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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Get rid of the human weeds

...according to Sanger.

“Mrs. Sanger gave seven reasons for supporting birth control, including the dangers to the race of procreation by diseased or mentally imbalanced persons.”  The Vancouver Sun, July 24, 1923, p. 2

“If I understand anything of the practises and working of the various sects and the tactics of some of the leaders of the inferior races there is grave danger that control of offspring would mean simply that the women of the better kind would be the only ones to limit the number of their children.” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 29, 1925, p. 4A

“Birth Control is not contraception indiscriminately and thoughtlessly practiced. It means the release and cultivation of the better racial elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extirpation of defective stocks — those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.”  New York Times, April 1923

Quotes from Margaret Sanger, “mother” of abortion and Planned Parenthood in the U.S.A 

Friday, January 22, 2021

4 Categorizations of KJV-Only

In discussing “the basic issues involved in the King James Only debate,” John Ankerberg and John Weldon write:
“There are several distinct KJV groups which include: 1) people who prefer the KJV above all other Bibles but could not be classified as KJV only; 2) people who argue that the underlying Hebrew and Greek texts used by the KJV translators are superior to all other texts. Thus group would not necessarily argue that such texts are inspired but that they more accurately reflect the original writings; 30 those who argue that onlythe Textus Receptus (TR) has been supernaturally preserved and inspired and is therefore inerrant. (The TR is the text on which the KJV is based; there are over 30 editions, none 100 percent identical.) For those who hold this view, the KJV translation itself would not necessarily be inspired; 4) the most dominant group are those who argue that the KJV translation itself constitutes an inspired and inerrant text. Categories 3 and 4 comprise the core of the controversy and are our principal concern.
The Facts on the King James Only Debate, by John Ankerberg and John Weldon, ATRI Publishing, 2011.

Written later than the categorizations of James R. White, Ankerberg and Weldon choose to condense the categorizations to four rather than White’s five. Is this better or worse? Makes no difference?

Thursday, January 21, 2021

“Enemy” Testimony and KJVO

It interesting that those “of old” who did not support an inspired and infallible King James translation – unlike their modern counterparts – nevertheless knew that there were those who so believed. Sometimes the testimony of “King James Only” support is found in the writings of their “enemies.” Here are three.

Anglican cleric, poet, and textual critic Henry Alford (1810-1871)
Commenting on Hebrews 10:23 – “Let us hold fast…” – Henry Alford writes:
We have here an extraordinary example of the persistence of a blunder through centuries. The word “faith,” given here by the A. V., instead of hope — breaking up the beautiful triad of vv. 22, 23, 24, — faith, hope, love, — was a mere mistake, hope being the original, without any variety of reading, and hope being accordingly the rendering of all the English versions previously to 1611. And yet this is the version which some would have us regard as infallible, and receive as the written word of God! 
(The New Testament for English Readers, Vol. II, Part II. London: Rivingtson, 1872 (New Edition), p. 706)

Basil Manly, Jr., a Baptist preacher and educator (1825–1892)
Basil Manly believed there had been “a providential guardianship over the Word, by which it has been preserved remarkably incorrupt, and singularly attested as being substantially the same that proceeded from the original writers” (p. 82). Nevertheless he believed that the received text needed correction in “about a dozen important passages” and makes it clear he did not believe in the infallibility of any particular translation. In his explanation, though, he indicates there were presently such believers.
We do not deny that there have been some wild and unfounded assertions on the subject, just as there is even now, with some ignorant persons, an assumption of the infallibility and equality with the original of some particular translation, as the Vulgate, or King James’s, or Luther’s. 
(The Bible Doctrine of Inspiration Explained and Vindicated, New York, NY: A. C. Armstrong and Son, 1891, pp. 83-84)

William Bell Riley (1861–1947), Baptist pastor and fundamentalist leader
W. B. Riley, personally held a view that “The Bible is divine in origin, and human in expression (p. 13).” He also recognized some that considered the translation itself inspired.
There are at least three features of the old conception, each of which has now passed away. They are, first, that the Bible was finished in heaven and handed down; second, that the King James Version was absolutely inerrant; third, that its literal acceptance and interpretation was, alone, correct...
Is the King James version absolutely inerrant?
On this point we are inclined to think that, even unto comparatively recent years, such a theory has been entertained. 
(The Menace of Modernism, (New York, NY: Christian Alliance Publishing Company, 1917, p. 6ff.)

