A Voice in the
February 8, 1999
Q/A Topics on yesterday's mailings:
Finds 'Fingerpointing' offensive: from Matthew 15:1-20 study
Now, please don't get defensive on me. Go back and read what you wrote and pretend you are a KJV believer who DOES NOT fall into legalism. How would you feel? Then, humor me if you will and reread it with all mention of KJV clutching taken out (except for the one congregation you mentioned who ignored the widow--that was a good example, though they might as well been using the RSV, NIV, NASB or NKJV for all that had to do with it). What you will see is a much stronger piece (I tried it, I know whereof I speak) that DOES NOT OFFEND INNOCENT brothers and sisters.
[Editor: There was considerably more to this note. But I think this truncation represents the concern adequately.]
The Jews had a couple of -pet- laws they judged everything by. Circumcision and Sabbath. Today's 'pharisees' also have several things, uppermost on their list being "KJV-only". Just as the Jews rejected the "Lord of the sabbath" (Mt12:8) the ones today place 'KJV-only' above all else. Is the problem "KJV-onlyism"? No. It's the -HEART-.
Was Jesus condemning circumcision? No. He was circumcised. (Lk2:21) Do we condemn the reading of the KJV? No. Because of its connection to Strongs numbers, I use it on a regular basis. Is it "inspired"? No. It is a "translation". And as such sometimes I have to pull out the Interlinear, because KJV-Strongs omitted some words here and there that should have been included. MKJV/LITV tend to be more faithful in that regard.
Did the article "point fingers at" -isolated- incidents? Well, certainly, they were -an- example. But remember, I "grew up" in the middle of this bunch. Space would not permit me to expose, nor would you want to read, the complete litany of things I -could- say, or that others have told me about. While I've never been "KJV-only", I know everything else about "phariseeism" -first-hand-. I -was- one! When I "point fingers" I point at what I used to be. If it seems like I'm on a 'campaign' against them, well, the recent revelation regarding "repentance" opened my eyes. Although I haven't been fellowshipping with them for some time, I've been going a 'little easy' on them because in my mind, on account of my background, I have thought there was still "Truth" in them, if there was going to be in -anybody-. I somewhat -still- "looked -UP-TO-" them.
But I know these people well. My ex-wife knows the loathesome lust-filled glares she used to receive from the KJV-toting men when we would go visit their churches (plural). And their wives would "hate [her] because -she- was beautiful". (Not their husbands for being full of lust!) [Ed: This kind of thing did -not- happen so much in other 'non-KJV' churches.] I know what it's like to be shunned over the KJV issue; both in person and on the internet. I know what it's like to be "politicked" out of these places by the pastors, when I began to see error, and became vocal about it against their 'highnesses'. (Being kicked out of one of these places isn't at all unlike 'excommunication' from a RCC. As the 'Circumcision' excommunicated the one "born blind" -Jn9:34) You see, "KJV-only" is -not- the issue. It never was when I left these places under less-than-ideal circumstances. (I was using KJV then) It is not the problem. It is merely a symptom. I was a Believer, trying to fellowship amongst people I didn't realize at the time were -wolves-...and the darkness rejected the Light. (Jn1:5) -THEY- are the ones who make "KJV" the issue. -THEY- are the ones who make it the 'definition' of themselves as an entity. -Their- "label". But their -HEARTS- are what is the problem. The March article on Romans ch3 will touch on this some more. And be sure, as we progress further along in Matthew, Jesus is going to get even "nastier" against them. So, when we speak of them, we use -their- label of themselves ["KJV-only"] and proceed to address the -heart-issues-, as Jesus did to "THE Circumcision". (Rom3:29-30,Acts10:45,Gal2:7-8,etc.)
Just as an aside here: ..there are variations of these groups. "Landmarkism", "independent", etc. But the one thing that seems to be a common thread amongst them is "KJV-only-ism", in pretty much the same way the Jews clung to "circumcision".
Don't be too concerned. The only people who will be "offended" are those who are -NOT- True "Brothers and Sisters". I know of several people who are 'KJV-only' and proclaim themselves as such on their websites. But I also know that they are True Believers in Jesus Christ. They use KJV for the right reasons; because it came from Masoretic/Textus Receptus manuscripts. Not, because it is their "holy grail".
