We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Spiritual Seductions In America

Most North American believers are wonderfully and prayerfully sympathetic to the plight of fellow Christians who are undergoing terrible persecutions for their faith in foreign lands, yet too few have a real concern for fellow believers here in the West who are being spiritually seduced and whose biblical faith is being critically undermined.  The tendency is to write off most false preachers as religious kooks and to think no more about their captive audience.  All true believers, whether or not they have been led into false teaching, make up the body of Christ.  When one part of the body is seduced and suffers, it affect the entire body (1 Corinthians 12:25-27).

Not only is such a cavalier attitude wrong biblically, but it is extremely shortsighted and therefore blinds a person to the seductions and ultimate deceptions that are involved.

T.A. McMahon, "They Claim to Speak for God, Part One," The Berean Call, March 2013.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Did They Really Say That?!?

“I must add, though, that I don’t believe making disciples must equal making adherents to the Christian religion.  It may be advisable in many (not all!) circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish contexts.  This will be hard, you say, and I agree.  But frankly, it’s not all that easy to be a follower of Jesus in many ‘Christian’ contexts either. …

“Ultimately, I believe ‘they’ and ‘we’ can all experience this transformation [by God’s Spirit] best by becoming humble followers of Jesus, whom I believe . . . to be the Son of God, the Lord of all, and the Savior of the world.

“In this light, although I don’t hope all Buddhists will become (cultural) Christians, I do hope all who feel so called will become Buddhist followers of Jesus; I believe they should be given that opportunity and invitation.  I don’t hope all Jews and Hindus will become members of the Christian religion.  But I do hope all who feel so called will become Jewish or Hindu followers of Jesus.

“Ultimately I hope that Jesus will save Buddhism, Islam, and every other religion, including the Christian religion, which often seems to need saving about as much as any other religion does.”

Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy, p.260, 264.  Cited by Albert Dager in, “The Emergent Church: A New Path to Ancient Religion,” Media Spotlight, Vol.28/no.4

Can someone please explain to me how one can remain in a pagan religious “context” while following Jesus?  If one is “following” Jesus, that means they have accepted him as their Lord and Savior, have placed their faith in who He is, the work of the cross and the resurrection.  His disciples MUST adhere to the Christian “religion” — that is what it means to be a disciple of Christ; i.e., a Christian.  A Buddhist cannot remain a Buddhist if he truly follows Jesus - he will become a Christian.  Same with the Jew and the Hindu.  

Jesus will never “save” any religion, rather he saves people from their sins.

What McLaren teaches is nothing less than abject heresy.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Shallow Christianity

During the last three decades, many have experienced Christianity in church settings that major in entertainment rather than in teaching the Scriptures and disciplining those who attend.  Thus, they are the products of years of church-growth marketing schemes that have attempted to fill pews with the "unchurched" and keep them coming back by using consumer-oriented tactics.  It's a "keep the customer happy," seeker-friendly approach that has critically diluted biblical content as churches compete with the world in order to interest their youth.  The game rooms of some mega-churches could put to shame their cities' most popular arcades.  The marketing mentality of "do whatever it takes to attract and keep the kids coming back to church" reflects a "bait and switch" scheme, and in most situations the "bait" (games, music that mimics the world, and entertainment) overwhelms the intended "switch" (learning the Bible).  That endeavor has both trivialized and marginalized the instruction of the Word of God for those who have been subjected to that worldly approach.  The outcome has resulted in a shallow Christianity for millions of young professing Christians.

T.A. McMahon, " Generation Adrift, Part One," The Berean Call, March 2012.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Are You A Man of God?

I know quite a few Christian men who wouldn't think twice about picking up a baseball bat to protect their families from a dangerous intruder who had broken into their homes.  Sadly, not too many of them are willing to pick up the Sword of the Spirit to protect their wives and children.

Gentlemen, how about becoming the spiritual leaders of your households, if you have been remiss in that responsibility?  There is nothing you can do for your wives and children that will bless them more than your becoming true men of God.  Family prayer and the study of God's Word with one another are essential.  With God's help, make these your discipline this year and the years ahead until Jesus comes!

