، حَتَّى إنَّهُ قَدَّمَ ابْنَهُ الوَحِيْدَ، لِكَيْ لا يَهلِكَ كُلُّ مَنْ يُؤْمِنُ بِهِ، بَلْ تَكُونُ لَهُ الحَياةُ الأبَدِيَّةُ.  I’m not telling the language, chapter or verse. Now that I have made my point, let’s list the years of revisions and corrections of the King James Bible:

1611, 1612, 1613, 1616, 1638, 1660, 1683, 1727, 1762, 1769- Primarily in print today, and 1873- Cambridge revised edition

If the King James onlyists insist this is the only correct English translation, one must ask:

  • If the King James Version is the true Word of God in English. why was it corrected and revised 11 times?
  • Why do King James onlyists say they use the 1611, that is no longer in circulation, when they are actually using a 1769 version?
  • Why do King James onlyists insist the 1611 is perfect when it contains the Apocrypha, which isn’t considered inspired?

As I stated, if you want to use the King James Version, that’s your choice. To say it’s superior to modern English translations, that’s debatable. To say you are using a 1611 when in fact it’s a 1769 shows a lack of knowledge or willful ignorance. To say the King James Version is the only correct English translation also shows a lack of knowledge or willful ignorance, especially in light of England’s church history (King James wasn’t a good guy and was trying to wipe out the Geneva Bible. Research his mother also, Bloody Mary). For church leaders who to force King James only upon their flocks is also, at best, lack of knowledge\willful ignorance or, at worst, a form of control and deception.

I added on a YouTube video “King James Only…Baloney!” it’s 22 minutes and I encourage you to watch. This gentleman gives an excellent explanation of why King James onlyisim is….well…baloney.

 

 

 

Yes, The U.M.C. Needs a Reality Check

I used to be a United Methodist. The United Methodist Church played a huge part of my early Christian development after I was saved in the early 1990’s. However it wasn’t very long I realized there is indeed a gap between crystal clear Scriptural text and the Methodist institution. This was even more evident when I was in the Candidacy Program for Licensed Local Pastor.  Jesus said in Revelation 2:6 ” Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” (NASB). The Nicolatian ( victory over the laity) Methodist bishops haven’t learned anything over the past 50 years. The United Methodist Church I attended in my earlier years has recently left the conference and is now an independent congregation. God bless them! Yes! The United Methodist Church needs a reality check! This article from Riley Case explains it well.

