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Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, August 22, 2005

Nachimson’s Nasty Name-calling: Exposing the moral and spiritual bankruptcy of King James Only Apologetics.


And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, (2 Timothy 2:24) KJV.


On Monday, August 15th, I mentioned how I had recently come under fire from self-proclaimed Internet champion apologist for KJV onlyism, Jeffrey Nachimson, the fine curator of the AV Answers Association site. Mr. Jeffrey posted a blistering screed entitled, Butler's Bumbling Bunk that highlights an email exchange we had back in May of 2005.

I finally had the opportunity to review Mr. Jeffrey's article, and boy, what an article it is. He lives up to every expectation I have come to know and love from the advocates defending the King James English translation as the only Bible in the world to be the final, never to be revised, updated or corrected, pure and infallible authority for God's people. The slanderous ad hominem; the gross misuse of textual criticism; the appeal to pseudo-academics; the proud, condescending arrogance; and of course, let's not forget the snide, personal taunts. Mr. Jeffrey certainly didn't disappoint.

I would think a good number of my friends and other folks who drop by Hip and Thigh or FBT have never encountered KJV onlyism before in their lives. I would imagine for you all, KJV onlyism is a totally alien form of thinking that exists for the most part in a distant American Fundamentalist mythos. I just recently finished an updated lecture series on KJV onlyism and the good portion of my listening audience were shocked and amazed that such a strange belief even exists is the Christian world. Many of them had never encountered anyone believing the King James translation is the only final authority for a Christian. A handful of folks were even somewhat annoyed I was addressing the subject, because it had no relevance for them as spirit filled Christ loving Christians.

The fact of the matter is that KJV onlyism is quite real and it is a belief system that is pernicious as it is ridiculous. It primarily infects independent, fundamental Baptist Churches running across the Mid-West of the United States, down across the South and along the Eastern seaboard from Florida up through the Carolinas; however onlyism can also be found in other scattered areas in the United States and a various places in the world wherever "Bible belt" Fundamentalism has gained a foothold. Before a pastor even knows it, a handful of his congregates, or a Sunday school teacher or two, under the influence of KJVO propaganda, can cause divisive havoc in an otherwise spiritually healthy Church, even to the point of splitting it. This is a doctrine that must not be lightly dismissed.

The first thing that strikes most people when they pick up KJVO literature is the crudeness the KJV apologist takes with those who disagree with his or her position. KJVO advocates are notorious for assailing their detractors with demoralizing words of churlish ridicule. Seldom does the KJVO apologist engage in any substantive argumentation leveled against his opponents, just contempt piled upon scorn. His objective is not so much for the purpose confronting genuine error on the part of the non-KJV individual or even helping the person discover the truth concerning the real history behind the transmission of the biblical text. Rather, it is to make any non-KJV only position appear to be so stupid that a person not holding to the KJV as the "final authority" has a sub-standard salvation, if he is truly saved to begin with.

Now let me pause right here and state up front so that no one is confused with what it is I am saying. I believe anyone teaching error must be confronted, and sometimes confronting error, especially gross, biblical error, involves a firm handed confrontation. Our Lord Jesus did this, as did His apostles. I do not have a problem, for example, of calling groups like Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses heretical and even Satanic because they teach soul destroying doctrine clearly opposed to orthodox, biblical Christianity. Additionally, I also believe it is important to reserve strong words against a person who may well be an otherwise sound, Bible believing Christian, but distorts what I know to be the truth, either ignorantly or intentionally. For instance, if a Bible teacher misrepresents an author by selectively citing from his work so that he is made to be saying something different from what he really believes, then I have no problem pronouncing that Bible teacher a careless researcher after documenting his mistakes, or exhorting people to beware of him if he refuses to hear correction.

Additionally, anytime I confront deceptive false teachers or misguided evangelical Christians with pointed firmness, I make it my obligation as a follower of Christ to be not only fair and accurate with my criticism, but also humbly respectful with my firmness. This is not the approach utilized by the KJV advocates, however. KJV onlyists, on the other hand, rarely present themselves with Christ-like behavior. No serious minded reviewer who reads their literature or hears their sermons would believe they are fair and accurate with the criticisms they level against their non-KJV only opponents and he certainly would not think they are either humble or respectful with their personal behavior. If anything, a person would believe he was watching some perverse fundamentalist impersonation of Triumph, the insult comic dog.

