Tuesday, March 31, 2009

We're not in Kansas anymore! #2

I've been in Europe for 9 years and I've seen many strange things! But this even shocked me! Not too long ago the family was on a little trip back from Budapest, Hungary. Like most families bathroom stops become a routine when you've got kids. It can be difficult just finding a place. Luckily enough on the highway you can find gas stations about every 100km or so. We'll we're driving and one of the kids let's me know that it's time to stop somewhere. We've not been in the car that long, so like the good dad that I am , I tell them just a little longer. This goes on a while until I know that if I don't stop I'm going to be sorry. I began the task of trying to find a clean place to stop. So I drive, and drive and then drive some more. Before I saw gas stations everywhere, but now it's like we were in the wilderness! Then like an oasis in the desert the sign began to appear out of the dark. We began to think is it real? Are we dreaming? As we got closer we realized that our oasis was real. A brand new gas station with bathrooms! Hallelujah! I think angels were singing or maybe it was the kids. I slide into the parking lot, OK not really I'm embellishing the story now. We do get out rather quickly and hurry a long to the restrooms.

This is when I learn I'm not in Kansas any more! The bathroom is locked down and the only way to get through is to pay!!! Most places in Europe you have to pay for the bathroom, but this place was to the extreme! Never have I seen a barricade blocking the entrance. You can see this in the picture above. You put money in the little slot and then it opens for you. One at a time!

I learned two valuable lessons from this experience: First, always keep plenty of money from the country your traveling in on you at all times. Second, drink less coke and water when your traveling. With any luck you wont have to stop at all!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Where's the bottom!

Just wanted to give you a quick update on our ministry here. Tonight it seemed as though the bottom fell out. Last Wednesday was so great. We packed 21 in a 9 passenger van. Our people were so excited, to see so many children come to church. They all promised to come back on Sunday, which was tonight. Well as you can already tell they did not. Ljubica, brother Rich's wife really prepared this week for them. I was excited to see her take so much initiative for the work of the Lord. When I pulled up with an empty van, the sadness spread quickly through the church.

However I can say we are looking unto the Author and Finisher of our Faith! He is still in control, we simply must be faithful.

Please pray that we will get them back next week. Also we start a Bible conference on Thursday. Please pray for God's power to be on the services!

Don't mean to sound like I'm whining, because I'm not. We just need you to pray for the work here!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Is that legal?

We had a great blessing last night at church! I drive into the Gypsy village to pick up a family that comes faithfully to our church. As I turn the corner I notice what looks like a mob in front of their house. As I got a little closer i noticed that it was about 16 kids, and they were ready for church!

We only have a 9 passenger van! By the time they all got in we had 21 people in our 9 passenger van! Praise God! I don't know if it was legal, but I didn't ask. I was able to preach to them at the church. I was surprised at how well they all listened! They all said they were coming back!

I learned later what caused them all to come to church on Wednesday night. Last week Ruben and Rebeka, Brother Rich's children, were praying for more children to come to Sunday school. A little Gypsy girl heard them and ask the teacher if she was allowed to invite people to church. This little girl went around the village inviting people to church! You never know what prayer can do, and you never know how much one person can influence others. What a blessed night it was!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Am I mad?

I was saved from a life of sin and heartache. When Jesus found me He didn't find much, that's for sure. I can honestly say with Paul that I am what I am by the grace of God! After I got saved I had the privilege of going to an independent Baptist Church. There I was taught the Bible and learned that we are to take up our cross and follow him; I learned that this world was not our home, that we are just passing through; I learned that one day soon the Lord was coming back for His children, and that we are to be living for that day! I am so glad I learned these things from the start. I had the privilege of learning from great men of God, who preached hot and heavy against sin! My heart was so stirred that my life began to change! The more I read the Bible the more I wanted to follow it, and to do what it says. Many men of God and older Christians were there to direct me into a more perfect walk with God. I developed many convictions from the beginning.

I am sadned to see so many of the men of God and Christians that I looked up to: Change! The ones that taught me the standards that I hold too no longer hold to the same standards! What's happening with America? What's happening to Bible Christianity in America? What's happened to the old fashion Preaching, and the old fashion practising what you preach?

Am I mad (crazy) or is everyone else going mad? Dear Christians we need to wake up! Souls are dying, and going to hell! Christ is on His way! Are we ready to stand in front of our Savior? What will you be doing when He returns?

