Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The War Against God’s Word Continues…

This past week, a friend of mine forwarded me a link to a CNN article entitled, “New Bible Translation Omits 'Christ,' 'Apostle'.”

The story is about a new Bible translation that has been compiled by Professor David Capes, a New Testament teacher at Houston Baptist University. The translation is called “The Voice” which according to Capes is marketed toward people who own a Bible but have never read it because they feel it is too difficult to understand. His goal was to emphasize the “meaning” behind the words. To this end, The Voice does not include the words “angel”, “apostle”, or “Christ.” Capes goes on to say that “We ... made that strategic decision, not to transliterate, but to translate everything, to give them the meaning of the text, and to give them the sense of where the story ... is going.”

As I read this article, I could not help but think some things never change. In Genesis 3:1, Satan disguised as a serpent tells Eve, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”  Since man has been created, Satan has been attacking God’s Word to keep man in darkness.

Why Capes and his editing team felt people could not understand the words “angel”, “apostle,” or “Christ” is stunning. To then state that the impetus behind his translation was the fact that people who own a Bible do not read it because it is apparently too hard to understand is ludicrous. The Bible itself tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 that the gospel is veiled to the unbelieving world because Satan has blinded them, “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”

Christianity is not a numbers game. Our goal as followers of Christ, especially a teacher of the New Testament like Capes should never be to water down the Word of God in an effort to attract people to the gospel message. Shortly before his death, the Marxist leader Lenin said, “Give me ten men like Francis of Assisi and I will rule the world.” It is the power of the life transformed by Jesus Christ that makes the world sit up and take notice not massaging God’s Word to make it more palatable.

Jesus never compromised on doctrine. Never. He knew the result would mean more souls would perish. The Apostle Paul emphasized this exact point to his young protégé Timothy, “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine…Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:12-13; 16).

The greatest need in the church today is not increased membership and certainly not at the expense of altering God’s Word. We need to come to the place where our lives mirror what the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:10, “that I may know Him [Jesus] and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” This is our charter as believers. We are not called to be marketers of Jesus Christ, we are called to become like Jesus Christ. A tall order indeed but this is the narrow road that leads to eternal life.

No comments: