Dropping Anchor on the S.S. Heresy

I am not sure how it has happened that I am on the mailing list for wide variety of theological and ministerial goofballs, but I am. Better judgment would probably just toss the assorted nonsense I get in the mail into the trash can and move on, but there is some sick part of me that can’t resist doing a quick scan of the lunacy. Well, today I received a copy of The Landmark Anchor which serves as “The Voice of Landmark Baptist College” in Haines City, Florida. This was the first time that I can recall receiving this particular publication, at least in this format, but I am a little familiar with Landmark and its pastor, Mickey Carter, because of their staunch KJVO position. Carter’s book, Things Which Are Different Are Not the Same, ranks among the most pathetic attempts to defend the King James Only position that I’ve read (and, sadly, I’ve read many).

So, I should have known better, but like a bug drawn to the bright light, I opened the magazine to see what was inside. Apparently the tension among the Hyles crowd is not cooling. Carter opens the magazine with a very strong attack on the folks at Hyles-Anderson College (HAC) about some kind of summit that was held in July (I wonder why I wasn’t invited?). The only interesting part of his article was the revelation that the folks at HAC apparently now have the good sense to not consider Gail Riplinger as a trustworthy source. As Carter notes, though, this indicates that Jack the Clone has departed from Jack the Original on this point.

Since the HAC crowd seems to have besmirched Mrs. Riplinger’s character (no surprise there), Carter includes a testimonial to her virtue and soulwinning zeal by her daughter. Frankly, that she was a good mother and witnesses constantly is irrelevant. The fact that she is dishonest with facts and is deceiving people about the Scriptures does though. If you’re interested in a critique of her New Age Versions, you can find one here.

All this was strangely interesting, but then I found something truly amazing. An article entitled “The Miniature Bible: More Proof that the King James Bible is Inspired” by David O’Steen (I imagine that both Joel and David are thankful for that apostrophe!), I learned that the book of Isaiah, with its 66 chapters is a divine testimony to the inspiration of the KJV. To quote O’Steen, “About 2,300 years before the King James Bible was first printed, the exact order of its 66 books was revealed in the book of Isaiah. This went unnoticed until God lead men to insert chapter and verse divisions in the Scripture and the KJB was printed.”

Amazing—even before chapter divisions, God planned it so that when the chapters were placed they would fall perfectly so as to create a perfect miniature of the entire Bible. 66 chapters and 66 books. 39 chapters/books in the first half, 27 chapters/books in the second half. Each successive chapter corresponding to the successive book of the Bible—chapter 1 and Genesis, chapter 2 and Exodus, etc. O’Steen’s concludes, based on this amazing evidence, “That the layout of the KJB was revealed in the book of Isaiah is more solid proof that the KJB is INSPIRED Scripture.” Later he adds, “The bottom line is that the KJB (italicized words and all) is Holy Scripture given by inspiration of God.”

Why am I not surprised that the lunacy in defense of the KJVO position has gone this far? They have totally invested themselves in the defense of the KJV against all other English translations, so they really have only two options—admit that they are wrong or double down on their position. Because they have pursued their defense of the KJVO position with cultic fervency, if they admit that they are wrong (or even that they’ve used invalid arguments), war breaks out. Don’t believe me? Ask the folks at HAC about it.

Since they can’t back down (and I don’t think they want to), they just keep ratcheting it up. In one sense, it is probably good for people like Carter and O’Steen to speak their minds publicly on these matters because it rips away the façade from the hardcore KJVO movement. What façade? The one that claims that you can embrace that position without doing damage to the biblical doctrine of inspiration. If you doubt my contention, here’s O’Steen to help make my case, “The KJB is the product of the Holy Spirit, not the ability of men. He used men to translate it, but it is a Divine Book. If you doubt that God REGIVES His word after the originals perish please study Jeremiah 36.” Amazing.

It’s been over a decade since Dell Johnson and the power structure at Pensacola branded me as part of the leaven in fundamentalism, so for the most part my path doesn’t cross a lot with KJVO folks. But the fact of the matter is that this heresy is treated much too kindly by those who call themselves separatists. I readily concede that it can be quite difficult at times to discern the difference between those who possess merely a strong affinity for the KJV and those who have strayed into heterodox waters. That said, here’s my basic stance on this: (1) our church and ministry will not have fellowship with any who claim for an English translation what can only be properly claimed for the autographs; and (2) we will not have fellowship with those who refuse to break fellowship from those who hold such false doctrine. We don’t keep extending the breaking point past that (i.e., for those who won’t break fellowship from those who won’t break fellowship with KJVO people) because it is neither biblically warranted or practically workable—where do you draw the line on the chain reaction?

I would suggest that this approach needs to be applied across the range of separation issues and many fundamentalists have damaged their credibility as separatists because they don’t apply what they believe about separation to the KJVO issue.

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