T.A. McMahon, "TBC Notes," The Berean Call, January 2011.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

There Is No "Build-A-God"

Not too long ago, if your child wanted a stuffed animal, you went to some local retail outlet and bought one off the shelf.  While there may have been a large number of possibilities, still the options were limited to the stuffed animals in stock.  Enter the “Build-A-Bear Workshop” franchise which began in 1997 and now has over 400 locations worldwide and online.  At Build-A-Bear children can create their own stuffed animals.  They can be as creative as they like, for Build-A-Bear allows children to be sovereign over their own creations, leaving the toy store with a unique critter unlike anyone else’s.  The only question is, what does the child want in a stuffed bear?  But what may be desirable in a fuzzy friend is not desirable when it comes to God and the Christian Faith.

Neither the Lord nor the faith is left to our desires.  While there is much diversity within the body of Christ, there is only one Lord and one faith (Ephesians 4:5).  We are not free to “build a God” or “build a faith.”  The one true God and the one true faith have been handed down to us in the Word.  We must reject the temptation to be our own creator and humbly accept that which the Lord has revealed to us.  Pragmatism, the god of “what works,” is a creation of our own imagination and ingenuity.  We must rest in the true God of the Word.

Gary E. Gilley, “It Works For Me…, Pragmatism and the twenty-First Century Church,” PFO’s “The Quarterly Journal,” Jan-Mar 2015, p.9

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christadelphian Church

I had heard about Christadelphians in the past, but never knew anything about them except I was told they are a cult that formed in the 1800s.  Then earlier this year Christian Research and Apologetics Ministry had an article about what Christadelphians believe and I linked to that.

Sevearl months ago a friend gave me a few boxes of books which came from a pastor’s library after he passed away.  This pastor was part of a liberal church, which is why I got to see what was worth keeping and what needed to be destroyed.  Very few of the books were worth saving.

One book caught my eye because of the title:  Bible Basics: A Study Manual.  There was no author on the front cover (I later discovered it on the spine - Duncan Heaster) so I opened to investigate and discovered it was published by the Christadelphians.  Well, that got my interest up so I put it on my “to read” shelf, where it sat until a couple weeks ago when I picked it to be my next “bedroom book” (what I read when I’m not ready to sleep).  I just finished it, and I have to agree with the CARM post about just how heretical they are.

If you missed my earlier posting with a link to the CARM article, then you missed that the teachings of the Christadelphians have a lot of similarities with the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  The book was one of the worst examples of twisting Scripture that I have ever read!  So, let me give you a rundown on teachings from this book which prove this group to be a cult.

1.  They are unitarians and claim the “trinity” is a man-made false teaching.  Jesus is not God, and the Holy Spirit is just the force/power God uses to do things.

2.  Satan does not exist, and is another man-made idea originating in pagan beliefs.

3.  Hell does not exist.  

4.  The unsaved are annihilated; there is no immortality for the unbeliever.  In fact, all those who did not hear the gospel, or children too young to understand it (and I guess adults who are retarded) are also annihilated.

5.  Baptism is “a vital prerequisite for salvation.”  Faith is only the start, but isn’t any good without baptism. Even then, salvation isn’t guaranteed, because one may leave his faith and lose his salvation; which is why no one can know if they are truly saved, because they have no idea what they will do in the future.

6.  Angels have the same powers as God, share the same nature as God, and God used them to create the world.

7.  When we die, we are unconscious in the grave until the resurrection.

8.  Jesus did not exist before he was born.  He wasn’t really tempted by Satan, rather it was all in his mind; he imagined it because of his state of mind from being hungry.  However, Jesus was tempted the same way as man is tempted — by his own evil desire (the book references James 1:14).  The “devil” he saw in his mind was just his own evil desires, and he had all the human sinful tendencies, being in need of salvation from death.  And, as the JWs say, Christ was crucified on a pole — which proves the use of the cross is erroneous.

9.  “True Christians” should never celebrate Christmas because Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th, and it is a pagan celebration.

10.  Since there is no satan/devil, God allows the evil or He actively brings it about for his own purposes.  Therefore, we should never resist evil because we may then be resisting God — which is why we are to never be a member of the police force or the military.

11.  Involvement in politics is also wrong, because we cannot improve the world - it is supposed to degenerate.  Since God establishes governments, our voting may be against one God has chosen, which would mean we are rebelling against God!

12.  Referring to 1 Cor. 11:1-16, they completely read into the text to come up with the idea that a woman must have her head covered whenever a man is teaching from God’s Word, and this means she should always wear a “hat or headscarf” to all church meetings.

13.  When it comes to the Lord’s Table, it must be weekly, and if one is unable to meet with the body of believers, then they are to have the communion alone.  

