Featured Leadership

“Unequally Yoked?” (A Question For Independent Baptists)

Recently I received a Facebook PM from a dear Christian lady who was confused about Biblical separation and the church of God. Here is our conversation posted with permission and minor redactions. I want to hear your opinions and thoughts. After fully reading the article please comment below.

Pastor Josh,

I was talking with my sister ________ at church last night and asking her for advice regarding the guy I’m dating right now. My sister suggested maybe I could ask you for advice since she follows you on social media and likes the things you post.

Last July, I met my boyfriend ___________ at a friend’s BBQ. The reason we “hit it off” I guess you could say was because from the very first conversation, it was apparent we both really loved the Lord. We both had been on mission’s trip to the same country, and we’re both involved in the same area of ministry at our own separate churches (teaching middle school aged kids in the youth group). Shortly after that, we began dating.

I go to an Independent Fundamental Baptist church where I grew up. I’m involved in a ministry that I love. While I love my church, I do see flaws with it and always have. I also believe that no church is perfect, and I don’t think the flaws are deal breakers for leaving the church. They are just things I have grown accustomed to and don’t bother me too much.

My boyfriend attends a ___________ church also in the area. Not sure how familiar you are with this denomination. They definitely have the same doctrinal beliefs as my church on salvation, and also on most other doctrines as well. There are however some differences. And this is where we are trying to figure out if the verse “…be not unequally yoked” applies or not. Obviously in a marriage, I’ve heard you want to be unified (and that makes perfect logical sense). The thing we are just trying to figure out is if these differences are too much to overcome or not.

Here are some of the differences:

Versions of the Bible. IFB is obviously KJV only. His church uses the NIV. My stance is that I’ll always use the KJV b/c I’m used to it and all verses I have memorized are from the KJV. I never really looked into WHY it’s a big deal to be KJV only, but due to this situation, I’ve started researching and realized it has more to do w/ the original text used rather than the actual translation. We have no problem with each other using different versions, however…is this something that would cause dis-unity for a future family one day?

Certain methods for soul-winning. My church has always been really big on door-to-door visitation. I’ve participated in it quite a bit. My boyfriend’s church is big on outreach also…they are a large church and do a lot of outreach events where they spread the gospel. However, they feel like door-to-door visitation isn’t something that is very effective b/c it can turn people off to the gospel. I’m really trying to seek out how I feel about this. I see both points. Both my boyfriend and I feel that sharing the gospel is extremely important…we just use different avenues to go about this. If I switch to his church though, I’m afraid of watering down my witness by eliminating door-to-door as an avenue for spreading the gospel.

Altar calls. My church has an alter call at every single service. His church only has them occasionally. However, at every service I’ve attended at his church, the pastor has offered for people to talk in the prayer rooms on the side of the auditorium after each service. I attended the Good Friday service they had this year, and the sermon was incredible…it described salvation in such an easily understood way (better than I’ve ever heard preached at my church) BUT then they didn’t give an alter call. I didn’t understand that. Then on Easter Sunday, they DID give an alter call and over 100 people received Christ. It’s strange to me that they don’t always give one and am trying to figure out if it’s something to be concerned about or not.

My boyfriend and I have both visited each other’s churches on many occasions and have been praying about where we might attend together one day. The one issue my boyfriend has with my church is that the overall attitude during messages preached from the pulpit is an arrogant attitude that doesn’t align with the humility found in Paul that he is the chiefest of sinners saved by grace alone. This is the main reason he doesn’t think he could attend my church.

That leaves me with a decision to decide if a church like his is somewhere that honors God and that I could grow in.

I am not opposed to dramatic change in my life. It’s not that I am against switching to a church I’m not used to…in fact, I think it would be neat to see what new opportunities God could give me to serve him. But I want to KNOW it’s what God wants before making a change like that. I’m finding myself having to search into issues that I previously never even gave a second thought about. I want to follow the truth of the Bible in every area of my life and I want God to use me to further his kingdom.

My first question is if issues like I listed above are issues that would hinder me in accomplishing either of my spiritual goals. Does a church need to agree with everything that IFB churches believe in order to be a God-honoring church?

____________ and I both love Jesus with all our hearts. We just have grown up in different “brands” of Christianity. Is this something that would hinder a marriage in the future? That is my second question.

I want to mention that this is something we are both praying diligently about both personally in daily devotions as well as together. We want God to show us if this is a relationship that should and could lead into a godly marriage where we could both still serve God to the max of our abilities. There are just times when you wish you could audibly hear an answer from God and now is one of those times. That’s why I’m reaching out to you. I just wanted to see if you had any insight on any of this.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this…I know it’s very long. Any help or advice you could offer regarding this situation would be GREATLY appreciated.

Sincerely, _____________

(End of Letter)


Dear _______________,

I’m sorry it has taken me so long to reply. I want to begin by giving you a simple answer and then move forward with a fuller explanation. No, I do not believe you will be “unequally yoked” by marrying this fine Christian young man. NO, I do not believe that a marriage to this man would keep you from your divine mission. No, I do not believe these differences will be an issue in your future marriage unless you allow them to be so.

The issues you spoke of are a few of the things that make Independent Baptist Churches unique within the family of God. From my experience I see us as a group of passionate Jesus-followers who are concerned for souls, dedicated to Biblical truth, desiring genuine holiness. However, we can also be overly opinionated, deeply pharisaical, lacking the grace of Jesus. This has lead to hyper-separatism, legalism, and confused congregants who question the spiritual standing of other Christians and ecclesiastical standing of other churches who differ slightly on secondary issues.

  1. The Bible Version Issue

Though I use the KJV there are a many men whom I admire who do not hold this position on the text: Jerry Vines, Johnny Hunt, Morris Chapman, Adrian Rogers, Charles Stanley, W.A Criswell, John Piper, John R. Rice, Bob Jones III, Robert Jeffress, Albert Mohler, David Barton, James Dobson, Franklin Graham, Tim LaHaye, J.I Packer, Warren Weirsbe, & Ted Cruz. Also, look up any other Christian leader in the world that is not Independent Baptists and you may find this to be a unique position in the Christian world. So, would I discourage you from going to any of the churches associated with the men listed above? I don’t think so, not solely based on this issue. Sadly, for some this issue has become a litmus test for “true believers” and it must stop.

  1. The Soul-Winning Issue

There are clearly many ways to win souls. My concern would not be in a specific method but in the results of that chosen method. Since the Bible is clear that the fields are “white unto harvest” and we should “go forth and reap” but is unspecific as to methodology, it seems the Lord of the harvest is more concerned with a full barn than methodological debates. Simply, which church is seeing souls saved? If the answer is both, then both are obedient to the Lord’s calling. Personally, I like to study many different methods and put to use those methods that seem to bring in the greatest harvest. If the Lord had been more specific about methods I would be more loyal to those methods. Alas, He was not.

