Saturday, August 25, 2007

NWA: Express Yourself

Nothing I love better than well-crafted propaganda that flies in the face of those who dream of pre-civil-rights America.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Walketh Not in the Counsel of the Ungodly

A thought from Psalms 1.

1Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Those that have treated us without Christian Charity are guilty of ungodliness. Those leaders that fall into sin and cover it up and those that aid them in the cover up are sinners. Those preachers who speak proud and boastful taunts against mainstream evangelicals (however wrong they may be) are the scorners.
We are not FOLLOW them (walketh not in the counsel), WALK with them (standeth in the way), or join in their SPIRIT (sitteth in the seat).
We are not to allow their dictates to rule our lives- it would be walking in the counsel of the ungodly! Their lack of Christian Charity has nullified everything else they have said- they have become, as Paul put it, a tinkling cymbal.
What do we do? We turn to the Scriptures and meditate, or think, on our own. If we will do so because our delight is to know Him, then we shall be like a prosperous tree planted.
Truly they who have cast us out and proclaim some future harsh judgment from God on us "know not what Spirit" they are of.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I am independent and fundamental and baptist- just not an IFB

Sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
I speak against IFBs so much you may begin to wonder WHAT I am.
To the extent that IFBs redefine and add on to being independent and fundamental and baptist, I am against it.
I have already written a post on I, F, and B here.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

IFBs and the Seventh-Day Adventists

A side thought
For as much as IFBs talk about the men leading the church and the home, in my experience, what the "Mrs." wants, the "Mrs." gets. The women don't hold _positions_ of power, but they make up for that with their _attitude_ and _influence_. Is it a reaction to a feeling of suppression? Or is it just merely the outworking of their hearts' desire in the only form available?

A word on the roots of KJVOs
In response to the point that modern KJVOism started in the 1930s. It is often pointed out that a group of men called the "old conception" were present in the mid-to-late 19th century that held KJVO views. This is, in fact, the case. However several points need to be made:
1. These men never caused any of the denominations or Baptist groups to change their position
2. By 1920 the "old conception" men had died off having never left enough of an impression any group for their views to be carried on

So when, in 1930, a Seventh-Day Adventist by the name of Benjamin Wilkenson put forth the KJVO position in his book, Our Authorized Bible Vindicated, he did so independently. Not only is this evident from the time-line of the "old conception" movement, but it is also evident from the scope of that movement, which would have had no dealings with the SDA, especially given that the height of the movement was during Ellen White's adult lifetime.

Furthermore, men like Ray, Fuller, and Ruckman did not reach back in their quotations and defense of KJVO to the "old conception" men; they reached back to each other and ultimately, to Wilkenson.

For KJVO IFBs, they reach back to Hyles, who took from Ruckman initially.

And this is not the ONLY major fighting doctrine IFBs inherited from the Seventh-Day Adventists.

6-day/24-hr day creationism as an essential doctrine
Now let me say, from the outset, that I subscribe to the gap theory. Gen 1:1, then perhaps the creation of angels and the earth as their habitation, the resulting destruction as a result of Satan's fall, and then v.2, the recreation of a void earth for man. As such, I do believe in a miraculous 6-day/24-hr day creation.

Is it a point of no-compromise for me? No. I don't see why IFBs have to have a problem with theistic evolutionists. My mom has an atheist friend who says she can't accept Christ because she can't accept a literal, 6-day/24-hr day creation. This shouldn't be the case.

Truly the grandfather of the modern-day YEC (Young Earth Creationism) movement is Seventh-Day Adventist George McCready Price. In 1902 he published what was the first attempt to harmonize a literal reading of Genesis 1 with new scientific findings, titled "Outlines of Modern Christianity and Modern Science". From the "Reasons to Believe" website:

"Shortly after the turn of the century the self-instructed Adventist geologist George McCready Price began advocating a scientific version of White's views that he called "the new catastrophism," "the new geology," or simply "flood geology." According to Price, a correct reading of Genesis 1 ruled out any notion of "creation on the installment plan," that is, creative acts interspersed over millions of years, which he regarded as a "burlesque" of creation. The gap theory required too much verbal "dodging and twisting" to conform to his standards of biblical literalism, and the day-age theory seemed even more egregious."

So we see that the predominant theories among Christians at the time were the "gap theory" and the "day-age theory." Into this Mr. McCready began to fight for a straight, unassuming, literal reading of Gen 1, and in 1925 published "The New Geology," in which he laid out scientific arguments for YEC, many of which are still used today. In the famous Scopes trial, Williams Jennings Bryan quoted some of Price's arguments and his opponent Darrow said, "You mentioned Price because he is the only human being in the world so far as you know that signs his name as a geologist that believes like you do . . . every scientist in this country knows [he] is a mountebank and a pretender and not a geologist at all."

Among those who borrowed directly from Price are Dudley Joseph Whitney in mid-1930s, and ultimately Henry Morris, the founder of ICR(Institute for Creation Research) out of which came Ken Ham of AiG(Answers in Genesis). Of Price, Mr. Morris said that reading "The New Geology" was a life changing experience.

