1. A Great Danger
2. The Greatest Embarassment to Historic Fundamentalism
3. Intellectually Bankrupt
6. Serious in Its Consequences
7. A New Sect
I've been analyzing his claim, essentially showing how that it is just the opposite. It will be up to you to decide. Obviously, God is our final judge and He is the One we should all be concerned about. I hope we all keep that in mind, that is, that we want to take the biblical position, the one that honors the Almighty.
So far I've covered #1-4, and now we continue.
I can honestly say that I've never been able to laugh at false doctrine. Even if KJVO were false doctrine, how is it something to laugh at? I've thought about how funny I think the critical text and eclectic guys are with their positions, and I can't scrape up one chuckle out of their positions. I get only sorrow or anger. I can't even feel ambivalent about their position, let alone laugh at it. Don't get me wrong; I'm not against laughing. It has crossed my mind to ridicule them. It's just that some things aren't funny---false doctrine is one of those.
But Mike Harding finds KJVO to be laughable. I have to say that I find this often to be the case with fundamentalists of Harding's stripe. It is completely mean-spirited, not in fitting with a scriptural Christian testimony. I'm not saying he's not saved; I'm saying that laughing about these kinds of things doesn't fit with what the Bible describes as Christian character. It's one thing to laugh, but another thing to report it as if he is proud of laughing.
To these guys, "laughable" stands as some sort of argument. You should all know that it doesn't work as an argument to anyone except to one influenced by such carnal weaponry as being laughed at. We see this type of strategy with the unbelievers in 2 Peter 3. They laugh (scoff) at the doctrine of the second coming. It's laughable to them. Why? Because they can't see Christ. He hasn't shown up, even though He promised He would come. They laugh to intimidate. I can't be happy about this kind of laughter.
I guess that "laughable" would be to say that the perfect preservation of Scripture position is stupid. In Scripture, doubting God is stupid. In the end it is God Who will laugh at those who don't trust Him. "He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision" (Psalm 2:4).
6. Serious In Its Consequences
This one is very much like "a great danger," mentioned earlier. What are the consequences of believing that there is only one Bible? Harding says they are serious. In my opinion, they are only seriously good, so in that way, I agree with him. The consequences of KJVO are seriously good. However, I do think that believing that we have options when it comes to the Bible has very serious, bad consequences. People often stop trusting Scripture. When I go door-to-door in evangelism, many times I hear inviduals tell me that there are "so many Bibles out there." That's reason enough for them not to believe the Bible. How can they know "which Bible is true?" This has been created by the many versions of the Bible that all have different words. And they do. And this is Harding's position, the one that causes this kind of doubt.
And then there is the matter of inerrancy. The MVO (Multiple Version Only) people go all over the place with this, and everything has become extremely convoluted. They tell people that there are up to 7% differences between texts, and yet the Bible is inerrant. And then when you look at the Critical Text, you see actual errors and contradictions in the text. And they say that it doesn't matter, because all the doctrines of the Bible are still in there. They say that not all the errors were purposeful, only some of them. And they say that we don't know what the original words were, but we do know that those words were perfect. And how can we trust that? How can we trust that the Words were perfect in the originals? They say that God could keep men from putting errors in the original, but that He hasn't been able to do that or hasn't chosen to (even though He promised He would) with the copies that we still have.
And has this made a difference? Of course it has. People often believe the Bible is without error and then these MVO men get their teeth into these professing believers. Man after man has turned from the faith because they once thought the Bible was perfect. Do they really want to give up the world and the pleasures of sin for something that doesn't sound like it is so sure? And these MVO guys say that it is sure enough. But is it perfect?
Cults and false religions have a field day with "mistakes" in the Bible, constantly quoting MVO men to make their point. They feel justified in taking a stand against Scripture because of the teaching from the MVO that there are errors in the Bible.
Do you see where the really serious consequences are? They are not with the people that believe there is only one Bible.