  1. The Altar-Call Issue

American churches were introduced to the innovative idea of the altar call during the ministry of Evangelist Charles Finney. It is not a Biblical method for it is not found in the Bible. It is a pragmatic method used greatly by D.L. Moody, Billy Sunday, and Billy Graham. Since this is not a Biblical issue it really doesn’t matter if a church chooses to use this method or not.

Sadly, those who have been raised in our churches have been sidetracked by secondary issues and often forget to check on primary issues. Does the church believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, the miracles of the Bible, the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection, and the substitutionary atonement? These are the fundamentals. What about secondary issues that don’t demand separation but are at least doctrinal in nature? Does the church differ from you on lesser doctrinal issues such as sovereignty/free will, eternal security, and dispensational/covenantal theology, eschatological timelines? These are second tier issues but issues that matter more than the three you mentioned. Unfortunately, we have an entire generation of independent Baptists who are asking the wrong questions because we have focused on the wrong distinctions.

I have attempted to answer these questions as if I were speaking to one of my three little sisters or one of my two daughters. I hope it was helpful.

-Josh Teis

Dear Reader,

I want to hear your opinions and thoughts. I am increasingly receiving more and more of these type of questions and I would love to hear from you. What Biblical counsel would you have given her? Please comment below.

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  • Reply
    Bible College Graduate
    April 18, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Pastor Josh, this person is a congregant in a church asking a question but do you think you can write an article for people that are going into ministry? Thanks

  • Reply
    April 18, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Oh my goodness! This blog really grabbed my attention. My husband and I went through and are still sort of going through this issue of sorting out how
    We feel about church practices. Not because we just got married but because we just moved. Personally I don’t think you will ever find a perfect church but you will find churches that either help or hinder your growth. When moving here I wanted the church with the hymns and alter calls and traditional Sunday school. My husband didn’t feel that he needed those things. To be honest I wanted SHBC circa 2009 lol. I would suggest finding a church where you can grow together and finding a compromise with the “little” things

  • Reply
    Nancy Bradley
    April 18, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    To my ears and heart, you gave her excellent advice. Gary was baptized as a toddler in the Methodist church, then baptized by immersion at 19 in the Baptist church. If Bibles contain the book of John, Acts, and Romans, we have the truth of the Gospel message and the miracles. If you yearn to serve God and love His church and respect each other, you can seldom go wrong in a marriage.

  • Reply
    April 18, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    I think she asked the right person! Great Biblical advice. You’re right about the questions being asked by young IBF’s today. Good job refocusing her to the questions that really matter.

  • Reply
    Josue Ortiz
    April 18, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    Like always, thank you for your strong biblical stand on that which is important. When the Bible is central, all human made issues are appropriately placed in the “preferences” shelf.

  • Reply
    Brent George
    April 18, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    Brilliant. The most outspoken IFB leaders of generations past often focused on minor issues, thus leading some from our generation to do the same. Thankfully, many have gone back to focusing on the majors, discussing the minors, and RESPECTFULLY disagreeing where need be. We need to separate from false teachers, but we err greatly when we completely isolate ourselves from men from whom we can learn much, just because of minor differences (e.g., methodology).

  • Reply
    Sam Jones
    April 18, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    Josh gives good answers but the one question the young lady didn’t ask was about how to raise her children. Will she be comfortable having them raised in a church like her boyfriend’s? Will she have issue with them using the NIV or any other version?

    I’m thinking of one couple right now where the husband has totally changed his direction from when they married. As far as I know, the wife is accepting of her husbands change. The husband is the head of the home and a good wife will give grace in following, even if the husband changes. At least in this case, the woman knows the differences before marriage. It’s a serious question.

    On a personal note, when I met my wife she attended Calvary Chapel. We discussed this and she agreed to follow my lead (and also agreed to marry me!). So far it’s worked out for 38 years.

  • Reply
    Your Worst Nightmare
    April 18, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    KJV is a deal breaker for me. Maybe not in the beginning of the relationship, but I can never become an integral part of any church that is not KJV only.

    Not only was I raised that way, but the more I have done my own investigation, reading books, analyzing not only the translaTION, but translaTOR differences (NIV, for instance, was translated by a number of atheists and agnostics–can you trust someone to be accurate when they do not respect the source material?), I have come to the unmitigated conclusion that not all translations are equal, and some can be outright heretical (such as confusing the Morning Star with the Son of the Morning).

    I take Revelation 22: 18-19 quite literally.

    18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

    19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    Alternate translations often leave out entire verses. How can you possibly justify any Bible that takes “away from the words of the book of this prophecy”?

    So yes, I am an avowed translation snob. Different strokes…

    • Reply
      Josh Teis
      April 18, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      I REALLY love your pic! Completely!

      • Reply
        Your Worst Nightmare
        April 19, 2016 at 2:10 am

        Thanks for avoiding a response with flattery. 🙂

    • Reply
      Erik Stonebraker
      April 18, 2016 at 10:24 pm

      Totally agree!!

    • Reply
      wanda geouge
      April 19, 2016 at 4:18 am

      I agree completely. KJV only. And I don’t listen to any preacher, I don’t care how big he is, that uses a different translation.

      • Reply
        Your friend
        April 19, 2016 at 4:24 pm

        That’s right. The Bible transcends the Cult of Personality.

    • Reply
      Jonathan Hoover
      April 19, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      Friend, one thing I’d encourage you to consider is that when Erasmus hastily put together his textus receptus compilation, he did not have ANY greek manuscript for his last six verses of Revelation, so he back-translated them out of his Latin Vulgate, adding several greek expressions that are in no greek manuscript. Keep this in mind, this passage in Revelation that has been so often mentioned in this comment thread was not word-for-word preserved, but rendered from Greek to Latin, then back to Greek by a man who was trying to make a production deadline.

      • Reply
        Your Friend
        April 19, 2016 at 4:00 pm

        Mr. Hoover,

        First of all, your claims have been disputed. Second of all, I believe in divine inspiration, so the fact that Erasmus “hastily put together” has no significant bearing. Finally, there is still no denying the MASSIVE error of confusing Christ with Satan found in some other translations. I would say that is a far more egregious error than any that you have cited throughout the comment section here.

        Besides, I said that I am a translation snob, and KJV is my choice. This is, as with most things in life, subjective. Everyone has their “issue” that dominates all others when selecting a political candidate. I have my “issue” that dominates my choice of churches.

        As a rock-n-roll drummer in a Baptist church, I think I have some “non-legalism” street cred. However, translation matters TO ME. I do not begrudge others their subjective opinion and choice of deal-breaking “issues” regarding church choosing.

        Thanks for your opinion. You actually made me Google. 🙂


        • Reply
          Jonathan Hoover
          April 19, 2016 at 4:59 pm

          It’s been good dialoguing with you, and I wish you the best. I don’t mean this to sound oppositional, but here’s something to think about: I logged on to read a blog post by a dear friend in the ministry to find a comment written by someone who chooses the moniker “Your Worst Nightmare”, sarcastically poking at Josh when he tried to make a positive remark in response to your reply. I don’t like seeing fellow pastors being disrespected. And it’s certainly disconcerting to see it when the basis is so unfounded.