Monday, March 23, 2009

God can do anything!

Praise the Lord! We have been serving in Croatia alone for sometime. Our last furlough we learned that Brother Scott Holcomb and his family surrendered to come to croatia as missionaries. Shortly after they surrendered to come here, the Croatian law changed and new missionaries could not come into the country! What a bummer. Brother Scott continued with deputation by faith. I just received a phone call from our national pastor, and he said, "I have good news, the law changed!", all I can do is praise God! For He is able to do anything! He can even change the hearts of governments! Please pray for this dear family as they try to get here as soon as possible! You pastors out there can find his information here: http://burdened4croatia.blogspot.com/

He is a good guy, and is doctrinally sound. They are coming to work along side of us, as we endevour to win this country to our Lord Jesus Christ!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The moon, the south wind and other hindrances of Soul-winning

You are probably thinking what in the world is he talking about! The moon or the wind a hindrance to soul-winning? I wouldn't have believed it myself if I haven't experienced it the last 9 years. The Croatian people (very strongly) believe that when the moon is full people will have a hard time sleeping, which makes them all on edge or if the south wind is blowing it will cause people to be irritable and nervous! Just the other day I was on my way to the church early in the morning when I heard the weather report for the day. I was shocked when I heard the weatherman say, Today will be a difficult day, because the south wind is blowing, people will be nervous and it will be hard to concentrate. I felt like turning the car around and going home, after all he just told me my day was going to be rotten, and I haven't even got started yet! To top it off it was Tuesday, the day we have church soul-winning! A double whammy all in one day. I've prayed for hearts to be open, that we would have power when we went, but I forgot to pray about the south wind.

Now that night almost every person we talked to was irritable, nervous and just down right mean. They must have heard the same report I did! Maybe there is some truth to this wind thing, I'm not sure. One thing I do know is soul-winning is always more difficult when the south wind is blowing, maybe because I find it so difficult to concentrate when I'm talking to people.

This moon thing is equally troubling for I find myself tossing and turning when the moon is full. Is it true or have I been brained washed? What do you think? Feel free to comment, and by all means pray that the wind will be blowing from any direction in Croatia, but the south one!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

You never know!

    Every Saturday our Church in Varazdin goes out and passes out John and Romans. Each John and Romans contains two Gospel tracts. This ministry does not take the place of Soul-winning. We knock a lot of doors, and believe it is God's command to go and verbally preach the Gospel to people.

    Not too long ago we were passing out the John and Roman's. In Croatia it is legal to put them in mail boxes, so our goal is to make sure everyone in this city gets a portion of God's Word and they receive a Gospel tract. (You that have followed our ministry know that Croatia is a difficult place to minister. It is mainly Roman Catholic, and they look at Baptist as a sect, I think to them sect comes from the word insect! At least that's how they treat Baptist in this country.) Well back to my story. Not too long ago we were passing out the John and Romans. A few hours later I received a phone call from a man that thought it was his God given right to tell me what he thought of Baptist, I tried to be kind, although it wasn't easy! He was a typical Catholic man that didn't understand why we thought it was important to convert him and his countrymen! I tried to help him see, but to know avail.

    This past Saturday our little group headed out as we have done many times before to stuff mailboxes with God's Word. We had a great time serving the Lord together. As fait would have it about 9:30 PM my phone began to ring, and the number displayed on the caller ID was from Varazdin (I immediately braced for what was about to come. ) Another chewing out by a Catholic who thought it was their duty to set us Baptist straight! Boy was I ever surprised when I answered the phone. There was a lady on the other end and she was crying uncontrollably. She told me she received one of our packets and she read the Gospel tracts. Then she begin to tell me how her life was a wreck and she needed help. I tried to talk to her, but to be honest it was difficult to understand everything, because she was crying so much. I got her number and a few days later was able to talk to her, and then she told me she called the other night because she received one of our tracts and she believed on Jesus! As my friend Brother Sam always says, somebody shout Hallelujah! She said she would come to our Church this Sunday. Please pray for her, her name is Andrija.

    God taught me through this that you never know when your phone rings who might be on the other end! All I can do is praise the Lord for working in Andrija! Praise the Lord that He is not willing that any should perish!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

That's a good idea!

