Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Christian Club

Just last week, back home in Ohio, I passed by a church while I was driving. The sign out in the front yard said something to the effect of "we read the KJV here."

I don't know how it is where you live, but there seems to be a contingent of people in my neck of the woods who are quite vocal about the King James being the only accurate translation of the Bible. I won't be addressing that issue. My beef is with the sign. Right out in front of a church.

It makes me sad.

And a little angry.

I think this sign reflects a line of thinking in which we tend to think of Christianity as a club. We pick characteristics in people that we believe they must possess in order to be a Christian. In this case, it is being a KJV loyalist. In other cases, we might think that you have to believe in creationism, or have a certain stance on abortion, or vote a certain way. Then, we tend to gravitate towards people who believe like we do. We all do this to some extent. And we have to check ourselves on it.

But what concerns me about seeing this sign is this: has this church allowed the "club" mentality to so permeate it ranks that they have forgotten what they are about?

By this, I mean: If a church is supposed to be bringing the kingdom of God to a lost world, how many people do they automatically run off by putting up a sign like that? Is it too hard to imagine that a person, sincerely wanting to know more about Christ or the Bible, would turn away from a church simply because they don't like/read/understand/care about the King James Bible? They'd read the sign and think, I don't belong there.

The only possible outcome that I can think of from a sign like that is attracting other people who have the same conviction about reading the King James. That's fine, if the only thing you want to do is attract people just like you: if you want a club. But I have to wonder how many people who don't believe, and need to hear The Message of hope will ever be drawn into that church by that sign. They won't. And this church will have missed one primary aspect of its purpose - bringing the Kingdom of God to those who live outside of it.


Blogger BooMama said...

Wow, Lori - that's a strong post. You said it better than I ever could, so I'll just affirm you with an "AMEN." Good job, my friend.

Fri Jun 30, 12:42:00 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Me too. Nothing to add, and no argument here. Amen.

Fri Jun 30, 01:12:00 AM  
Blogger Shalee said...

Jesus did everything to avoid the cliques and clubs. Or didn't they read that in the KJV? (I know it's in there.)

Great thought Lori.

Fri Jun 30, 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger Barb said...

My reaction to that sign would have been the same. What difference does it make what version of the Bible you read. The point is to read it. Period. A sign like that would surely make me feel unwelcome.

Fri Jun 30, 11:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good word, my friend.

Fri Jun 30, 11:43:00 PM  
Blogger Addie said...

Amen, Amen, Amen!!!!! Needed to be said.

Sat Jul 01, 02:17:00 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

Great thoughts, and I totally agree!

Sat Jul 01, 12:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Angel said...

Only in the Bible belt of the midwest! I oftentimes find myself feeling the same as you when I read things like that out in front of a church. However, I believe you have turned yourself into the person that you hate in this post. Let me explain. 1)For the unchurched, "KJV" is not, or will not be part of their vocabulary. I doubt it will deter them from hearing the message of hope. 2) In truth, the KJV may attract some people, for example the poetic, or artsy, to hear the message because of its poetic style. 3) When we, as Christians, condemn others because there beliefs are not the same as ours, are we edifying the body of Christ? I may be misinterpreting what you have written (I am also a cynic) (I am also playing the devil's advocate here) but the "better than them" mentality is very strong in your post, and I would love to see a more encompassing, accepting world of Christians...even if that does mean that we would not consider reading the KJV in church. Does tolerance remain a spiritual virtue?

Mon Jul 10, 07:56:00 PM  

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