          This is the pharisee formula. There is fear over losing something… in this case, the doctrine of inerrancy of scripture. Fear then leads to control… instead of treating the original autographs as inspired, we have to believe they remain completely inerrant through the copying, compiling, and translating processes. Then control leads to arrogance, that one product is the only acceptable one, because if that weren’t so, it would break the “inerrant translation” belief. And arrogance leads to mean spiritedness and contempt. I responded to this thread because Josh doesn’t deserve contempt.

          And, for the record, I too believe in divine inspiration–of the original authors. I can not find any biblical basis for inspired copyists, compilers, or translators.

          I wish you the best, and appreciate the opportunity to share my views.

          • not-a-pastor
            April 19, 2016 at 9:32 pm

            Mr. Hoover,

            The basis is founded, but you are unaware of the situational context. I won’t go into it here, but I doubt if pastor Teis feels that I am actually disrespecting him. If he does, he knows where to find me. I also tried to employ passive-aggression more than sarcasm in my reply, but I digress.

            The fact that you two are pastors is irrelevant to me. I hold all human beings in the same regard. Would my educational status grant more weight to my words? I doubt it. The fact is that we are all Christians, and this is a topic that is near and dear to Christians–pastors or not.

            That being said: In some cases, fear does lead to attempts at control. However, you assume that there is a fear–and possibly an irrational fear–that exists among those who choose to believe the doctrine of inerrancy regarding the KJV. As I have pointed out twice now, modern translations have been guilty of confusing Christ and Satan. This is not some minor error in a verb tense or switching “Giants” to “Nephilim”, but mixing up the savior with Satan. It’s a big deal, and I do not agree with your premise that it is a fear that leads to control.

            Again, as I have said before, if you want to choose another translation, then do so. My opinion differs.

            I also have seen no evidence of “contempt” toward Josh. Maybe I have missed it. Rather, I have seen a rather civil and interesting debate in the marketplace of ideas. Perhaps you are allowing your own subjective biases to override objective context.

    • Reply
      April 21, 2016 at 7:26 pm

      I agree with you 100%
      This article was phenomenal, except for that point. The KJV issue IS a deal breaker. I was encouraged to see someone else with that opinion.

    • Reply
      Kimmi McKnight
      July 13, 2016 at 9:21 am

      I am also a definite translation snob. If i ever remarry (i was widowed almost 2 years ago), my spouse would have to use the KJV, for the same reasons you cited. However, it’s nice to know that as long as the fundamentals of belief are in line with God’s Word, i would be able to marry say, a Southern Baptist (although as an IFB, that’s a pretty big chasm, in my opinion. ..lol). Thank you

  • Reply
    April 18, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    This is probably an issue of preferences versus convictions. Perhaps, I would tell her to go check out that church and to live in that type of culture for awhile to see if she can really handle these “minor” differences. From my own experiences of having been part of a non-denom/south-baptist style church for three years after I was part of an independent baptist church, I would say that on appearances it seems like the “minor” convictions are not that huge of a difference, but in actuality they weigh heavily upon your spirit over time. At first it may seem like it is not a big deal, but over time a soul can grow weary of the NIV, worldy-entertainment style worship, utter lack of soul winning (in preference of “outreaches”), and no altar-calls. I think that she should ask herself the question: am I pleasing God with this decision, or myself? Do not settle for less my friend.

    Once I left the non-denom/SBC style church, God rewarded me with a clear-conscious and a Godly spouse.


  • Reply
    Conner Smith
    April 18, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    I appreciate the article. I met my wife through eHarmony and she was from a non-denominational background and I was saved, baptized, called to preach, attended college at and now serve as one of the pastors in an independent Baptist church. She is one of the greatest Christians I have ever known and has challenged me in some incredible ways to grow in my Christian faith and has made me a better minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All of the issues raised in this lady’s e-mails crossed my mind and my pastor gave me very similar advice to what you wrote. And you are exactly correct, they have not been issues in any way whatsoever. There have been some from my IFB roots that have tried (albeit with good intentions) to make those things issues for me, but they have never been cause for anything more than good discussion between my wife and me.

    In regards to the last statement you made, “Unfortunately, we have an entire generation of independent Baptists who are asking the wrong questions because we have focused on the wrong distinctions.”… This is what I wish some of the idea talk videos your ministry is putting out and some of the blog post some of the “new independent baptists” are putting out would really focus on. I think rather than talking about “contextualization in ministry” in regards to music, dress, and new evangelization methods, let’s get some good stuff out there from influential leaders such as yourself that focus on the “right distinctions” as opposed to the “wrong questions” that, at the end of the day, are simply a matter of preference. I truly believe things like that, getting information about things that actually matter, some of those primary and secondary doctrines, will help us get away from always making such a huge deal of such insignificant matters.

    Thanks, Pastor Josh. I appreciate you and your ministry.

  • Reply
    Mike Rowell
    April 18, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Thanks for posting.

    I agree with your answers to her specific questions regarding stances and methodologies, and I wholeheartedly agree with your answer to the overall ‘unequally yoked’ question.

    What is not addressed here is what happens after you’ve sorted out that stuff. Generally speaking, it takes clear-headed people about five minutes to articulate the actual rightness or wrongness of specific activities; the other bazillion hours comes when you’re still going to an IFB church with social orders and litmus tests, and you’ve allowed yourself to build a relationship with someone who doesn’t fit within expected ideals.

    The implications for a person’s lifestyle and path of understandings on issues are of as much importance as the understandings themselves.

    Josh, I believe your specific answers are correct; that doesn’t mean the writer isn’t going to experience some harsh reactions from people currently very close to her. It strikes me from the tone of her writing that she’s levelheaded and up for the transition, but I’ve come to believe some people just aren’t. That means that, even though your answers are right, transitioning may not be the right thing for her to do.

    I would observe this part of the conversation is often left out, at least in part because entities in a position to advise are vested in their respective positions. Transitions are portrayed as amazing-amazing-no-more-legalism land (shouted to the swells of Hillsong’s ‘Oceans’), or staying the course without asking any questions is literally the only way to please God. It sounds like more and more people are turning to you as a voice for a third way; may God grant you, and those like you, wisdom in that capacity.

  • Reply
    Rachella Ayala
    April 18, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    It’s not called being a translation snob, as desiring the pure word of God. I agree with you, brother. It’s all about Revelation 22:18-19 which applies to the entire Bible. That would be my biggest worry, not the altar calls or outreaches or even the music.

    It feels like the wife would have to give up everything she believes because she’s supposed to follow her husband’s leadership. I’m not sure it will be easy to be torn between what she knows is right and following the leadership that goes in a different direction. I wonder if she can truly be comfortable especially if she researches the changes made with the new “translations” and how they change doctrine. Revelations 22:19 is the last word in the Bible before the salutations.