Not too long ago we went to Budapest to say goodbye to our friend Dave Frauenhofer, and to meet Brother and Sister Pranger who were taking his place there in Budapest. We quickly hit it off and we praise God that they are there preaching the Gospel in Budapest!

Brother Pranger was a missionary in Russia for many years and felt the Lord was moving him to Budapest. I immediately perceived that he had much experience and wisdom that would help me. He shared with me some Scriptures that the Lord gave him, which helped him learn Russian. One of these Scriptures was Deuteronomy 17:18 which says: And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites. Brother Pranger told me that from this verse he learned the importance of copying the Word of God out by hand. He began to do this in English but also in Russian. One side of the page would be English and the other side Russian. He told me that this not only helped him in his walk with God, but also in learning Russian.

I'd never heard of someone taking the time to copy the entire Bible out by hand! What a good idea! As we came home from the Prangers I stopped on the way and bought a lot of notebooks. I've been coping the Scriptures now for about two weeks, and I can say honestly that it is one of the best things I've ever done. On one side of the page I've got text from my King James Bible and on the other side I've got the same text from our Croatian Bible. This has helped me so much in my walk with God but also in learning Croatian better. I've now copied the first 5 chapters of John. I may not be that fast with it but I'm enjoying all the extra time with God and His Word! Thanks Brother Pranger for such a good idea!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We're not in Kansas anymore!

After being on the mission field for 9 years, one forgets how different his surroundings are. When we first came to Croatia everything was different. Every where we turned we saw something that was different than what we were used to.

Now that we have been here for sometime everything seems to be normal, even the 800 year old castle in the park. Now it just looks like another building. Because things have become normal, I thought I'd slow down a bit and start looking at things like I did when I first came to Croatia. I remember thinking when we got off the plane, Toto we're not in Kansas anymore. So from time to time I'd like to share with you a post called, We're not in Kansas Anymore!

Here goes, and I hope you enjoy the differences as much as we do now!

Just the other day my lovely wife and I were out getting coffee as we try to do every Monday. As we looked down on the table there was an advertisement for hot chocolate. That seems pretty normal doesn't it. Well it is until you order it, then you realize how different it is.

I remember the first time we ordered hot chocolate in Croatia. It was close to Christmas and we took the kids out to get coffee (for us) and hot chocolate for them. At that time we couldn't speak the language so well, but we gave it our best shot. We all sat down excited about sharing the evening together at a little European coffee shop. The waiter took our order, and we patiently waited for our coffee and hot Chocolate. Well it arrived in a timely manner, and it was presented very professionally as it usually is in Europe. They care a lot about how things look. Presentation is very important to them. The coffee was typically European, if you don't know what that is, let me just say a little dab will keep you going all day! Then Hannah takes a taste of her hot chocolate, and says this is not hot chocolate! We take a better look at it, and then quickly realize that it is a melted candy bar in a glass! I guess they took hot chocolate literally. Before you think it was good, just know it was some of the riches chocolate you could find. We quickly learned what European hot chocolate was.

Now back to my wife and I. The place where we were this past Monday added a twist to the hot chocolate. They added chili peppers to theirs! It is called Aztec Hot Chocolate! Was it good? I have no idea, because i didn't try it. But I did realize that I was not in Kansas any more!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Friend Day!

Every year we use big days, such as Friend Day, in Croatia to try and reach people with the Gospel. You never know what to expect, we've had high days of 60 and low days with 25. This year we worked harder than ever. I don't know how many people were invited, and there was an excitement in the air as the big day got closer. My son Joshua even fasted, in hopes that this would be the best Friend Day ever! Well the day finally arrived, and we began to be scared as we heard of the many people backing out. Each one had there own excuse, much like the folks in Luke 14, 16-21. When it was all over we had 29, with one first time visiting family. This was a victory in its self. This family was saved about a month ago, and this is there first time to attend one of our services. They are interested in getting baptized.

Although the day was not quite what we were hoping for, we are excited about what God did in bringing this family to us. Every soul is important. In Croatia when you get one family to come you've won a great victory.

Brother Rajko preached a great message and my family sang a couple of songs. I'm learning to play the guitar so I thought I would try it out.

After the service we did what all good Baptist do, we ate! Then we ate! And after we ate, we ate some more!

