By Pastor Timothy Johnson
My opinions of church may seem contradictory to many readers. On the one hand, I believe every Christian should attend church whenever humanly possible. That includes Sunday morning services and Sunday evening and mid-week services as well. On the other hand, I have written about how many modern-day church services resemble high school pep rallies with little to no spiritual meat. I believe the church, in general, is Laodicean — a rich, lukewarm church that makes God sick to his stomach. Before you get offended, what I just said was prophesied in Revelation 3:14-22.
The Laodicean church age started around the beginning of the 20th century and has blossomed in the 21st century. The main difference between today and the pre-1900s church is our Bibles. The modern-day, English-speaking church moved from the King James Bible to, well, pick as many and whatever versions you’d like. These new versions are, at best, watered down, and a watered-down Bible brings a watered-down faith.
1 Corinthians 13 is known as “The Love Chapter.” In this chapter, where the modern translation uses the word “love,” the King James has “charity.”
Here is the difference. We consider love an emotion, but the Bible does not teach that love is an emotion; it is an action we can choose.
God commands us to love God, our neighbor, and even our enemies. God never commands us to do something without leaving us the choice to obey or disobey. Therefore, love is a choice.
God gives us the action of love in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave…” Love is giving yourself to someone or something else. When you love someone, you give them your all. You will make sacrifices for their benefit. Their needs take precedent over your own.
When God uses the word “charity” throughout 1 Corinthians 13, He reminds us of love’s actions. He is telling us love is more than an emotion or a gooey feeling. By changing the word from charity to love, the chapter loses its meat.
The following example is an example of the small, subtle changes all over the Scripture that makes a world of difference.
Psalm 30:5 KJV, “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
Where the King James says, “in his favour is life,” most modern translations have, “his favor last a lifetime” or “his favor is for a lifetime.” The modern translations speak of duration, while the King James talks of substance. The King James is telling us that God’s favor is part of salvation. It is the giver of eternal life. His favor is not only until you die, but it brings an eternal life that nothing can ever take away. In this one verse, the meat of the King James is so watered-down life itself is missing.
Speaking of missing, the following may surprise a lot of people.
Matthew 18:11, “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.”
Now how the verse appears in the NASB20, NLT, ESV, CSB, and the NET translations: ” “.
That is not a misprint — the verse does not exist in those translations. If you are reading along in one of those versions, you go from verse 10 to 12. Eleven does not exist. Matthew 18:11 is a vital verse — it describes why Christ came. The newer translations are not only watered-down, but they also omit doctrine.
Some claim the newer translations are easier to read, but what does the Bible say about understanding the Scripture?
1 Corinthians 2:10-14, “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
As a Christian, the writer of the Scripture, the Holy Spirit, lives in your heart. He will guide you through it. You will not be a theologian the first time through, but more is opened up to you as you study. Long story short, an inability to understand the Bible is more of a spiritual problem than an intellectual one.
Slight differences watering down the Word of God flow through the modern translations like the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico, and verses are missing. Is it any wonder that churches have moved from gatherings where God worked, and the Holy Spirit transformed hearts to places of entertainment?
1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in northern Parke County, Indiana. Webpage: www.preacherspoint.wordpress.com; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Timothy-Preacher-Johnson-101171088326638email: [email protected]; address: 410 S. Jefferson St. Rockville IN 47872. All Bible references KJV. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints nor the independent activities of the author.