7. A New Sect
There are really two parts to this charge from Harding and James Price. Are those of the belief that there is only one Bible a sect? And is this belief new? We should understand what a "sect" is first. Wikipedia says:
In the sociology of religion a sect is generally a small religious or political group that has broken off from a larger group, for example from a large, well-established religious group, like a denomination, usually due to a dispute about doctrinal matters. In its historical usage in Christendom the term has a pejorative connotation and refers to a movement committed to heretical beliefs and that often deviated from orthodox practices.Notice that Wikipedia recognizes that the word "sect" is a pejorative term. That's what Price and then Harding are doing. What is a pejorative, by the way? Wikipedia says:
A word is a term of derision, or a phrase is pejorative, if it implies contempt or disapproval. The adjective pejorative is synonymous with derogatory, derisive, and dyslogistic. When used as an adjective, pejorative has two meanings: (1) tending to make or become worse, and (2) tending to disparage or belittle. When used as a noun, pejorative means "a belittling or disparaging word or expression."So Price and Harding are being purposefully derisive with their term "sect," in an attempt to belittle KJVO men. It accomplishes very little to deride someone, but that's what the MVO people choose to do. It's how they are. They are name-callers. Name calling is the MVO modus operandi. How intelligent do you believe that this kind of mud-slinging is? Just asking. Because it does remind me of the ancient Chinest proverb:
He who throws mud loses ground.Of course, if it is new, then maybe KJVO is a sect. But is it? Or is it possible that the new belief is the MVO belief? The truth is that the MVO position is the new position, rising up in the same era as the Jehovah Witnesses, the Campbellites, and the Mormons. Calling a position of 'only one Bible' something new is sheer revisionism. However, it is important to the MVO people to create their fake history. They must make the Scriptural belief in preservation look brand new.
How do they make the position of one Bible look new? When you read God's Word in our Hands and Sproul's God's Word Preserved, they spend a big chunk of their books attempting to invent their history. Go ahead and read them yourselves. They go back into the 17th century with a few quotes, including the preface of the KJV by the translators, to show that men were not against improving a translation. That is a non-point, a totally moot issue. It doesn't make any difference at all regarding one Bible. Then they go into the 18th and 19th century doing the same thing, that is, giving quotes that show that men didn't mind changing the words of the translation to give the sense of their meaning. Again, these quotes don't show at all that these men didn't believe in one Bible. Around the end of the 19th century and into the 20th century, you start reading quotes of men who thought it was fine to tweak the words in the actual text of Scripture. Of course, this was after the rise of Biblical criticism and then the work of Westcott and Hort, the Revised Edition of 1881, and then especially Benjamin Warfield's brand new interpretation of the Westminster Confession of Faith. Warfield loosely constructed the WCF, reading textual criticism into "providentially preserved," and giving the MVO guys the history that they didn't have. Now the MVO's choose to believe that they have an ancient history. It is definitely the ostrich with the head in the sand. This is a common twist of "scholarship," that is, to invent a history when there is none. And they talk of "dishonest." This is dishonesty to the fullest degree. If they have any honesty and intelligence, they would do away with this tactic, which is all it is, a strategy.
And now the MVO books spend page after page stating the new history. On top of that, they invent a history for one Bible people with the whole Wilkinson (the 7th Day Adventist) and David Otis Fuller history. Believe me; God's people have believed in one Bible and that God preserved all His Words perfectly. That's what history shows. I have no doubt that Wilkinson and Fuller believed the same, but they did not start the belief in one Bible. I've written enough on this before, so I'm going to provide links to other things I have written to show the true history of the only one Bible belief (here, here, here, and here; also look at some of Bro. Tom Ross's writing here).
Mike Harding and others are hanging on to a belief with great tenacity that is bereft of Scriptural presuppositions. You should judge for yourself and not be intimidated by their ridicule and bullying tactics. God's Word is perfect. Every Word is preserved and accessible to God's people.