RSV Reviewers, 1946, Louis F. Martin of St. Andrews Church, and Ray Summers of Southwestern Seminary
“The Star Telegram has asked two Fort Worth Protestant clergymen to prepare articles discussing the need for the [Revised Standard Version]…” It appears that the statement below is from Louis F. Martin, Rector of St. Andrews Episcopal Church.
“There at some who think the King James Version is or contains the word of God and that anything recent or modern cannot be good.”
Revised New Testament Hailed by Reviewers Here as Superb Work,” Louis F. Martin and Ray Summers, Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas), Sunday, May 5, 1946, page 10, section 1

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Mark Buch and the KJV

The Vancouver Sun, Thursday, November 27,1952, p. 23

For his fierce opposition to the new Revised Standard Version as “a fraud and a deception slipped over on the common people,” fundamentalist pastor Markvor Buch won the title “The Burning Buch.”[i] Many have not heard of him.

In 1995, in his book For Love of the Bible, David W. Cloud mentioned Canadian pastor Mark Buch as a defender of the King James Version Bible.[ii] Cloud has noted various defenders of the KJV outside the purported trilogy of “Wilkinson, Wray, and Wruckman.” The anti-KJV crowd sells stock in this trilogy line. It makes a great strawman argument. They hold up an Adventist, Plagiarist, and Extremist as the originators of the “King James Only” view of the Bible. The anonymous Ruckmanism.org website downplays the contributions of Buch, since persons such as he do not help sell any of their stock. The article “First Influence” questions the actual beliefs of Buch about the Bible. Further, it claims that no KJV defender “has written mentioning Buch as having influenced him” and that no one has listed “Buch in the bibliographies of their writings before David Cloud mentioned him.” Buch’s own pronouncements clarifies the first question. The latter ignores the influence a preacher has through his preaching ministry.[iii] It is not necessary for Buch to have written a book to be influential. Further, if he did not write a book, he would be listed in no one’s bibliography.[iv]

Mark Buch was saved in 1931. Shortly thereafter he felt called into the ministry.[v] He studied under William Aberhart at the Calgary Prophetic Bible Institute. He was ordained Friday May 13, 1938.[vi] He pastored Emmanuel Baptist Church in Vancouver, British Columbia, before organizing the People’s Fellowship in 1939.[vii] Buch preached at churches and Bible conferences in the United States, including Bob Jones University. He shared platforms with other notable fundamentalists such as Ernest Pickering, J. Frank Norris, John R. Rice, G. B. Vick, and Charles Woodbridge. Bob Jones, Sr., Ian Paisley, P.W. Philpott, Ernest Weller (China Inland Mission), and many others spoke at People’s Fellowship Tabernacle in Vancouver. In the late 1960s, he served on the BJU cooperating board of trustees.[viii] In 1977, Charles Woodridge and the Community Bible Church made Mark Buch an associate minister. Whatever this involved, Buch continued to pastor the People’s Fellowship Tabernacle.[ix] The announcement stated that Buch “is widely known, both in Canada and the U.S.A, as a radio preacher of great power. His cassette tape ministry is a blessing to multitudes.” Woodbridge also said, “Mr. Buch and I are of one mind in proclaiming the inerrant inspiration of the Bible and the purity of the church—and all this against the fearful odds of modern ecumenical compromise.”[x]

Markvor Buch was born in Denmark, November 30, 1910. He came with his family to Canada in 1924. He learned his ABCs from an Irish schoolteacher, and later mastered the English language “by repeated reading of the Authorized (1611) version of the Bible.”[xi] He spoke Danish as well as English, and was able to preach in both languages. Early sermon titles suggest an interest in the “Bible versions debate.”[xii] His opposition to the Revised Standard Version brought his Bible views to the fore. Unlike some other fundamentalists, Buch’s message was not just negative toward the RSV, but positive toward the King James Version. He traveled widely and spoke at rallies opposing the RSV. Announcing a rally at People’s Fellowship Tabernacle, the newspaper reported “Mark Buch will cite objections to key texts, and deal with original sources, ‘to prove why the King James’ version is the divinely-preserved Word of God to English-speaking peoples of the world.’”[xiii] Speaking at this rally, “He [Mark Buch, rlv] reiterated an earlier claim the King James version was the only true version of the Bible.” He further pointed out that the RSV’s claim “to change only the wording of the scriptures ‘is a fraud’.”[xiv] On November 28, 1952, Mark Buch debated Vernon Fawcett, professor of Union College at the University of British Columbia, “Is the New Translation of the Bible an Improvement Over the Old?”[xv] In December, he traveled to Calgary for a rally at the Bethel Baptist Church, telling the crowd “the battle for these two books will go down in history as the greatest battle of the 20th century.”[xvi]