    • Reply
      Not YOUR Worst Nightmare
      April 19, 2016 at 3:42 pm

      Thanks, Rachella!

  • Reply
    Erik Stonebraker
    April 18, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    This lady and her boyfriend just need to sit and list what are the most important things in their christian life/beliefs and list them on paper. If they have the same goals/beliefs/stanards more than different then they should know. List the things they cannot live with and the things they can, if they have more differencs then they should part ad friends before it gets to late . Just like your mom & dad Josh the majority/major/important/things they agree on and the 2ndary they live with. I have sat under your dads preaching for 21 years and I know that if what Pastor wanted was different than your mother wanted, Jesus would have not brought them together.

  • Reply
    April 18, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Pastor Teis,

    Thank you for opening up the floor for discussion! It shows the maturity of Proverbs 9:8-9. I only hope I can maintain the same spirit throughout my life.

    I find it interesting that I have read very little Scripture in the responses thus far. Most people are talking of their experiences. Do not get me worng; these are valid to hear and consider but are not a test for truth in and of themselves. Even John MacArthur (not IFB) explains this in his work Charismatic Chaos.

    Now, I totally understand the principle of major on the majors and minor on the minors. Speak where the Bible speaks; be silent where the Bible is silent. We also see in Scripture, illustrations and historical data were used in teaching. While it is difficult, I hope to strike the right balance.

    II Corinthians 6:14 is quite clear that being “unequally yoked” is to do so with the unbeliever. Simply, this verse alone cannot separate two believers from each other in regards to other doctrines or preferences. The key criterion from this verse is that both be believers.

    However, I find a principle in Amos 3:3: “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Here, God is asking this question to His people whom He delivered from Egypt; yet they were not in agreement with God. How do we know if we are in agreement with God? From His Word!

    Personally, I believe there is a doctrine of Bibliology in the Bible.
    Psalm 12:6-7: “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” – God is to preserve His Word forever.
    Matthew 5:18: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” – Jesus says that even the smallest consonant and marking in the Hebrew language will be preserved.

    I do not want to do the doctrine of preservation injustice by claiming that the KJV is superior to the original writings; but since most English-speaking believers will never learn to read the original manuscripts, I will make the claim that the only authoritative Word of God for the English-speaking person is the KJV, a translation not based on dynamic equivalency (thought translation), not translated by textual critics but rather by textual copyists (italics given because they believe in a mirror translation as opposed to a mere translation), and a version whose basis was not discovered until the 1800s undermining the doctrine of preservation (Vaticanus and Sinaiticus —> Revised Version —> NIV).

    I think it is wonderful that this lady is studying and praying before making such a decision. A previous commentator mentioned the issue of children–and what an issue! Which will be the authoritative Word of God in their house–KJV or NIV? 9,970 words “represents the total number of Received Text Greek Words that have either been added to God’s Words, subtracted from God’s Words, or changed from God’s Words by the Westcott and Hort Greek Text” (basis of NIV). That is nearly the equivalent to the book of Romans or the book of I Corinthians or the books of II Corinthians and Galatians. It is worth contending for the Word of God not because of whether it is labeled KJV or NIV but because God promised to preserve His Word and only one English translation could be compatible with that promise.

    Let me be clear: the NIV is used by many believers and the NIV contains the words of God but is not the authoritative Word of God.

    • Reply
      Josh Teis' best friend
      April 19, 2016 at 4:05 pm

      Best post so far.

      I thought it odd that “unequally yoked” has become “not perfectly aligned” rather than a believer/non-believer dichotomy. You addressed this better than I could, so I’ll just “second” your point.

  • Reply
    Bob Morrissey Sr
    April 18, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    I don’t think this marriage will work. The guy says her pastor or independent Baptist are arrogant? Wow! Good luck. I think the only thing going here is luck. Seems to be confrontation already. Once married she is stuck with this guy’s direction.

    • Reply
      Bible College Graduate
      April 18, 2016 at 11:25 pm

      Instead of wishing them good luck, perhaps you ought to pray for them.

    • Reply
      April 19, 2016 at 1:56 am

      How sad! Just because someone finds a Pastor arrogant does not doom a future marriage. They seem wise and willing to seek godly wisdom and advice. I wish them the best.

    • Reply
      Josh Teis' best friend
      April 19, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      Well, what if the pastor is arrogant? I know a few that would fit that description.

      • Reply
        Bible College Graduate
        April 19, 2016 at 6:26 pm

        EXACTLY: what if the pastor is in sin as well?

  • Reply
    April 19, 2016 at 12:59 am

    Thank you Pastor Teis for your willingness to tackle issues with honesty and wisdom no matter what the critics want to say, regardless of what direction the criticisms come from. Your posts have never failed to encourage and/or convict me from a strictly Biblical standpoint, untainted by human opinion. This particular article was a great help in affirming what I had already prayed about and felt in my heart was right. My boyfriend and I have faced very similar issues and thankfully have overcome them. It is completely possible to have a harmonious relationship without agreeing on every little detail, and there is no doubt in my mind that God has brought us together.

  • Reply
    Stephen Meister
    April 19, 2016 at 1:01 am

    Every day I thank God for allowing me to walk away from the IFB arrogance.
    Love, love serving God from the SBC where we are unified without requiring uniformity.

  • Reply
    Stephen Zimmmerman
    April 19, 2016 at 2:11 am

    I couple huge things stand out to me in this article:
    1. I’m concerned that she attends an Independent Baptist Church and “grew up there” but has never been taught why the KJV is God’s inerrant, perfect, preserved Word for English-speaking people – her only reasoning is that “It’s the one I grew up memorizing from.”
    2. Josh Teis doesn’t correct her inaccurate understanding of the version issue – that she thinks the difference in versions is simply a matter of “original texts rather than translations.”
    3. Concerning soulwinning methods, I guess Josh Teis forgot about the New Testament Church method of Acts 5:42, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” That sounds like door to door evangelism to me. Is it the only way? No, but he’s wrong to downplay it.
    4. Josh Teis doesn’t even account for the fact that all her uneasiness might be the Holy Spirit warning her nor does he point out that she is so willing to give up so much and change so drastically for a guy she likes.
    5. Josh Teis doesn’t recommend that she discuss her concerns with her pastor. He just usurps the pastoral authority of another man.
    6. No one is making the KJV the litmus test for “true believers.” But it is the litmus test for being a fundamentalist. You cannot hope to be right on your other doctrine if your Bible is flawed.

    The whole tenor of the article is dangerous. He and others like him sadly have turned to pragmatism and results to determine much of what he does rather than taking a hard stand and urging others to do so too. “Does it work? Yes? Then it must be OK.” On the Bible issue: so because some other godly men have come down on the wrong side of the issue that makes the Bible issue less important? Since when are the actions of others our litmus test for determining what matters most to God? It’s the same question: “Do they have a big ministry despite having the wrong version? Yes? Then I guess Bible version doesn’t matter that much.” That thinking is wrong.
    And that he would recommend anyone to go visit/join somewhere other than a Baptist church of like faith is unconscionable.