14.  Marriage must have a ceremony in order to be biblical; no ceremony, no real marriage.

15.  We are only animals by nature, but God chose us for a special relationship.

And, of course, only the Christadelphians have the true teachings about God, Jesus, and the Gospel.

I think most of my readers could easily find the correct Bible passages to refute most of these teachings.  It always amazes me how people can be so easily deceived by such mental gymnastics with Scripture rather than actually reading for themselves what it says.

Christadelphians preach another Christ and another Gospel, as defined by Paul (2 Cor. 11:4), and he said such people should be eternally condemned (Gal. 1:6-9).

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

I don’t know how many  — if any — of my readers look at my chapter reviews of Gail Riplinger’s New Age Bible Versions, but I’m posting them anyway (as I just did last night).  Perhaps when I’m finished I can work it into a book.  Her book is arduous to review, but it is one of the works the KJV Onlyers point to for supporting their position, and so it needs to be debunked.  It really isn’t difficult to debunk — just time consuming!

Okay, now for today’s collection:

Rome Catholicism is getting worse and worse as a supposed representative of Christianity - the “Vicar of Christ.”  Now the Pope bows to an Islamic Grand Mufti!  I can just imagine Christ doing that — NOT!

There is one Catholic site, LifeSite News, which I follow which is really good for pro-family and anti-abortion information — if you can just wade through a lot of promotion of the papacy, etc.  At any rate, a priest sued the site because the Pope cited them when he forced the priest to choose between being pro-abortion or being a priest.  The Pope should have just excommunicated him.  The suit is over only because the priest died — and now knows the truth about his faith!  The point is, as with all false teachers, he didn’t like being exposed and sued those who exposed him.

Speaking of LifeSite News, they have reported on a Jesuit university which hosted a Planned Parenthood event, which was just disgusting.  So why doesn’t the Pope bring about church discipline?  Roman Catholic schools have really entered a love affair with the world.

It’s a sad day when the President of the United States, who claims to be a Christian (although it’s been proven that he isn’t), doesn’t have the faintest idea about what the Scripture really says.  And yet too many Christians accept what he says as truth because he is their president — as if that means discernment isn’t necessary!

I’ve posted a few citations recently about how worship in the church is becoming more and more just entertainment.  One of my readers pointed me to this video which sums up the situation quite nicely.  I’ve seen this video before, and thought I posted it in the past, so if you’ve already seen it, well just accept it as a good review!

Are relationships “the glue that holds a church together”?  Rick Warren seems to think so.

Benny Hinn is so far into heresy and apostasy that I really don’t address him much; I figure those who read this blog already know he’s hell-bound.  However, I thought this article was a good report for alerting people why they need to avoid Hinn.

Should we, or should we not, celebrate Christmas?  To help you make your decision, a good collection of articles can be found here.  We’ve always celebrated it appropriately as the birthday of Christ.

Who are really the most dangerous people in the world?  Great article by Elizabeth Prata.

For the last two items, I have to give a hat tip to Erin.

The founder of the Foursquare Church was Aimee Semple McPherson, and if you have a bad root, you will not have the best fruit.  She is a good reason to avoid this denomination.  They still believe in a lot of her aberrant charismatic teachings.

How shameless will Ed Young get?  And yet he has a huge following — goats with a goat-herd.  Sadly, too many church leaders are just like him.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

What Is Successful?

On an ecclesiastical level the churches and parachurch organizations that are most likely to be successful, if you define success as “nickels and noses,” are the very ones who are giving people what they want to hear rather than what God wants them to hear.  People want to hear about how to be successful, how to have a happier marriage, and how to feel good about themselves as opposed to biblical concepts of how to glorify God, how to have a godly marriage, how to deny self, how to take up one’s cross and follow Him.

Gary E. Gilley, “It Works For Me…, Pragmatism and the Twenty-First Century Church,” PFO’s “The Quarterly Journal,” Jan-Mar 2015, p.8-9

Friday, December 12, 2014

“New Age Bible Versions” — Chapter 17

It’s been a long time coming (chapter 16 review was posted in July), but I finally finished my review of Chapter 17.

Chapter 17: “The New Earth or a New Age?”  The obvious premise in this chapter is that whereas the KJV Bible speaks of a new earth to come, new versions speak instead of a “new age” to come.  As usual with Riplinger’s eisegesis, she sees all kinds of demons flittering through “new versions” and their editors.  As usual, I’m going to ignore her conspiracy theories about the editors and translators, and stick to just what the Bible versions actually say.

