June 2018 Blog

Welcome to the JREnsey blog for June, 2018. In this months issue: Another “ban the Bible” move, Easiest Bible version to read, The Luther I never knew.

♦♦♦♦♦♦

The Word for Today

Colossians 3:5-10 (NLT):So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.

♦♦♦♦♦♦

The “Human Scouts”?

My son is no longer an alumnus of the “Boy Scouts”—they have disappeared from the American scene. The social engineers have taken the eraser to that name. The idiots at the BS headquarters decided to acquiesce to the handful of effete change agents who are charging across the American scene as though they are saving the world from the scourge of anything traditional. Girls are now allowed to join.

Someone pointed out, however, that the former Boy Scouts of America are still hesitating about offering membership to the other 49,247 genders (more or less) that have been “scientifically” identified. Soon the terms “boy” and “girl” will be dropped from all current usages, perhaps from the English language itself. Hide and watch.

An alternative—don’t hide and watch. Speak to those who will listen to you about this madness that is sweeping our nation. Light up whatever social media you are into with denunciations of such changes and provide a clear voice for common sense—an increasingly uncommon position.

And forget suggesting “Human Scouts.” Such discrimination would surely offend some chimp or orangutan that might want to join.

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Just when you thought stupid had gone as far as it could…

The deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee wore a T-shirt which urged opposition to national borders around the United States, as he walked in a May Day parade in Minneapolis, MN.

“Yo No Creo En Fronteras,” said the shirt worn by Rep. Keith Ellison, a Muslim who is also the vice-chair of the Democratic Party’s progressive caucus. The slogan means “I Do not Believe in Borders,” and it is being pushed by open-borders groups.

Tell Mexico and Canada: “You first.”

♦♦♦♦♦♦

One of the best common sense articles I have read recently:

https://patriotpost.us/opinion/55891

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Pressure continues for Christians to “evolve”

A California bill aimed at Christians and the Bible, would amend the state Consumer Legal Remedies Act, adding the ability to sue for damages for “advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.” Any efforts to change someone’s sexual orientation “in a transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer are unlawful.” That’s more than therapy. It’s any kind of an argument.

Conservative and Christian lawyers see this proposal as dangerously broad. In National Review, David French called it a “dramatic infringement on First Amendment rights.” He was alarmed at the language that would define unlawful “sexual orientation change efforts” as including “efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”

We know whose expression this bill is designed to curtail. Leftist legislators were not subtle. One assembly member spouted that it is time for legislation to nudge the “faith community” to “evolve with the times.”

As if it is the duty of the church to march in lock-step with the culture.

♦♦♦♦♦♦

What is the easiest Bible version for reading and comprehension?

The hardline advocates of the King James Version of the Bible like Gail Riplinger say it is the easiest of all versions to read and understand. (New Age Bible Versions, p. 195). The “truth is what I say it is” gang strikes again.

The explanation: The KJV has a lot of one- and two-syllable words—1.3 per word on average, and 3.96 letters per word, claims one counter—that make it “extraordinarily easy to read.” Really? And that is what makes the KJV “easiest of all Bibles to understand”?

My great granddaughter, age 2, also uses mostly one syllable words, but it is not always clear what she is trying to communicate. Same with the KJV.

For example, II Corinthians 8:1: “We do you to wit of the grace of God….” Easy words when used alone, but it is the way they are put together and used in a sentence that can be puzzling. Ask any new convert who hasn’t heard 40 years of preaching from the KJV what that verse means.

Jesus spoke of the wars and commotions of the endtime, then said, “but the end is not by and by” (Luke 21:9). Huh? The average reader would easily miss the meaning of those one-syllable words used together in that phrase. And consider Job 36:16: “Even so would he have removed thee out of the strait into a broad place, where there is no straitness; and that which should be set on thy table should be full of fatness.” Mostly single syllable words there, but it takes some time to grasp what is being said. Most readers skip over such verses (of which there are many) and move on. Check it out in the NASB, HCSB or NET.