Yes, the others probably -will-be- offended. The disciples suggested this to Jesus (Mt15:12) but He said that His "heavenly Father" had not "planted" them. (vs13) As we progress, He is going to label them "whitewashed tombs" being "full of dead men's bones" (23:27)
Many of you have come out of Catholicism, or JW'ism, or ???ism. I came out of Phariseeism. After growing up in the surroundings you did, you struggled with "how can they be ALL bad?" And you dragged your feet in some cases. Or, after you left, your mind still looked back, not wanting to -have-to- believe they were 'totally corrupt'...because you had a lifetime of trusting in them for 'truth'. Eventually the Lord allows you to see 'something' which makes it all -click- for you. The recent jolt regarding "repentance" was that "click" for me. I addressed the issue of -one- website. But the "click" was based on a life-time of memories. The website was merely the catalyst.
Just as ex-Catholics who have come to Christ tend to be quite 'militant' regarding exposing RCC error, you can expect the same from me regarding "Phariseeism". And this is 'fitting' that this should have all clicked for me recently, as we progress further along in our studies in Matthew in the coming weeks. Yes... some of you will 'crucify' me for this in your hearts, and dissect me via e-mail. But then, that's what they did, ultimately, to Jesus, isn't it...
"If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they have kept My saying, they will also keep yours" (Jn15:18-19)
What/Whom do we believe in? Are we "KJV believers"? (I challenge anyone to find such an expression anywhere in the Bible, even a KJV) Or, do we "believe in the Lord Jesus Christ"? (Acts16:31)
"..I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1Cor2:2)
Christian wife in the nightclub? Matthew 15:1-20 study
When Dr. Mitchell (at Bible school) taught this in class that one day, within myself I revolted against the thought violently. (I was still a pharisee at the time) He was a great Bible teacher, but I -just- COULD NOT ACCEPT THIS. And did not for many years. Right is right, and sin is sin...and there was just NO WAY a Christian could ever be justified darkening the doors of the world's haunts. Mitchell addressed the subject from the perspective of an actual woman who had come to him for counsel on the matter. Let me share his reasoning first, and then we'll review what Peter says...
The wife (Believer married to an unsaved husband) was asked something on the order of: as for her marriage, what was her greatest desire? To have and -keep- the marriage. (1Co7:10-13) To love her husband and see his eventual salvation. If her husband went to the tavern -without- her, she could be pretty sure that, the way the world's males behave, that he would find 'someone' to be with. After all, does not everybody know that there's lots of 'kittens' on-the-prowl, looking for unattached males to sink their claws into. If she was not with him, somebody 'else' -would- be. That's one of the purposes of those places, for unattached people to "hook up"; and the world in those settings doesn't usually care if "unattached" means "single" or "alone" (for the moment). If she wanted to keep her marriage in tact, if he was going somewhere, she had better be going along to be with him. Be his wife, keep him company, and be happy with him.
What does Peter say? he uses the example of Sarah. What do we know about Sarah? Sarah called Abraham "lord". (1Pet3:6) In other words, Sarah was -under- the authority of her husband Abraham. And what do we know of their lives? Sarah was "beautiful" (Gen12:11); and as they are going down into Egypt due to a famine Abraham asks her to "please say that you are my sister" (vs13) Abraham is fearing for his life. He fears that because she is so "easy-on-the-eyes" that somebody who wants her might kill him in order to have her. And so, the Egyptians did see that she was attractive, and she was taken into pharaoh's house.
Sarah obeyed Abraham, and came into potential jeopardy.
Now, this person is conerned about "vulnerability" in nightclubs. Well, how much more vulnerable can you get, than to be 'taken' into the ruler's house....which...the next step would then be the ruler's bed?
Sarah, in obedience to God, in submission under Abraham....God protected her. Check out vs17.
Yes, Sarah was in peril. Abraham had been foolish, and exibited a lapse of faith in God's protection. But God intervened on Sarah's behalf, because of -her- 'obedience'; independent of her husband's lapse in faith and judgment.
And what does Peter say about her? "...whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror" (vs6) What was the "good" Sarah had done? Calling Abraham "lord" and being submissive to him in obedience...which is Peter's context, to "be subject to your own husbands..." (vs1)
If God protected Sarah from Egypt's ruler, do you not suppose He is also able to protect the Believing wife who dolls herself up, takes the arm of her husband, and accompanies him to the nightclub?
Whether or not the couple goes to the nightclub is for the husband's conscience. The Believing wife's conscience is governed based on her own submission to her husband.
