When Inclusivism Is More Important Than Doctrine

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Faced with declining membership among millennials, the Southern Baptists have not been bashful about catering to them. A few decades ago, they started establishing churches OUTSIDE the city. These New Churches were not called ‘Baptist’ — In some cases, not even “Churches.”

The New Lingo was designed to get people to come without turning them off, before they ever set foot in the door. They often removed all the standards: dress, music, songs, terminology. They ‘Celebrate Jesus,’ rather than ‘Worship God.’  They sing ‘Choruses’ and ‘Praise Songs,’ not ‘Hymns of the Faith’  Many began to stay away from Evangelistic sermons, focusing on ‘Feel-Good Talks.’  No more Doctrine!  It’s Application that matters!

And their ranks swelled! This New Philosophy Worked!  The Obvious Question Is: Worked For What?  For getting more people into the building!

The same is true with Bible Versions. Southern Baptists were not shy about embracing the Living Bible, the New International Version and the New English Version. And now it’s The Christian Standard Bible!

What’s different about it?  Ans: Enough that it can legally have it’s own ISBN.  And, make no mistake, THIS is what the NEW VERSIONS are about!  Royalties!!  Maybe not among the pastors, but certainly among the publishers!!

So, what does this New Version bring? The now-noteworthy illustration is The Gender Neutral Terminology. For what purpose?  The Official Ans: To make it more Contemporary.  The Real Ans: To make it less controversial in the minds of transgenders and others, who reject the binary Male v. Female designations, and get more people IN the door!

Southern Baptists are the largest so-called “Protestant Denomination” [note: Baptists are Not Protestants] in the country, and they held their annual convention a couple of weeks ago in Phoenix.  By published reports, the New Bible Version did not go over well!  Their congregations are mostly in the South and mostly conservative.

National Public Radio’s Tom Gjelten asked S.Bap Convention Rep., Dave Miller, about this New Version of the Bible.  Miller said: “As a revision of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), the CSB balances linguistic precision to the original languages and readability in contemporary English.” 

Trevin Wax, Bible and Reference Publisher, part of LifeWay, said: “We believe this is a translation that combines accuracy and readability without compromise.  With the CSB, Bible readers and teachers can rest assured they have a translation that communicates ancient truths to a contemporary audience as faithfully and clearly as possible.”  [And Therein Lies The Rub!!]

What Did They Do?  Well, more than 100 Bible scholars from 17 denominations translated the Holman Christian Standard Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. [These Baptist included every denomination known to mankind!]

NOTE: Doing this, they found and reported exactly NO gender-neutral renderings from the original mss.  So, where did they come from?  No doubt from the Revision & Oversight Committee.

This is a team….according to published reports.. of top biblical scholars, who incorporated advances in biblical scholarship since the original translation, as well as input from Bible scholars, pastors and readers to provide an accurate and readable translation.

Now….if you have studied the history of the New Testament Church, you no doubt read where the early Apostles and later Church Fathers did this, as well!  No? Well, what Bible have you been reading?  Oh….Until the mid 1970’s you read what the Church Fathers translated from what’s called the Textus Receptus: The Received Text.  “Received” that is, by The Church at large!

All the old and Great Versions of The Bible came from the TR, also known as the Byzantine Text — It’s origin.  All this with exactly NO gender-neutrality imposed!!!!  The Doctrine carrying it.

NOTE: There was another text…. CT – Critical Text (Catholic)  This text was uniformly rejected by the Early Church Fathers…..up to and including the 19th cent. Not until two Liberal, New Age Theologians [Westcott & Hort] came along and translated a Bible from that other text…. And even then, it took almost 100 years before anyone truly saved and knowledgable embraced it. [1980’s]

LifeWay President and CEO Thom S. Rainer said he was excited about the release of the CSB. “We know millions of pastors, teachers and Bible readers have a commitment to God’s Word.  At LifeWay, we share that commitment. 

“Because God’s Word is faithful and true, we wanted to provide a translation that is faithful to the original text, while being highly readable,” Rainer said. “I believe the CSB will engage more people in reading and sharing God’s Word.”

How can they say these things with a straight face?  Because, they abandoned the Bible of Augustine, Wycliff and Wesley, in favor of ‘More Modern Language Bibles.’  The American public did not ask from whence came thou?  We simply took our pastor’s word for it and, of course the Advertisers and Biblical Scholars who all said,  ‘This won’t hurt you!’

‘Yes, it’s different, in some places… but the language is more contemporary…. not thees, thous and shouldsts!!  And three generations later, the majority of true believers have no idea what they’re reading.  And…. by all indications… it’s about to get worse!!

Already, the CSB has been endorsed by numerous pastors including Tony Evans, Robby Gallaty, Eric Mason and Derwin Gray, as well as Bible teachers Kelly Minter, Lisa Harper and the team behind the popular women’s Bible study, ‘She Reads Truth.’  You’ve heard of these people…. right? No?  Well, Tony Evans, but that’s It!

They are ALL Contemporary and/or Charismatic.  Meaning? They don’t really care about Sources. They only care about what people want….. or what they can get them to want. You can bet money that if a liberal, neo-evangelical or charismatic likes a particular Bible, it does NOT offend anything they believe or preach. And, of course this is exactly what ‘Gender-Neutral’ language is designed to do…. Not offend!  Who? Homosexuals, Transgenders, and others who really don’t like to hear what God says. 

“But it’s not a big deal!?”  Religion writer Jonathan Merritt and a colleague theology professor dug through the new version and found the text used a great deal of gender-neutral language. There was not one or two of these shifts. There were hundreds of them.

ONE Example – Matthew 23:8 previously had Jesus saying,  “….be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.”

In this new Bible, it’s – “you have one teacher, and you are all brothers and sisters.”

Nicer? Probably. Accurate To The Original Greek? NO!  However, a professor of biblical studies at Boyce College, is quoted as saying: ‘the original actually refers to both men and women.’  WHICH IT DOES!  So, they’ve simply updated the language.

See?  Well, maybe not!  You see these same changes were rejected, just 10 years ago, by the same people who are being asked to accept this, now.  What has changed?  Ans: The same thing that’s changed in most churches….TIME & The INVASION OF THE PROFANE CULTURE!

The commitment to God’s unchanging Word that supercedes cultural changes…..something every generation did until the 20th cent… has been altered, undermined and deftly removed from the minds and hearts of those who sit under this sort of preaching.

The THEOLOGY here? God has no Daughters! Only Sons!!

Gal. 3:26 -29  26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  27  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

There is ONE Verse, however, that seems to contradict all this….II Cor 6:18 where Paul writes that God has said, ‘come out from among them …. and you shall be sons and daughters’

Culturally…in biblical days, daughters  could not inherit.  Daughters are not to teach Theology to men.  Daughters are not to have Authority over men. The Prophets were men. The Priests were men. The Apostles were men. The Elders, Bishops, Deacons… All men.  And Of course, there is No marriage in heaven…. but (we) are as angels in heaven. Mt. 22:30

However…. In The Earthly Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, they do ALL these and more….Violating The Clear Word of God that designates men only.

WHAT’S THE DOCTRINE?  In Heaven, however, it appears we will have equal status…. since there is no male and no female with God or in Heaven. And this is The Point! which the New Translations wish to sacrifice on the altar of expediency and inclusivism.

We will…. No Doubt….hear more about this.

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