Chick’s World of Alternative Facts

For decades, Chick Publications Inc. has gained popularity for attacking deceptive religious systems, hence, one would expect it to have a high degree of intellectual honesty in what it presents to the public. Sadly, that is not the case. In fact, the Body of Christ need to scrutinise and fact-check the claims made in their vlogs, books, articles and comics. Last year, I pointed out a number of egregious errors and deliberate falsehoods in their materials which tragically continue to emanate from that ministry even now that its leadership rein in now in the hands of David Daniels.

The misleading information and flawed arguments in the Battle Cry May/June 2017 article entitled “Pope Decides It’s Okay to Read the Bible?” underscore the fact that KJV onlyism can only be sustained on tissues of lies. I will be responding to that article. Quotes from it will appear in bold.

In his Sunday message to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square, March 5, Pope Francis urged the people to carry their Bible as diligently as they do their smartphones. Protestants, and the civilized world in general, applaud that this dark-age “church” has seen the light. As head of an institution that tried for centuries to stamp out the Bible, this appears like a miracle

As far as I can see, only ignorant Protestants who are easily swayed by sweet words and pageantry will applaud the pope’s message. A part of it on the Vatican’s website reads:

“The Word of God: this has the strength to defeat Satan. For this reason, it is important to be familiar with the Bible; read it often, meditate on it, assimilate it. The Bible contains the Word of God, which is always timely and effective.”

Anyone with a knowledge of Rome’s teaching knows that when they talk about “the word of God,” they are referring to an amalgam of the Bible, traditions and teachings of the Magisterium. not Scripture alone. The remark that “the Bible contains the Word of God” should give a red flag to a true Christian. That line is diabolical. While modern Catholics are allowed (and even encouraged) to read the Bible, Rome still keeps it from their hearts by diminishing its authority and insisting that only the Magisterium can interpret it. Fair enough, the Battle Cry article ends with this fact, but the meandering before it deserves some attention.

Unfortunately, there is a darker side of the story. The Bible that he is talking about is a very different Bible from the one which dozens tried to obliterate. But it wasn’t that the popes wanted to do away with all Bibles, they just had to stop one Bible. Even during the Inquisition the popes had their own approved Bible

Notice how the writer quickly deflects to the issue of Bible translation. He is pitting the Latin Vulgate (approved by the pope) with “one Bible” that dozens of popes wanted to stamp out – the Old Latin bible translation. In the book, Did the Catholic Church Give us the Bible? (by David Daniels) we are told: “Catholic Rome got the reins of government and began destroying God’s words in Old Latin” (p. 54).

This alternative history is uncritically lapped up by many KJO patrons. But there is no historical evidence that dozens of popes obliterated the Old Latin bible. These are stuffs some people make up in their own heads and have the temerity to publish them as truth.

For most of Christian history, there has been a struggle over which Bible should be used. When the Revelation 17-18 counterfeit church was burning all the Bibles, (and Bible believers) during the Inquisition, they also had a counterfeit Bible they were promoting. Of course, “promoting” is hardly the right word when their “Bible” was chained to the pulpit and written in Latin, a language few could read

All through church history, Christians have always had preference for certain Bible translations – from the Septuagint to the Vulgate to the KJV. The real struggle started when the Catholic religion decreed that only the Latin Vulgate version was divine – a cultic idea curiously similar to KJV onlyists’ claims about the KJV. Just as the people had to learn Latin to know God’s Word at the time, today, everyone would have to learn English to know His Word as KJOs insist.

Earlier, we read that popes “just had to stop one Bible” but now we are told they were “burning all the Bibles.” Hello? How did one Bible became all the Bibles? We need to ask: which Bible translation was the “only true Bible” during the Inquisition (between 12th-16th century)?It couldn’t have been the Old Latin versions (Italic, African and European) because their texts differ markedly from the Received text from which the KJV was translated. F. F. Bruce observed:

“The textual affinities of the Old Latin versions are unmistakably with the Western type of text … On the whole, the African form of the Old Latin presents the larger divergences from the generally received text and the European the smaller” (The Early Versions, 1977, 325).