1.  Riplinger prefixes her first chart (p.283) with this paragraph claiming the new versions support astrology:  “The real religion of America is astrology, if the study of Northern Illinois University is correct, indicating that 70% of Americans read their horoscope.  The children are following, as Gallop’s pole [sic] showed 60% of them also believed in astrology.  IF ‘ages’ are standard in the religion of today’s internationals and Americans, be assured that the New International Version, New American Standard and the New King James are attuned to the religion of the age.  So dozens of times they substitute ‘ages’ for ‘world’, reinforcing the ideas of the ‘New’ age movement.”  

Before I even address her chart, I need to point out that just because people like to read their horoscope, it does not follow that their religion is astrology, or even that astrology is anywhere near being “the real religion of America.”  I’ve known many people throughout my life who look at their horoscope for nothing more than curiosity or fun, and have no belief in its veracity.
The first seven passages in the chart (Matt.12:32; Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30; Luke 20:35; Gal. 1:4; Eph. 1:21: and Tit. 2:12) all use the word “age” to replace the KJV “world.”  The Greek word for all them is the same, aion,  from which we get the English “eon” - meaning a period of time.  Looking at Strong’s Greek Dictionary, we find “eternity, age (time period); ‘this age’ can mean the universe or even the current world system, the ‘god of this age’ refers to the devil…” and other references to time.  

Vine’s says,  “an age, era” (to be connected with aei, ‘ever,’ rather than with ao, ‘to breathe’), signifies a period of indefinite duration, or time viewed in relation to what takes place in the period.  

The force attaching to the word is not so much that of the actual length of a period, but that of a period marked by spiritual or moral characteristics.  This is illustrated in the use of the adjective [see Note (1) below] in the phrase “life eternal,” in John 17:3, in respect of the increasing knowledge of God.  

The phrases containing this word should not be rendered literally, but consistently with its sense of indefinite duration. Thus eis ton aiona does not mean “unto the age” but “for ever” (see, e.g., Heb. 5:6). The Greeks contrasted that which came to an end with that which was expressed by this phrase, which shows that they conceived of it as expressing interminable duration.  

The word occurs most frequently in the Gospel of John, the Hebrews and Revelation. It is sometimes wrongly rendered “world.” See course, eternal, world. It is a characteristic word of John’s gospel.  

Notes: (1) Aionios, the adjective corresponding, denoting “eternal,” is set in contrast with proskairos, lit., “for a season,” 2 Cor. 4:18. It is used of that which in nature is endless, as, e.g., of God, Rom. 16:26, His power, 1 Tim. 6:16, His glory, 1 Pet. 5:10, the Holy Spirit, Heb. 9:14, redemption, Heb. 9:12, salvation, 5:9, life in Christ, John 3:16, the resurrection body, 2 Cor. 5:1, the future rule of Christ, 2 Pet. 1:11, which is declared to be without end, Luke 1:33, of sin that never has forgiveness, Mark 3:29, the judgment of God, Heb. 6:2, and of fire, one of its instruments, Matt. 18:8; 25:41; Jude 7. See eternal, everlasting. 

The context of all 7 passages makes more sense with “age” than it does with “world.”  Riplinger’s paranoia about the use of the word “age” is proven to be nonsense.

The last passage in the chart is Rev. 15:3, where “new versions” replace “King of saints” with “King of the ages.”  Now, notice that it wasn’t replacing the word, “world,” which sort of drops this passage from the claim.  However, since there is a change here, we need to look at it.  In her opening salvo, she mentions only the NIV, NAS, and NKJV, yet the NAS says, “King of the nations” while the NKJV reads the same as KJV!  The NIV is the only one of the three charge which actually uses “ages.”  In context, “ages” or “nations” makes more sense than just “saints,” because Christ is the King over more than just the saints.  Vs.4 says the “nations” will worship Him, so it is plain that Christ is the King of ALL nations and not just the saints.  And He is also the King of all time - throughout history the King of all whether or not He is acknowledged as such.  I find Riplinger’s complaint to be baseless.

2.  After the chart on p.283, Riplinger follows up with this:  “Why do the new versions render Hebrews 6:5, ‘the powers of the age to come’ instead of ‘the world to come.’  Could the evolutionary philosophy of the new version editors have influenced them?  One writes: ‘We know also that the more of the total powers of humanity and more of the fulness of the individual man are brought from age to age.’” (Riplinger’s emphasis.)

