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  • Discussion When to Biblically leave a church

    I have been laboring and serving at my church for 11 months, and lately I have been getting thought about departing. 1.5 months ago I taught a 2 part series on legalism and in that message I stated that contemporary worship can be good or bad and I cited much scripture evidence along with a long article by John MacArthur on the subject, and for the next week I taught against having a system of rules and regulations, but that God cares about the heart more than he does conformity to rules. That message I believe stirred up feathers.

    Then almost 2 Sundays ago the new Sunday School superintendent who just walked in and wants to control all the programs in the church (although we have served far longer than him) taught on Bible Translations and he openly bashed and ranted on the NIV. He claimed the NIV is a Bible Commentary and that he had a problem with the NIV being called the "Word of God."

    Since the genre at this church is interactive I openly asked him questions, and stated my defense of the NIV based on the evidence. I am a graduate student and have taken courses feature textual Criticism, and have read the minds of authors like Osborne (editor of the IVP NT Commentary Series and also author of the Hermeneutical Spiral), Carson & Moo (Authors of NT Introduction--A book all about Textual Criticism and the formation of the NT) and these authors prefer the NIV as the standard bible translation quoted in their works. These authors are aware and I read Osborne stating that the NASB or ESV are more literal, but he never stated that litteral=better for the modern english reader.

    However he & his wife filed a complaint about me to my school and I had to go and defend myself. Since I live in a area where most are atagonist towards the NIV and most wont bother to study the evidence, this si a strike against me.

    Many grew up in King James Version Only homes and churches, but grew out of that mindset, but prefer only formal translations like the NASB or ESV.

    So the Lord has been prompting me to leave or should I leave? I did send an apology to that teacher, but did not hear a beep in return from him. One of the pastors of the church agrees that he was out of line for bashing the NIV like that, but he wont or cant do anything about the situation.

    I stated to the SS class that I am not NIV Only, as I use the NKJV for street evangelism, memorize in the KJV, and use the ESV sometimes. However the NIV is my preferred reading/devotional translation.


    I think that if someone is going to bash, and state false arguments publicly, that person should be challenged or corrected publicly for deceiving others. Especially in a environment where interaction is expected.

    If I would have interrupted him during a sermon then I would have been out of line.


    My original church had interactive sunday school and our teacher taught a doctrine contrary to the church once, and people openly challenged this teacher, engaged him, and few remained quiet. As a result he was asked to stop teaching this doctrine.

    Also at my last church where I held a membership it was expected of others to ask questions and interact in SS, and some challenged the pastor in the class. I did from time to time, but we agreed on most issues and were good friends.

    Thanks for any advice..


    Poochie

  • #2
    What kind of church governemnt do you have? And what is the church leadership's stance on translations?

    Comment


    • #3
      All translations are somewhat a commentary. There is no way around it.

      Comment


      • #4
        I hope the following will be helpful.

        Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

        2 Thess 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

        1 Tim 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

        2 Thess 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
        2 Thess 3:15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

        God bless you,


        Firstfruits

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by poochie View Post
          ...

          Thanks for any advice..


          Poochie
          My advice would be to seek the old paths, settle on the true word of God, and then go rejoice and fellowship with your brother.
          "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." - Revelation 20:6

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Rufus_1611 View Post
            My advice would be to seek the old paths, settle on the true word of God, and then go rejoice and fellowship with your brother.
            The "true word of God", as in the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts as accurately translated in the NIV/TNIV translations?
            ----------------------------------------------
            When the plain sense of Scripture make sense, seek no other sense.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Literalist-Luke View Post
              The "true word of God", as in the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts as accurately translated in the NIV/TNIV translations?
              God forbid.

              ................
              "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." - Revelation 20:6

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm assuming the Sunday School Superintendent is having a go at the NIV for being a dynamic equivalence translation and not one from the Alexandrian text (ie not either the KJV or NKJV)? It's unusual to hear people ranting about dynamic equivalence -v- literal translations without also arguing for the Textus Receptus. The strange thing is that the translators of the ESV didn't have that view of the NIV - but I believe they rightly saw it as an attempt at improving on it (which I think it does in many ways).

                The issue here is really - what is the church's position on translations? Does the SSS line up with it or not? I suspect not, in whuich case he should be spoke to privately by the leadership and shown that he was out of order. If he refuses to accept he was in the wrong, I think he should be met again and told that if he does not accept his wrongdoing, he will be removed from his position. If he refuses to accept that, the matter should go to the whole church.

                Comment


                • #9
                  What's really strange is to see KJV-only people arguing that the NIV (and other "modern" translations) "remove" Scriptures from the original texts, when it can be just as easily argued that the KJV actually adds Scripture. It all comes down to simple he-said-she-said.
                  ----------------------------------------------
                  When the plain sense of Scripture make sense, seek no other sense.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Literalist-Luke View Post
                    What's really strange is to see KJV-only people arguing that the NIV (and other "modern" translations) "remove" Scriptures from the original texts, when it can be just as easily argued that the KJV actually adds Scripture. It all comes down to simple he-said-she-said.
                    If the choose a bible that works for you folks took the position that you are describing and said that the KJV wasn't the true word of God because it adds words, then at least this would be a more honest position then the any book that says bible on the outside of it is the word of God position.
                    "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." - Revelation 20:6

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rufus_1611 View Post
                      If the choose a bible that works for you folks took the position that you are describing and said that the KJV wasn't the true word of God because it adds words, then at least this would be a more honest position then the any book that says bible on the outside of it is the word of God position.
                      You know that the original KJV (i.e., the first edition, which you likely don't have) had numerous footnotes in it detailing alternate translations of particular verses? The fact that those existed at all shows that the authors of the KJV weren't sure which translations to go with... meaning, the translation they made wasn't infallible: the fact that the version you now have isn't the original edition by a longshot shows this even more.

                      Tell me: if the KJV is the only "true" version of the Bible, at all, ever, why would the authors need to show us the alternate translations? Shouldn't God have inspired them to know which ones were the correct ones, and thus eliminating the need to have the footnotes detailing alternate translations?
                      To This Day

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Folks

                        try to maintain focus on the topic.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 9Marksfan View Post
                          What kind of church governemnt do you have? And what is the church leadership's stance on translations?
                          I 2nd this question......

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The church is new and has no membership, government or doctrinal positions on translations. However the KJV is the standard translation for preaching as preferred by those in leadership.

                            Originally posted by 9Marksfan View Post
                            I'm assuming the Sunday School Superintendent is having a go at the NIV for being a dynamic equivalence translation and not one from the Alexandrian text (ie not either the KJV or NKJV)? It's unusual to hear people ranting about dynamic equivalence -v- literal translations without also arguing for the Textus Receptus. The strange thing is that the translators of the ESV didn't have that view of the NIV - but I believe they rightly saw it as an attempt at improving on it (which I think it does in many ways).

                            The issue here is really - what is the church's position on translations? Does the SSS line up with it or not? I suspect not, in whuich case he should be spoke to privately by the leadership and shown that he was out of order. If he refuses to accept he was in the wrong, I think he should be met again and told that if he does not accept his wrongdoing, he will be removed from his position. If he refuses to accept that, the matter should go to the whole church.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The Departing Path

                              I posted this on another thread, and I think it worthy of repeating. My pastor wrote a little booklet titled "The Departing Path - Can you "C" it?"

                              He goes into wrong and right reasons for leaving your church, and I'll list them just as they are in the booklet.

                              WRONG REASONS FOR LEAVING:

                              COWARDICE - Running from problems that God would have you work through.
                              CORRECTION - Chastisement about sin or carnality.
                              CONTENTION - Rebellion against authority or leadership.
                              COERCION - Being influenced or drawn away by someone who has left.
                              CHANGE - Looking for a spiritual "lift' or just "something new" (The problem is probaby with you).

                              RIGHT REASONS FOR LEAVING:

                              CALLING - To a more intense ministry involvement not available where you are.
                              COMMISSIONING - Sent or placed by your church to assist another church.
                              COMPROMISE - Non-adherence to sound doctrine or theological shifts on issues that are non-negotiable.
                              COMMUTE - Relocation that takes you out of reasonable driving distance.
                              CASKET - You go to be with the Lord (Nobody can argue with this one!)

                              I think we should make every attempt to discuss our issues with the pastor before we leave. (Perhaps an agreement could be reached). My husband and I left a church years ago because we felt God's Word was being compromised. We tried several times to set up appointments with the Pastor, but to no avail. He simply wouldn't sit down with us to discuss our concerns. We left the church and then the pastor went around telling people that we "just left without a word."

                              Try to talk with your pastor about your concerns, and then do what you feel God is calling you to do. It sounds to me like there are some leadership issues that need to be addressed. I will say this - my church is KJV only. Even if I was a fan of the NIV (which I'm not), it wouldn't occur to me to challenge the KJV unless I was to speak to the pastor privately, and never to the church in general. We can't go against the teachings of the church within the church. If it is a doctrinal issue we don't agree with, then we should go to the pastor with it. My pastor probably wouldn't allow someone to teach in our church unless he knew that their doctrinal beliefs lined up with our church's. We had a Sunday School teacher who blatantly taught different doctrine from our church's to the kids in Sunday School. He would have had them bound up in legalism in no time, given the opportunity to continue teaching them. He was dismissed from teaching, and he left the church, furious because he wasn't given absolute freedom in his teaching, even though it went against the doctrinal beliefs of the church.

                              Maybe the teachings of this particular church just don't line up with what you really believe. If so, then it probably is time to move on. I know how hard this can be, but if there is continued problems, then you're not going to grow spiritually and the result will be stress for everyone involved.

                              Pray fr guidance. God will show you what you are to do. When and if you decide to make the move, you'll feel confident about it.

                              Many blessings to you. I'll be lifting you up in prayer.
                              Keep looking up!
                              "I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High." Psalm 9:2

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