In June of 1953, Pastor Buch wrote a series of four articles for The Vancouver Province newspaper – apparently initially intended to be three:

“Rev. Mark Buch, pastor of the People’s Fellowship Tabernacle, Vancouver, has forwarded a series of three articles on his opinions as to the true Bible and its origin. The Province prints these articles in the hope that they, along with the recent series on ‘The Revised Standard Version,’ by Dr. Ernest Marshall Howse of the United Church, will help its readers to draw their own conclusions.”

In the first article, he discusses three theories of inspiration; the fact we do not possess the originals, but that God has preserved his word; and the pure and impure streams of the Scriptures. He sets the Revised Standard Version in the impure stream, but does not yet discuss the AV/KJV per se. He does write, however, “To say then that one believes in the verbal inspiration of the original only, holds little encouragement today for those who grope for the truth, for what good are inspired originals which are lost? Have we then lost the faultless Word of God? No!”[xvii]

In the second, Buch delineates two lines of Bibles. “The big question to us then is not, ‘Did God inspire the original manuscripts?’ We know that He did, but has God preserved that perfect revelation through time in copying and translation? Again and again the Word itself emphatically states He has...I have now brought you along the path of pure Scriptures to the era of the translation commonly known as the Authorized Version of the Bible. Thus you see the basis of the Authorized Version is the oldest and purest in the world. It springs from a line and history altogether different from the spurious line, such as the Revised Standard Version.”[xviii]

In the third, Buch defends the King James Bible as best. “Has God preserved His Word intact for this generation? If it were lost in the passing of the original manuscripts, then with it has also passed the doctrine of individual responsibility to God. Then at best we shall drift on and on until we become shipwrecked upon the dark reefs of eternity’s unknown night…Let me sum up this article by saying that the Authorized Version is a correct translation of a perfect copy of an infallible original.”[xix]

In the fourth and final article, Buch compares of texts of the two Bibles, KJV and RSV. He writes of the King James Version, “This Book is God’s peculiar gift to the English-speaking world. Read it! Heed it! Believe it!”[xx]

Buch had a local ally in W. M. Robertson, pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle. “A number of Fundamentalist and other ministers are also opposed to the new version. Rev. W. M. Robertson in Metropolitan Tabernacle [bold original] on Sunday evening, entitling his sermon “The Unholy Bible,” will assert that ‘the extravagant claims made for the new version are not warranted by the facts, and any minor gains of languages are more than offset by grave errors that undermine some of the vital truths of the Gospel.”[xxi] In another issue of The Sun reported,

“Because of the controversy over the new version of Scripture, Rev. W. M. Robertson in Metropolitan Tabernacle [bold original] on Sunday evening will speak on ‘What Bible?’ with special reference to the claim that the King James version is the only true one. He will assert that from the days the Church has been in possession of a truly authentic Scripture.”[xxii]

David Cloud relates from Buch’s scrapbook: “In the Fall [probably circa 1933, rlv] I went back to the Prophetic Bible Institute in Calgary [William Aberhart’s school]. I came to the second year of Apologetics. It opened the subject of Divine Inspiration and preservation in particular, of the original manuscripts.” In the scope of the Institute’s “Apologetics B” course, Buch would have learned:

1. It establishes the infallibility of the Bible and proves its claim to divine inspiration.

2. It traces the sources of the various versions and establishes the divine inspiration of the Authorized Version.

3.It examines the difficult passages and apparent contradictions and demonstrates the perfection and harmony of the Bible as a whole.[xxiii]

Mark Buch maintained a pro-KJV position over the course of some 60 years, and defended it against various comers. Pastor Markvor “Mark” Buch died at his home September 22, 1995, leaving behind family members, wife, Sylvia; daughter, Ingrid; son, Wesley; and many other family members. He is buried at Ocean View Burial Park in Burnaby, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Those who refuse to acknowledge “The Burning Buch” as a “King James Only” advocate have their proverbial heads buried in the sand.[xxiv]

