But that authority (rule) is not absolute or unlimited. Pastors who demand unquestioning submission are guilty of abusing their power and authority.
Singer/Songwriter, Bible Teacher, Reformed Apologist and Evangelist, Steve Camp wrote;
But the one definition I like best does not appear in any dictionary; it is a quote I found on the site of another sarcastic blogger: Sarcasm: - intellect on the offensive
With my proposed grading system, everyone gets to feel good. Each parent will receive a "My Child Was Student Of The Year" bumper sticker so they can brag about their little achievers. Teachers will be warmly regarded and everyone will get to walk across the stage and receive their diplomas at graduation time. Then we can launch the darlings into the real world and dump them into the job market where their unsuspecting new bosses think they know something. And, by the way, if anyone cries "foul" we can just blame the whole problem of our failed education system on lack of funding, George Bush or the war in Iraq.
(The Supreme Court Judges who dissented the decision were Justices Marvin Baxter, Ming Chin, and Carol Corrigan. The majority, whose votes resulted in this high court overstepping its authority, are Werdegar, Moreno, Kennard, and George. Those four need to be recalled.)
Do we compromise the Word of God with the indiscriminate use of multiple Bible translations? I believe that many, for seemingly good reasons, teach less than Scripture, and in the process, teach a view of Scripture that is wrong.
Today we are privy to many different styles and philosophies of Bible teaching and different translations available to make the Bible easy to understand. One of the benefits is that we no longer need to struggle with a translation’s archaic language. But what I am concerned about is the “word for word” vs. “thought for thought” debate.
When we teach Scripture, we must be careful to present the Bible, according to the doctrine of inspiration, as God’s Word revealed to man with precision and detail. We study the original languages in order to understand the text and to maintain accuracy in teaching. We insist on textual integrity, and rightly so!
Jesus said, "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” Matt 5:17,18
Dynamic equivalent translations, if used properly, can be wonderful tools for study enhancement and understanding. But, by definition, dynamic translations must include a sense of commentary. To do that, translators must interject thoughts, not words, and therefore the translations cannot be literal. Words have meanings. Dynamic equivalents take liberties where liberties should not be taken. A case in point is Romans 6:4:
The word “walk” in the NASB certainly denotes living. But the word “walk” carries with it a progression of moving forward that simply does not accompany the word “live” in the same way.
That being the case, the dynamic equivalent does not convey the exact detail and accuracy of the literal translation. If that is true, should we even call anything but a literal translation a Bible at all? Perhaps dynamic equivalents fit more in a category of a translation/commentary versions, or expanded versions. Either way they are not pure translations of the Bible.
When memorizing Scripture, we should only incorporate a literal translation. If our purpose is to truly hide God’s Word in our hearts, we must make sure it is God’s Word in its purest form and not a translator’s thoughts..
An accompanying issue is that of proof-texting. A popular practice in preaching today is to provide printed outlines or display Power Point presentations with the corresponding Scriptures included. This is fine unless those references are all from different translations and paraphrases. It seems as if the translations are often chosen because of how it uses a particular English word that fits into the speakers outline. The agenda is then set by the speaker in order to make his point, and not necessarily God’s. Such misuse of Scripture is common, and alarming! What does that teach people concerning the Bible? Can Scripture be twisted to say whatever we want it to say? Can the message of the Bible be adjusted to fit the meaning of the speaker?
Finally, where did we ever get the idea that literal translations are too difficult to understand? Sure, there are some passages more difficult than others. Isn’t that what pastors, commentaries, Bible study, prayer and meditation are for? If we are not teaching and demonstrating the Bible as the pure, unchanging, infallible Word of God, we are teaching and demonstrating something far less. And that is very dangerous.
The textbook goes on to illustrate the point by using a real life example. The man was a Brigadier General in the Continental Army and a patriot leader in the American Revolution. He was a war hero of the battle of Saratoga, the battle that turned the war. Those were his public credentials and they were quite impressive.
But he also had a private life. He was the General who was responsible for dispatching food and supplies to General Washington’s troops at Valley Forge. He sold wagonloads of supplies on the black market while Washington’s men were freezing, starving and dying. Later, he sold out West Point to the British for money.
His name was Benedict Arnold and he was tried and convicted for treason. His private life was a better indicator of his true character that his public life. The textbook closed with this statement: “…it is in the private life that we are to look for the man. Private life is always real life; that’s where a man is always sure to act himself.”
It wasn’t until the late 1800’s that our nation started entertaining the notion that a man’s private life is irrelevant in the political or public arena. Robert Ingersol espoused that, when selecting leaders, they should be elected on their public competence alone and their private lives should be disregarded. And we have bought it. We accept immoral behavior from our leaders and we have allowed our lawmakers to hinder our ability to discover good people of moral character for the workplace. If Benedict Arnold lived in contemporary America, he would not only be employable, he might be a very electable candidate for public office.
(some of this historic information was derived from David Barton)
Here is how you can receive it:
I asked a couple people I know to read and comment on it. Their analyses were kind of spooky. One man said, "Well, it sounds a little strange but basically I don't disagree with it." Another said, "It is biblically based."
That's where I freaked out. There are just too many Christians who really think that the test of legitimate doctrine is that something is "biblically based."
But that is the wrong test. When Satan tempted Eve in the garden, his argument was "biblically based." He used the Word of God with just a little bit of a tweak. The doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses is "biblically based." All kinds of nutty practices and doctrines are "biblically based." the fact of the matter is that ALL HERESY IS BIBLICALLY BASED.
The important test of a teaching has nothing to do with its biblical basis; it has everything to do with its doctrinal soundness. We are commanded to "rightly divide the Word of Truth." That implies that it is possible to wrongly divide it.
Rick Warren's CLASS 101 presents a heretical, unbiblical, anemic, man-centered, false gospel where anyone can simply choose to accept Jesus without repentance or obedience.
Don't Worry; Be Happy!
“Right now, God is inviting you to live for his glory by fulfilling the purposes he made you for (sic). Will you accept God’s offer?
“First, believe. Believe God loves you and made you for his purposes. Believe you’re not an accident. Believe you were made to last forever. Believe God has chosen you to have a relationship with Jesus, who died on the cross for you. Believe that no matter what you’ve done, God wants to forgive you.
“Second, receive. Receive Jesus into your life as your Lord and Savior. Receive his forgiveness for your sins. Receive his Spirit, who will give you the power to fulfill your life purpose. The Bible says, “Whoever accepts and trusts the Son gets in on everything, life complete and forever!” John 3:36a (Msg). Wherever you are reading this, I invite you to bow your head and quietly whisper the prayer that will change your eternity:
“Jesus, I believe in you
and I receive you.”
Go Ahead. “If you sincerely meant that prayer, congratulations! Welcome to the family of God!”
It matters not how sincere or loving we are in our intentions; it matters not that God accomplishes His purpose with His Word regardless of our ineptness or frailties, heresy by any other name is still heresy.