TIME FOR A REALITY CHECK—THE GAP By Riley Case                                                               Is the United Methodist Church in trouble? In February 2019 a special called General Conference is supposed to lead the church in a “Way Forward.” What is hoped for is some plan that the conference will adopt that will bring the United Methodist Church together around commonly shared beliefs and values. From the beginning, The Confessing Movement has questioned whether this is possible. The differences in the church are too great. However, because of our love for the church many of us have put on a hopeful face; we have cooperated with the process. We have sought to be faithful in prayer. Now it is time for a reality check.
Check #1. Barring some unusual turn of events, the United Methodist Church has not yet strayed so far afield that it will turn its back on 2,000 years of church history and long-standing moral codes to reverse its position on such matters as the definition of marriage and its teaching on celibacy in singleness and faithfulness in marriage. Despite the fact that this is precisely what a majority of U.S. bishops is proposing through its lobbying for the “One Church” plan, it isn’t going to happen. By some strange twist of logic these bishops believe that by removing all negative references to homosexual practice in the Discipline the church will live together in peace. United Methodism as a whole is too much committed to the Bible and our Wesleyan heritage to suddenly abandon that which we have identified as a part of historic Christianity.
Check #2. If this is true, then it is time to have some discussions about a serious problem in the church, namely the disconnect between institutional leaders and rank and file UMs. The institutional leadership of the church is simply not understanding the depth of convictions of its own constituency, including and especially with that constituency outside the United States. We appear to be living in two worlds. We talk past each other on the meaning, for example, of Christian unity.
The disconnect is not a new thing. Perhaps it is better to call it the Gap. I became painfully aware of this one week into seminary years ago. I was a student pastor and I realized there were two different worlds, the churches on my circuit that I loved and cared for and the seminary. It was a national election year and in a poll 88% of the seminary faculty identified as Democrat. I don’t think my churches would have polled 88% Republican but they were certainly more conservative than liberal in their politics. And in their theology. And in their Biblical interpretation. And in their moral values. We had pledged in those days to abstain from alcohol and tobacco. Many in the seminary community honored that pledge,but many did not. So there was a Gap.
Later, as a part of Good News, I was involved in a series of conversations with Curriculum Resources persons on Sunday School material. The philosophy at that time was that one size fit all. There was no theological or cultural and educational diversity. Institutional conformity disallowed anything but denominationally produced progressive literature, film strips and even hymnals. Meanwhile, numbers of local churches were in rebellion over whether the material they were supposed to use was appropriate. So in our conversations we would talk about the Gap.
The 1972 General Conference gave progressives everything they asked for with the exception that an amendment from the floor of the conference had added to the statement on human sexuality: “The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching.” Of course the phrase would need to be deleted at the 1976 GC. However, in the April 1976 issue of Interpreter magazine, a major article reported that on the basis of 13,000 responses from UM clergy and lay “United Methodists across the church are more conservative—both theologically and sociologically—than the church’s programs.” Only 20% of the laity supported a four-year study on homosexuality. 75% of the clergy and 79% of the laity opposed gay ordination. Less than 40% of the laity supported continued support of the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, and Consultation on Church Union (COCU). Thus, the Gap. The incompatible phrase was not deleted. In fact, stronger language was added to the Discipline.
In 1980 a major effort was made to overturn legislation passed in 1976 that church funds would not be given to groups advocating support of gay groups as well as the statement on not condoning the practice of homosexuality. UM News Service reported that the major agencies and caucus groups, with the exception of Good News, supported the changes. In addition, a new advocacy group, the Coalition for the Whole Gospel, formed to advance the progressive agenda. As for those who opposed the agenda, like Good News, the following was written by The Social Questions Bulletin published by M.F.S.A.
Religious fundamentalism, with its moral absoluteness, its other worldliness, and its holy war mentality, also thrives in a climate of fear and uncertainty. The wedding between militant fundamentalism and reactionary politics is a natural and occurring one.
The inflammatory language of that opinion and many others is not that much different than what is being advanced in 2018. From the institutional point-of-view, evangelicals in the church were (and are) backward, hateful, fundamentalist, homophobic, and unenlightened and do not represent true United Methodism which is, of course, that reflected in seminaries, boards and agencies and progressive caucus groups. Even at that time (1980) questions were being asked whether the institutional leaders of the church were aware of the Gap, that is, the great difference between their understanding of the Church and that of rank and file United Methodists.
In 1988 the GC authorized a Homosexual Task Force made up primarily (as could be expected) of board and agency types to see if the church could find a Way Forward (though they did not quite describe it that way). The Task Force (naturally) came to the 1992 GC with a 17-4 recommendation to remove the restrictive language on homosexual practice from the Discipline. Once again there was a misreading of United Methodist constituency (the Gap). The General Conference vote rejecting the Task Force report and upholding the Discipline was 710 to 238.
After the 2000 GC Christian Social Action, the official journal of the Board of Church and Society, devoted 80% of its Nov.-Dec. issue to the horrific actions of the General Conference. By this time The Confessing Movement was on the scene, so it was attacked as well as was Good News. Of The Confessing Movement and its motto Confessing Jesus Christ as Son, Savior and Lord, the journal opined: “Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the Lord of history and the church”—the very statement contradicts “a tradition extending back to John Wesley, which not only affirms a variety of Christians within the denomination, but also respects and celebrates the diversity of world religions through which God continues to speak.” Oh yes, the Gap. Evidently the institutional leadership believed that to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior was much too exclusive and did not represent the views of the denomination.
The teaching of the historic church on human sexuality was upheld by the succeeding General Conferences of 2004, 2008 and 2012. Again in 2016 the pressure was on to reverse the UM stand on human sexuality (which is also the historic stand of the Church Universal). Arrayed against the evangelical renewal groups, which wished to support the long-standing position of the church, were the Connectional Table (the influential agency in the church), 28 bishops and their signed statement, numbers of boards and agencies, and a strong coalition called Love Your Neighbor made up of 13 official and unofficial caucuses of the church. In addition, a number of plans and ideas from those calling themselves “centrists” or the “middle way” or the “way forward” were advocating “live and let live” policies. None of the proposed changes and compromises even made it out of committee.
Can we begin to talk about the Gap? Talks about amicable separation were already in progress in 2016. Institutional leaders were horrified. An appeal was made to the bishops to intervene. Another study. Another commission. More discussion. By a vote of 428-405 the legislation before the 2016 GC on sexuality was not brought to the floor and instead the church called for a special General Conference to find “a Way Forward” (as if the church had not been working on this for 50 years).
The bishops (and other institutional leaders) in their proposal for a plan for “A Way Forward” have evidently not learned much from the past 50 years. They are lobbying to ditch the church’s long-established standard on sexual morality. They appear to assume that the rank and file of United Methodism doesn’t care that much about marriage and will continue to support the institution even if the church ordains gays and lesbians and conducts same gender marriages. They argue that “unity” of the institution takes precedence over all other convictions, even the commitment to Biblical standards. They would also reject all ideas of a “gracious exit” for those who in good conscience could not support the church’s new non-stance. This is called the “One Church” plan?
Are we not learning anything?  What has changed since 2016? Is there a ground swell of support for the church to abandon long-time standards?  Is there any evidence at all to assume that the UM Church, if we pass the One Church Plan, will be different from Episcopalians, Disciples of Christ, Lutherans, Presbyterians and American Baptists who are all in the midst of imploding following their abandonment of Scripture in these matters? Is there any evidence that there will not be irreparable harm in Africa if the church suddenly declares that the practice of homosexuality is not incompatible with Christian teaching, but is simply a matter of personal preference and all such practices are to be approved lest we appear not to be inclusive?
Time for a reality check. The conference will not adopt the One Church Plan. What it will adopt or not adopt, as the case may be, is yet to be determined. Keep praying.                                                                                                                                                                                                   The Confessing Movement| cm@confessingumc.org |317.356.9729 http://www.confessingumc.org