Who in modern times comprehends “wee fet a compass” (1611 KJV; “we fetched” in modern KJVs)? Yes, the definition of the individual words is generally known, but together what do they mean? All the words in Job 13:10 are easily defined separately, but used together they are confusing: “He will surely reprove you, if ye do secretly accept persons.” Don’t even attempt to make sense of Ezekiel 41:6-7 in the KJV. Simple words but very confusing. Ask a class of teens what Paul meant when the KJV has Him saying, “Yet what I shall choose, I wot not” (Philippians 1:22; all one syllables).

The one-syllable word “rank” in Genesis 41:5 once meant “strong and healthy.” What of blains (Exodus 9:9), felloes (I Kings 7:33), besom (Isaiah 14:23), bruit (Jeremiah 10:22), or sith (Ezekiel 35:36), one- and two-syllable words that are no longer in use? Many words in the KJV are used nowhere today except in that version. The words of S. of S. 5:4 are short and each is understandable alone, but what modern reader readily comprehends “My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him”? Did anyone out there even come close to getting what Paul was saying in Colossians 2:23 or David in Psalm 37:8b the first time they read those verses? Clarity goes out the window when the KJV quotes God as saying, “I create evil” (Isaiah 45:7) instead of “calamity” or “disaster.” Satan is not actually “transformed into” an angel of light as the KJV suggests in II Corinthians 11:14—he merely “disguises” (ESV; metaschematizetai) himself as such in order to deceive.

One can see why comprehension suffers in the KJV. It is not that its words are long and multi-syllabic; it is the archaic way they are used in a sentence, or the fact that they are obsolete, or no longer mean what they did in 1611. That is why reading level tests generally show that that the KJV is the most difficult version to read with comprehension. Why should we maintain any unnecessary hurdle between a reader and the gospel?

KJV extremists, however, like Riplinger are apt to quote the faulty Flesch-Kincade, math-generated, computer-driven model of measuring the readability of documents. The F-K test does not measure word order (syntax), spelling, punctuation, or definitions. All of these contribute greatly to comprehension. Spelling and punctuation were not yet standardized in 1611. The blind F-K technology cannot adequately project these differences. The F-K test suggests that it is easier for modern Americans to read and comprehend the Book of James in the Swedish language Bible than the KJV. Huh?

Let’s be honest about Bible translations. People, not computers, are the best and most reliable measure of Bible readability.

And why must I always add the following or similar disclaimer to almost anything I write about this topic? “I am not writing ‘against the KJV,’ per se. If anyone prefers it, great. They will get no heat from me. But when false information is being disseminated about it, and condemning other versions and those who use them as ‘agents of the enemy,’ it generates confusion among the laity and even some ministers. It calls for a response. As long as misinformation is being spread, we are obligated to rebut the misleading claims.”

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Strange goings on

Strange: Senator McCain is so bitter that he wants Obama to do his funeral eulogy. He asks that Trump stay home.

Stranger: Who is opposing the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital? American Jews? Christians? Aborigines in the Outback? Nope. USA Democrats. Virtually to a man in congress. Why? Because Trump was for it. Former Democrat presidents supported the move but never did it. Forked tongues. Now when President Trump advocated it, no Democrat obstructionist would vote for it. Guess what? Trump just did it anyway…because he said he would.

Strangest: A Chilean man abused by Roman Catholic cleric(s) and subsequently announced he was gay, claims Pope Francis purportedly told him “that you are gay does not matter. God made you like that and loves you like this and I don’t care. The Pope loves you like this. You have to be happy with who you are.” Even the  Catholic Bibles are very clear in condemnation of homosexual activity.

How deep has the sexual revolution gone? Ask the Boy Scouts alumni. Ask the pre-teen daughters of a Georgia mother who pimped them to men for money. Ask anyone who has seen a movie at a theater lately. Ask virtually any student in public schools and colleges. It is time for the brakes, folks!

The New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat who championed women’s rights, the feminist agenda, and an outspoken figure in the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, has been charged with beating several women during romantic encounters. He has resigned his position.

Quote of the week: “We are all God’s children. There is a spark of divinity among every person on earth, and we all have to recognize that as we respect the dignity and worth of every person.” —Nancy Pelosi, on the spark of divinity, dignity and worth of children in their mother’s womb. No, wait, she was talking about MS-13 gang members… (Step back while I hurl.)