So, in the “new versions” the words “powers” and “age” are in the same sentence, therefore they must have the same connotation as some “new version editor”?  Can you say, “non sequitur” loud enough? Notice also that we have no context for the quote from the “editor” and no evidence put forth that all “new version editors” subscribe to an “evolutionary philosophy” — Riplinger just asserts this and we are expected to accept it as truth.  With such deceit by her, already demonstrated by this review, are we supposed to trust anything she says?!?  However, when we look at the actual Greek word used, it is the very same one used in the seven passages discussed above.  The “new versions” have the correct English translation!  Even the context of Heb. 6:5 says that “world” is used in the sense of a future time.

3.  P.284, top.  Riplinger notes one other passage in which “new versions” swap “age” for “world” — Matt. 28:20.  She set this one off separately because she claims it reads exactly like some new-ager thought it should read.  As with Hebrews 6:5 and the other seven passages, the Greek word is the same one and is indeed proper in context.

4.  P.284 chart is preceded with this commentary from Riplinger:  “A cyclical view of time precludes any singular beginning of the world.  So Buddha says, ‘No origin can be perceived.’  Corresponding to this, the new versions have no ‘beginning of the world’ but present instead a series of ‘ages’.”   The chart which follows is Riplinger’s “proof.”  The chart compares “NIV, NASB, et al” with the KJV.  

a.  Eph. 3:9:  KJV “from the beginning of the world” vs “for ages.”  In this case, “for ages” is an unspecified time period, while the KJV gives a definite period.  However, when looking at the interlinear TR, I find it is translated as “ages,” while the parallel literal translation by Jay Green renders it “from eternity.”  While according to Strong’s the word CAN mean “eternal” as well as ages or age, another word is primarily what is used for that (Strong’s 166 vs 165 as here in Eph.).  I don’t think it matters much as to which way it is translated, since the context is really getting across the idea of a very, very lengthy time period.  There is no hint of any “new age” agenda.

b.  Titus 1:2:  KJV “the world began” vs “long ages ago.”  This broad broad brush claim is wrong in regards to the NIV, and I’m not looking for others of the “et al” — once I’ve proven the error with one there’s no point spending my time to see how many others are falsely accused.  Nevertheless, the NAS is as Riplinger claims.  However, Strong’s says this word can mean “eternal” or “long ago,” so there is nothing wrong — or “new age” about the choice of English translation.  I think the context would call for “eternal” (or similar), but to translate otherwise does not meet the charge of “series of ages.”

c.  Rom. 16:25:  KJV “since the world began” vs “for long ages past.”  Same Greek word as in Titus 1:2.  More proper would be “eternal” or similar as KJV.  However, there is no hint of teaching “series of ages,” so again the charge is false.

d.  Acts 15:18:  KJV “from the beginning of the world” vs “from old” or “for ages.”  Now, the Greek is the same as Eph. 3:9, and can mean either.  Commentaries say that James here is quoting from the Septuagint, citing Amos 9:11-12.  In that version it says “as in the ancient days.”  This would correspond to translating the passage as “from old” or “for ages.”  Again, there is no hint of any “new age” agenda, or even a thought of a “series of ages.”

e.  Luke 1:70:  KJV “since the world began” vs “from of old” or “of long ago.”  Well, there’s an immediate problem of context with the KJV.  The prophets have not been “since the world began.”  The Greek word is the same as with Eph. 3:9, and the “new” versions are more accurate for the context.

f.  Acts 3:21:  KJV “since the world began” vs “from ancient time” or “long ago.” Exact same situation as Luke 1:70.

g.  2 Tim. 1:9:  KJV “before the world began” vs “from all eternity.”  I’m not even going to examine this one, since these are synonymous!  This is a very foolish complaint.

h.  John 9:32:  KJV “Since the world began” vs “Since the beginning of time.”  Again, these are synonymous, and I don’t understand Riplinger’s problem with it.

i.  Gen. 1:  KJV “the (second, third, fourth, fifth) day” vs “a (second, third, fourth, fifth) day.”  NIV is as KJV.   NAS is the guilty party.  However, in context they are saying the same thing.  Could it mean something different?  Out of context, yes.  Does it even come close to “series of ages”?  NO.

j.  Heb. 11:10:  KJV: “builder and maker” vs “architect and builder.”  Riplinger notes: “Architects design cities, builders build them, but God makes the raw material.”  While the KJV is better, the phrase “architect and builder” does NOT preclude the making of the raw material.  One has to read that bias into the text.  Again, there is no hint of teaching a “series of ages” with this phrase.