God’s counterattack was the invention of the printing press. Soon, copies of the right Bible began to flood the Western World. But his enemy did not give up easily. Satan’s plan B was to “fix” the supposedly “archaic language” of the real Bible. If it could be subtly altered to begin to match the counterfeit, maybe no one would notice. The astounding success of that plan is why the Pope can now urge his people to read the Bible

The first movable printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg circa 1450. Between 1450 and 1611 when ‘the right Bible’ began to flood the West, which Bible translation was the ‘only real one’ and why was it replaced? We need to know why the Wycliffe, Tyndale, Bishop or Geneva Bible versions were fake but the King James version was real. Isn’t it stunning that the writer wrapped 161 years up as “soon”?

Perhaps bereft of tangible arguments, the writer invokes “Satan’s plan B” to explain why the KJV translation wasn’t (and still isn’t) regarded as perfect. In fact, the KJV used many outdated (and by modern usage, embarrassing) English terms e.g “cockatrice” for viper; “apothecary” for perfumer; “shambles” for meat markets; “unicorn” for wild ox; “dumb ass” instead of mute donkey; “bastard” instead of illegitimate; “spoil” instead of plunder; “Elias” for Elijah, “Eliseus” for Elisha and “Osee” instead of Hosea. The purpose of every legitimate Bible translation is to render God’s Word in the simplest, clearest way possible such that even an uneducated person can understand. Since the KJV failed in this regard, it necessitated a better English translation.

Furthermore, the Latin Vulgate (“the counterfeit”) had much influence on the KJV. Frederick Scrivener points out at least 60 places where the NT of the KJV follows the reading of the Latin Vulgate without a single Greek text as support (The New Testament in Greek, 1881, ix). Bible scholars, W. E. Plater and H. J. White stated that even the vocabulary of the KJV repeats words directly lifted from the Vulgate e.g “publican,” “charity,” “Calvary” (A Grammar of the Vulgate, 1926, 4). It’s disingenuous for Chick’s team to demonize the Vulgate whilst idolizing the KJV.

Using modern research techniques, linguist David W. Daniels has uncovered the details of this epic war on God’s words

Unfortunately, much of the details Daniels presents are closer to tabloid sensationalism than established facts. The footnotes and bibliography of Did the Catholic Church Give us the Bible? indicates that his information on Bible transmission are largely from Chick materials along with questionable works of other KJOs: William Grady, David Otis Fuller, Gail Riplinger and Peter Ruckman. Such self-quoting, “circle-the-bunkers” technique is an insult to credible research.

The move to “fix” the Bible involved forming “Bible societies,” bringing together linguists, translators, publishers and sophisticated marketing. Satan used the opportunity to infiltrate those “societies” with unbelievers and men dedicated to his agenda

How did the writer know these details? Interestingly, Daniels and Chick believed the KJV translators were also infiltrated by Jesuits. This idea came from Dr Alberto Rivera’s testimony in The Crusaders’ comic:

“Among the group of men chosen by King James to translate the King James Bible in 1611, was a heavy concentration of undercover Jesuits posing as members of the Church of England. God, in His sovereign grace, preserved His written word, and they were not able to change it as they had planned” (The Force, p 14).

Now if God could preserve His Word in spite of heavy Jesuit concentration among KJV translators, why didn’t He do the same for other Bible translations before and since then? You see, in the KJ onlyist’s bubble universe, the KJV is a perfect translation because its translators were also inspired by the Holy Spirit, so anyone who suggests that it’s flawed or clamours for a better translation  is part of Satan’s folks!

Rather than updating the language, a whole new basic Greek text was formed. Instead of using the thousands of manuscripts supporting the real Bible, a few new ones were faked as “oldest and best.” And coincidentally, their readings often supported the unbiblical doctrines of the counterfeit church…

1. This false, KJO Manichean binary of a ‘preserved’ Received text versus the ‘corrupted’ new Greek text needs to be disassembled. Between 17th-19th century, several Protestant scholars collected several critical Greek texts other than Erasmus’ Received text.
Theodore de Beza (1519-1605), John Calvin’s successor, collected critical Greek texts. John Mill (1645-1707) also collected and published Greek texts. Sir Richard Bentley (1662-1742) was the first to propose a revised Greek text. Johann Bengel (1687-1751) critically studied Greek texts and was the first to classify them into Alexandrian and Byzantine. The scholar from that period who published a text similar to the Received text, J. M. Scholz, was a Catholic theologian.

2. Erasmus’ Greek text wasn’t based on “thousands of manuscripts.” He used 10 manuscripts, none of which were earlier than the 10th century. The discovery of more ancient and larger number of mss. prompted newer English versions. Their differences with the KJV affect no vital doctrine.

3. According to Dr. J. G. Carleton, the KJV has taken some 2,803 readings, besides 140 marginal reading from the Catholic Rheims translation (The Part of Rheims in the Making of the English Bible, 1902, 259). This shouldn’t be shocking since the KJV translators were 17th century Anglicans, not 20th century independent, fundamentalist Baptists.

Today, that bogus text, known as the Nestle-Aland/United Bible Societies Greek Text, is nearly universally accepted by translators of modern Bible versions … Fake manuscripts like the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus were “discovered” by men like Constantin Tischendorf. From them, Westcott and Hort prepared their Greek New Testament that became the foundation text for most modern versions

Never mind, the only reason the Nestle-Aland Greek text is termed “bogus” is because it’s not Erasmus’ Catholic Greek text. The Vaticanus manuscript pre-dates Roman Catholicism and the Latin Vulgate, yet, both Erasmus and KJV translators relied on the Vulgate in their work. Bible manuscripts stand on their own merits, not by who possessed them, otherwise, the Byzantine Mss. used for the Received text would also be “fake” since they came from Eastern Orthodoxy.

The efforts of the named scholars were to produce a non-Catholic critical Greek text, and many of them were theologically conservative. Tischendorf, for example, was a Plymouth Brethren. Many conservative Christian scholars in the 19th and 20th century accepted the revised critical texts over Erasmus’ Received text.

The next step was a broad marketing campaign to “sell” the church on the new Bibles. Part of that was an intensive effort to discredit the real Bible in English… This hugely successful effort has effectively persuaded churches, denominations, Bible colleges and seminaries to “speak evil” of the KJV in favor of the altered Bibles

This scenario was illustrated by Jack Chick on pg. 134 of Did the Catholic Church Give us the Bible? book. The Pope asks his Jesuit general “How is the Master Plan coming, General?” He replies, “We’ve funneled billions into the ‘new’ versions. No one will know which one to believe! Very soon the King James will be the most despised Bible on earth!”

To Christians with a ‘Daddy-there-is-a-big-Jesuit-in-my-pyjamas’ paranoid mindset, this is all the evidence they need to stay away from any other Bible version. But a reasonable Christian must question the source of such rhetoric. I have said this before: without conspiracy theories, KJV onlyism cannot stand.

Notice also their use of pejorative terms like “discredit” or “speak evil” for any suggestion of the KJV imperfection. This offers a glimpse into the pervasive shift in the KJV only camp. It’s a shift from the gospel message to conspiracy tales; facts to fictions; faith to suspicion and a Christ-centered life to an obsession with a 17th century Bible version. The outgrowth: persons bereft of character and truth – who ironically see themselves as “better” Christians approved by God because they use the King James bible.

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Straight Talk on Sexual Self-Stimulation

“I was [sexually] abused when I was young. I’m so addicted to pornography and masturbation” said a married man to a Christian counselor. Two single young men also shared their struggles:

“I’ve been battling with masturbation for a long time now and it’s killing me. I notice I masturbate each time I feel depressed. I’ve prayed and done a lot still I find myself doing the same thing over and over again.”

“I have a very big problem with both sex and masturbation. It has really gotten to me. I am a devoted Christian … yet I find it difficult to quit … I have planned to cut myself off media, phone and internet so as to stop going through porn sites and downloading its content … Why is stopping sex and masturbation too difficult for me, or is it my FATE? I am really confused.”

Unfortunately, sexuality is still a no-go area topic in many Christian circles. This is why I applaud Christians who summon the courage to open up about their personal sexual struggles. I’ve come to realise that when such “uncomfortable” issues are swept under the carpet of church rules and “uptight” conservatism, they not only fester but eventually become elephants in the pews. Many people in the church today are suffering from silent frustration as a result of private problems that have created turmoils in their hearts. They can’t find anyone who understands or is able to handle the details of what ails them.

Sexual issues need to be openly discussed because they are crucial to life, and it’s an area where the devil is enslaving many believers. I was told of a Christian guy in my undergraduate days who broke with “tradition” during a Bible study by telling how God helped him beat the sinful habit of masturbation. Typical of hyper-conservative student fellowships, his audience looked on with shock and distaste, but he defied their countenances. As he was leaving the fellowship that evening, about 5 Christian brothers walked up to saying “Please sir, I’m struggling with masturbation, can you help me?” If we are really going to help people find freedom and healing, we’ll need to blow open the citadels of pretence and role-playing that the devil has used to wall us in.

Masturbation or “solo sex” is a hot topic on several fronts. A 2016 survey by TENGA, a sexual health and wellness company, indicates that “88 % of 1,200 Americans masturbate.” To remove the stigma from self-pleasure, this company launched “an online empowerment campaign that celebrates and encourages masturbation” called #DoItInMay. Secular society has always lauded masturbation as a safe, healthy valve of release from sexual pressure. Some scientists tell us that it boosts the mood; has a natural sedative effect; helps maintain body immunity; prevents prostate cancer, heart diseases and STDs and even confers a longer lifespan!

If one’s life is patterned by their claims, solo sex becomes a placebo to cure almost all of life’s hitch. I guess a time would soon come when we will be told that if we don’t masturbate frequently, our brains will stop functioning and our hearts will stop beating! From a scientific perspective, however, one needs to tread with caution before touting masturbation as a “silver bullet” to bodily infirmity.

Masturbation triggers the brain into releasing a flood of internal chemicals like dopamine, endorphins and serotonin into the bloodstream. These natural “drugs” give quick, temporary escape and relief from stress, insomnia and anxiety. This can make masturbation a convenient “drug” for instant pleasure and self-medication. It results in a chemical dependency that people use to escape from boredom, negative emotions and the stresses of life. We all know how drug addicts resort to drugs to escape from reality. Sexual self-stimulation works out the same way. Thankfully, the debilitating effects of addictions are not disputed by secular society.

Frequent masturbation stimulates acetylchlorine and parasympathetic nervous functions and when it is excessively done, large amount of this hormone and neurotransmitters are being produced, thus altering the body’s chemistry. This leads to fatigue, erectile dysfunction and pelvic cramps. Even in the medical world, there are check and balances that govern drug use. That’s why pain relievers are given with prescriptions. When the body is made to naturally circumvent these regulations through masturbation, it becomes a form of self-abuse.

Many scientists, psychologists and even some Christian leaders argue that masturbation is not a sin. If that is the case, why do many men and women feel so guilty after indulging in it? The ready-made answer that such people are conditioned by social indoctrination and upbringing doesn’t cut it. That response is an indication of our God-given conscience which must not be muffled with empty rationalizations.

This is why science, psychology and philosophy – albeit beneficial – cannot be our final arbiter of truth, ethics or morals. The Bible, God’s Word is. Science sees man as a “higher animal” that is subject to all baser instincts and desires, but the Bible dignifies man, stating that he is created in God’s image. Psychology also fails to address the complexity and depravity of the human heart. The Encyclopedia Britiannica presents a lengthy discussion on sexual deviations but adds that:

“Although most psychiatrists and psychologists consider masturbation an expected practice on the path to heterosexual relations, it serves equally to gratify in fantasy many of the sexual deviations discussed above” (16:610).

That is, masturbation can be fuelled by fantasies involving sexually debased acts like paedophilia, rape, sado-masochism, voyeurism, homosexuality, lesbianism and bestiality. The human heart is so deceitful and depraved that most sex criminals usually start off by masturbating to fantasies of what they later indulged in. With the way sex toys like strokers, dildos, sex dolls etc are becoming lucrative even here in Nigeria, God’s view – not man’s opinions – of solo sex needs to be emphasised.

Granted, masturbation is not directly mentioned in the Bible and cannot be accurately termed as the “sin of Onanism,” but it’s still a sin because it involves lust of the mind (Matt. 5:28). Virtually all sexual self-stimulation is accompanied by either sexual fantasies or pornographic materials. It cannot be imagined or carried on without committing the sin of lust. It also fails the Bible’s eight fold test: what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8).