When I accuse KJV onlyists of assailing their opponents with cruel mockery, I know I can back up my claim. It is a matter of record that any person who dares to challenge KJVO presuppositions, like doing something as simple as offering an alternative translation to the KJV reading of a particular verse, risks having KJV defenders seize upon his personal character by naming him an apostate, heretic, Satanist, Bible corrector, liar, or any other number of demeaning pejoratives.

I have personally confronted the shameful rhetoric of many KJV onlyists in my dialogues with them, and sadly, they are so blind to their attitude that they either deny it all together, or even more disgracefully, believe they are biblically mandated to behave with this type of crassness, because they are confronting apostasy that must be rebuked by what ever means they determine necessary.

Turning, then, to Mr. Jeffrey's article, here we have a fine illustration of what I speak, because it contains some of the worse spiritually bankrupt polemics employed by KJV onlyists. His article is saturated with many baseless ad hominem slurs directed against me personally. Throughout the whole of this arrant fiction, I am called an apostate or heretic three times, a liar and deceiver seven times, and at least twice I am identified with satanic activity. Furthermore I am called an embarrassing back peddler; a sly word changer; a rambling, confused man; a would-be intellectual; a fool; psychotic; and of course my favorite, "Fred Butler's Alexandrian clone number 666,666,666."

Now let the reader stop and drink in those remarks. Why is it even necessary to write in such a manner? What is the point to calling me a confused dolt and a foolish psychotic? What purposes does this lowbrow name-calling serve in Mr. Jeffrey's overall argument? Moreover, does Mr. Jeffrey even take the time to think of how he will comes across if he were to use these libels? I imagine he doesn't really care, but the Bible he purports to defend does care. How does he reconcile these mockeries with the biblical mandate to not be quarrelsome in disputes? How do these words display the meekness a servant of Christ is to have with those opposed to God, assuming of course that my non-KJV stance is opposed to God? Does Mr. Jeffrey truly believe he is free to address me in this manner, a person he has never met except through a handful of challenging email? And, what does he think Ephesians 4:29 means when Paul writes, Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, [or in this case, from your keyboard] but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers (KJV)? Does his calling me a charlatan and fool fall under the category of corrupt communication or is Mr. Jeffrey under the impression he is free from the Word of God in the instance of hurling scathing insults against me?

Finally, I find it disconcerting that Mr. Jeffrey feels he is at liberty to post our private correspondence on a public website, including my genuine, personal email address. Does he not see that as a bit unethical? Just to provide the reader with a little background to what perpetrated our exchange. My friend Will alerted me to the fact that my website, Fred's Bible Talk, was listed under Mr. Jeffrey's page entitled "Alexandrian Apostates." I not only found this an honor to be named an Alexandrian apostate with the likes of James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries and Doug Kutilek, James May and the other fine writers of The KJV Only page, I also found it to be amusing. So much so, that on a lark (and to poke a little at him) I sent Mr. Jeffrey a "thank you" note for this "award" and asked if he could let Peter Ruckman know about me so I could maybe get a plug in his monthly fundamentalist tabloid, The Bible Believer's Bulletin. Surprisingly, he wrote me back and the rest of our exchanges can be read in his article, pretty much unedited as far as I can tell.

Now, I am not the least bit offended, mind you. I could really care less if he published our emails or my email address. I am certainly not at all afraid of emails from his toadies. Nor am I embarrassed by what I wrote. I will stand behind everything I said to him and even defend my words, as I will do in forthcoming reviews. However, regardless of whether or not I was offended, what he did by posting our private correspondence without asking my consent first is just uncool, and to put it bluntly, reveals a severe lack of discretion on Mr. Jeffrey's part.