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Book review

The Luther I Never Knew

Martin Luther: A Spiritual Biography
Author: Herman Selderhuis
Wheaton, IL: Crossway Publishers, 2017; 347 pages

Since we are yet celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation (beginning October 31, 1517), I kicked back with a book about the man who was said to have ignited the flame—Martin Luther.

Over the years I had read snippets of his life and works, and two or three of his books are on my library shelves used as references. What more was needed to be known about the man?

Then recently someone put this biography in my hand as a gift, renewing my interest. It provided many insights into the man who stared down the Roman Catholic Church. If you love honest-to-badness, straightforward, objective biographies, this is one.

Consecrated as a priest in 1507 at age 24, he would become the top student in the monastery at Erfurt, Germany. After a trip to Rome, during which he observed first-hand the evil and corruption that was in the city—and the church—in those days, he returned disillusioned. He knew something was wrong. Assigned to the Wittenberg monastery and the City Church, he was there when Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar and Grand Inquisitor of Poland, came around raising money for Rome’s St. Peter’s Church. He was marketing indulgences, interpreted by some as “get out of jail free” grace cards. Although not totally opposed to indulgences, Luther railed against the greed that motivated them.

He was still trying to plumb the depths of faith and grace vs. works, Luther suggested a debate on the issue, allowing the officer of the church to publish his proposal (the “95 Theses”) on the door of the Wittenberg church. He naïvely thought the pope would come down on his side. That proposal, however, is credited with being the flashpoint of the Protestant Reformation. Luther never intended it as such and was somewhat apologetic at first that he had caused such a ruckus. But there was no turning back. He was swept along in a tsunami of his own making.

Finally called into question at the Diet of Worms, he felt he was finished and would possibly be excommunicated or worse. But politics came into play, and a high official who was protecting Luther was needed by the pope for political reasons. Not wanting to destroy that relationship, the pope did not take immediate action against Luther. The reformer steadily made progress toward changing many of the policies and liturgical procedures of the church. Luther won enough converts to his salvation by faith v. works position until it was not worth it to the pope to take his life. Luther continued to teach at Wittenberg University and preach in the City Church and Castle Church until near the end of his life.

The reformer was not far removed from many of the practices of his former peers, however. He was known to bend the elbow daily and was inebriated often. His wife had to create a brewery in the home to keep up with the demand of the household. He warned his university students not to drink too much; in that, he was a poor example. He called Germany a country plagued “by the devil of boozing.” He also urged “the city officers to charge the [local] prostitutes who had a number of students as customers.” What a way to fund your seminary!

Luther and other reformers nibbled at the edges of truth regarding the source of salvation. Selderhuis attempts to be kind in his depiction of the reformer but he lets us see the soft underbelly of his theology. He waffled on indulgences and the authority of the pope, could not forsake infant baptism, and struggled with the Book of James which he considered “a straw epistle.” He was clearly anti-Semitic, which may have influenced Germany’s actions against Jews three centuries later. He could not abide the “radical reformers,” such as Anabaptists. He wanted to leave the RCC, but he didn’t want to go very far away. He was not beyond the burning of those involved in witchcraft. He wanted a church attached to the state, but could not develop a biblical position that covered all the angles of such an alignment. He even once approved bigamy to “help” a friend (and himself) in a political situation. He split with Calvin and Zwingli over the physical presence of Christ in communion.

Selderhuis takes time to discuss Luther’s health. The list of his ailments was long. From 1518 forward until his death in 1546 he suffered with severe stomach problems. He also had kidney stones, heart problems, rheumatism, deafness (Ménière’s disease), hemorrhoids, headaches, vertigo, insomnia, constant fatigue, bouts with diarrhea, and a constant ringing in his ears. Some of these he attributed to bad water that was replaced with much wine and beer. In the end, his heart just gave up the battle.

To be fair, Luther’s well-known accomplishments in the face of the most powerful force on earth at the time are just as numerous as his illnesses, and were not overlooked by the author. All Christians can take heart that, while Luther did not go far enough in reclaiming many fundamental Bible doctrines, he did loosen the tyrannical grip of Roman Catholicism on millions of Europeans. Even today we remain steeled against the juggernaut of the papacy and are free to proclaim the Apostolic doctrine in most of the countries it once ruled.

At least some credit is due to a man called Luther.

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Another urban legend?