    • Reply
      April 20, 2016 at 12:29 am

      Tremendous response!
      Set aside the personalities involved and deal with the truth. Love it!

    • Reply
      Ethan Jackson
      April 20, 2016 at 9:01 pm

      I totally agree with Bro. Stephen Zimmerman

  • Reply
    Jonathan Hoover
    April 19, 2016 at 2:24 am

    Josh, great post. As a recovering “fundamental” Independent Baptist myself, I regret the pointless rigidity about extra-Biblical concepts that sometimes characterizes the group. I am blown away that the KJV-only thing is still an issue. Treating a translation (or even a specific greek/hebrew compilation for that matter) as though it were a perfect rendering of the original autographs… and thus shouldn’t be evaluated for accuracy, clarity, and dynamic equivalence just doesn’t make sense. The authors were inspired, not compilers, and not translators. It is interesting that issues like this, and specific ministry methods like door-to-door visitation and altar calls also somehow develop sacred status as well. Certainly, they are ways to accomplish the great commission, but they aren’t the only ways, or the best ones. At the church where I pastor, we put it this way: we’ll play an “away game” on our methodology, so long as we can play a “home game” on theology.

    As far as the original question the post addresses–as a couples’ coach, I do think that this could spell some trouble down the road. The one thing I know about legalism from living it myself is that it is driven by fear, and fear is a great conflict motivator. It sounds like a small thing–the difference between a couple of churches with different approaches, but it can be huge. I think it makes sense to talk through these things with a talented Christian couples’ therapist or coach.

    In any case, I’m thankful for your balanced voice in the Independent Baptist world. It’s been amazing to see how God is using you and your ministry!

    • Reply
      Your New best friend
      April 19, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      I disagree on the motivation for legalism. I believe that it is tradition, rather than fear, that keeps it in place. I have an extremely legalistic background–although I am not legalistic myself. If there is a “fear”, it is the fear of becoming too much like the secular world.

      Many Ind. Baptists believe that the church should be markedly different than the world in almost all ways. They feel that simply walking through the doors of the building should be like entering a different dimension. The music, fashion, and speech that we encounter in our daily lives have no place within a church.

      Is that really fear?

  • Reply
    Joe Shakour
    April 19, 2016 at 4:15 am

    Hey brother, I had a few thoughts:

    1.) I love the way you write. You weave humor, research, and level-headed conviction. It’s evident you have a heart for the Lord and, I rejoice in your ministry (Phil. 1:18.) I also enjoy reading your posts and while there may be some different perspectives, I’ve enjoyed reading and being challenged by what you write.

    2.) The blog picture seemed to illustrate the difference between other denominations and those who identify as Independent Baptist. That may not be the case, but it looked like the boyfriend in reference was the hipster on the left and the Independent Baptist was the old guy in the suit on the right. If so, that may be an unfair an inaccurate depiction of the differences (young verses old.) I may be feeling old at 32 years old this Sunday and five and a half years as a senior pastor but I know that in the overall picture it’s normative to be a millennial and have strong convictions. Truth is timeless. Of course, the lady in the story could have always been dating the older man who attended the liberal United Methodist Church in the area for all we know.

    3.) The biggest disadvantage was the blank left in the statement, “My boyfriend attends a ___________ church also in the area.” I think back to PCC rep days when we would “qualify” churches and it had nothing to do with believing we were better but acknowledging differences and whether or not to recommend future rep visits or ensemble programs. I knew if I saw something like “Church of Christ” they were going to believe being baptized for salvation. The Pentecostal Oneness are “Jesus Only” not believing in a distinction and individual personhood of the Trinity. We would report “Do not go, not our type.” Of course, she summarizes the differences as centered around the translation of the Bible, altar calls, and mode of evangelism. If those are indeed the only differences when it comes to Independent Baptist and other denominations, then there’s not many like that. Even Independent Baptists have those differences within themselves. Most, if not all of the other denominations are going to have differences as you mentioned in your reply, “what about secondary issues that don’t demand separation but are at least doctrinal in nature? Does the church differ from you on lesser doctrinal issues such as sovereignty/free will, eternal security, and dispensational/covenantal theology, eschatological timelines? These are second tier issues but issues that matter more than the three you mentioned.” I wonder if she was confused about the real verses perceived differences, and I’ll leave that judgment to you since you know what denomination she was speaking of.

    4.) I didn’t have much of an issue with how you handled the Soul-Winning Issue and the Altar Call Issue except it would be refreshing every now and then to hear why/if you recommend door knocking and why you have altar calls. For me, it’s not a matter of spirituality or separation but stewardship. If we’re to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, then wouldn’t a good approach be to go where the people are? Paul spent time in the synagogues and places of discourse but he also went house-to-house (Acts 20:20.) I must admit I find it interesting as I was reading through the NT this year to discover the Lord instructing his disciples “Go not from house to house (Luke 10:7)”. When it comes to altar calls, again I see I Corinthians 14 when Paul writes about the unbeliever being convicted and “falling down on his face.” That can happen at the pew but it having a place up front seems practical as you mentioned. Of course, she wasn’t asking for an explanation only determination on whether marrying this man would be “unequally yoked.” What was glaringly obvious and something I see as a major weakness is how many who have been raised with certain beliefs and practices aren’t aware of the reasoning behind those beliefs and practices.

    5.) When it comes to the Bible-Version Issue, apart from the crew holding banners at stoplights I don’t know of anyone that say “this issue has become a litmus test for “true believers.” It’s not a litmus test to be saved, but it’s certainly a test of standing on the preserved Word of God. The girl in question clearly held on to the KJV for tradition and only recently began to see something about the original text. Again, it would be great to see a post on “Why We Use the King James Version” or at least a nod to the reality that 8% of modern translations delete or dilute the Word of God. I remember when my parents learned of all the major deletions such as the account of the woman caught in adultery, or the Great Commission in Mark 16, Jesus lying in John 7, “God” switched to “he” in I Timothy 3:16 (and I could go on.) As first generation Christians, they wanted the Bible that had all the words. In fact, I’ve rarely meet someone who when they see the evidence still side with something like the N.I.V. It’s interesting you mention Ted Cruz. Yes, he quotes from other translations (although he quoted KJV at his Iowa victory speech – “cometh” and all) but we’re voting on a president not approving a spouse for our daughter. He also drinks alcohol and drank whisky for a Jimmy Fallon skit, so while we can agree and support in some areas we can also have clear disagreements.

    6.) I suppose I see those three issues in the light of looking at hiring a staff member. I don’t know if you would recommend me to have someone on my staff who used the N.I.V., didn’t believe in altar calls or door-to-door witnessing? While I can fellowship with another pastor or believer who doesn’t hold those beliefs or practices, it would be a different matter for me to bring on a staff member with those disagreements. A more accurate picture of this since it’s the wife submitting to the husband would be me going to work in a ministry without those convictions. I couldn’t do so, and I wouldn’t recommend anyone who truly held those convictions to do so either. If I can’t recommend an Independent Baptist to hire someone without those convictions how could I recommend an Independent Baptist to marry someone without those convictions?

    7.) I suppose I chose to reply because I became an Independent Fundamental Baptist rather than simply being raised in it. My parents were saved out of the Catholic Church and attended everything from AG Churches, Sword of the LORD Independent Baptist to a Bob Jones Only church. I attended Clearwater Christian College which didn’t consistently hold a position on major issues and I went to anything from Southern/Independent Baptist Churches to a Word of Faith Church. My second college was GARBC where I learned Calvinism and the superiority of the NASB. When I chose to attend PCC, I came with my NKJV and CCM. It was a few years of study and research when I came to positions of scripture that closely represent the Independent Baptist Movement. In doing so I was dating a pastor’s daughter of a GARBC church who used the N.I.V. and was a 4 point Calvinist. My positions especially on the Bible were becoming an issue as he and to an extent my girlfriend would try to debate and change my convictions. Even after two years of dating I knew it was best to break off the relationship and wait for someone who closer held my beliefs. The men I counseled with never told me that this young lady was less spiritual or godly. We just held different beliefs in important areas and while it wouldn’t be sin for me to continue the relationship, there would certainly be a struggle. While it was difficult, I knew it was right. I waited and asked the Lord for someone of the same beliefs and convictions and I’m glad I met and married God’s best for me! It may seem strange and some may think it legalistic but I even asked her dad in our first conversation what his beliefs were about certain issues.

    We have two sons and we’re expecting our second daughter next month. If she were to ask me, “Is this something that would hinder a marriage in the future?” I would answer yes. I’d let her know that she wouldn’t be sinning but if she really believed in those areas then she would be struggling if she were to choose to enter under his headship.
    Sorry to write a book response but I look the liberty since you subtitled it as a question for Independent Baptists (I is one), and closed it by saying, “I want to hear your opinions and thoughts. I am increasingly receiving more and more of these type of questions and I would love to hear from you. What Biblical counsel would you have given her?”

    I hope you don’t take this as being overly critical or mean-spirited. I just wanted to honestly answer and give a different perspective.

    Grace and Peace


  • Reply
    Joe Shakour
    April 19, 2016 at 4:26 am

    I read through what I wrote again and noticed several typos and grammar issues. Lesson learned- don’t write and post late at night. Sorry

    • Reply
      April 20, 2016 at 12:07 am

      Well said Pastor Joe. This article breaks my heart. First and foremost is that this Pastor is giving advice to someone he seemingly doesn’t know. The Pastor of said Independent Baptist Church has invested in This young lady and Pastor Josh shouldn’t give counsel to someone that may contradict her pastor and even her parents which were not mentioned. Then to publish it to sound like he knows more than the pastor that God placed her under. Seems sad to me.

  • Reply
    Stephen Benefield
    April 19, 2016 at 7:33 am

    I hope this doesn’t come across as unkind to the young lady or to you (because I certainly don’t mean it that way), but the best reply to her letter would have been to encourage her to seek counsel from her pastor and parents. I just don’t see where it is right to usurp another pastor’s influence over the flock that God has entrusted to his care and leadership, not to mention the possibility of undermining her parents’ counsel. It is getting harder and harder to counsel people and help them make biblical decisions in this age of blogs, Facebook, podcasts, etc. People will often “opinion-shop” until they hear what they want to hear. Sometimes the person giving advice has the best of intentions but is unwittingly playing the role of an enabler. Of course, it is possible that your advice perfectly aligned with the advice her pastor and parents gave her. On the other hand, maybe it didn’t.

    Just something to think about.

    God bless you, and may God continue to use you to reach people for Jesus Christ!

    • Reply
      Jonathan Hoover
      April 19, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      Stephen, there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors. Besides, this is a very over inflated view of pastoral and parental authority in a grown woman’s life. While the pastor is AN authority figure, there is no biblical basis for the idea that another pastor weighing in on a topic at her request is “usurping” his leadership. What a territorial view of ministry!. And if she’s an adult and not living at home, the parental authority biblical picture is one of respecting a point of view, not obedience. Josh handled this one right.

  • Reply
    Rebekah Bowe
    April 19, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Love how you handled this question. Yes, of course this marriage will work. The extra point to add would be to sit down and decide together how they want to raise their kids and build their family for God’s service. That would of been my other point. To start with a “family service plan” for the Lord. My opinion is that EVERY family needs to do this rather they grew up in the same church or two different churches. To me it is serve the Lord in the best way as a family. You decide these issues b/f the marriage so their is NO issues down the road. On to my second point…… Some of these comments from the IFB legalistic groups are the main reason why I left the legalistic IFB world. You are very centered on a box of rules to follow that you miss the center of our role as Christians to serve and reach out in CHRIST’s love. If we are outside your box we are not right with God and are out of God’s will. Really!!?? I joined a Baptist church 5 years ago that believes the same Biblical fundamentals that legalistic Baptist does BUT w/o legalism. I finally go to church in peace and see God is truely after my heart for him instead of condemnation if I do not fit a box. I finally feel God and do not feel burdened to be in that box. The box left me chasing for God’s approval but I did not know I already had his approval all along. I just needed to let go and let God use me as is. It has made a complete difference in my walk with God. Love my Lord more than ever. On the note of arrogance from the pulpit….. In my legalistic IFB church they were VERY arrogant if you did not fit the box. They would actually call out local other Baptist churches and reference to them as a backslidden church if they were not as legalistic as they are and point out their so called flaws. That sounds like arrogance to me. So I totally get her boyfriend’s point with all my heart. Now that I stepped down I see the arrogant things I found myself saying and doing b/c I felt Gos wanted me to. Looking back, I feel saddened at that part of my life. Just some thoughts out there.

  • Reply
    Non-Legalistic Legalism Legal Legalist Expert
    April 19, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    After reading many of the replies here, I wonder if a bad habit is developing–that of using undefined terms (like legalism) that are being used as a blanket to throw on a wide variety of issues that need not be viewed in totality. One can be “legalistic” with regard to Bible translation, but not altar calls and worship music. One can be “legalistic” with regard to proper church attire without being a translation snob (I am one, so I can use that term) or be concerned with methods of soul winning.

    Furthermore, what is legalism? Is it adherence to tradition rather than Biblical laws? Is it the fear of change? Is it a personal preference that can differ from church to church–or person to person? If you sit in a church with a legalistic pastor, does that make you legalistic as well? If you are personally legalistic in a non-legalistic church, what are you really?

    Josh Teis needs a blog defining commonly used–and often wrongly used–terms. Inform us of your operational definitions of some of these concepts, pastor.