1991


[i] “Wins Title of ‘Burning Buch’,” The Vancouver Sun, Saturday, December 17, 1952, p. 28.
[ii] See also, https://www.wayoflife.org/database/buch.html
[iii] Buch’s preaching went out over radio and by cassette tape, meaning his influence reached beyond the physical walls of the sanctuaries and auditoriums where he preached. “Rev. Mark Buch Preaches Again,” Santa Ynez Valley News, Thursday, February 2, 1978, p. 13A. His radio ministry was not limited to Vancouver. For example, he was on KWSO in the Santa Ynez Valley of California, and 50,000-watt KERI in Bakersfield. Santa Ynez Valley News, Thursday, May 22, 1980, p. C3; Thursday, October 17, 1991, p. 12A.
[iv] In 1977, Buch published a ”fifty-eight page scrapbook,” In Defence of the Authorized Version: One Pastor’s Battle. Free distribution of the scrapbook occurred at the 25th anniversary of Buch’s debate with Vernon Fawcett about the RSV vs. KJV. At the anniversary service, Buch preached a message of the same title as the book. See The Vancouver Sun, Saturday, November 26, 1977, p. F13.
[v] “Rev. Mark Buch Preaches Again,” Santa Ynez Valley News, Thursday, February 2, 1978, p. 13A.
[vi] The Daily Province, Saturday, May 14, 1938, p. 5.
[vii] Apparently in late summer. He was still pastor of Emmanuel at least as late as June 1939, according to newspaper accounts, and is mentioned at People’s Fellowship in August. People’s Fellowship Tabernacle was at the least baptistic, but usually advertised as independent, fundamental, and non-denominational. According to David Cloud, circa 1990 “People’s Fellowship Tabernacle merged with the Bethel Baptist Church to become the Tabernacle Baptist Church of Vancouver. Its pastor is Gordon Conner, who continues to hold a standard for the King James Bible and biblical Fundamentalism in western Canada.”
[viii] “Bob Jones To Confer About 400 Degrees,” The Greenville News, Wednesday, May 31, 1967, p. 11.
[ix] In this arrangement, apparently the Community Bible Church in Solvang “rendered honor to whom honor is due,” received visits from time to time from Buch, and recognized his Danish heritage. Danes founded Solvang (Sunny Field, aka “The Danish Capital of America”) in 1911 on the Rancho San Carlos de Jonata Mexican land grant. "His presence in our area will be a blessing to Danish speaking residents of our Valley," Woodbridge said. “Community Bible Church appoints associate minister,” Santa Ynez Valley News, Thursday, December 1, 1977, p. 18A.
[x] “Community Bible Church appoints associate minister,” Santa Ynez Valley News, Thursday, December 1, 1977, p. 18A.
[xi] “Rev. Mark Buch Preaches Again,” Santa Ynez Valley News, Thursday, February 2, 1978, p. 13A.
[xii] For example, “Have We Today an Infallible Copy of the Bible?” on Sunday, March 19, 1939, 7:30 p.m. The Vancouver Sun, Saturday, March 18, 1939, p. 35. See also, “Is The Bible Trustworthy and Reliable,” in The Vancouver Sun, Saturday, June 30, 1951, p. 12; “Bible Versions Under Study,” The Daily Province, Saturday, June 30, 1951, p. 41; and “True Bible Man’s Need,” in The Daily Province, Saturday, July 14, 1951, p. 21 (all before the full RSV was published).
[xiii] “Protest Rally Called Against New Version,” The Vancouver Sun, Saturday, November 1, 1952, p. 13.
[xiv] “Sponsors of New Bible Dubbed ‘False Prophets’,” The Vancouver Province, Saturday, November 8, 1952 p. 9.
[xv] “Bible Revision Will Be Debated,” The Vancouver Sun, Thursday, November 27, 2952, p. 23.
[xvi] “Vancouver Minister Scores New Bible,” The Calgary Herald, Wednesday, December 17, 1952, p. 27.
[xvii] “Tabernacle Pastor Discusses Theories,” by Mark Buch, The Vancouver Province, Saturday, June 6, 1953, p. 21.
[xviii] “Christians Took Scrolls Into Alps,” by Mark Buch, The Vancouver Province, Saturday, June 13, 1953, p. 21.
[xix] “King James Version Defended As Best,” by Mark Buch, The Vancouver Province, Saturday, June 20, 1953, p. 22.
[xx] “Comparisons Made Between Two Books,” The Vancouver Province, Saturday, June 27, 1953, p. 47.
[xxi] “Protest Rally Called Against New Version,” The Vancouver Sun, Saturday, November 1, 1952, p. 13.
[xxii] “Says Church Has Authentic Bible Since Early Era,” The Vancouver Sun, Saturday, November 15, 1952, p. 10. Robertson was born Scotland in 1883. A Regular Baptist Church, Metropolitan Tabernacle joined the Independent Fundamental Churches of America in 1931. See Pilgrims in Lotus Land: Conservative Protestantism in British Columbia, 1917-1981, Robert K. Burkinshaw, Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 1995.
[xxiii] Calgary Prophetic Bible Institute, Apologetics B, The Scope of the Subject. http://www.aberhartfoundation.ca/PDF%20Documents/Prophetic-%20Berean%20Cirriculum/Prophetic/Apologetics%20B%20-CPBI.pdf
[xxiv] Even James R. White in The King James Only Controversy allows for “I Like the KJV Best” and “The Textual Argument” to be part of the “King James Only” camp (pp. 23-24). Surely Mark Buch, whose position was so much more, earns a place among the contemporary defenders of the King James Bible. The Anti-KJVO folks need to find their own “just weights and measures” if they can’t figure that out.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Large List of Articles about The Bible