It's a small world

KJVOs who know about the old conception men quote WB Riley for proof that these men existed as late as 1917. In the extended quote, Riley says "I think it would be accepted without fear of successful controversy that such fogies in Biblical knowledge are few, and their funerals are nigh at hand." Riley was AGAINST KJVOism himself, and as it turns out, believed in the "day-age" theory of creation. Our friend Mr. McCready spoke of Riley and said his "day-age" theory was "the devil's counterfeit."

Riley was a Baptist, and the pastor of First Baptist Church of Minneapolis, MN for 45 years from 1897-1942.

More on YEC and Ellen G. White

According to the website of the Ellen White estate:
"Although Ellen White uses the phrase “unity in diversity,” and stated “Instructors in our schools should never be bound about by being told that they are to teach only what has been taught hitherto,” she maintained that the landmarks and pillars of Adventist truth were to remain. Concepts that impact the science of geology which she “was shown” to be identified as permanent include six literal, empirical, historical 24-hour days of creation, culminating with a literal 24-hour Sabbath day of rest, and human life on earth non-existent before the literal creation week described in Genesis. Recognizing that all truth in a fallen world is vulnerable to distortion, Ellen White continually repeated her clarion call to elevate Scripture over humanity’s ideas of science. True science, in her view, must always be brought to the test of the unerring standard of Scripture.

"Ellen White was aware of ideas similar to the uniformitarianism of James Hutton. She was also aware of the scholarly scorn leveled against the notion of a recent historical creation week, similar to the scorn offered by Schleiermacher’s caricature in 1829 that only “gloomy creatures” believe in ancient literalism. In this milieu of Genesis reconstruction with its converging concept of “deep time,” she could state both, “The work of creation cannot be explained by science,” and “True science and the Bible religion are in perfect harmony.”"

Apparently, a literal reading of Gen 1 was a non-negotiable for White, and in this context it is easy to see why an SDA teacher such as Price would have fought in its defense.

America in Prophecy

I attended an IFB church in the south bay area of San Diego, CA from age 5-13. This church had Hyles in just about every year until the mid-90s. During the time I was there, they passed out the book "America in Prophecy." I remember as a young boy thinking, well that's exciting, to see America in the Bible. Of particular interest was something in the book referring to a heavenly purification starting in 1844. That peaked my interest because evidently the Bible had a prophecy with a modern date! I never made sense of it then.

Now, I know that the 1844 Investigative Judgment is a peculiar doctrine of the SDA. I also know that America in Prophecy is merely another name and packaging for Ellen White's "The Great Controversy."

I think the church just didn't realize it, at first. But the material drew them. What is it with IFBs and the SDA?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Places where the KJV follows the Septuagint over the Masoretic Text

Posting this here because I could not a find a list like this elsewhere on the net. The information is taken from the notes of the NET Bible and could be confirmed by consulting Benton's translation of the Septuagint.
I am sure it is not a complete list but it is a start. I left out KJV sidings with the LXX where no modern version reads with the Masoretic.

Leviticus 18:28
KJV-LXX: "nations"
NASB-MT: "nation"

Ruth 3:15
KJV-LXX: "then she went"
NRSV-MT: "the he went"

I Samuel 28:1
KJV-LXX: "go out with me to battle"
NASB-MT: "go out with me in the camp"

II Samuel 3:18
KJV-LXX: "I will save"
NLT-MT: "I have chosen David to save"; MT is literally "he will save"

I Chronicles 1:6
KJV-LXX: "Riphath"
NASB-MT: "Diphath"

Ezra 8:14
KJV-LXX: "with them"
NAB-MT: "with him"

Job 41:6
KJV-LXX: "banquet"
NASB-MT: "bargain"

Proverbs 13:1
KJV-LXX: "heareth his father's instruction"
NASB-MT: "accepts his father's discipline"

Proverbs 18:24
KJV-LXX: "shew himself friendly"
NASB-MT: "comes to ruin"

Ezekiel 11:13
KJV-LXX: "Ah Lord GOD wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?"
NET-MT: "Alas, sovereign Lord! You are completely wiping out the remnant of Israel!"

Micah 1:9
KJV-LXX: "wound"
NKJV-MT: "wounds"

See this paper from David Price for even more examples.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hard-liners and Personality Cults

