Are Christmas Trees Idols?

download.jpeg

One of the arguments presented by Christians who oppose Christmas celebration is that Christmas trees are idols.

I think the first material where I encountered this teaching was one of the Alberto series titled “The Force” published by Jack Chick. In it, Alberto Rivera, a self-acclaimed ex-Jesuit priest, said without a shred of documentation:

“As time passed, all over the world on the 25th of December, the sun was worshipped by these various names: Tammuz, Horus, Osiris, Sol, etc. It was a time for orgies, sacrificing of babies to Baal, drunkenness, and merriment. Semiramis ordered trees to be decorated with little balls representing the sun. God fought this evil holiday by forbidding the Jews to decorate trees as the heathens were doing (Jer. 10:1-4).” (The Force, The Crusaders Vol. 15 by Jack T. Chick, 1983, p. 26).

You don’t have to be a scholar to see how groundless these statements are. All you have to do is enter the names of these idols into a search engine and you will realize that there were no specific fixed dates on which they were worshipped, much less on December 25th.

The hackneyed tale of Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz often tied to Christmas by some religious groups is not my issue here. I’ve addressed that hypothesis in my article, The Mirror Image Syndrome.

Also, if you need more info on the yak milk and powdered sparrow eggs being put out by Chick Publications, you can read this. My main concern here is that Bible passage often trotted out, Jeremiah 10:1-5 (KJV):

“For one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree…”

Using the principles of sound Biblical interpretation, here are reasons why these Bible verses do not refer to Christmas trees:

1. One of the ways to properly interpret the Bible is to cross reference, to examine parallel passages. It’s dicey to build a doctrine on just one verse of the Bible, especially when other passages go in an opposite direction.

For instance, the passage says, “One cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman.”

Reading this, one would picture a lumberjack going into the forest to cut down a Christmas tree, but this is not the intended meaning.

When you read the entire chapter, you will see that this “workman” was one who took material—in this case the wood from a tree—and formed it into an idol.

Later in this passage, the “workman” is portrayed as plating an idol with silver and gold. He was clearly not a lumberjack; he was fashioning a “graven image… they are all the works of cunning men” and they are “the gods that have not made the heavens and the earth” (vv. 9-14)

In a parallel passage, we read, “The workman melteth a graven image…”

Then he makes an idol with wood from a tree:

“He… chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image…” (Isa. 40:19, 20).

Therefore, the “workman” was an idol carver. The Hebrew word is “charash” meaning “an engraver” or “artificer.” And we all know images of idols were fashioned out of wood, gold, silver, brass or adorned with them.

2. One of the ways to have a good understanding of the Bible is to read it in a clearer and more accurate modern translation.

For instance, the tool the workman uses is called an “ax.” Though the word ax (or axes) appears 18 times in the King James Version, the Hebrew word here (maatzad) translated ax is a different word.

It is not the ax that a lumberjack would use to cut down a tree, but is a carving tool or tong. The workman would use this tool to form an idol from the tree already cut down.

Some translations, more correctly, use the word chisel: “…they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel” (NIV).

3. Just quoting a Bible passage isn’t enough, we must look to see if the passage actually describes what we are saying. Otherwise, we are unfairly reading our preconceived notions into it.

The idol described in Jeremiah 10, was carved from the “stock” of a tree (margin: “wooden idol,” vs. 8). Positioned “upright as a palm tree,” it was fastened with “nails and hammers” so it would not fall over (vv. 4, 5).

While this could be true of a Christmas tree, what is described here is a wooden idol in a standing position. Being lifeless, it cannot stand on its own, and must be fastened down to avoid falling over.

4. Reading the preceding and proceeding verses of a passage is vital to Bible interpretation.

When we take a look at the whole of Jeremiah 10, it’s contrasting the Living God who made the heavens and the earth to man-made idols that “cannot speak…have to be carried, for they cannot walk.”

