Bible Study Fellowship joins controversy by adopting the 2011 NIV Bible
When Kitty Oman heard that Bible Study Fellowship had decided to switch to the 2011 redo of the New International Version in its teaching materials, she was concerned. She had heard of the controversy surrounding that translation, so she did some research about the issue on her own.
What she found out eventually led her to write a letter of resignation from her position as a BSF small group leader. In it she said, âBSF has been an amazing tool in my life to grow in Christ and be blessed with godly relationships that are precious to me,â but added âwith sadnessâ that she thinks the decision to use the new NIV has âopened the doorâ for distortions of truth in the ministry. Others are also leaving BSF over this issue.
For readers who may not be aware of the controversy surrounding the 2011 NIV, it began in 1996 with publication of the NIV Inclusive Language Edition (now discontinued) and continued...
Hi, Christropher, I do appreciate your comment to me and John. Sometimes it helps to have a different view from someone who sees both sides and understands. BSF has their rules also but for some odd reason I never knew about one until the last few years I attended. The rule was, that women who had been divorced could not be a leader of a group. You could have murdered someone and be a leader, you can be a leader in the children's classes. Even though I was asked by them to be a leader twice, I refused because I lived so far from Texarkana I could not attend the leaders meeting on Tuesday and go back on Wednesday to class.No one knew I was divorced once because of being in an abusive marriage, even threats made on my life, gun held to my head and knife to my throat and all the adultry I got fed up with. They had their rules you know, but now they are accepting this new ungodly( to me) version of the NIV.Divorce is not in God's plan for us but it is one of many sins that I have been forgiven for.Amazing Grace.
Penny, I agree totally about adopting the newer NIV being a very wrong move. I no longer attend because of not really needing it any more. My husband retired and we moved to Texarkana and go to a great Bible believing church here. I have short Bibe Studies and plenty of fellowship. I discussed this issue with a former lecturer that no longer attends either because of health issues and she had no idea what was going on. She had heard nothing but me being on sermonaudio, I knew and was disturbed by it. I do think the missionary that started BSF is turning over in her grave right now! Just a figure of speech here..not one of my beliefs for anyone that gets offened and wants to debate the point.
Hey John...that actually made a lot of sense to me. I guess it's kind of like a lot of things within churchdom, and even the world at large that seem to soothe our woes; brightening up our days...for a while, but those things are not necessarily where God was trying to lead us or the ways in which He would have chosen to soothe those woes, etc. Not sure if I made that clear or not. It's clear in my head, but that doesn't always mean too much...ha-ha. Hi Dolores, I don't think John intentionally glossed over where you were and how the meetings helped. I think he was just concentrating on a specific he wanted to get across. I don't know anything about the group, but I figure if they're not against Christ, they are for Him and anything that helps fight depression, especially when Christ is mixed into the medicine, then I'm all for it if the doctrines are sound.
Well, Liza J, all I can say is the Bible has plenty of examples in the fact where they worshipped was really of no importance even Jesus said where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I will be in their midst. Whether they gathered in homes, on the river banks, in the catacombs or alone on the Isle of Patmos, Jesus was there with them. I believe Paul was right when he spoke of those that live by the letter of the law rather the spirit. I am beging to wonder how anybody can live up to all these rules and doctrines and regulations that keep being brought up.. far from preaching Christ and Him crucified, another of Paul's goals.
Dolores wrote: John, it seems unloving and cold when you skipped over my pain, my lonilness, and my joy at God leading me to a place I could find Christian friends and fellowship with a deep Bible Study.
Dolores, It only seems that way. But can you see how pragmatism is more important to you than obeying God? What do I mean?
Well, every evangelical church in christendom has within its statement of faith words to the effect that "the scriptures are the sole authority in the church regarding faith and practise". This means that if we want to know either doctrine or how we are to do things, the scriptures are the first and last port of call to find out.
This principle is being eroded, in favour of "Well, this is working, so it must be accepted by God." This is called pragmatism.