There was a good fellowship with those who came! We praise the Lord for what God did!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

He shall direct thy paths!

I thought I'd share with you my Sunday morning sermon. The Lord gave it to me about 5 this morning. I normally don't like to wait that long to have the sermon I'm going to preach. But I've learned it's better to wait for what God wants me to give His people, rather than to give them something from me. I hope it will be a blessing to you!

God bless, and I hope you have a great Lord's Day!

He shall direct thy paths

Proverbs 3, 5-6; Numbers 9, 15-19; 10, 11-13


1. The day we got saved we started a journey with the Lord!

2. God wants to lead us to a better life.

3. He wants to lead us to a place of blessings.

4. He wants to lead us to a place of joy!

5. We sing the song he leadeth me, why? Because God wants to lead
you and I !

6. He does not want to be far off from His children, He wants
to be among us!

7. He wants to walk with us.

8. He wants to talk with us.

9. God wants to be a part of your life!

10. As God's children, we need His presence in our lives!

11. We need God, and we need His leadership.

12. In the book of Numbers, we read about a pillar of fire
by night and a cloud by day.

13. They represent God's presence with Israel.

14. God wanted to be close to Israel.

15. He saved them, and He wanted to lead them to a life of blessing.

16. All they had to do is follow Him.

17. When the cloud moved they were to move.

18. When it stayed they were to stay!

19. God was actively leading them to the promise land.

20. He wants to direct our path.

21. Today for our message I want to talk to you about: how to get the
Lord to direct your paths.

I. If you want Him to direct your path then you must follow Him!
Nu 9, 17; John 10,27

A. We must follow God!

  1. He's not going to follow us.
  2. If we want His leadership in our lives, then we must follow Him!
  3. God wants to lead, not follow.
  4. Too many people have tried to lead God, instead of following Him.
  5. Then they wander why God's presence is not in their lives?
  6. It's because they are not following God, but rather they are trying to lead God!

B. To follow God means to go wherever he says to go or to do whatever He says to do.

  1. Many will follow God when it's convenient.
  2. Many follow God when He leads them to where they want to go.
  3. We are to follow God wherever He says to go.

II. If you want Him to direct your path then you must trust Him!
Proverbs 3, 5-6

A. We need to trust Him even when we don't understand His plan for our lives.

  1. Israel didn't know that they would have to battle for the promise land.
  2. God did not tell them all of His plan when He brought them out of Egypt.
  3. They didn't know about the giants they would have to fight.
  4. God wanted them to grow first, then the giants would be revealed.
  5. God is not always going to tell you and I His complete plan, we must learn to trust Him.
  6. Not trust our feelings, nor our own understanding.
  7. We must trust God!

B. God will not lead us to a place that will destroy us! I Cor 10, 13

  1. God wants to lead us to His blessings.
  2. The way to get there is not always easy.
  3. This is why we must trust Him, He will lead us if we trust Him.
  4. God actively wants to lead us to the life of blessings!
  5. We must trust Him enough to follow Him!

III. If you want Him to direct your path you must stay with Him!
Nu 11, 1-9

A. Don't turn back to Egypt.

  1. Israel was tired of the heavenly food, and they began to lust for the food of Egypt.
  2. They begin to complain.
  3. Their hearts were turning back to the world.
  4. They no longer wanted to follow God's way, but rather their own way.
  5. It is dangerous when we turn back to the world. (Remember Lot)

B. We must learn to stay with God! Isiah 40,31

  1. Don't quit!
  2. Wait for God!
  3. His ways are better than the ways of this world.
  4. He's got something good for us, we simply need to wait for Him
  5. He will direct our paths, we simply need to wait for God!
  6. Don't turn back!


1. We need to follow God's presence.

2. We must not get behind His presence, nor should we get in front of His presence.

3. The Lord wants to direct our paths.

4. If we want Him to direct our paths then we must:

  • Follow Him!
  • Trust Him!
  • Stay with him!

5. Dear Christian trust in the Lord with all of thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and He shall direct thy paths!

Friday, March 6, 2009

No greater joy!

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (III John 1,4) It is a blessing serving God on the mission field. In Croatia, we seem to have more time as a family serving God, than we did while we were in the States. When we were in the states there was a lot of activity, but it seemed little time for family. Don't get me wrong, I think we ought to have a lot of activity when it comes to serving God, but not at the expense of the family! Sometimes American families are so busy with ministry that they have little time for family alter. I'm for ministry! I love the Lord Jesus and want to serve Him with all that I have. As a dad I know that He, Jesus, gave me my family and they are my primary responsibility. Many times families are so busy with activities that they don't pray nor read their Bibles together.

I have found as a dad that their is no greater joy than see our children walk in truth. Just recently Joshua, my youngest son, asked me if he could preach a sermon to us. What a joy it was to know he was walking in truth. He has a desire to serve the Lord. Now he and his brother are leading the devotions once a week and preaching to the family once a week. This may seem strange to some of you, but there is no greater joy than to see your children walk in truth. I love to see my converts grow in truth, but to be honest it doesn't compare to seeing my children walk in truth.

We haven't always had family alter, but since we've been doing it consistently it has changed our family for the better. If you are loaded down with activities so much that you don't have time to spend as a family then maybe it's time to get rid of some of the activities!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Great time of Fellowship!

It's great to be back in Croatia! Our trip to Budapest was wonderful. We had a great time of fellowship with Brother and Mrs. Pranger. They are taking the place of our friends that just left the field. We immediately hit it off with them. That's pretty easy when it's been over six months since you sat face to face with someone and spoke English. I didn't realize just how much we missed the fellowship. I personally was uplifted being around this family. They were missionaries in Russia since 1992. Because they couldn't get their visa renewed God moved them to Hungary. It was nice because I was able to draw from his expierence. He spoke Russian, and was able to give me some tips that will help me to better learn Croatian.

I feel charged up and ready to get back to work. This Sunday we will have Friend Day in our church here. This year we've tried something new. We took an add out on the television, and it's been running for a week. We pray that many will be saved!

Next time I post I'll try to not ramble so much. Just wanted to let everyone know we're back. Here are a few pictures to enjoy.

Tori and I at TGI Fridays. It is not the same as the American TGIF! The food was horrible!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

KJV Civil War!

My family and I are headed to Budapest, Hungary for a few days. A good friend of ours is leaving the field and we are going to see him before he heads back to America.

I'm posting the following article concerning a lot of chatter that I've heard lately about the KJV. It is written by Dr. Phil Stringer, pastor of the Ravenswood Baptist Church. I thought it was very good and written with a Christ like spirit. I hope you enjoy it!

The King James Only Baptist

Civil War over Inspiration

by Dr. Phil Stringer

Actually, I don’t like the term “King James Only.” It is a name given to us by our critics. I want everyone, in every language, to have the pure Word of God in their own tongue. But in this case, I use the term so that it is clear who I am talking about.

A civil war rages among independent Baptists about the “inspiration” of translations. I am not talking about the debate over which text of Scripture to use. Prominent preachers who preach the King James Bible and who defend it against its critics, are vigorously debating one another over the use of the term “inspiration” in describing the King James Bible. Sometimes the conflict is much hotter than a “vigorous debate.” Good men, with deep loyalties to the King James Bible, are at odds with one another. Key terms are defined many different ways, motives are called into question and the doctrinal soundness of men is questioned.

Over the last few weeks I have been in many verbal conversations and email discussions over this issue.

I have been asked how these discussions are going. I have answered that I feel like a man trying to stand on an ice flow, in an ocean full of sharks while juggling baby elephants. A debate over the nature of the Bible generates deep emotions.

Good men are trying to defend the King James Bible the best way that they know how. They are tired of the evangelical and fundamentalist critics of the King James Bible. They are tired of self-absorbed, pseudo-scholars. They are tired of people with slander language skills mocking the scholars who were used of God to translate the King James Bible. I completely agree!

Let me be crystal clear! I believe that the King James Bible is God’s Word kept intact in English. There is not one word in the King James Bible that I would change. I would not change an italicized word.

I believe that the American republic was created by the influence of the King James Bible. I believe that the modern missions movement was created by the preaching of the King James Bible. I believe that both the fundamentalist movement and the independent Baptist movement were the product of the King James Bible.

I am not one of those preachers who believes that it is Christian liberty to attack the King James Bible but divisive to answer those attacks.

I believe that the evangelical and fundamentalist critics of the King James Bible should be answered. When I heard Elmer Fernandez say that the translators of the King James Bible were evil and wicked men, I knew that he had to be opposed. When I read Calvin George’s desperate attempts to belittle the King James Bible (in order to defend the Critical Text readings of the Reina Valera 1960), I understand that he has to be answered.

When I realize that the method of Bible teaching practiced by the professors of Bob Jones University and Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary is to go verse by verse and say “a better translation would be. . . ,” I understand that they are pseudo-scholars. The least of the Kings James translators was a greater scholar than any of them.

When I read that the translations sponsored by Charles Keen won’t be King James equivalent (his term), I understand what he is up to and that he must be answered by those loyal to the Received Text.

When I see the long-ago disproven criticisms of the King James Bible on the various Trinitarian Bible Society websites—I realize that those loyal to the King James Bible must answer the Trinitarian Bible Society’s foolish attacks on the King James Bible.

I believe that the King James Bible is pure, perfect and inerrant!

However, I do not believe that the King James Bible is “inspired”. That is not because I believe that there is any weakness or any inferiority in the King James Bible. There is nothing about the King James Bible that needs to be corrected or improved.

The Bible tells us what “inspiration” is! It defines itself. Many of my brethren use the term “inspiration” as a synonym for inerrant. But it means much more than that! Many of my brethren use the secular definition of the term “inspiration”—“to motivate or cause by supernatural influence” (Webster’s Illustrated Contemporary Dictionary). But this definition falls far short of what the Bible says about its own “inspiration”.

Many of our most famous doctrinal books offer a weak definition of “inspiration.”

One prominent advocate of the King James Bible defines “inspiration” this way. “By inspiration we mean the supernatural control by God over the production of the Old Testament and New Testaments.” Another King James advocate defines “inspiration” as “divine influence.” These men would consider themselves as great advocates of the King James Bible and would describe most other teachers as weak or modernist.

Yet their doctrine of “inspiration” is very weak. It was invented by modernists and spread by neo-evangelicals. Inspiration is much more than what they say it is.

If “inspiration” is really “divine influence” then many sermons, songs and books are “inspired.” However, “Biblical inspiration” is much more than that.

“Inspiration” took place when God took control of a person and spoke His words through them or caused them to write down His words. “Inspiration” took place when God dictated His words to a person or even through an animal (Balaam’s donkey).

You can’t defend the King James Bible by weakening the doctrine of “inspiration.” In their zeal to advance the King James Bible, some men have adopted a liberal position about “inspiration.”

Many of the brethren are quick to quote II Timothy 3:16—“All Scripture is given by “inspiration” of God.” This is, of course, true. God gave His words to men through the Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew languages. This verse means exactly what it says—and nothing more.

However, the verse does not say that the words that God gave are preserved, transmitted or translated by “inspiration”. The verse means everything that it says but we have no right to add anything to it.

No matter how pure and proper our motives are—we do not help the cause of the King James Bible by defining incorrectly a Biblical term or by inventing a new Biblical doctrine. Actually we help the critics of that King James Bible by using an argument that they can easily refute.

Virtually everyone in our movement, including me, has used the term “inspiration” carelessly at one time or another. It is time to start being careful.

Recently, I was communicating by email with the head of a translation project in a foreign country. He assured me that his translation was “inspired”. I told him that I didn’t think so.

He was just finishing ten years of his translation effort. Men who were “moved by the Holy Spirit” (II Peter 1:21) of God wrote down the Words as God gave them. They didn’t need ten years. Can you imagine John spending ten years figuring out what to write down in the book of Revelation?

The translator had a team of sixteen national helpers—men who are “inspired” don’t need a “team” of helpers. Can you imagine a team of sixteen helpers helping King Saul figure out what to say when the Holy Spirit took him over?

This gentleman is getting ready to release his second edition. Men who are “inspired” of God don’t need a second edition. Can you imagine Balaam’s donkey issuing a second edition of his words to Balaam.

The response of this translator was to call me a modernist!

The Words of God have been settled forever in heaven. God gave some of them to Moses to record on earth. He gave some to Jeremiah, some to Paul, some to Peter and so on. They recorded the exact words that God gave them. God finished delivering His words to men as John finished the Book of Revelation. That is how “inspiration” works!

