1. Has anyone else noticed that the standard language in the doctrinal statement of Crown College (and the approximately 130 other churches and ministries that use it verbatim) is inherently contradictory?
“The King James Version of the Bible is the only English version we accept and use. The Bible is our sole authority for faith and practice.”
Where does it say in the Bible that the KJV is the only English version Christians should accept and use? If the Bible doesn’t say it, what other authority are they appealing to? And doesn’t that make the Bible no longer their sole authority? I’m not playing with words. I think this is very serious. Either the Bible teaches that the KJV is the only English version we should accept and use, or it doesn’t.
2. Has anyone else ever noticed that the following not-so-standard KJVO language (coming from a major Sword church) is also contradictory?
“We believe that the 66 books of the King James Version are the preserved and inspired Word of God for this generation. We believe that the Bible is without any errors and is our sole authority for all matters of faith and practice.”
The same error occurs in this statement as in the first. But I want to focus on yet another problem: The KJV is God’s Word “for this generation”? What about the next generation? When does this generation end and the next begin? Hasn’t a generation or two, at least, passed since 1611? Does the Bible tell us when a generation starts and ends?
I took one mocking statement out of this blog post because I want to show respect and love to my brothers in Christ. I went to high school at a KJVO church, and my teachers love the Lord and (still!) love me. But I hope one or two young KJVO preacher boys will stumble across this post and realize that their position actually undercuts biblical authority because it posits another authority: tradition.
Ironically, that tradition is doing for a generation or three of young people just what Catholic tradition has done for millennia: both keep the Bible out of the hands of the people by placing it in a language they can’t read. Granted, the KJV is a lot more readable to most of us than the Latin Vulgate. But quite a number of passages (I’ve done some work to collect them) might as well be written in Latin—I’ve been paid to read and write English for over ten years, I’ve been in school continuously since 1985, and I still do not understand them.
The KJVO branch of American Protestantism is rightly concerned about evangelism. So am I—deeply. And I’m deeply involved in it. How many bus kids understand any of the verses they memorize in the KJV? What message are we communicating to kids when the language of the Bible doesn’t really make sense?
I love the King James. It’s in my heart and will never leave. But suffer me this one plea for realism.