A Christmas Message

Urgent Prayer Request!

Yes my brothers and sisters! Let’s pray for this dear sister with her back against the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s army approaching fast and hard! In the Mighty Name of Jesus through His sinless blood we cry out Abba Father!! Our sister is in a dire situation that only by Your Mighty Hand can she be rescued from the forces of darkness. The prince of the power of the air has her in his claws bent on destroying her and her family. We ask You Father to part her Red Sea and make a pillar of fire to stop her enemies in their tracks! Father, rebuke the forces of evil that are bent on destroying her in the name of Jesus we ask! Amen.

Toni L Groves

I have an urgent prayer request. No one is sick. She is not from around here but she is like my family. She is in a situation that as a human I can see no way out of, and no way to help her. She is a Christian. She is solely dependent on God for her needs. And I promise when He does, she will give Him all the glory. Please pray for God to move in a mighty way.

Thanksgiving for Christian Liberty

This is a repeat of my Thanksgiving message last year. We watch reruns of holiday specials on television every year so why not repeat ” Thanksgiving for Christian Liberty ”

 

Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery”

This Thanksgiving message is not about a big meal, family, football, or anything else associated with it in the traditional sense. It’s about freedom. Normally when we think of freedom we think of the 4th of July, not Thanksgiving. It wasn’t just the colonists in 1776 who wanted freedom from English tyranny. This Thanksgiving message is about why the Pilgrims came to the New World 156 years earlier.