If I had made my comments about having my website listed on his site first and joked about Peter Ruckman naming me in his tabloid, then he would had every right to criticize me publicly. The truth of the matter is that this is not what happened, and when I went to Mr. Jeffrey's website to find his contact information, there were absolutely no disclaimers posted anywhere announcing that any private correspondence he receives may be re-printed with out prior consent. And, just in case Mr. Jeffrey may read this and then add a disclaimer and accuse me of lying against him, as of August 22nd, 2005, there is no such disclaimer on his website alerting any person that his or her email may find its way on Mr. Jeffrey's website as the butt of some venomous diatribe. Where are his manners?

As I draw this to a close, I would imagine many who have read this far are thinking, "Why do you even bother with clowns like him?" Certainly there are many more profitable subjects to address. Yes, of course there are many more profitable issues in life to give time to. However, I have a special passion for this subject because I was held in KJV onlyism's grip for nearly 10 years and in my opinion, I can see how it stunted my spiritual growth. Now that I know the truth, I want to warn others, regardless if KJV onlies like Mr. Jeffrey think my illumination to the truth is conceited self-promotion. But most importantly, I have received many notes of encouragement - too many to be counted - expressing thanks to me for helping individuals free themselves from the quagmire of KJV only fundamentalism, or provided the right information that helped with shutting down a KJV onlyists who had commandeered a Sunday School class. It is for these that I do what I do.

[ADDENDUM] Right as I was about to post this up to my blogspot, I received an automated email from Mr. Jeffrey and his website alerting his list members of my August 15th post concerning his article. How thoughtful of Mr. Jeffrey to think of sending me a copy of it. Once again, he demonstrated his kind heartedness by ridiculing what I wrote and offering the following "corrections" to my post:

1) Apparently his website AV 1611 Answers Association has been on line since March 2005, so when I stated that his personal testimony page has been carrying the same message "Will be posted soon!" it has only been really 6 months, not a year. My bad. It has only been saying the same thing for half a year, not a full year.

2) Peter Ruckman's Preaching mill does not do correspondence. Apparently, a person has to actually up root and move to Florida and subject himself to personal one on one training with the KJV pope himself to earn a "degree." Sorry for that "mail order" comment Jeffrey, wouldn't want to put down the keen learning you're getting there.

I did find out that Mr. Jeffrey is a busy, busy boy. According to his email, he has a rigorous preaching schedule, much of his time is spent writing up tracts and lecture notes, and amazingly, preparing cirriculum for college level classes, including teaching Greek and writing a book on the subject. I find that to be interesting seeing that according to his own KJV only propaganda there is no need for learning the biblical languages. At any rate, the way he carries on about himself, it seems as though I am such an unworthy opponent. I am just an intellectual tyro compared to the genius that is Jeffrey Nachimson.

Right.

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10 Comments:

Anonymous Jeff Brown/Chickamauga said...

Personally I believe you are afraid to debate Bro. Nachimson due to the fact you realize all of your claims are based on conjecture only. Your blog site is very similar to an atheist I am acquainted with at www.smijer.com. If you visit this site you will notice you have the same arrogant and humanistic mindset as he does yet you call yourself a Christian. Your problem is pride. I am sure that when you stand before Christ at the Judgment Seat that He will praise you for what an intellectual and worthy “opponent” you are for debate. It may be in your Bible, but I have yet to find a crown in mine for that Search you heart and be honest, how many gospel tracts have you distributed this week? How many people have you personally witnessed to? My guess is none. Maybe you should use your time more wisely for eternal matters instead of self promotion. I also fail to see much about Jesus Christ and salvation mentioned on your blog site. I do find many "great & swelling" words which the Bible clearly refutes (Jude 1:16, if this verse is still found within your Jehudi ridden bible). Just what is your ministry anyway? Seems to me a reader acquires more knowledge about you than Jesus Christ...Are you really concerned over the souls of men? Trust me, I have read your material and I would not be degrading Dr. Ruckman's school as you are clearly an amateur when compared to any graduate I have ever encountered from PBI...I have reviewed much of Dr. Ruckman’s material and can confidently state that many “Bible Colleges” such as yours have no clue as to the deep things of God....Be honest, can you right now without performing research name all of the Mysteries of God? There are young children at Dr. Ruckman’s school that can perform this request at the drop of a hat but yet you mock and question the educational value of PBI when your college has left you with a lack of true Biblical knowledge...An extensive vocabulary is not a determining factor of Biblical knowledge...I know many atheists that have a strong command for the English language but have no Biblical knowledge..Also, you are very arrogant to believe that you are better equipped to translate the scriptures than Sir Lancelot Andrews. Being a KJV translator he spoke 15 languages fluently and even wrote his own daily devotions in Greek. How many languages do you speak fluently and do you even perform daily devotions? Yet you are more equipped to translate the Scriptures. This is typical humanistic thinking. By the way, your manuscripts are Catholic in origin and proven to be corrupt so even if you were competent enough to translate you would still be in error. You also scoff at Jack Chick and his Gospel Tracts that have won more souls for Jesus than your self gratifying website ever will...Try using them once instead of degrading them...By reading your articles, you would actually learn a lot from Bro. Nachimson so you may want to pursue conversing with him. Please practice soul winning and abandon your crusade to give yourself preeminence rather than Jesus Christ. (P.S. This was written by a non-PBI graduate with a B.S. in Business Management and Doctorate in Biblical Studies who doesn't feel led of the Holy Spirit to create a blog site to try to prove to everyone how intelligent he is) Thank you

10:39 AM, August 22, 2005  
Anonymous Jeff/Chickamauga said...

A handful of folks were even somewhat annoyed I was addressing the subject, because it had no relevance for them as spirit filled Christ loving Christians.

That is the whole problem. They are spirit (humanistic man) filled and not Spirit (Holy Ghost) filled...Thanks for bringing that to light...Also the reason they were offended is the same reason they would probably be offended if you taught against the sin of homosexuality...They are Laodicean Christians...Luke warm, neither cold nor hot...

11:13 AM, August 22, 2005  
Blogger Genealogy Lookups said...

Keep up the good work!

1:53 PM, August 22, 2005  
Blogger Impacted Wisdom Truth said...

Hey Fred--

Your post reminds me of what a friend told me years ago.

My friend worked in a Christian bookstore, and one of those "KJV Only" types walked into the store. Seems Mr. KJV Only was witnessing to a man that spoke Spanish, and he wanted to buy a Spanish language King James.

Just let that idea sink in for a moment...before laughing.

5:10 PM, August 22, 2005  
Anonymous Curtis said...

It's a shame that Fred's God couldn't perfectly preserve or properly translate his words for his children. It’s a great tragedy, really…

7:51 PM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger centuri0n said...

Fred --

Imagine a Christian bookstore in NW Arkansas. Because of our geography, we have a lot of AOG's and a lot of SBC's, and then a plethora of tiny, isolated "fundamentalist" churches that range from FWB to Pentecostal to outright cults. We also have a handful of Catholics, FWIW.

I ask you to imagine this because in that bookstore one of the hotest topics is the use of the KJV Bible. One reason, ironically, is that we have a rather large Mormon temple in town. However, another reason is that people are still reading Gail Riplinger's book and taking it to heart. I have a friend in church who sells supplies to chicken farmers, and he has one customer who will not speak to him because this customer found that the salesman had an NIV study bible in the front seat of his car. There are people who will not buy any Bibles from us because we have the NIV and NASB on the shelf.

You have my sympathies. If we can do anything for you in terms of resources, let me know.

8:56 AM, August 24, 2005  
Blogger centuri0n said...

IWT:

Oh, that's so COMMON! Listen: the second most-frequent question we get asked at the bookstore about Bibles is, "Can you help me find a KJV Bible that's in English I can understand?"

It's unbelievable. It it weren't so sad it would be hillarious.

8:58 AM, August 24, 2005  
Blogger Impacted Wisdom Truth said...

Centurion:

I don't suppose they accept the "new" KJV as an answer?

2:59 AM, August 25, 2005  
Blogger Nathan said...

A "Jehudi ridden" Bible? Even though I know the Jeremiah reference, I can't help but ask...

What's a Jehudi, and how do you ride one?

5:47 PM, August 31, 2005  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

nwc,
I was sort of left scratching my head with that comment, too. KJV onlyists are good about using obscure non-sequiturs and the Jehudi ridden comment is a prime example.

Fred

6:13 AM, September 01, 2005  

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