I watched the movie "Archangel" tonight, which is based on a novel where a long lost son of Stalin comes back to rally the people back to communism, promising them a return to the glory days of the USSR, back before the shift to free-market capitalism brought vice and unemployment.
I became interested in it and got online to read up on the fall of the Soviet Union. Due to the stagnation of the Soviet economy in the mid 1980s, Gorbachev's implemented economic reforms under "perestroika." This freed many enterprises from state control. However, many failed and turned back to government for support, which brought the economy down even further. This in turn caused some of the states of the USSR to agitate for succession and independance, and resulted in the communist party losing some of its iron grip.
Even after the Communist Party gave up its monopoly on government in 1990, and the popular election of Boris Yeltsin to president of Russia, the "New Union Treaty" advanced by Gorbachev and others would have maintained a communist state. The draw back for nationalist conservatives is that it would have turned the USSR into a confederation of independant states.
The hard-liners did not want to let them go. They wanted to consolidate the power of the USSR. It was these hard-liners who sunk their own ship by staging a coup d'etat against the government in 1991 in an attempt to stop the signing of the treaty.
In the aftermath, no one would listen to Gorbachev- he was powerless. Yeltsin began to ban the Communist Party altogether in Russia.
It is interesting to watch how a hard-line no-compromise militant stand can be its own worst enemy. Reform-minded Gorbachev was on track to preserving communism, albeit at the cost of a more autonomous confederation. This was not good enough for the hard-liners.

I also noticed a blurb for "de-Stalinization." What is this I wonder? I came across Khrushchev's so-called "Secret Speech" to the 20th Soviet Congress in criticism of Stalin. Khrushchev practically preaches against what he calls the "cult of the individual." I could not help but think of some pastors I have known. Read for yourself...

Excerpts from the "Secret Speech" given by Nikita Khrushchev, Feb 24-25, 1956:

"After Stalin's death, the Central Committee began to implement a policy of explaining concisely and consistently that it is impermissible and foreign to the spirit of Marxism-Leninism to elevate one person, to transform him into a superman possessing supernatural characteristics, akin to those of a god. Such a man supposedly knows everything, sees everything, thinks for everyone, can do anything, is infallible in his behavior."

"Because not all as yet realize fully the practical consequences resulting from the cult of the individual, [or] the great harm caused by violation of the principle of collective Party direction and by the accumulation of immense and limitless power in the hands of one person,the Central Committee considers it absolutely necessary to make material pertaining to this matter available to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union."

" In a letter to the German political worker Wilhelm Bloss, [Karl] Marx stated: "From my antipathy to any cult of the individual, I never made public during the existence of the[1st] International the numerous addresses from various countries which recognized my merits and which annoyed me. I did not even reply to them, except sometimes to rebuke their authors. [Fredrich] Engels and I first joined the secret society of Communists on thecondition that everything making for superstitious worship of authority would be deleted from its statute. [Ferdinand] Lassalle subsequently did quite the opposite." "

"While ascribing great importance to the role of the leaders and organizers of the masses,Lenin at the same time mercilessly stigmatized every manifestation of the cult of the individual, inexorably combated [any] foreign-to-Marxism views about a "hero" and a "crowd,"and countered all efforts to oppose a "hero" to the masses and to the people."

"Fearing the future fate of the Party and of the Soviet nation, V. I. Lenin made a completely correct characterization of Stalin. He pointed out that it was necessary to consider transferring Stalin from the position of [Party] General Secretary because Stalin was excessively rude, did not have a proper attitude toward his comrades, and was capricious and abused his power."
"Stalin acted not through persuasion, explanation and patient cooperation with people, but by imposing his concepts and demanding absolute submission to his opinion. Whoever opposed these concepts or tried to prove his [own] viewpoint and the correctness of his [own]position was doomed to removal from the leadership collective and to subsequent moral and physical annihilation."

"Stalin originated the concept "enemy of the people." This term automatically made it unnecessary that the ideological errors of a man or men engaged in a controversy be proven.It made possible the use of the cruelest repression, violating all norms of revolutionary legality, against anyone who in any way disagreed with Stalin, against those who were only suspected of hostile intent, against those who had bad reputations. The concept "enemy of the people" actually eliminated the possibility of any kind of ideological fight or the making of one's views known on this or that issue, even [issues] of a practical nature."

"An entirely different relationship with people characterized Stalin. Lenin's traits --patient work with people, stubborn and painstaking education of them, the ability to induce people to follow him without using compulsion, but rather through the ideological influence on them of the whole collective -- were entirely foreign to Stalin. He discarded the Leninist method of convincing and educating, he abandoned the method of ideological struggle for that of administrative violence, mass repressions and terror."

"When Stalin said that one or another should be arrested, it was necessary to accept on faith that he was an "enemy of the people.""

"You should have seen Stalin's fury! How could it be admitted that he, Stalin, had not been right! He is after all a "genius," and a genius cannot help but be right! Everyone can err,but Stalin considered that he never erred, that he was always right. He never acknowledged to anyone that he made any mistake, large or small, despite the fact that he made more than a few in matters of theory and in his practical activity."

"In this connection, Stalin very energetically popularized himself as a great leader. In various ways he tried to inculcate the notion that the victories gained by the Soviet nation during the Great Patriotic War were all due to the courage, daring, and genius of Stalin and of no one else."

"Comrades: The cult of the individual acquired such monstrous size chiefly because Stalin himself, using all conceivable methods, supported the glorification of his own person."

"Comrades! The cult of the individual caused the employment of faulty principles in Party work and in economic activity. It brought about rude violation of internal Party and Soviet democracy, sterile administration, deviations of all sorts, cover-ups of shortcomings, and varnishings of reality."