To fully understand what I’m getting at, we need to go back in time 483 years. In 1534 Henry the 8th wanted to divorce his first wife Catherine of Aragon so he could marry his new love, Anne Boleyn, in hopes she could give him a son. The Catholic church didn’t approve and the pope wouldn’t grant it. So what was a love (lust) struck monarch to do? Start his very own church with the English crown as it’s head! This is how the state run Church of England was born.

This Church of England ( also known as The Anglican Church ) held on to much of the Catholic Church’s traditions, teachings, established rituals, and church hierarchies. This led to two protestant groups who believed these churches were in error: The Separatists and The Puritans. The Puritans wanted to reform the state run church from within. The Separatists ( many years later called Pilgrims ) as the name implies wanted to separate from it and worship freely. This was very dangerous because it was illegal to be in a church that wasn’t the Church of England. Even King James 1st, the one so revered by King James only bible proponents, had the Separatists arrested and thrown in jail for not participating in church rituals.

So in 1609 the Separatists sailed for Holland where they could worship freely. Although they had religious freedom, life in Holland was not easy. The Separatists had to leave their homeland and friends to live in a foreign country without a clear idea of how they would support themselves. The congregation stayed briefly in Amsterdam and then moved to the city of Leiden. There they remained for the next 11 or 12 years. Most found work in the cloth trades, while others were carpenters, tailors and printers. Their lives required hard work. Even young children had to work. Some older children were tempted by the Dutch culture and left their families to become soldiers and sailors. Their parents feared that they would lose their identity as English people. To make matters worse, the congregation worried that another war might break out between the Dutch and Spanish. They decided to move again.

After careful thought, the Separatists decided to leave Holland to establish a farming village in the northern part of the Virginia Colony. At that time, Virginia extended from Jamestown in the south to the mouth of the Hudson River in the north, so the Separatists planned to settle near present-day New York City. There they hoped to live under the English government, but they would worship in their own, separate church. Because their own money wasn’t enough to establish their village, they entered into an agreement with financial investors. The company of investors would provide passage for the Separatists and supply them with tools, clothing and other supplies. The Separatists in turn would work for the company, sending natural resources such as fish, timber and furs back to England. All assets, including the land and the Separatists’ houses, would belong to the company until the end of seven years when all of it would be divided among each of the investors and colonists. The Separatists and investors had many disagreements, but eventually the Separatists were able to leave Europe for America.
The entire congregation could not come to America together. Those who could settle their affairs in Leiden went first while the greater number, including their pastor John Robinson, remained behind. The Separatists purchased a small ship, Speedwell, to transport them across the sea and to use for fishing and trading in America. At Southampton, a port in England, they were joined by a group of English colonists who had been gathered by the investors. Speedwell and Mayflower – a ship rented by the investors – departed for America together. After twice turning back to England because Speedwell leaked, they were forced to leave the ship. As a result, many families were divided when some passengers had to be turned back for lack of space. A month after first leaving England, on September 6, 1620, Mayflower set out alone with 102 passengers.

Mayflower arrived in New England on November 11, 1620 after a voyage of 66 days. Although the Separatists had originally intended to settle near the Hudson River in New York, dangerous shoals and poor winds forced the ship to seek shelter at Cape Cod. Because it was so late in the year and travel around Cape Cod was proving difficult, the passengers decided not to sail further and to remain in New England. It was here, in Cape Cod Bay, that most of the adult men on the ship signed the document that we know as the Mayflower Compact. It laid the foundation for the community’s government.

The Separatists… Pilgrims as we call them, suffered much to practice Christian liberty. Persecution, disease, severe weather, and starvation. Yet they were willing to risk everything to worship God in Spirit and Truth. This Thanksgiving let us not focus on the worldly trivial things associated with the holiday but rather appreciate the foundation these Separatists, these Pilgrims searching for a life to freely worship God, laid coming to the New World. The foundation of freedom.

John 8:36
So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.”
May all of you have a blessed Thanksgiving!            

                                                                                                   God Bless,

                                                                                                   Preacher John