This is a testimony of my recent “awakening” of nearly 30 years a Christian. When I was young, my family read the King James Bible (KJV). When I became a Christian at my sister Marge’s, I also used the KJV. Later, when I returned home, I found a Bible church and started reading from the NASV because that was what they used. Things were good for a while (spiritually speaking) but slowly they began to change. Some friends fell under the influence of Calvinism causing a split within my Christian circle. Silently and insidiously, the simplicity and purity of my Christianity began to darken. It was so subtle that I did not realize it until nearly 30 years later!
20 years ago, I moved from a my small Bible church to a much larger Calvary Chapel (CC) shortly before I married to my lovely wife Virginia. Unfortunately, this church allowed me to be anonymous and less accountable.
Over the years we became inconsistent in our attendance and my faith wavered. Not one church goer or worker seemed to notice or say anything about our behavior or missing church. So we drifted, we were anonymous. Many things contributed to this but it boiled down to my own weaknesses of the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. I pursued the things of the world. A nice house, education, and participated in the norms of our modern American culture.
God has a way of reminding us of the important things and recently, He began tugging at my heart. That’s when my testimony changed. I realized that I needed a refreshing new start since I was making such a disaster of everything on my own. I needed God. Thanks be to Him, I didn’t know how badly.
I was done with CC since I never really produced much fruit going there and Chuck Smith was gone. It was clear there was a change going on in CC. I finally realized the influence that new evangelicalism and the emerging church was having. Then there were the other revelations I learned. Chuck Smith ordained a pastor who was homosexual (Lonnie Frisbee) who had a huge influence on the growth and direction the denomination took in its early years. This is troubling and reflective of the impact experiential charismatic/pentecostalism holds over doctrinal truth.
Here is another disturbing example: Last Tuesday I was listening to KWVE and a CC pastor was discussing a movie he watched, Minority Report. He commented on his carnality and continued to use the divination in the movie as an example associated with God’s omniscience. He did not provide a warning. The wisdom of using divination and comparing it to God’s foreknowledge is questionable. More importantly, how can any pastor give tacit approval and disregard content in a movie that includes soft porn, drug use, and graphic violence to his congregation?
Please don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of good Christians and pastors in CC and I do love the church but I remember too many days when had to look away from the stage during worship on Sunday because one or more of the women singing on the stage was dressed too provocatively. There needs to be standards of holiness in the church or else Christian growth is compromised and to be honest that just wasn’t happening there. The constant reminder of carnal Christianity permeated everything.
Its one thing to accept and invite anyone to church and we should be doing this daily. People need the Lord more than anything. As a matter of fact, my wife, daughter, and I will be going out Saturday inviting people to who may need a ride church on one of our buses. We understand many people are having a hard time and need love and encouragement in order to grow and mature in Christ. It is our duty to serve in whatever capacity we are in our walk in Christ.
The point is that Christianity is not a static experience. We should not give silent approval of ongoing and perpetual, sinful behavior of church attendees or deny biblical church discipline to its members. We should exhort others to grow and when necessary, offer rebuke and reproof always in the spirit of truth and love for Christ and His bride.
Another issue I found that needed change in my life was my Bible.
Just like my Mom who got saved at the Crystal Cathedral, most modern versions of the Bible are effective at getting one saved and learning about God and devotion as a Christian. Based on the different versions; Living Bible, Good News, CEV, etc., 70-95% (based on my speculation of interpretive methodologies) of the content is the word of God. Why am I so critical here? After all, all Bibles are pretty much the same right? We’ll no, they are not and it’s well beyond the scope of this post, so I will only summarize briefly focusing primarily on the New Testament.
All of our bibles come from basically one of two manuscript sources. The Tyndale Bible, Geneva, Wycliffe, and King James all come from one source known as the Received Text, or Majority Text, or more commonly known as the Byzantium or Textus Receptus. This string of manuscripts came out of the Byzantine, Antioch region of the world and have been handed down, preserved, and copied over and over again since the times of the Apostles.
The Roman Catholic (RC) church tried for centuries to destroy this string of texts. You can look at the history of the inquisition and the persecution of the Waldenses to get a taste of the horrific evils the RC perpetuated on Bible believing Christians and their scripture. Whole communities and libraries were destroyed over and over again. The sentence was death by fire if you were found with any Bible manuscripts. It is estimated that the RC church may have killed between 50 and 500 million people during their long course of persecutions.
Tribulation not withstanding, God promised to preserve His word. And this we can be assured! Here are some of those promises:
- 1 Peter 1:23 “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever.”
- Psalm 12:6-7 “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation forever.”
- Ps. 111:7-8 “The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.”
- Is. 40:8 “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.“
- Ps. 117:2 “… the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord.”
- Ps. 119:152 “Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.“
- Ps 119:160 “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” *
Since the RC couldn’t destroy or control God’s word, they decided to replace it. They utilized two manuscripts, The Codex Sinaiticus discovered in Egypt in the 1700s and the Codex Vaticanus which was found in 1481 in the Vatican library in Rome. These two manuscripts make up the majority of what is known as the Wescott and Hort text and more recently, the Nestle-Aland Greek text (New Testament).
All our modern English and foreign language Bibles are derived from these Roman Catholic influenced texts. Both of these manuscripts were probably the product of Eusebius’ 50 corrupted Bibles Constantine ordered to satisfy both Pagans and Christians when he “legalized” Christianity and began to mix the two belief systems in the 4th century.
In 1881, the RSV (Revised Standard Version) was printed to replace the KJV using Wescott/Hort text. They were very successful. Nearly all Bible societies and Bible translation organizations now use this corrupted Greek text to translate bibles. The Hebrew is another story for another time. Some Bible versions that use this corrupted Greek text include the NASV, NIV, ESV, NLT. Nearly all with the exception of the NKJV, amalgamates both manuscript lines.
This is part of the larger ecumenical push from the same vein of corruption and compromise Satan has been working on from the beginning.
That is why it is so important for me to use the KJV as my primary source of scriptural reference? All my studies have shown that the KJV most eloquently and accurately completely translates the the preserved copies of the original scriptures and is void of modern cultural and political sensitivities.
Because if these corruptions and the doctrine of antinomianism I believed (carnal Christianity) I slowly and increasingly began to doubt the Bible and the truths of God’s word and promises.
Going back to the KJV has produced a significant change in my faith, fruits, and understanding of God.
I still use other versions but only as tools.
This may be a strange testimony, but it is a testimony of discovery.
Modern textual criticism has decimated the wholeness and holiness of God’s church especially here in America. The beauty is that God is preserving His word in the church no matter what the Devil tries to do.
So, I onto more discovery and building of a testimony.
I sure hope God is working great things in your heart as you seek to discover Him and labor in truth.