  • Reply
    James Livermore
    April 19, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Pastor Josh!
    I think you were absolutely right on most of your reply to her, except one area. I have many friends who use different Bible versions, and I am not one to beat someone with a KJV and demean them. That is not the Spirit of Christ, and it never helped anyone. However, in a marriage, between two people who are passionate about pursuing God, the source (Bible) will be a big player. When they come upon a verse that could change their lives, they will have to decide whether the NIV got it right, or the KJV. this has some serious potential to cause strife and division. She will probably follow her husbands lead, and accept the messed-up NIV as her source, which means she will move away from the “best translation of the best text” and into a text invented less than around 130 years ago by heretics (seriously, check up on what Wescott and Hort believed, I was shocked.) Are you comfortable counseling her to move away from the truth and towards error? To downgrade to a different version is to knowingly accept error. Once again, many good people use the NIV, but I’m convinced that with the proper Spirit-led study, every Jesus-lover will come to the same conclusion. I did, I took a few years to question the issue and came to the conclusion that the issue is “truth vs error” (John 17:17) not “NIV vs KJV”. Everything else you said to her was spot on.
    Thanks pastor Josh! Love ya bro!


  • Reply
    Jesus quotes the NKJV....
    April 19, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    I apologize for my lengthy reply, but these issues are near to my heart. This is a great article that brings to light some of the preferences that cause so much division in IFB churches. The irony is that when we study the early church we see very little evidence of HOW to run a church service, but we are rather commanded to not forsake the gathering together of believers. It saddens me that people would forsake the gathering of believers because of these secondary issues, it also saddens me that we would hold so strongly to these preferences that we would elevate them above others. I am thankful that these issues have not caused division in the church I go to, but it concerns me that as the church grows some may let go of the hand of their brother or sister to grasp tightly to the tradition they prefer. We all would do well to understand people on the other side rather than just shutting down their arguments.

    I have read a lot of comments here on the supremacy of the KJV of the bible. This belief is for many paramount, because if the KJV is flawed in anyway, how then can it be trusted. This comes from a strong desire to hold fast to the truth of God’s word. Alternately, those on the other side that embrace new translations do so out of a desire to know the word of God, not wanting to be tripped up by the old english that THEY WERE NOT RAISED READING. There are members of both groups that at the core desire God’s truth to be understood and revered. To write off someone that reveres the word of God as legalist or arrogant is a misguided judgement. Likewise, to write off more than half of Christianity because the prefer a different translation is foolish.

    Do you know that this translation issue dates back to the time of Christ? Since they were reading the Old Testament they used both the Hebrew and Greek (Septuagint, LXX) versions of the Old Testament. These two versions were not always the same. Which one do you think was more accurate? Which one was inspired? If you were alive then would you only use the Hebrew since the Greek was a more modern translation.

    The Septuagint came hundreds and sometimes thousands of years after the Hebrew text! Did God abandon the Hebrew version when the Greek was translated? Would it surprise you to know that the Greek version, not the Hebrew, was the preferred version of the Apostles and Christ? It was quoted in the New Testament by Peter (see 1 peter 4:18 and Proverbs 11:31) , Paul (see Romans 3:12-18 and Psalm 14:3) and Christ (see Mark 7:6–7, Jesus quotes the LXX of Isaiah 29:13).

    Here’s where it gets tricky, the KJV doesn’t say the same thing in the quote in those verses as the Old Testament. Because the Septuagint was not used at the time of the KJV translation.It is used in the modern variations (NIV, NKJV, NASB, etc). There is a famous “Chick Tract (https://www.chick.com/ask/articles/septuagint.asp)” that blasts the Septuagint as being corrupt. How absurd! It is quoted by the NT writers, and JESUS HIMSELF! There are 340 places where the New Testament cites the Septuagint, but only 33 where is cites the Hebrew version.

    Do you know what that means? How important is this issue when Christ himself didn’t quote the KJV rendering of Isaiah 29:13, and Peter didn’t quote Proverbs 11:31 the way it reads in the KJV? And perhaps most noteworthy, Paul: The apostle that said, “All scripture is given 2 Timothy 3:16, the verse that is essential the center of the KJV debate quotes a rendering of Psalms which is identical to the Septuagint and not the Hebrew scriptures.

    This places a direct conflict in the bible! Both versions of Psalm 14:3 are in the Bible and “Canonized”, one in the Old Testament and a different more complete version in the new! Why would they “add to the scripture”? Why would they “change the meaning”? Perhaps it is because God’s word is inspired regardless of which version you use.

    There is enough of God’s word in an NIV Bible to get you saved. There is enough of God’s word in the NKJV to study for the rest of your life and never get to the bottom of. There is enough of God’s word in the NASB to preach to a lost and dying world.

    Lets keep our eye on the ball! People need Jesus!

  • Reply
    John Harris
    April 19, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    Dear Josh,
    You are a gifted writer and i wish you the best. I agree with most of what you said but i travel on deputation as a missionary and i will not accept support from nob independent Baptist Churches and i will not accept support if they are an english speaking church and us3 anuthing besides the KJV. The Bible should be the center of any relationship and if they can not even agree on that it will be unhealthy for their relationship. I am not saying that they must agree on everything but certain things they must settle first. If he uses the NIV and she went all of her life to a KJV chirch it could be dosasterpus. I recenntly met a lady who
    Is in the same position and they were married but go to different churches. Imagine the strain on those kids. Thevrest was good though.

    • Reply
      John Harris
      April 19, 2016 at 8:25 pm

      Sorry for the few typos my fingers are bigger then the keypad.

  • Reply
    Lexi Thompson
    April 19, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Love this post, Bro. Teis! So many of us have grown up thinking that some of these preferential standards were equivalent with doctrine, and that is obviously not the case. I am getting married in August to the love of my life-he happens to be from Canada which is a COMPLETELY different church culture in some parts. It would be a lie to say we haven’t fussed over some of these same issues. But, in the end, truth is truth, and the non-core is somewhat dispensable.

  • Reply
    Leah Keller
    April 20, 2016 at 5:38 am

    I am curious… I love the KJV and have been raised on it and will continue to use it, but I have to ask a question… here is my preface….recently, I have heard a preacher say, through a personal story, how a woman who recently came to know Christ was reading the NIV and couldn’t feel the Holy Spirit speaking to her, but when she got a KJV she could then feel the Holy Spirit speaking to her, then threw out the NIV. The preacher was a godly man! I respected him a lot, but how does his implications of the NIV/other versions not being used of God square with the fact that in Chinese they don’t have a KJV version! Yet, I hear the underground church is growing in the nation of China, so I would conclude God is working there! I admire many of the Godly men that stand firmly on the KJV and as I also personally hold it as the best version, but isn’t it that what it is, a version? ( That was the question…) I’m not trying to throw aside all of the many facts about passages thrown out or edited, I understand that lowers its quality, but I think that the heart of the issue IS the results. (And I am not saying that end is justified by ANY means-of course things should be taken care of within God’s laws) And I propose a great result/end of reading the Bible, would be whether God will speak to you from it or not… (directly following its being read or not…ah! conviction! 🙂 And I think that He does use other versions! On another point- as to methodology of sharing the gospel or reaching out, as one who works in/near advertising (also at my church), I have come to question its effectiveness- when the end goal of a church would be to see Christ glorified, people saved and discipled, loved, nurtured, admonished, etc., I think that the biggest thing that we should actually be spending time doing is praying…because I think we can preach HARD…and see no results…I think we can knock a million doors…and see no results…I think we can give out tracts/well designed invites, and coffee mugs by the gross, and I think we can set HIGH standards, and see our young fall away, but if we PRAY, and are yielded, then God works, its only God who can do these things our generation so desperately wants to see. I am young and am no where near Daniel status of achieving the effective life, but just a few thoughts…

  • Reply
    April 20, 2016 at 8:11 am

    As an english speaking missionary in a Spanish speaking country, I have challenged myself on this Bible issue. Ministering in this Spanish country has lead me to ask two questions.