Due to recent discussions and studies regarding the King James Version of the Bible, I decided to attempt an exhaustive (or exhausting) list of posts about the Bible that are on Seeking the Old Paths. I hope this might make the finding of posts and maneuvering around the Bible a little easier. A blog is not as conducive to this as a web page/site.

About King James Only before “Wilkinson, Wray, and Ruckman”
Answering the Anti-KJV Agenda
Apocrypha
Baptist Voices for the King James Version
Categorizing Bible views
False Friends
New Bibles Galore
Preservation
Miscellaneous posts

Monday, January 18, 2021

Answering the myths, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Better is the end of a thing

“Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof.” Ecclesiastes 7:8 
We see this principle manifested in the first recorded miracle of the ministry of the LORD JESUS. HE turned water into wine at Cana of Galilee. When the ruler of the feast tasted that wine he remarked “thou hast kept the good wine until now.” (John 2:10) We see its ultimate glory in that which Paul describes, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Cor. 13:12) “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” (Rev. 22:20) 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Excellence of Faith

Baptist pastor Daniel Turner (1710-1798) penned this hymn, called “Excellence of Faith” (or “The Power of Faith). He became pastor of the Baptist church in Reading in 1741, until 1748. From Reading, he went to the Baptist church in Abingdon. Turner remained pastor there until his death, a service of fifty years.

Turner prepared two works of devotional poetry – Divine Songs, Hymns and other Poems in 1747, Poems Devotional and Moral in 1794. This hymn, with three others, was included in A Collection of Hymns Adapted to Public Worship, by John Ash and Caleb Evans in 1769. It also appeared in A Selection of Hymns by John Rippon (1787). Arlington, Azmon, and Evan are good stout tunes for its use. Azmon may be the most common.

1. Faith adds new charms to earthly bliss,
And saves me from its snares;
Its aid in every duty brings,
And softens all my cares:
 
2. Extinguishes the thirst of sin,
And lights the sacred fire
Of love to God, and heavenly things,
And feeds the pure desire.
 
3. The wounded conscience know its power
The healing balm to give;
That balm the saddest heart can cheer,
And make the dying live.
 
4. Wide it unveils celestial worlds,
Where deathless pleasures reign;
And bids me seek my portion there,
Nor bids me seek in vain:
 
5. Shows me the precious promise sealed
With the Redeemer’s blood;
And helps my feeble hope to rest
Upon a faithful God.
 
6. There, there unshaken would I rest,
’Till this vile body dies;
And then on faith’s triumphant wings,
At once to glory rise.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Every word of God is pure

Every word of God is pure, Proverbs 30:5.

Commentary by John Gill:
Every word of God is pure,.... The whole word of God. “All Scripture”, given by inspiration of God, to which Agur directs, as giving the best account of God, of his name, nature, and perfections; of his Son, person, offices, and grace; being pure, very pure, “purified” like silver, purified in a furnace of earth. The whole of Scripture is pure, free from all falsehood and error; coming from the God of truth, who cannot lie, and therefore called “the Scriptures of truth”: every promise is pure as well as precious, made without dissimulation, faithfully performed, and all yea and amen in Christ; every doctrine is pure, free from the mixtures and inventions of men; the sincere milk of the word; consistent and all of a piece, not yea and nay; and tending to promote purity of heart and life; wholesome words, and doctrines according to godliness; see Psalm 12:6

Friday, January 15, 2021

The King James Only “Movement”

Some have defined the “KJV Only movement” as “an organized effort that believes the King James Version of the Bible is the only preserved Word of God in the English language.” Some have talked of it endlessly while leaving it undefined (as to what they mean by movement). Identifying it as a “movement” allows ignoring the existence of any King James Only “movement” before the “movement” came to view.

Independent Baptist pastor Thomas Cassidy wrote, “I don’t see KJVOism as a ‘movement.’ It includes Pentecostals, Protestants, Baptists, and even a Mormon or two. It is much too broad to have the consistency necessary for it to be a ‘movement.’ It is simply a broad spectrum of people who have a similar view of a single doctrine, quite often rejecting any other similarities.”[i] He adds, “I think it is always dangerous to pigeon-hole people based on a single characteristic.” It may be that this is “pigeon-holing with purpose”! 

If there is such a thing as a modern “KJVO Movement,” it grew out of the opposition to the Revised Standard Version of the Bible of 1952. Much of the language and rhetoric of the KJV support since that time can be traced to the debate surrounding the RSV. Each “KJVO movement” in history appears to have a catalyst (e.g. see HERE and HERE), and the RSV was the primary catalyst of the 20th century.

Nevertheless, among the anti-KJV all Bible adherents, speaking of the “KJV Only movement” often becomes a mere debating tactic rather than a sensible historical investigation. There people create a “KJVO movement,” and then in their debates discredit anyone before “the movement” – they really were not “King James Only.” This makes “KJVO” a modern invention rather than an historical position held by some of our forefathers in the faith. I do not disagree about the existence of a strong movement beginning in latter half of the 20th century. I disagree when people claim there was no “KJVO” before 1950, or 1930, or whatever date they decide to put on it to create their strawman. Some of these same people also excel in talking out of both sides of their mouths! They will claim some view is “KJVO” when someone writes or says it today. However, when we find someone who said it in 1927 or 1900 or 1817, these same people start crawfishing – no, those people not really “KJVO”. Consistency thou art a jewel. Anti-KJVs, please find your “just weights and measure.”
__________________
[i] In Fundamentalism and the King James Version: How a Venerable English Translation Became a Litmus Test for Orthodoxy Jeffrey P. Straub agrees, writing, “...even from this brief survey of the contours of the KJV-only landscape, it is clear that there is no unified movement.”

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Various Voices for the KJV

Licking Association of Particular Baptists of Kentucky
It is the opinion and advice of this Association, to the Churches composing her body, that they use the common version of the New Testament, in preference to any other whatever. God has blessed it to the souls of His people for a long time; and our hopes and our prayers are, that He will in much mercy continue to do it. 
Lewis Corbin, Moderator, Thomas P. Dudley Clerk; 1827
We find the most palpable discord between the “Mother of Harlots” and her Protestant daughters – while she charges those daughters with apostasy, they charge her with being the Apocalyptic Beast. All would be left in doubt, but of “the sure word of prophecy.” No wonder that the Old Mother forbids to her children the use of our Bible! The wonder is, rather, that her Protestant daughters submit, with so much seeming patience, to the grand-children, having recourse to the “King James translation of the Holy Scriptures.” 
Thomas P. Dudley, Lexington, Ky., Aug. 30, 1859
We, beloved, have a Book of Truth, a “sure word of prophecy,” given by inspiration of God, which is profitable. The truth of the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures being admitted by us – blest with the Book of God – we concur in the acknowledgment that we have the last will and testament of Jesus Christ, and that we prefer it to any other and all other books in the world. We are willing to risk the supposed delusion in relation to its version, that is, the common version [i.e., King James or Authorized, rlv] the good old book – and are willing also that people may pity; pity our ignorance, should they think it such, in this determination; believing with all our hearts, that its contents will be ratified in Heaven.
“What is Truth?” Joel Morehead, 1892 Circular Letter of Licking Association of Particular Baptists of Kentucky

