The New Song In Our HeartDumbing Down of the Bible?by Robert Gamble
May 27, 2010
A couple of years ago I went down to visit my parents and as usual we worshipped with them. During the worship service there was responsive reading from the Psalms. There were not enough hymnals so I decided to use my Bible and follow along.
You have probably run into this too: you think that you can just follow along in the responsive reading and be just fine. But usually what occurs is that some verses are missing. Sometimes we think nothing of it, unless we look at the verses that they are leaving out.
It really actually got me very upset. What occurred was that the Bible verses that were left out were what some people might refer to as the “Nasty verses” of the Bible. You know the ones where “he shall fall into his own pit” or “may the wicked perish by the sword.” Unfortunately I don’t remember the exact verses that were left out but I started to notice a prevailing theme both in the scripture readings and the preaching.
I noticed a defanged gospel. A neutered Bible. An infertile preaching. What got me upset, rather angry, was that we are supposed to have a faith that believes in the whole Bible as truth; why are we taking out verses in the Bible to make it more palatable? Why are we dumbing down the gospel? Why are we being lied to from the pulpit?
I was just reading the Psalms this morning and it struck me that you cannot walk away from the Psalms without having a prevailing thought of Kingship, Kingdom, and justice. David is a king struggling with those who first don’t want him in position, but most especially don’t like his message; the message of justice and God’s law.
David repeatedly implores the Lord to stand at his side and help him through the prevailing wickedness by turning the wicked into destruction, judging the wicked for their misconduct, and restoring the righteous to their rightful position in the earth.
“Thou has rebuked the heathen, thou has destroyed the wicked, thou has put out their name for ever and ever.
O enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end, and thou has destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.
But the Lord shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness; he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.”
Psalm 9:5- 8
The prevailing earnest expectation of David is that righteousness prevails, and the wicked are dethroned in their seats of power.
This message is a far cry from the defanged version that tries to say that “David is not speaking spiritual, but carnal.” Notice how I say, we would like to say that. In essence when we say that David is the part of the “wrathful God of the Old Testament” we defang the Old Testament as not applicable. And the whole message of David is called into whether it is sound, or even applicable for today.
Let us lay the ax to the root of the false tree right now: God’s Word is infallible, that means without error, and being without error that means that David has something worth saying, and it is worth saying TODAY. And to further bolster this position, why in the world are the Apostles commending singing spiritual songs and Psalms as part of Church worship?
They are commending Psalms because they are very relevant, and the ripping out verses because we don’t like the message is just as sinful as Thomas Jefferson cutting out the words of Christ from the New Testament.
We cannot make and choose our own religion of palatableness, we must observe what God wants and not fashion a religion of our own imagination.
The bottom line is that there is a kingdom. David was crying out for this kingdom to come, to be established; for him to reign in it and not be destroyed; that all the nations would come and praise this mighty work of the Lord.
As a side note, there is a prevailing question in the community and that is “Who wrote Psalm 119?” The confusion arises that perhaps Ezra or some other prophet wrote the Psalm. If you study the Psalms carefully enough, and study the life of David you will be able to understand very succinctly that God’s Law is the rock solid foundation for righteousness in the earth. David is repeatedly praising God’s Law as essential for running his culture. David has to be the author, who else has such a passion for civilization, but a man after God’s own heart?
He even goes as far as to say “I look on in horror at those who forsake thy law.”
David understood that running a civilization as a king requires close, very close study of God’s law. It is so deep in its applications, and so thorough that David marvels.
Do we marvel? Do we have verses in the Bible that we just shy away from because they just don’t fit our view of God? Do we have a view of “My God wouldn’t do that?”
Do we look at those in power as subject to God and therefore under God’s wrath and judgment for misrepresenting Him? As the Psalmist says in Psalm 82:1
God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.
I will finish here…notice the word gods. Why is God judging among gods? Aren’t god’s stone and merely figments of man’s imaginations? That is precisely the confusion we get into when we see a verse like this.
The King James translators, for whatever reason, probably because King James II a wicked man who hated representative authority, most especially the fact that he was to represent God, commanded that the Bible be softened. (Do not misconstrue what I am saying here as I hate the King James Bible; I do love it, and I consider it a safe translation…I am pointing out that it did not get unscathed in some of its translation…this is just one verse of a few that King James put his thumb print on)
He has his finger print on several areas of the Bible, but of note the word Elohim has been translated into god’s. Elohim means judge, or authority, or King (ie King James II).
The meaning of the passage is that God stands in the places of our power and authority and judges in our midst. That puts a different spin on separation of Church and State.
God is Lord of all, and we are to be His representatives bringing His will to the World. A mamby pamby personal Jesus doesn’t fit the bill. Be sure you are worshipping the right God, not a pre-filtered, cold brewed God of our imagination.