Nothing in this chart supports Riplinger’s claims.  Although KJV is better in a couple places, it is a non sequitur to say this means there is some “new age” conspiracy.  As with so much of Riplinger’s claims and charges, she apparently is paranoid of some words, and searches for those words in the “new versions” so as to attack them without even researching their usage!  It’s nothing less than “the sky is falling” scenario.

5.  P.285, Riplinger begins with this statement:  “In place of ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth’ (Genesis 1:1), one new version begins with ‘By periods God created,’ showing the author’s belief in progressive ages.”  She neither gives the version nor author, so I searched numerous versions, including the use of the Internet, and couldn’t find a version to match Riplinger’s claim.  She then shows a short chart comparing sayings from “Apostate Christianity” vs “Apostate Bible” vs “New Age.”  For “Apostate Bible” she claims Gen. 1:1 in the TEV says, “Once upon a time.”  Unless this was in an old version of the TEV (which I doubt), then Riplinger is bearing false witness.  My TEV says, “In the beginning when God created the universe…

6.  Continuing on p.285, Riplinger says, “In the new Bibles, the world doesn’t end, the age simply ends and another begins.  If the world ends, the sinner has nothing to stand on; if the age ends he merely changes his calendar.  Consequently, verses such as 1 Corinthians 8:13, “while the world standeth,” are omitted entirely in the new versions.

Let’s first look at that claim before we examine the chart which follows.  In the KJV Paul says he “will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.”  The NAS and NIV say, “will never eat meat again.”  Isn’t that synonymous?!?!  Did they really omit the phrase or is it just reworded?  Again, Riplinger is again being deceptive.

Now let’s look at the chart, which continues to the top of p.286.  I want to first point out that none of the passages using “age” instead of “world” even hint of starting a new age after the current one ends — Riplinger has to read that into the text.  I really think this chart should have been combined with the one on p. 283, because the issue of “age” vs “world” is the same, using the same Greek word (Strong’s 165) (except for Dan. 12:13).

a.  Matt. 24:3; Matt 28:20; Matt. 13:39; Matt. 13:40; Matt. 13:49; 1 Cor. 3:18: KJV “end of the world” vs “end of the age” or “end of this world” vs “end of this age,” and 1 Cor. 10:11 “ends of the world” vs “ends of the ages.”  Same issue as p.283 — no hint of teaching one age ending and another beginning.

b.  Dan. 12:13:  KJV “end of the days” vs “end of the age.”  According to Strong’s, the Hebrew word for “days” is “yom” which has a meaning depending on the context.  It could mean a 24 hr day or it could mean “an indefinite period of time,” or “an era with a certain characteristic.”  Either of the last two meanings could fit here.  In that case, “days” and “age” are synonymous.  Again, no hint of teaching one age ending with another beginning.

c.  Heb. 9:26:  KJV “in the end of the world” vs “consummation of the ages.” Literally, the TR interlinear says “completion of the ages.”  No hint of teaching one age ending and another beginning.

d.  1 John 2:17:  KJV “passeth away [judgement]” vs “is passing” (NKJV).  Riplinger adds the question “[entropy?]” to the NKJV version — which is apparently the only “new version” which is problematic.  She really should include as much of the passage in the NKJV as she does in the KJV.  NKJV says, “is passing away,” and in the context of the passage, they say the same thing - something that is continuously happening.  And, by the way, it isn’t “[judgement]” which is passing away, rather it is the world and its desires.  Riplinger totally misrepresents the context, and there is nothing at all about teaching one age passing away and starting another one.

e.  John 4:21:  KJV “the hour cometh,” vs “an hour is coming.”  These are synonymous in context, and again do not support her claim of the teaching of one age ending and another beginning.