The translators of the King James Bible did not need to be “inspired”. They already had God’s “inspired” Words in front of them. They simply needed to faithfully and accurately translate the Words that had already been given by “inspiration”. Translators today do not need to be “inspired.” They already have God’s “inspired” words available. They simply need to translate them correctly.

John Selden described the method of the King James translators. “The translation in King James time took an excellent way. That part of the Bible was given to him who was most excellent in such a tongue (as the Apocrypha to Andrew Downes) and then they met together and one read that translation the rest holding in their hands some Bible either of the learned tongues or French, Italian, Spanish, etc. If they found any fault they spoke, if not, they read on.”

This was not the method of King Saul, Malachi, Isaiah, Matthew or Balaam’s donkey when they were being “inspired” of the Lord. It is an example of men being used of God to preserve and transmit His Word.

I know that many men use the word “inspired” to describe the King James Bible because they want to defend it against its many attackers. But the King James Bible doesn’t need that kind of help from us. It stands up to its attackers just fine. They always fade away and the King James Bible goes on. It doesn’t need us to invent a new definition of “inspiration” or to weaken the doctrine of divine “inspiration” the way that the secular writers do.

There seem to be three prominent positions among those who use the term “inspired” to describe the King James Bible.

Some teach that God repeated the miracle of “inspiration” in 1611. They believe that the English language is the only language that currently has an “inspired Bible.” Their concept of missions is to preach and teach from the English Bible to the whole world. This destroys most mission works.

This is an easy doctrine to maintain, if you are only concerned for white, Anglo-Saxon people.

Of course, there is not the slightest hint of any such doctrine anywhere in the King James Bible.

The second group teaches the miracle of “inspiration” took place in 1611 in English and continues to take place in other languages today. They teach that you can recognize an “inspired” Bible if it is used by large “soul-winning” churches

For those brethren, soul-winning is not based upon doctrine, doctrine is based upon soul winning. Since most of the Bibles in use around the world are Critical Text Versions and contradict the King James Bible, they assume that God gave one set of words in English and differing words in other languages. Their doctrine of “inspiration” justifies liberal translations.

They usually teach that only a Bible produced by a modern miracle of “inspiration” can be used to lead someone to Christ. Consequently, they would put their stamp of approval on hundreds of modernist translations.

But you can’t protect the King James Bible by undermining the basis for Scriptural revelation.

Interestingly enough, both groups spend a lot of time attacking fundamental Baptists who explain “inspiration” in any way different than themselves. But you can’t imagine them refuting modernists or liberal Bible societies. Their venom is reserved for the English speaking brethren who use the same Bible that they do.

There is a third group that teaches what they call “derivative inspiration.” They are often very good brethren, devoted to the Bible. They understand that the miracle of “inspiration” only took place with the original earthly Scriptural penmen.

They teach that the Bible today has all the authority, influence, Holy Spirit power and purity of the original “inspired” Words of God. That is exactly what the Bible teaches about itself.

Faithful copies of the Words given by “inspiration” have all the authority and Holy Spirit power of the originals. Faithful copies of Scripture are Scripture.

Faithful translations of the Words given by “inspiration” have all the authority and Holy Spirit power of the originals. Faithful translations of Scripture are Scripture.

However, the Bible calls this preservation not “derivative inspiration” (try finding that term in the King James Bible).

At least the teachers of “derivative inspiration” describe the original act of inspiration correctly, they describe the current state of the Bible correctly and it is possible for them to translate the Bible into other languages correctly. They are good brethren and I do not want to be separated from them.

However, their terminology is not Scriptural. Their teaching is easily confused with the other more dangerous teachings about “inspiration.”

You do not defend the Kings James Bible by weakening the Bible’s teaching about preservation.

One Bible teacher called preserved words “cold, dead museum words.” What an insult to a sovereign God!

Nothing could be a stronger statement about words than to say these words are “God’s preserved words.” God’s preservation maintains all the authority and Holy Spirit power that God originally placed on and in His words.

The doctrine of preservation is not a weak doctrine. It is a doctrine filled with Holy Spirit power. It does not need to be upgraded, improved or strengthened. It is the power of God in practice.

I am for everyone that preaches, practices and defends the words of the King James Bible. If my brethren do not use the exact terminology that I think reflects the teaching of Scripture, I will be a little disappointed in them, but I will not reject them. I do not expect perfection from men. I wish to be the friend of all those that honor the words of the King James Bible.