Now any organisation that is not overseen by an overseer (elder of a local church), so that discipline can be exercised, is not found in the Bible anywhere. The BSF may have blessed you and many others, and I don't argue that point, but what I say is that it is not in God's blueprint for his people's sanctification.
It is only an extension of our reasons for avoiding the Mass, statues in church buildings etc etc. The word is "unbiblical".
I would agree concerning parachurch organizations . If you read my first post on this matter, that is what I had stated. We are pretty much in agreement in this matter, but some have no local church and have to gather with other believers when and where the Lord provides...in these dark days where I live the closest doctrinally sound church is over a 100 miles from us. So we do what we can. Always abounding in the work of the Lord with great joy.
Liza J wrote: In regard to Luke 9:49-50....I would submit that a warning to all believers concerning a narrow minded spirit is the underlying principal being taught here by the Lord. Some make an idol of their own particular ecclesiastical bent, and can see no merit in any other.
Yes indeed, Liza. The first disciples had a lot to learn about their "spirit". Rough and ready, some would even wish to call down fire from heaven to destroy the enemies of God, and had to be rebuked by the Lord.
Parallel passage to Luke:
Mark 9:38-40 KJV 38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. 39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. 40 For he that is not against us is on our part.
Posters on here do not have ecclesiastical authority to "forbid" anyone. Neither do church leaders. The autonomous church has authority within the confines of the church only.
However, I do believe that parachurch organisations are NOT biblical, and therefore should be avoided by any who wish to please God. We need to get back to "church".
John, it seems unloving and cold when you skipped over my pain, my lonilness, and my joy at God leading me to a place I could find Christian friends and fellowship with a deep Bible Study. I was 45 and knew the Bible enough to know error. I even continued using my King James Version. You have a leader in each class and she is not allowed to teach, she leads the discussion of scripture you studied that week. You have one chapter with verses to read everyday and the purpose is to teach the women the purpose of a daily quiet time. There was no doctrine discussed only answering questions you were given and what you got out of the scripture you read. No commentors were allowed until after the class discussion and later the lecture. I now live in Texarkana, Tx and so amazingly I go to church with the leaders and lecturer back when I lived in Bradley going 60 miles to Texarkana and BSF. Had lunch today with one of the lecturers. I have been in the leaders Sunday School Classes with them. It is a very large church and Jeff Shreve has no problem with our involment in BSF ..neither did the pastor in Bradley. I agree, in this day of so much apostasy we do have to be very careful of what we attend outside of our churches. This was a God given blessing for me and maybe not anyone else here
In regard to Luke 9:49-50....I would submit that a warning to all believers concerning a narrow minded spirit is the underlying principal being taught here by the Lord. Some make an idol of their own particular ecclesiastical bent, and can see no merit in any other. Happy we should be if we know something of the spirit of Moses..."Would God that all the Lords's people were prophets;"....Num. 11:29 ~ and of Paul, when he says,"If Christ is preached, I rejoice, yea, and I will rejoice." Phil. 1:18. I am in no way suggesting ecumenicism, but to test every spirit and rejoice if the works of the devil are destroyed and souls are saved.
Dolores wrote: John, I know nothing about your Bible Study since I did not attend it. You know nothing about BSF because you did not attend it. You stand in Judgement of something simple because that's not in your opinion is wrong.
Firstly, I am not standing in judgment on anyone.
Secondly, the text produced by Liza tells of the disciples "forbidding" another Christian group from "casting out devils". Now as far as I know, BSF is not casting out devils, and I am not forbidding them from doing what they are doing anyway.
Thirdly, there is much going on today that is not biblically based. This is the root of apostasy, and is like saying to God, "Well we're going to do things OUR way, thank you very much."
Fourthly, why on earth was a pastor's wife travelling 60 miles with you to attend a Bible Study which had nothing to do with her husband and his ministry?
Fifthly, why on earth did not the BSF Bible Study consider doctrine to be worthy of consideration? Well, of course it was an ecumenical group, and doctrine separates the wheat from the tares. A church Bible Study should teach "sound doctrine", not have a little "sharing of thoughts". That is not God's way.
Sixthly, I don't "see it differently". I see what God says.
John, I know nothing about your Bible Study since I did not attend it. You know nothing about BSF because you did not attend it. You stand in Judgement of something simple because that's not in your opinion is wrong. How can anyone say it's wrong for someone else when that someone grew closer to God and more about the Bible and love for the brethen even though they were from a different church. Liza J gave a scripture that I've used before but some didn't agree with what Jesus said I guess. If a Bible Study helps someone grow in His word then Satan must be very unhappy and will do or say anything to keep them away. You can use any Bible interpertation you want to use so I am not understanding this woman not wanting to be leader anymore. I taught children from age 25 until 50 then I taught the Senior Adult ladies class. I had no felowship with ladies in my age group for all those years I taught so you can imagine the joy I had at BSF and was in a class with ladies my age and the fellowship and support we had with each other! It was much, much more than what you experienced in your class. And I have been serving my God for 62 yrs. His Holy Spirit has led and been my guide and it matters not if you see it differently than I do.
I would agree that para church organizations are unbiblical and are nowhere found in the NT..the pros and cons are to numerous to expound, but my two mites on the subject, would be taken from Scripture. Luke 9: 49-50. 'And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us'.
Dolores wrote: John UK, I thank God that I serve Him rather than man.
A lot depends on how you define "serving God". Many would say that we serve God according to his word. For example, when it comes to the Great Commission, we know that a part of serving God involves preaching the gospel to every creature. The emphasis is on preaching, which many have exchanged for puppets and stage plays and other entertaining forms of propagating a message. It is the word of God which dictates what we are to do, not pragmatism.
Independent Bible Studies, separate from any church involvement and discipline, are not found anywhere in the NT.
At one time, when I was between churches, I attended a similar sort of thing, which used material from WEC International. It was run by a group called Fellowship for Evangelising Britain's villages - FEBV. For those attending, it was no more than something to do once a week. I had to lead it one week, and brought out the gospel message, to the consternation of the attendees - they didn't want the gospel.
Since those days, I have been led closer to God's word, and see all parachurch organisations as not being founded upon scripture, but an attempt to fill the perceived lack of the churches.
John UK, I thank God that I serve Him rather than man. I was going through one of the worst times in my life at age 45. My marriage was in trouble and problems in my family had me in deep depression. One of my friends learned about BSF from another friend.( they don't advertise). I was invited to go with them and if you have ever been depressed then you know how diffucult it is to get out of bed and the very thought of going to a Bible study was just too much for me to attempt. This friend was not raised in church and knew nothing about the Bible and recently saved was hungry to learn more. I agreed to go with them to Shreveport but we only went to the introduction and was put on a waiting list and I was so relieved because I felt I didn't need it so I prayed that she would get in but not me. We ate lunch and that helped me a lot, to get out and fellowship. A few months later she heard from another friend about a BSF in Texarkana, 60 miles away. We went, no waiting list, got in and had a few months left in Genesis. I was hooked. God knew I needed this Bible Study and He sent me out of His love for me. People on this forum can scoff at my comments and act so pious and put God in their little boxes but I thank God He found help for me and my friend in BSF.
DanUSA wrote: âŠif the KJV is indeed the pure word of God â no errors, then logic followsâŠâ ...
DanUSA, thanks for your answer. I must say that in all due respect, I see your thinking is indeed flawed. I have no intention of being perceived of spending my time speaking in a contrary way to a version that I have read from cover to cover for the better part of forty years. It is my source of meditation and memorization and of necessity then basis for my prayers. Your own view of preservation goes down the tube if God didn't do anything for nearly 1600 years. I never mentioned the original manuscripts. Your logic can be shown to be severely inaccurate but again have no wish to be perceived as taking sides against the King James Version. From intensive talks with missionaries I know you don't understand Bible translation, the work that they do on foreign soil to reach the heathen for Christ. You wouldn't even think they way you do if you had grown up in South America, Eastern Europe, the Middle of Far East. So, out of respect for the KJV, I will leave the discussion here, thanks for your input.