    My first question would be
    “Do you believe that every people/language group should have the Bible in their own language?”

    The natural response would be “yes”.

    My second question would be
    “If every people/language group deserves God’s Word in their own language, don’t I deserve a Bible in my language, because I don’t speak Elizabethan english?”

    Again, I would say yes, but that’s just me.

    That being said, I have been raised KJV my whole life and I love the KJV translation, but even the KJV translators hoped for a better translation:

    From the translators to the reader:
    (it’s in the front of some of your KJV Bibles)

    “But how shall men meditate in that, which they cannot understand? How shall they understand that which is kept close in an unknown tongue? as it is written, Except I know the power of the voice, I shall be to him that speaketh, a Barbarian, and he that speaketh, shall be a Barbarian to me. [1 Cor 14] The Apostle excepteth no tongue; not Hebrew the ancientest, not Greek the most copious, not Latin the finest. Nature taught a natural man to confess, that all of us in those tongues which we do not understand, are plainly deaf; we may turn the deaf ear unto them. The Scythian counted the Athenian, whom he did not understand, barbarous; so the Roman did the Syrian, and the Jew (even S. Jerome himself calleth the Hebrew tongue barbarous, belike because it was strange to so many) so the Emperor of Constantinople calleth the Latin tongue, barbarous, though Pope Nicolas do storm at it: so the Jews long before Christ called all other nations, Lognazim, which is little better than barbarous. Therefore as one complaineth, that always in the Senate of Rome, there was one or other that called for an interpreter: so lest the Church be driven to the like exigent, it is necessary to have translations in a readiness. Translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light; that breaketh the shell, that we may eat the kernel; that putteth aside the curtain, that we may look into the most Holy place; that removeth the cover of the well, that we may come by the water, even as Jacob rolled away the stone from the mouth of the well, by which means the flocks of Laban were watered [Gen 29:10]. Indeed without translation into the vulgar tongue, the unlearned are but like children at Jacob’s well (which was deep) [John 4:11] without a bucket or something to draw with; or as that person mentioned by Isaiah, to whom when a sealed book was delivered, with this motion, Read this, I pray thee, he was fain to make this answer, I cannot, for it is sealed. [Isa 29:11]”

  • Reply
    April 20, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    ALL THESE SCRIPTURES ARE OMITTED FROM NIV! Not the same folks. Here is an #Idea. Lets know why we use The KJV!! “All Scripture is given” It is not the same..

    1. Matthew 17:21: “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”

    2. Matthew 18:11: “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.”

    3. Matthew 23:14: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.”

    4. Mark 7:16: “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.”

    5. Mark 9:44: “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”

    6. Mark 9:46: “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”

    7. Mark 11:26: “But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

    8. Mark 15:28: “And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.”

    9. Luke 17:36: “Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”

    10. John 5:4: “For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.”

    11. Acts 8:37: “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

    12. Acts 15:34: “Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still.”

    13. Acts 24:7: “But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands,”

    14. Acts 28:29: “And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.”

    15. Romans 16:24: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

    16. I John 5:7: “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”

    • Reply
      April 20, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      ok, so what about the ESV (which is a word for word translation) or even the MEV which is the KJV updated into the language I speak? Honest query.

    • Reply
      Legal legalist
      April 20, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      Yeah, but…

      • Reply
        April 20, 2016 at 3:23 pm

        Nice beard!

        • Reply
          April 21, 2016 at 4:05 am


  • Reply
    April 20, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    These questions were handled with grace, Pastor Teis! In some of the other comments I am hearing a lot of legalism. Sadly, I have seen legalism destroy my friends who are now not even living for the Lord. Yes, they have choices to make, but surely we do not want to have a part in someone wanting nothing with Chrisitianity before or after they are saved because we showed them more law than grace. Well said to this sweet girl and they sound like a wonderful couple who truly loves the Lord! what does the Bible say? – not preferences, but the Bible!

    • Reply
      Legal legalist
      April 20, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      What is “legalism” in your view? I think we all need to define the term if we are to have a more profitable conversation.

  • Reply
    Josh Teis
    April 20, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Great discussion points! I’m sorry I haven’t had a chance to respond to each of these comments but I have enjoyed reading the conversation and have been challenged by so many grace-filled responses. Loved Joe Shakour’s comment and have been challenged by Conner Smith’s suggestion to deal with some of the doctrinal content that does and ought necessarily divide. Also – the dude with the beard – IS actually one of my closest friends, and certainly has a lot of opinions. 🙂

    • Reply
      April 21, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      Just a few opinions…

      Love you, pastor!

  • Reply
    Ethan Jackson
    April 20, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Legalism is adding to salvation. Just because I am KJV only, and I believe in altar calls, and I believe in door to door soul winning, and I think that be a baptist is Biblical, and I think that women shouldn’t wear pants. And I don’t go to the movies, doesn’t make me a legalistic person. I do these things because God has saved me by grace, and I love him. And it is also Bible principles.

  • Reply
    Jesus quoted the nkjv....
    April 21, 2016 at 3:29 am

    Jesus was a friend of publicans and NIV readers. To say that God can speak to you more clearly through one version of the bible verses another is to deny the power of God to preserve his word. God speaks to us through different translations just as much as he can use the words of a pastor or friend to pierce our heart. To those who believe God doesn’t speak through the Niv, do you believe God can speak to you through modern Christian books. How then can he not use modern translations of his Holy word?

  • Reply
    Julio Serenil
    May 26, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    Bro. Josh,

    Your answer to this lady was good! If only as believers we would follow Biblical advise we would be better and happier Christians. You made me laugh when you threw in Ted Cruz!! Good post.

    Assistant Pastor

  • Reply
    August 1, 2016 at 1:13 am

    Get out of religion. Denominations separate and destroy the real purpose of Christ’s visitation. We need to live by the Word and not by religious doctrines. It would be best if you, together, found a non-denominational church that followed the doctrine of the Apostles and that was open to revelation knowledge. With you full trust in God, He will direct your path and lead you into all Truth.

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