I noted a recent article touting the KJV-Only position on Bible translations. Mostly standard stuff you hear from rigid defenders of the that version, except it quoted a “Dr. Frank Logsdon” who is presented on some sites as a “committee member and co-founder of the New American Standard Version” and having a “major role in its development.” After being influenced by David Otis Fuller’s books in the 1970s and moving to Florida where he became friends with KJV ultra-extremist Peter Ruckman, he chose to renounce the NASB, published by the Lockman Foundation. He claims that he “laid the groundwork…wrote the format…sat with the translators…wrote the Preface (‘those are my words’)” to the NASB. After becoming a KJV-Only, he now says that his involvement was a mistake because the NASB is “wrong” and the “KJV is 100% correct!”
Who is wrong, really?

The Lockman Foundation responded to Logsdon’s claims:
“The Board of Directors of The Lockman Foundation launched the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE translation work in the late 1950’s following the completion of the AMPLIFIED NEW TESTAMENT. Dr. S. Franklin Logsdon was acquainted with Dewey Lockman, president of The Lockman Foundation, prior to Mr. Lockman’s death in 1974. Mr. Logsdon was never a member of the Board of Directors, nor was he an employee of The Lockman Foundation. Mr. Logsdon had no authority to hire employees or translators for the Foundation, to set policy, to vote, to hold office, to incur expenses, etc. He cannot be considered ‘co-founder’ of the NASB, nor part of The Lockman Foundation, nor part of the NASB translation team, nor did he write the Forward of the NASB. According to our records, he was present at board meetings on two occasions—once to hear a travel report; and once to deliver an ‘inspirational thought.’ Mr. Logsdon last wrote to Mr. Lockman in the fall of 1973 that he was moving to Florida. Mr. Lockman replied that he was surprised and saddened by his decision to leave the area. Mr. Lockman passed away in January of 1974, and no further correspondence was exchanged between Frank Logsdon and The Lockman Foundation. He [Logsdon] resided in Florida until his passing some years ago. ‘The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God stands forever’ (Isaiah 40:8 NASB).”

[Signed] The Lockman Foundation

Why dredge up scurrilous material to support a thesis that cannot stand on its own? Isn’t it time to cease copying the propaganda and deceit from the major KJVO players and come to an objective conclusion in this matter of Bible translations? God is not the author of confusion!

♦♦♦♦♦♦

BooksBooksBooksBooksBooks

A New eBook is available.

The Best of E. L. Holley

E. L. Holley was a man of unique abilities. An astute observer of human nature, he could communique truth in an inimitable style that you could never forget. His Apostolic ministry touched the lives of thousands of people over the years. Here, under the categories of Christian living, evangelism and growth, doctrine, holiness, balance, ministry, logic and philosophy, organizational trends, and education, are some of the cream of his writings that flowed from an anointed pen. The Best has scores of articles with material that will inspire you and others as you share it with your members and friends. You will love this book! eBook format only.

AM Price $8.95

How Do We know The Bible Is True?

How Do We Know the Bible Is True? is based on the absolute authority of God’s Word, not man-centered explanations. Clearly presented, it will help bring clarity in a world filled with increasingly vague notions of truth. This concise collection of apologetic truth contains over 20 relevant issues including: Is the Bible inerrant and reliable? Did the resurrection really happen? Are there contradictions in the Bible? What is the purpose and meaning of life? Did miracles really happen? Was Genesis derived from ancient myths? How should we interpret the Bible; should Genesis be literal? Within these pages you will find responses to those honest questions of faith, helping to build a confidence in God’s Word. These powerful biblical insights are soundly presented by more than a dozen respected defenders of the faith, including Ken Ham, John MacArthur, Terry Mortenson, Jason Lisle, Brian Edwards, Tommy Mitchell, Jobe Martin, Georgia Purdom, Bodie Hodge, and Roger Patterson. Only three left at only 6.95 each.

The Unbound Scriptures

Unbound Scripturesby Rick Norris

This book is for serious truth seekers only. Based on years of research and study, the author has provided us with more usable information about the Bible—its history, its manuscripts, and it soundness—than we’ve ever seen between the covers of one book. Crammed into 544 pages is an objective look at issues about the Scriptures facing our churches today. You don’t have to be a Greek scholar to glean personal help and inspiration from this book. You will be equipped to “always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (I Peter 3:15). Retail: 19.99 Only $12.99. We have only two remaining. Call for your copy today! 936-537-0250.

How To Prepare For Hard Times and Persecution

Official government documents say that evangelical Christians are potential terrorists, and some Christian groups are even called hate groups. Christian doctors and nurses are being forced to perform abortions, and a Christian baker has been threatened with prison for not baking a wedding cake for a homosexual couple. Christians in Colorado, New York, and Kentucky are being forced to go through sensitivity training in order to free them from their religious beliefs and resulting moral convictions. When Communists did such things to American soldiers, we called it brainwashing. American Christians are in the early stages of persecution, and it is increasing. Unfortunately, many will be blindsided by it because few pastors and church leaders are warning about it or preparing believers for it. The first part of How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution is based on years of research into current events from a biblical perspective. It discloses what is happening, how we got there, and where we are heading. The second part gives encouragement from Scripture and biblical principles for dealing with the challenges of the perilous times in which we live. As Christians, we cannot afford to compromise our faith. We need to believe and obey the inspired Word of God. We need to be prepared to respond to persecution biblically instead of reacting to it carnally. Only 10 left.

Only 6.95 each. Call for your copy today! 936-537-0250.

Into His Marvelous Light Bible Study

IHMLCoverNo other brief, one session Bible study has enjoyed the consistent soul-winning results of IHML over the years. Often copied but never duplicated. It is attractive, well written, and doctrinally sound. It will convince any open-minded person (and some whose minds are not so open) that the new birth is absolutely essential and that Acts 2:38 constitutes that experience. It’s possible that more souls have been won with this Bible Study than with any other single teaching tool in the past 20 years. Discover how easy it is to share the plan of salvation with others. Available in English, Spanish and Italian. English is available in both KJV and NIV84.

AM Price 1-49 $1.75 each;  50-99 $1.50 each; 100 or more $1.25 each

Guide For LivingIHML_GFL_Revised

A follow-up study for the new believers and a sequel to IHML. This little booklet can be given to the new members to go through alone and then come back to you with any questions they may have. It can also be taught as a text in a class. It covers the new birth—what has happened to them experientially, and goes through what their responsibilities as believers are now.

AM Price 1-49 $1.75 each;  50-99 $1.50 each; 100 or more $1.25 each

Order books and Bible studies from advanceministries.org or call 936-537-0250.

See more books at advanceministries.org/store

♦♦♦♦♦♦

The truth hurts

I don’t know if Facebook has ever made the lame to walk, but beyond all doubt it has enabled to the dumb to speak.

My brain is like an Internet browser—17 tabs are open, 9 of them are not responding, thousands of pop-ups, and where is that annoying music coming from?

I wish offended people would act like fainting goats and quietly tip over.

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Personal: It matters!

As a minister, why do I include political opinion and news in my blog? Simply stated, because it is relevant. What is occurring on the political scene has a direct effect on the church and its mission. It matters that the success of liberals and atheists who want to curtail the work of Christians in this country would have far-reaching results around the world. It matters that our kids are daily subjected to leftist rhetoric and indoctrination in our public schools and colleges. It matters who is sitting in the Oval Office in Washington. It matters that Christian and conservative voices are stifled in the press and liberal anti-Christian voices are given space and time once reserved for objective journalists. It matters when history is revised by professors and the press to favor the agendas of those who wish Christians harm. It matters when religions that oppose the Christian way are given freedoms that are denied to us. It matters whether there are open doors in other countries for Christian missionaries to work.

Perhaps what I have to say doesn’t go very far or very high into the cloisters of political power. But it reached you. So, if you agree that the truth matters, why not let your voice be heard by those whom you know that can make a difference—because YOU matter.

JREnsey

We welcome your comments! Share your thoughts below or write to me directly at jnz@kingwoodcable.net.

Last Word: Make up your mind while you are in your right mind!

Published in: on June 1, 2018 at 8:08 AM  Comments (1)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://jrenseyblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/june-2018-blog/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Grandpa Ensey,

    Thanks for emailing your June 2018 blog. It welcomes me to the May 2018 blog. I look forward to reading your always-wise insights.

    Regards,

    Lisa Strom

    Sent from my iPhone

    >


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: