As I continue to read scripture and compare translations a thought suddenly came to mind. Might Christians (in our earnestness to proclaim truth) actually be hindering those who not only do not understand the plan of salvation but also have problems wading through the old English language used in the King James bible? Let me first of all say that this in no way nullifies the use of the King James translation but it does present a conundrum, of sorts. It is interesting to note, in my humble opinion, that we may be doing something similar (in a very loose comparison) which others such as the Mennonites, the Amish and Hutterites are doing in grasping onto a period of time-past in order to resolve a way life in the present. Indeed the King James version is quite accurate however it isn’t without error. Also (by relying on the age of its inception) does it necessarily mean that it is any more “Holy” than many newer translations? Granted some new translations have glaring error, while others have few. The King James Version was produced in the Elizabethan period of early modern English, and so it uses forms of the verbs and pronouns that were characteristic of that period. Therefore for a person who is living in our day to be able to accurately understand God’s word, have we put another bit of an obstacle in their path to understanding by heavily relying upon language which has noticeably changed since its inception? My question is this: is this a necessary obstacle or is this an obstacle at all? I’d be interested in feed back about this! File this under “Food for thought”!
Since the SCOTUS decision on re-defining legal marriage issue, I have been suffering over what answer I would give my friends, when asked (both of who are affirming and those who are not) concerning my opinion about it. This wouldn’t be happening with nearly as great intensely for me if I didn’t love, admire, respect and cherish every single one of my friends and family not only on this site but in every aspect where we connect and no matter where your beliefs reside. We all encompass a wide representation of beliefs, non-beliefs, opinions and very seemingly quiet non-opinionated folks. This is one of the reasons why it’s very tough to be able to express what I feel in my heart without the fear of alienating someone. Obviously, my first thought is one of sincere hope that the outlook I hold onto is one that won’t be so utterly offensive so as to cause anyone even a moments feeling where they would no longer want to continue being friends. I’m definitely not out to burn any bridges and since I’ve been reading a lot of opinions I would like to now offer mine. That being said, my highest allegiance is to God. I am the first to admit that I have been and will always be a sinner who fails at times but not, in so doing, willingly! Mankind was created in a perfect world and given an original choice to obey God because He is our creator or to follow our own longings (a choice also given to us by our creator) and to go our own path (a choice that isn’t devoid of judgement). Before God passed judgement upon Adam and Eve, caught in their first transgression, He gave them to one other and established marriage between the two who then became as one flesh. Eventually they decided to choose a path against God and sin came into their perfect world by their own choice and we have been living in it from that day continuously unto this, generation after generation. Of all the lessons taught in holy scripture, this is the most basic and fundamental. When sin began its reign of destruction, one by one there were more and more sinful acts added to a list which grew incredibly large. By the end of the recorded writings, inspired by the Holy Spirit, we have quite a considerable view into many of the things which displeased God, letting us know by way of giving us something called “law” (a process of regulation also established by God). Mankind eventually came to the point of having nothing but lawlessness (sin) on his mind and God used his servant Noah to gather himself, his family and anyone he could convince to come with him and be saved. Noah knew that God was about to destroy mankind off of the earth due to all of the continual and extreme wickedness. After that event God promised that He would never destroy mankind, in this manner, again. However, man was not immune from the influence of evil and it has been permeating societies ever since. The only way we can find what pleases and displeases God is to know His word and learn to respect His law. Not only in bits and pieces and misapplications but by understanding the flow of it from beginning to end. It has been said that anything can be proven or dis-proven by the Bible. This is actually somewhat of a true statement when taking verses or chapters apart and putting them back together in a manner which accommodates a given issue. My position, as I stated before, is that of being behind God’s standard and when He chooses to end this world in finality I, through God’s son Jesus and His own sacrifice for my sins of which I will ever be indebted, am willing to forgo standing for my own “personal rights” and always relinquish myself to God. I do love you all and it’s because of this love that I feel compelled to have “my say” in this. I understand the choices made but I’d like to suggest that we all think and rethink every choice we make every day of our lives comparative to God’s word because these are the very choices which will govern our eternal destiny. This is also why it matters little whether this is a civil issue or religious one. We are all destined for an eternal home and it would not be improper to thoroughly investigate that expectation.
I ran across this article and thought I’d share. It has bothered me for quite a while when I hear someone claim they have “witnessed” to someone. This article sums up why I feel this way and I certainly couldn’t have said it any better.
Witnesses and Bearing Witness for Christ
The word “witness” appears in God’s holy Scriptures more than one hundred times. It has widespread application and a variety of meanings depending upon the Hebrew or Greek word used and the context in which it is used. The most general definition for the word “witness” is to give testimony. In 2 Corinthians 8:3, Paul bore witness to the Corinthians of the Macedonians’ deep poverty. His witness (testimony) was true making him a true witness of the facts. Paul would have been able to convince a court of law with the facts that these people were poor because he had been there and saw the conditions in which they lived. He had the evidence necessary to convince the Corinthians concerning the truth of his testimony. Jesus used the word “witness” in the same manner in John 18:23. He stated, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if I have spoken well, why do you strike Me?” Jesus demanded that they produce condemning testimony based on facts which would be proven to men. A true witness could produce some clear cut evidence that Jesus worked some type of evil, but we all know that there wasn’t any. Men who bear witness of a crime need ample physical evidence to prove their testimony to a court of law. If they do not have the evidence, their witness is ignored or they become false witnesses and are judged themselves.