Our body “is the temple of the Holy Spirit … You are not your own. You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20). Solo sex spiritually defiles our body. God says we are to “put to death … whatever belongs to [our] earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires…” (Col. 3:5), but masturbation does the very opposite: it energizes the fleshy nature.

Furthermore, masturbation is a selfish act. God intended sexuality to help relieve a person’s loneliness, but solo sex does not relieve loneliness. In fact, one feels more lonely than ever after this sin. Being immersed in one’s body sensations is a form of narcissism. As time goes on, self-pleasuring becomes the brain’s preferred method for achieving sexual gratification and this ultimately undercuts a healthy relationship with one’s spouse.

I am not writing this to lay a guilt trip on anyone struggling with this habit. What I’m saying is that it is a sin that one can repent of and forsake just like any other (1 Jn. 1:9). There is one more reason why self-sex should be avoided: it often attracts sexual spirits called incubi (those appearing to be men) and succubi (those appearing as women). These demon spirits are responsible for the sexual dreams many men and women frequently have.

These sex demons are also sought after in the occult and are invited by sexual fantasies. When these spirits latch themselves to men or women, they wield a web around them, draw away their virtues, potentials and vitality and pump their garbage into them. In some cases where the demon already resides in the victim, it will control his or her hands to sexually stimulate himself or herself, at times after having an erotic dream.

One of the ways to know if masturbation has led a person into spiritual bondage is that, it becomes a besetting sin and he/she would be having relationship or marital troubles (if married). That person may be oppressed by a demonic sex partner and needs to be ministered to. Such persons would tell you that they feel more pleasure when they have sex in dreams with demons (who appear as very beautiful ladies or handsome men) or when they masturbate, unlike with their physical spouses. This problem is a very common one. I have personally met real Christians victimized by it.

The way out

Although there are no specific “formulas” to conquer masturbation, some steps are crucial.

1. Repent and forsake the sin. This involves getting rid of porn or sex materials. Because masturbation feeds off secrecy, sharing your struggles with someone mature is also good, but it’s not compulsory.

2. Know what triggers you. Some masturbation triggers are: depression, porn, indecent dress, images of past sexual acts, erotic chats or phone calls, stories or TV shows that border on sexual themes. A guy named Immanuel wrote: “I can remember heavily masturbating to Rihanna’s Rude Boy’s music video immediately it was released till my organ got painful sores.”

Now if Immanuel is going to maintain his victory, he will have to avoid music videos or lyrics with sex innuendos. Some are triggered by certain places, smells, gestures, words or objects. A Christian guy once admitted he gets “triggered” to masturbate once he sees a boxer short. So know your own trigger and address it.

3. Filling one’s heart with God’s Word has a cleansing and renewing power (Ps. 119: 11; Rom. 12:2). Daily meditate on the Bible and control your thoughts

4. Resistance. You can only resist what you dislike. This involves:

a) directly resisting the urge to masturbate by avoiding compromising situations and exercising bodily control (1 Cor. 9:27). One can be tensed up and unable to sleep and feel tempted to give in to it; don’t yield. Endure hardness as a soldier and resist the sin (1 Tim. 2:2).

b) standing back on your feet if you have a relapse (Prov. 24:16). Don’t let the devil beat you down with guilt. Some gain victory quickly, some don’t. Focus on Christ.

c) praying fervently, especially before going to bed. That is how to draw on the power of Christ (Mt. 26:41). A friend told me how God set him free from the bondage of masturbation. After praying one night, he went to bed and while he was asleep, he felt a strange pressure mount over his body. With his eyes still closed, he felt someone raise his hands up and make him say: “You spirit of masturbation, I renounce you in Jesus’ name!” and the pressure lifted. Since that day, the urge to masturbate vanished. There is great power in Jesus Christ.

If you are struggling with this sin but not yet born again, I want to tell you that the Lord Jesus Christ died for your sins at the cross of Calvary and rose again for us to have a new life. Repent of your sins and believe in Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross. Ask Him to forgive your sins and make you a new creature.

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