M. W. Gilbert, First Colored Baptist Church, Nashville, Tennessee
Our common English Bible, our King James’ Bible, translated by seventy eminent men, not one of whom was a Baptist, will lead one aright, though he know not one letter of Greek. Thousands of men and women have joined the Baptist churches by their own unaided reading of the word of God. And thousands more will join it thus. Oh, that we could get everybody of every church to read the word of God for himself! Read the word of God for yourself. Read it with a view to discover truth and unearth error. Read it to find out your duty. Read it for instruction. Read it for your sanctification. “Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and these are they which testify of me,” Jesus said. 
“Baptism,” M. W. Gilbert, (Pastor of the First Colored Baptist Church, Nashville, Tenn.) in The Negro Baptist Pulpit: A Collection of Sermons and Papers, Edward Macknight Brawley, editor, Philadelphia, PA: American Baptist Publication Society, 1890, p. 136

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Amen and awoman

U. S. House Representative Emanuel Cleaver II, a Democrat from Missouri’s 5th Congressional District, lit up the internet world with his Opening Prayer for the 117th Congress – punctuated by the affirmation “Amen ... and awoman.”

The transcription below is that Opening Prayer for the 117th Congress.[i] Representative Emanuel Cleaver II is also an ordained United Methodist minister.

Let us pray.
Eternal God, [noiselessly] we bow before your throne of grace as we leave behind the politically and socially clamorous year of 2020. We gather now in this consequential chamber to inaugurate another chapter in our roller coaster representative government. The members of this august body acknowledge your sacred supremacy, and therefore confess that without your favor and forbearance, we enter this new year relying dangerously on our own fallible nature. God, at a moment when many believe that the bright light of democracy is beginning to dim, empower us with an extra dose of commitment to its principles. May we of the 117th Congress refuel the lamp of liberty so brimful that generations unborn will witness its undying flame. And may we model community healing, control our tribal tendencies, and quicken our spirits that we may feel thy priestly presence even in moments of heightened disagreement. May we so feel your presence that our service here may not be soiled by any utterances or acts unworthy of this high office. Insert in our spirit a light so bright that we can see ourselves and our politics as we really are, soiled by selfishness, perverted by prejudice, and [inveigled] by ideology. Now may the god who created the world and everything in it, bless us and keep us. May the lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. May the lord lift up the light of his countenance upon us and give us peace; peace in our families, peace across this land, and dare I ask, O lord – peace even in this chamber; now and evermore. We ask it in the name of the monotheistic god, brahma, and god known by many names by many different faiths. Amen ... and awoman.

On the surface, this prayer may seem to be ecumenical, bipartisan, inclusive, and non-offensive. It is not. Anyone who wants to be offended should be able to find something offensive here!
  • This prayer is addressed to “Eternal god.” That should offend the atheists and agnostics.
  • This prayer twice speaks of a god addressed in the masculine gender – “his face” and “his countenance.” That should offend the feminists.
  • This prayer uses charged political terminology. That should be offensive to those with “tribal tendencies.”
  • This prayer mentions our “fallible nature.” This should offend those who reject the doctrine of a depraved sin nature.
  • This prayer acknowledges a “god who created the world and everything in it.” That should offend the evolutionists.
  • This prayer the god of many faiths. That should offend all Bible-believing Christians (as well as his not praying in Jesus’s name, and, and…).
  • This prayer genderizes “amen” (“so be it”) by adding “awoman.”[ii]  This should offend all who support Nancy Pelosi’s gender-inclusive House resolution, and all those who believe there are more than two genders.
Something here for (or not for) everybody. Probably much more.


[i] In the two places with brackets, I am not sure what is said. I think the rest of it is correct.
[ii] Representative Cleaver’s later explanation that he added “awoman” as some sort of joke (“I concluded with a light-hearted pun”) should offend all who believe in the sincerity and reality of prayer. [Note: “awoman” is used opposite “amen” – rather than awomen – because many of us, including Rep. Cleaver, pronounce “amen” closer to “aman.” That might offend someone as well.]