7.  On p. 286-287 is a chart “proving” Riplinger’s next claim:  “Since the destruction of the earth is a result of God’s judgement, those verses describing the severity of that judgement are ‘softened up’ or omitted.”  However, this statement is nothing more than an assertion as to motives.  One must remember that the manuscripts (behind the “new versions”) Riplinger is attacking are much older than those used by the KJV translators, and later ones could very well have ADDED to the text rather than the older ones removing text.  

a.  Mark 9:44, 46 are two separate entries on the chart, both showing what “NIV, NASB, et al” omit but which is found in the KJV:  “Where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.”  This passage is repeated at vs. 48, which all new versions have, so the other two passages can be seen as redundant, and I’d suggest they were most likely not there to begin with only because they seem out of place, which is probably why the older manuscripts used didn’t have them.  Certainly the charge of omitting these two passages so as to hide the severity of judgement must be seen as false or else vs. 48 would have also been deleted.  The NASB actually has the two noted passages, so Riplinger is misrepresenting that version.

b.  Mark 6:11.  Riplinger says the new versions leave out “the day of judgement,” but they actually leave out much more: “Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgement, than for that city.”  Was this a later scribal commentary?  More importantly, is this omission pointing to “new age” teaching?

c.  Rev. 6:17:  KJV “day of his wrath” vs “day of their wrath.”  The previous passage is referring to both the Father and Christ, so grammatically “their wrath” is proper.  Even so, how would this be “softening up” future judgement?

d.  2 Thes. 1:8:  KJV “taking vengeance” vs “dealing out retribution.”  I see these as synonymous.

e.  Rev. 15:4:  KJV “thy judgements are made manifest” vs “righteous acts have been revealed.”  These are synonymous.  “Judgements” in this contexts are “righteous acts.”  Strong’s states both as definitions of the Greek word.  My TR Greek interlinear with literal translation shows this phrase as “the righteousnesses of you are revealed.”  Riplinger’s charge is dismantled.

f.  Matt. 5:21, 22:  KJV “shall be in danger of the judgement” and “shall be in danger of the council” vs “shall be liable to the court” and “guilty before the supreme court.”  In the first passage Jesus is citing from the O.T. and the “judgement” is to appear before the court for punishment (which also applies to the first part of vs.22) .  In the second phrase the actual word is “Sanhedrin,” which would be the “supreme” court of the Jews.  In both passages, the person would be taken before a “court” for having judgement passed.

g.  Matt. 21:44 & Lk. 20:16:  KJV “grind him to powder” vs “scatter him like dust.”  Just off the top of my head I have to say that before one can be scattered “like dust” they have to be ground to that configuration!  The point is what happens to the person when the “stone” falls on him; whether the stone grinds him to powder, scatters him like dust (NAS) or he is crushed (NIV), the result is exactly the same — he is smashed to bits!

h.  Matt.23:33: KJV “damnation of hell” vs “sentence of hell.”  NIV has “condemned to hell.”  Looking to another KJV Only source — The Defined King James Bible —  the footnote explains the meaning of the word “damnation” in this passage as, “condemnation; doom; consignment to eternal punishment.”  I’d say that “sentence of hell” is a “consignment to eternal punishment.”  

i.  Luke 10:15, 16:23: KJV “hell” vs “Hades.”  The Greek word is indeed “Hades” and does not mean “hell” as the place of torment and punishment, but rather it means the grave, the place of the dead.  If Riplinger wants these to be “hell” as in “eternal damnation,” then she has to explain 16:23 where Abraham and Lazarus are in the same place as the rich man (although in different sections)! 

j.  Matt. 24:21: KJV “great tribulation” vs “a great tribulation.”  In context they mean the same thing!  This is nit-picking to extreme!

k.  Heb. 9:27:  KJV “the judgement” vs “judgement.”  In context the judgement is the end judgment, which, whether one puts “the” before it or not, it is the same thing.  Apparently Riplinger thinks that unless “the” is there, people may think there is another time of judgement.

l.  Mark 3:29:  KJV “eternal damnation” vs “eternal sin.”  Well, the best rendering is indeed “damnation” according to Strong’s.  However, let’s look at the context of the “new versions.”  “never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” (NAS).  In context, all sin is forgiven in Christ, and therefore the sin is not “eternal.”  But the context of this passage is that it is an “eternal sin,” i.e., one which is not forgivable.  If sin is not forgiven, the person cannot be saved, and therefore suffers “eternal damnation.”  So in context the two ideas are the same.

m.  2 Cor. 5:11: KJV “the terror of the Lord” vs “the fear of the Lord.”  Super picky.  Is not “fear” a synonym for “terror”?  Granted, “terror” is a stronger fear.  Strong’s gives the following definitions for the Greek word: “fear, terror; respect, reverence,” so I can’t find a problem which Riplinger believes exists.

n.  Luke 17:36:  KJV “Two men shall be in the field, the one shall be taken and the other left” vs “[OMIT].”  In context of the story, this omission changes nothing, since it is merely a third example of a one person being taken and another left.