It speaks of “the living God and the everlasting King” and derides man’s idols “for his images are false, and there is no breath in them” (vv. 5, 10, 14 RSV).

The prophets commonly pointed out the foolishness of believing in “idols…the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: they have ears, but they hear not; noses have they, but they smell not: they have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not” (Psalms 115:4-7).

The idols Jeremiah described, “speak not”— implies a mouth, but no speech. This would make no sense if Jeremiah was speaking of a Christmas tree— after all, no one expects a Christmas tree to talk!

These idols apparently had legs, yet could not walk. They must be carried, “because they cannot go” (Jer. 10:5).

Had Jeremiah’s subject been a Christmas tree, his whole argument would break down at this point since everyone knows a Christmas tree must be carried—no one expects a Christmas tree to walk.

5. The idols that Jeremiah was describing were dressed in clothing: “…blue and purple is their clothing” (Jer. 10:9).

A Christmas tree may be decorated, but no one puts clothing on it—not blue, purple, red or any other colour of clothing.

The fact that he even uses the term “graven [carved] image” (v. 14) to describe them is proof that he was not referring to a Christmas tree but an idol carved in the likeness of a man.

Isaiah described the same thing (Isa. 44:9-15). Though the wood from a tree can be carved into the shape of an idol resembling a man, it is merely a lifeless idol. “There is no breath in them” (Jer.10:14).

Again, the subject could not be a Christmas tree – no one supposes a Christmas tree has breath! (cf. Hab. 2:18, 19).

It has been documented that the custom of decorating with a Christmas tree, as we know it, extends back 500 years to Europe, especially Germany. But the custom originated among Christians.

They were not apostates trying to inject paganism into the church. Fruit or round decorations placed on the tree, to them, spoke of the fruit on the Tree of Life in Scripture. The traditional star at the top represented the star that guided the wise men to the place of Jesus’ birth.

While the Bible condemns worship of trees and fertility deities (such as Baal and Asherah) under green trees, it also shows us that trees were created by God. There were trees in the garden of Eden and even trees in the New Heaven.

Yes, we need to guard against pagan influxes, but at the same time, we also need to guard against extreme and fanatical teachings that see paganism behind every wall, shadow and everything God has created. That mindset is not typifying freedom but spiritual bondage.

That a Christian decorates a tree doesn’t imply idolatry unless he/she is worshipping or praying to it. That I have pictures of a dozen birds in my room doesn’t mean I worship birds or I’m a sorcerer.

I don’t know of any Christian that bows to Christmas trees or looks up to them as a conduit of sympathetic magic, so what is this false accusation based on?

Come to think of it, if Christians regarded these decorations as deities would they be throwing them out in the trash after a while?

The true Christian conduct is to avoid passing judgement on issues that are disputable. If you believe Christmas trees defile your faith, fine, don’t buy one, but then, don’t judge others doing so as idolaters.

“Christian” Hoaxes and Urban Legends (II)

images

As a caveat: I believe in supernatural events, and there are mysterious happenings in this world. My objection is specifically against “godless myths and old wives’ tales” being narrated as truths to further an agenda (1 Tim. 4:7).

“Christian” hoaxes and legends come in different forms. Whether as news reports, stories or testimonials, they are all aimed at evoking an emotional response in the hearers or readers – ranging from fear to excitement.

As Christ’s ambassadors, we can’t afford to the look the other way when our credibility is at stake before the world. We can’t be fighting lies with lies.

We can’t be taking a stand against the myths and delusions of false religions while closing our eyes to the ones being disseminated in our midst.

How can we evaluate if a widely circulated report is a hoax, fantasy or legend?

(1) First determine if the source of the story is credible. If it’s a non-fiction Christian work, you need to check if the main figure of the story is someone whose credibility and honesty are well-known and tested.

There are some Christian materials authored by individuals claiming to be ex-Catholics, ex-witches or ex-Satanists etc. who wouldn’t know honesty even if it hits them in the face.