No....this is not "women's lib" where the woman is free to do "her own thing", and has "her own rights". This is Godly submission. There's a lot of self-righteous biddies out there who are nothing more-nor-less than pharisee-esses, who themselves are not submitted to their own husbands. If they were to be -truly- 'righteous' and submit to their own husbands without reserve, stop preaching -at- their husbands (and everybody else) but exhibit the "meek and quiet spirit" (1Pet3:4) perhaps their husbands would have no desire to be looking around and then find themselves lusting after others? And what do you suppose that, then, she would also find herself being happier, too? (1Co7:1-5)
And while we're at it, let's go a step further here: How many of those biddies, in church sharing all the gossip about their unsaved husbands as a "prayer request", would do more towards their husband's salvation if they would just shut their mouths and GO HOME -to- their husbands, and BE -WITH- their husbands. Instead of "praying for" their husbands, -LIVING- in their husband's presence the Christian life of the "meek and quiet spirit". (1Pet3:4)
Yes, the KJ-only pharisees worry about "appearances" (1Th5:22kjv), the appearances of being seen going into a nightclub; but neglect the "form/kind" (1Th5:22) of evil... the sin of not being subject to the husband, and in such a case thus leaving the door open for him to become lustful towards the aformentioned 'kittens'; with the potential that the marriage breaks up. Does the Godly woman prefer to have a clean slate before her fellow-pharisees (for not having gone to the nightclub); or a clean heart before God for having stuck with her husband, and keeping her marriage alive? The Godly wife is not answerable to the church congregation, its biddies, nor its pastor; but to her -OWN- husband. (1Co14:35, Eph5:22,24, Col3:18, Tit2:5, 1Pet3:1,5)
Naaman, after he was healed and saved, asks Elisha about having to accompany his master into the pagan temples to bow (his body, not his spirit) to the pagan deities, and Elisha responds, "Go in peace" (2Ki5:17-19)
God knows the -heart-, even if the body sometimes 'appears' (kjv) to be compromised. After all, Jesus was crucified for us; and that was no 'modest' occasion! He was our Sacrifice. (1Co5:7b) Thus, don't be so worried about "appearances" before fellow-pharisees and all their condemnatory gossip (they have a "name that they are alive, but they are dead" Rev3:1), but what is 'your' -heart- before God?
Christian wife -doing- sinful acts?
(The question could easily be expanded outwards to other deeds: murder, robbery, extortion, etc. But we'll just address the immediate query. The principles apply to these other things, as well.)
God 'delivered' Sarah before it got to that point with Pharaoh. On the other hand Esther participated in the Babylonish (eastern) custom of taking her 'turn' with the king, in sequence, until the king -picked- her to be the new queen; and Mordecai suggested to her that she had been put in that position "for such a time as this" (Es4:14) to deliver Israel from the treachery of Haman. But in that case, she was a virgin. And if you've seen the series "Life is in the Blood" in one of the items in that series, (I think the Q/A item: " sex education-ladies") I think it addresses the difference between -one- man having multiple wives (like they did in the OT and eastern cultures) vs one woman being with multiple males. It has to do with the male giving the female the "nephesh" (soul) that is in the blood that is in the sperm. One male giving to many females does not 'mix' many souls together into one person the same way many males with one female does. It ceases to be "two become one", but becomes "many" into one.
David, the one after God's heart, had numerous wives. In the OT ordinances, God specified things regarding men who had more than one wife, and resulting children from those wive[s]. The man was to honor the firstborn, even if he came from the "hated" wife. The man was to treat -all- his wives and their offspring fairly. (De21:15-17) Samuel, perhaps one of Israel's greatest prophets (next to Moses), came from a mother of a multiple-wife marriage.
So...based on that, depending on 'what' the other person is (male/female?) it -could- make a difference. (The word "could" is a very -WEAK- "could") The whole thing is really so loathsome and disgusting! Sometimes a Believer has to know where God wants them to draw the line, and then take whatever consequences may result. The three (Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah) went into the fire, out of which God delivered them. But before going in, they said that God was 'able' to deliver them; but even if He didn't, nevertheless they would not bow to the image. (Dan3:17-18) So, when it's a matter of -doing- specific evil/sin/wickedness, not just going around where it is (Jesus ate with sinners, He was 'where' they were, but He did not engage in their sinful deeds 1Pt2:22)....the Believer may need to draw that line and refuse to cross it. Hopping into bed is a whole 'nuther path than merely hanging onto the arm of one's husband in an evil place. That whole topic came about because of "appearances" (kjv) and phariseeism. Hopping into bed is a "form" of evil, not merely an "appearance" of it. After all, Hebrews 11 and other passages are full of references to many who refused to cross the line, and suffered the consequences; and the writer says, "...of whom the world was not worthy" (Heb11:38)