Using the word “witness” in this sense, men today can bear witness or give testimony of Jesus through the Word of God. The testimony of the Holy Spirit has been proven and the Scriptures testify of Jesus truthfully and accurately. Even though we have not seen him, the testimony of Jesus given by the Holy Spirit will stand the litmus test of critics as a true historical account of the Son of God. We can persuade men with this testimony. It is important for us to remember that the testimony we bring forth is not of our own, it is the witness of the Holy Spirit, whose testimony is true.
Is it possible for men to be witnesses of Jesus Christ today? Simply because I am able to tell others the testimony of Jesus revealed in the Scriptures doesn’t make mea witness of Jesus. Even though I am able to bear witness of the Christ through the Scriptures doesn’t make me a witness of Jesus Christ. There were many witnesses of Jesus in the New Testament. Thayer defines these witnesses as individuals who have been eye or ear witnesses of Jesus’ extraordinary sayings, deeds, and sufferings which proved his Messiahship. Paul was not a false witness of Jesus in 1 Corinthians 15:15 for he had seen the resurrected Savior (1 Cor 15:8). The apostles were witnesses of Jesus because they had physically experienced the Savior’s life, death, and life again on this earth (Luke 24:48). They were witnesses of his resurrection because they saw him alive again after his crucifixion.
They soon would witness repentance and remission of sins being preached at Jerusalem and throughout the world because they would be the ones preaching it. These men were witnesses of these things, therefore making their testimony absolutely undeniable. As time went on, Peter told the world that they were witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection (Acts 3:15; 4:33; 5:32; 10:39-41) and the list continues to go through the book of Acts. They were able to confirm their witness because the Holy Spirit endued them with undeniable miraculous powers. This made their testimony come to life to the masses. Their mission was to testify of Jesus and their witness was true because they themselves were eyewitnesses of a resurrected Christ.
What about me as a 20th century disciple of Jesus? Can I be a witness of Jesus Christ? The answer is emphatically no! No matter how hard I want to be, I cannot be a witness of the things which the apostles and many disciples witnessed in the first century. I cannot be a witness of Jehovah either for I have not literally seen him nor heard him speak to me. We can all see the power of God and know that God lives through the things he has made and the revelation he has delivered. With all this, it still doesn’t make me a witness. However, on the flip side, we can bear witness (give testimony) of God through the revelation he has given us through the Holy Spirit. If our testimony is of ourselves, it means nothing; but if our testimony is nothing more than book, chapter, and verse; it is of God and needs to be obeyed. Paul told Timothy to preach the Word of God (2 Tim. 4:2). This was his only proper avenue of testimony to bring men to Jesus. We would do well if we followed the instructions of Paul, a witness and apostle of the resurrected Christ.
Guardian of Truth XLI: 10 p. 17-18
April May 1, 1997
Truth is an interesting thing… it is often learned in bits and pieces and, when put together incorrectly and/or added to by well meaning students, can be changed radically. It becomes something which breaks down the already fine tuned precision of the truth, itself. This is what’s happened to the church. It morphed from its original design and became fractioned with bits and pieces of truth left here and there. What is happened is an outbreak of “churches” who claim truth, yet believe radically different things. Which, arguably, has become worship of differing gods without all the stone idols and golden calves. The one true church can still be found if we go to scripture and back away from any catechisms or church manuals which are an unnecessary addition to the truth of scripture which is perfect “as is”. Scripture calls for unity, but not the “unity in diversity” catch phrase which has become so popular. Making the situation worse, all of the differing beliefs are calling themselves “Christians” which has made it very confusing to one who is looking to follow the true will of God. This situation should be a challenge to us, all, to make sure what we are doing is correct by comparing each and every aspect to the written pattern of scripture. If something doesn’t “fit”, then it’s counterfeit.
Even though it seems like “hubbub” over a reality show, it actually does connect to bigger issues we are having in this country. Lots of people are already on edge over many issues. One example being the use of the “N” word. It was slang for utter disgust and loathing against a race of fellow human beings, in our country’s history. Today I find that there would be good reason for obliterating this word from our dictionary. I totally comprehend this, I can grasp the why and the meaning and the ultimate reason that NO ONE should utter this word ever again. As a matter of fact it is a word that offends me, too, especially when I now hear it tossed about irresponsibly. Usually by the very people it was created to be used against. I hear it in conversation, in song and used as a tool of insult or even sometimes jest toward black people one against another. This blows my mind! But what can be done about it? Very similar situation by those who un-restrictedly vociferate the use of the “F” word. Unlike the “N” word the “F” word refers to a human function rather than a human race. It is disrespectful, rude and often represents an illiterate state of mind. So what can we do? Create a law? Set up more education? How about turning to books which have endured and have had effect upon more than 2000 years of human history. Books which have been proven repeatedly in their accuracy. Books written by the pen of men, but from the mind of God as how best to live with one another and how God desires our worship and reverence. (I won’t go into the epidemic proportions of the use of “Oh my god” in this writing but it is, when studying scripture, ultimate disrespect to God). This world was created perfect but by the evil of Satan became severely broken. There are those who want to wipe out any reference to these writings and have us write our own destiny. So, yes, there is more here at stake besides a reality show. If a man cannot profess his beliefs and is ultimately silenced through force or threat, then we have a definite problem. Phil made it very clear that he has love of his fellow man, and that he loves his fellow man enough to let them know of the warnings which he learned from that 2000 year old God-inspired book. Instructions which changed his own life. There was no hate speech here but what IS obvious is that we are speedily straying from the words which are at the very core of the founding of our country. Dangerously straying to the point which has led us to utter those “N” and “F” words without care and already protected, to a degree, as free speech and this is just the beginning if we don’t stand up to it now!
“Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.”