Much of what they present as their past sojourn in cults and the occult are personal myths which they conjugate into a narrative to make sense of now and control the future.

For example, Ergun and Emir Caners who wrote the book Unveiling Islam, claim to be former Muslims, yet their work is filled with factual errors, spurious citations and questionable sources – blunders that even a Christian who knows about Islam shouldn’t make.

For one, what can we make of their citations like “Hadith 2.541”? That’s as ridiculous as someone citing “Bible 2.541.”

(2) Does it have names, dates, locations and facts that can be checked? When a sensational story or testimony omits such vital details, it’s a red flag.

One major problem I had with the books, He Came to Set the Captives Free and Prepare for War (by Rebecca Brown) was how its stories lacked the markers of time and locations making it quite difficult for one to place the events described in them within a geographical and chronological sequence.

Albert James Dager in his review aptly stated:

Without wishing to belittle the idea of genuine spiritual warfare, no one I have ever known in all my years of ministry has ever experienced satanic attack to the degree that Rebecca and Elaine say they have. If their testimonies are true, they are aberrations with which most Christians cannot identify” (Rebecca & Elaine Questionable Testimonies, Media Spotlight, 1992, 1).

As I said earlier, if the story of the Egyptian Christian woman buried for 15 days was true and it was aired on national TV, it wouldn’t have stopped there. Its details (including police reports) would have been everywhere on the Internet.

(3) Do the major statements made in the story have documentation? Can the claims made in the material be supported by several authentic sources or reference works? If no, then it’s a hoax or legend.

Take for example, the claim that Islam was founded by the Roman Catholic Church through the instrumentality of Muhammad’s wife, Khadija.

According to the tale, Khadija was a Catholic nun who had given her wealth to the Roman Church and joined a convent, but her superiors sent her back to the world and look for a young man who would be an Arabian hero and help destroy the Jews, then she found Muhammad.

She had him groomed and with the help of the Vatican, Catholic priests came from Rome to Arabia to help him write the Quran and establish Islam. Eventually, he turned against them.

Where did this story originate? Wait for it – a comic book titled “The Prophet,” containing the testimony of an alleged ex-Jesuit priest, Alberto Rivera! No footnote, no documentation nor any source in the comic indicated where he got this fantastic story from, yet many zealots have lapped it up.

Rivera claimed he learnt these “secret teachings” at the Vatican yet there is not a shred of evidence to corroborate his claims.

And if those peddling this legend knew a little bit of church history, they would have known there was no such thing as the Vatican in the 6th century. The writer resorted to historical compression to sell his conspiracy drivel.

(4) Does the storyteller seem to aggrandize his/her role in the story? Does he/she artificially inflate his/her importance, power, or victimization in the account?

In 1999 or so, I saw a poster of an alleged ex-Satanist, a Nigerian, who was to share his testimony at a Christian crusade. His past credentials in the ad read: “Formerly married to the queen of river Niger; formerly third-in-command to Satan himself.” That’s a smoking gun.

When a person embellishes his testimony to present himself as a superman or super martyr, even if he claims to be doing it for Christ, it’s all about self.

Some of these people suffer from delusions of grandeur or paranoia and are unable to distinguish between their own fantasies and reality.

Like Doc Marquis who claims to be initiated into the Illuminati at the age of  4 and was made a high priest at 13 and by 17, he was controlling towns in Lawrence and Methuen in Salem and Massachusetts, without being famous.

So a teenager could have the skills and sophistication required to run a coven of adults and control towns without being detected by friends, teachers or parents? Quite impressive.

(5) Are there factual, realistic and reliable data supporting the major claims made in the story? Or do they contradict well-established facts?

In the book Unbroken Curses, Daniel Yoder claims he was sent to a Jewish Kabbala boarding school in Europe at the age of 6 where he was ritualistically abused.