However, I do believe that this discussion has important consequences.

Using a Biblical term in a non-Biblical way opens a new avenue of attack for the enemies of the King James Bible. There is no reason to make it easier for them to make their unholy attacks.

Secondly, this debate is creating unfortunate confusion about the matter of Bible translations. Around the world dozens of projects are taking place. Believers are concerned about getting a faithful translation of the Bible in their national language. There is a revival of understanding the issue of the Received Text.

However, too many men are producing a first edition of a translation, calling it “inspired” and stopping right there. A proper translation requires a rigorous purification process (such as the one that took place with the King James Bible). A weak or secular definition of “inspiration” is hindering the most important work of Bible translation.

Thirdly, this debate causes people to miss the genuinely important debate going on about Scripture today. Some men who are loud advocates of the “inspiration” of the King James Bible are also strong proponents of a Critical Text Bible for the Spanish people and for other language groups.

It may be expedient politics to advocate a Received Text Bible for the English speaking world and a Critical Text Bible for the Spanish speaking world, but it is horrible doctrine. Why would a “King James man” want the Hispanic world to use a Bible that conflicts with the King James Bible in hundreds of places and thousands of words?

This is hypocritical and it has a great price attached to it. If you promote the Critical Text in any language you can no longer consistently oppose Critical Text Bibles in English. Sooner or later your hypocrisy will catch up to you. There is simply no doctrinal or textual foundation to prevent such a change. No matter how loudly a man or a ministry proclaims their loyalty to the King James Bible today, if they advocate the Critical Text in other languages they will probably be using a Critical Text Bible in English in a few years.

No one can consistently claim to be a “King James preacher” and support the Reina Valera 1960 or the TBS Spanish Bible. No one can consistently claim to be a “King James preacher” and support the French Louis Segond Version (either the Bible Society version or the TBS version). The same is true for the Chinese Common Union Version (CUV) and a host of other foreign translations.

Some of the people influenced by Dr. Ruckman have called me a modernist and a Bible corrector (even though they can’t identify one word of the King James Bible that I would change). Most recently, some have called me “a King James Bible hater.” Other men influenced by Dr. Ruckman have been much kinder to me.

I have been called a Ruckmanite by advocates of the Critical Text. However I have never been influenced by the writings or teachings of Dr. Ruckman (in the interest of full disclosure I met him once when I was fifteen).

Some Hispanic preachers refer to me by their pet nickname, “The Antichrist.” I am sure that they mean that in Christian love. However I am grateful to have many Hispancic preacher friends who love me in spite of my faults and limitations.

I am used to being called names. Somehow, I doubt that this article will end that experience.

If you preach, practice and defend the words of the King James Bible, I am for you!

I hope that we will all preach, practice and defend those blessed words wisely.

One missionary wrote, “As I understand the Scriptures, ‘inspiration’ is the process by which God directed and controlled the recording of His exact words for mankind. But after those words were recorded, God ceased to “inspire’. The process was completed and the message was recorded. God, from that point on, perfectly preserved exactly what He gave so that we would have every word exactly as He gave it. This is called preservation. So if you were to ask me if I believed the Bible is inspired, I would answer by saying, ‘Yes, however, to be more theologically accurate, it was inspired and is now preserved.’”

Amen and Amen!

, it seems that much of the “civil war” today is not really about doctrine at all. It seems to be about who is going to “speak for fundamental Baptists.” Again, let me be crystal clear. I am an independent Baptist. I do not recognize a pope, bishop, church councils or a Baptist Sanhedrin. I don’t believe in model churches or that anyone pastors to pastors. I have no headquarters! I have a Bible and that is my sole authority.

Finally, let me appeal for grace for and from all of us. The founders of fundamentalism, for all their wonderful accomplishments, were not clear or consistent on their definition of “inspiration” or their identification of the Biblical text. We are paying for that confusion now!

Most of the leaders of the independent Baptist movement can be quoted several different ways on both the definition of “inspiration” and on textual issues.

Vigorous debate is appropriate and even beneficial. A “civil war” is not. Let us all find some grace in our hearts for those who love the Bible and strive to reach the souls of men!

Verbal, plenary “inspiration,” verbal, plenary and preservation, verbal, plenary translation: any other doctrine of Scripture is just not enough.