o.  Luke 21:35:  KJV “for as a snare” vs “[OMIT].”  Well, the new versions have “like a trap in vs.34, which KJV doesn’t.  So both are saying the “day” will come like a snare/trap, but Riplinger deceitfully makes it appear that the “new versions” don’t have that analogy.  Should we turn it around and say “NIV, NASB, et al” have “like a trap” but KJV “OMIT”?

p.  Rom. 8:1:  KJV “who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit” vs “[OMIT].”  Personally, I think in context the phrase is redundant, in that the context is those who “are in Christ.

q.  2 Pet. 3:10:  KJV “The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”  vs. “The earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”  Riplinger’s problem is that KJV has them “burned up” while “new versions” only have them “laid bare,” as if that is a lesser judgment.  What happens something on earth is burned up?  The area is “laid bare.”  Yes, the Greek in the TR means “burned,” but the understanding of “laid bare” is still total destruction.  Riplinger feels the judgement is “softer” by “laid bare” than by “burned up,” but since both are total destruction, how is one softer?

What we have seen with this chart is that Riplinger seems to equivocate with meanings of the words, and if they don’t mean fire and brimstone judgement, then they must be wrong.  However, “judgement” doesn’t always mean penalties as she seems to think.  Her claim in the opening paragraph of this section is again shown to be invalid.  And again we have Riplinger’s deceit displayed in one of her examples.

8.  One last chart ends this chapter, with which Riplinger “proves” “New Age” usage of terms in the “new version” Bibles.  She sets up the claim with this:

“A traveler on the semantic bridge to the New Age, Dr. Rodney Romney, a prominent Seattle Baptist minister, uses new version jargon to lead his listeners, not across the stormy waters but directly into the lake of fire.  He prods: 

‘Most students of the spiritual realm agree that we are entering today into the New Age of Light on this planet [emphasis mine]’

“Like a good Baptist, he has obviously been reading his bible [sic], but not the bible [sic].”

Now, in the chart of three passages, she bolds the words which are the same as the words she made bold in the citation, and she lines the passages up so that the words fall in the same sequence as in the citation.

a.  John 18:36:  KVJ “My kingdom is not of this world” vs “My kingdom is not of this realm NASB.”  More deceit from Riplinger.  The KJV phrase is from the beginning of the passage, and the NASB has the same thing as KJV.  The NASB phrase is from the end of the verse, where the KJV says, “not from hence.”  In reality, the terms in context are synonymous!

b.  Eph. 1:21:  KJV “not only in this world but also in that which is to come” vs “not only in this age but in the one to come.”  The Greek word here is the SAME ONE as described at the beginning of this chapter review, and “age” actually fits better in context. 

c.  Eph. 5:9:  KJV “fruit of the Spirit” vs “fruit of the light.”  Well, in the TR the Greek word is indeed “Spirit,” however, let’s look at the context and see which word makes more sense.  We must start with vs 8: “For ye were sometimes in darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)” KJV.  Notice the subject being that we are “light in the Lord” and are to “walk as children of light.”  The contrast is between “darkness” and “light.”  Of course Jesus is the “light of the world” (John 8:12), so walking as a child of the light we would have fruit of that light, as translated in NIV (NASB similar): “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)”.  

Riplinger’s contrived chart only goes to show her paranoia with the use of words in the “new versions” which are also used by New Age adherents.  The KJV uses the word “realm” at least seven times, according to Strong’s, and I’d really hate to count how many times the KJV uses the words “age” and “light.”  Just because people use the same words that doesn’t mean they have the same theology or even ideology!  

9.  This whole chapter can be summed up as Riplinger’s claims being nothing more than, “OH MY, they used a word that New Agers use!!!!”  This is just foolishness, and her claims have no basis in reality.

Fundamentalists Preserved the Faith

Historically, Fundamentalists in America marched to the front lines to do battle with the opposing liberalism of the early twentieth century.  On the other hand, Evangelicals in Great Britain took a more relaxed approach and unintentionally . . . allowed liberalism to ultimately win the day.  Much criticism has been launched at the Fundamentalist movement, some of it deserved, but arguably it is the Fundamentalist who should be given much credit for the preservation of the evangelical faith in America.

Gary E. Gilley, “It Works For Me…, Pragmatism and the twenty-First Century Church,” PFO’s “The Quarterly Journal,” Jan-Mar 2015, p.7