The problem is that, the Ashkenazi Kabbala (the European Jewish tradition) is rarely, if ever, taught outside a strict setting and definitely not in a school. It’s never taught to anyone who is not first a seasoned Jewish Rabbi, 40 years of age, married, and has at least 4 children.

Christian legends may intrigue or entertain but they always contradict facts. Like I noted elsewhere, both Rebecca Brown and her husband, Daniel Yoder, live in their own la-la land of legends and lies and it’s from that detached world that they write.

(6) Watch out for phantom documentations and flagrant inconsistencies.

Phantom documentations are proofs that exist only in the abstract and usually blamed on a conspiracy. Like when someone says, “There are historical proofs for what I’m saying but you can’t find them anywhere because they have been erased from history books by the enemy.”

I used to read a church’s weekly bulletins but at a point, they lost me. After reading dozens of them and their books, I observed a disturbing pattern of the pastor presenting different versions of the same “testimony.” At times he would borrow a story from, say Derek Prince, but in his sermons he would lace it with his own imaginative details – all in a bid to be sensational.

(7) Does the content fits Biblical worldview or does it contradict what the Bible teaches?

There was one “evangelist” Funmi Adebayo who released some tapes years ago titled “990 years in the Kingdom of Darkness,” in which she claimed to have been reincarnated on earth for centuries.

The part that amused me was when she said she was a very beautiful Indian woman in her previous life, and then one day she met Jesus on the astral plane, who then “forced” her to accept him but didn’t remember to fix her raspy, masculine voice.

That a number of Nigerian Christians would open their minds to this woman’s ravings and some pastors would open their church doors to her reflects a shocking demise of Biblical discernment.

There are several fake pages on social media named after famous pastors where someone posts a fake story or a picture of dollars, luxury cars or some other markers of prosperity and then adds a message like: “Type ‘Amen’ and share/send it to 20 people within 30 minutes and you will receive this miracle in 72 hours time.”

When many Christian folks see such posts, their eyes water at the raffle draw and they promptly obey. But a Biblically trained mind can see through such hoaxes; a Christian who understands the Bible knows that God is not a heavenly slot machine, a wishing well or a cosmic lottery.

Our God is indeed a miracle-working God, but He is not amenable to rituals and formulas. Works of fiction may be good in conveying our ideas, but we must not be implicated in presenting them to others as factual truths.

Chick’s World of Alternative Facts

images-5

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 needs 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 blue.

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 familiar with Catholic 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 statement that “the Bible contains the Word of God” should give a red flag to a true Christian.

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 translations. He is pitting the Latin Vulgate (approved by the pope) with “one Bible” that dozens of popes wanted to stamp out. From other Chick works, we know he’s referring to the old Latin bible.

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 stuff 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.” 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. Bruce Metzger 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, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 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.

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 it. 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, Oxford University Press, 1926, p. 4).

It is 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? indicate that his information on Bible transmission were largely sourced from Chick materials, along with the questionable works of other KJOs like 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’ comics:

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, 1983, 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, a section of KJOs believe that the KJV is a perfect translation because its translators were also inspired by the Holy Spirit, therefore anyone suggesting that it’s flawed or clamours for a better translation  is part of Satan’s folks! How convenient.

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.

About the only scholar from that period, John Martin Scholz, who published a text similar to the Received text, 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 manuscripts prompted newer English versions. Their differences with the KJV affect no vital doctrine.

3. According to Dr. James George 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, Clarendon Press, 1902, p. 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” by KJOs is because it’s not Erasmus’ Catholic Greek text.

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 above named scholars were geared towards producing 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 preferred the revised critical texts over Erasmus’ Catholic-inclined 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 page 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-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 questions the source of such a shallow rhetoric. I have said this before: without conspiracy theories, KJV onlyism cannot stand.

Notice also the writer’s use of emotional terms like “discredit” or “speak evil” for any criticism of the KJV.

This article offers one a glimpse into the pervasive shift in the KJV only camp: a shift from the gospel message to conspiracy tales; from fact to fiction; from 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.