Where I Stand…The Bible

Evangelical, Fundamental, Conservative, Liberal, Ecumenical; these and many more labels are becoming more and more prevalent amongst ‘Christian’ circles today. As a pastor, I have seen a lot of pressure amongst pastors to choose a side or to identify themselves. For several years, this is something that I have tried to stay away from. Frankly, I do not believe putting labels on different types of Christians is Biblical. However, with all the confusion that is out there and with all the false doctrines that are being taught, I believe that it is important that I share where I stand on the issues. Now, I will not label myself or identify myself with one group or another. In these articles I will simply share where I stand on the issues and you can decide for yourself which ‘camp’ I am in.
The very first and most important of all the issues being discussed today is the Bible. There are those who do not believe the Bible is the Word of God, there are those who believe the Bible contains the Word of God but is not completely the Word of God, and there are those who believe that only one certain version of scripture is the Word of God. So, where do I stand?
I believe with the upmost conviction that the Bible is the complete Word of God. I believe that the Bible is inspired by God. It is the very breath of the living God. The Bible is inerrant (it contains no errors) and it is also infallible (there can be no errors in scripture). If there are errors in scripture than God is not who He says He is. The Bible is also completely accurate and can be proven by the numerous discoveries throughout the years. God has also miraculously preserved His Word. Think about it. The Bible began by being handed down from one generation to the next. It was written and copied by hand. The Bible has now progressed to the point of billions of copies in various translations and languages but yet the message has never been changed. How can this be, other than an act of God? The proof of the Bible as the Word of God is insurmountable. From archeological finds to the existence of Israel, it all testifies to the accuracy and the truth of scripture.
I also believe that the Bible is to be interrupted one way and one way only. This way is indentified as a literal, historical, grammatical, and dispensational interpretation of scripture. In other words, you look at the most literal meaning possible, you take in to account the historical setting, you examine the each and every word, and you indentify the various dispensations of time in which God works. When you interpret the Bible this way there is very little confusion as to the meaning of the text.
Now for the million dollar question, what about Bible versions? I address this issue very careful as to not offend my brothers and sisters in Christ. There are those who strongly believe that the King James Bible is the only reliable version of the Bible. I have even witnessed those who say that every other version is of the devil. There are churches across America that take pride in being a KJV church. I do not have anything against those who believe this way and I even have very close Christian brothers who are KJV only. The issue here (and I say this with the upmost care and sincerity) is simply a lack of understanding. We need to understand that the Bible is the complete Word of God even though what we have today are translations of the scriptures. The KJV is not the original Bible, it is a translation. As a matter of fact, it is not even the oldest translation of scripture. The other fact that we need to recognize has to do with the fact of the preservation of God’s Word. No matter what true translation (translating from the original languages) of the Bible you have, the message is the same. It may be worded different, but it’s the same. To say that the KJV is the only true Bible is to deny God’s ability to preserve His Word. The other question that comes to mind is what about other languages. Is it possible to translate the KJV into other languages? In most cases, it is not. Why? Because there are some languages that simply don’t have words in their vocabulary to translate the KJV. Does this mean that God’s message is only available to those who speak the kings English? As sincere as those involved may be (whom I have the upmost respect for), the ‘KJV only’ view has too many fallacies for me to accept. My desire is that we as God’s people would stop debating on such minor issues as what translation of scripture you use and simply focus on the preaching of the Word of God. For my fellow pastors, I beg of you, PREACH THE WORD and not a version, PREACH THE BIBLE, and not a position, PREACH THE TRUTH, and not your opinion. That is where I stand!

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