Heart Reflections Live
Monday, August 28, 2006
The Dumbing Down of the Word of God
This post is quite a serious one that I've been contemplating for some time now...In a sense it's a follow-on to "Why We Read to our Children"...
For a long time I've been concerned with the Bibles & other teaching materials coming out of the Christian Bookstores. For a start please let me say that I don't want this blog to become a war-ground of comments over "King James Onlyisms". I tend to lean that way myself based on the history of the different Bible manuscripts, & the amount of verses & part verses ommitted from the newer versions; but on the other hand you can receive enough of the gospel message to get saved from any other translation- not that I personally would trust any other translation for spiritual food anymore, based on a lot of the bible studies & reading I've done over the last 15 years or so & from comparing a lot of different translations myself. It is evident that a lot of sound biblical teaching is gradually being watered down.
I guess the real problem comes back to the decline of the English language & can we still reach out & touch others without dumbing down the message, which is sadly, what I feel is taking place.
I look at the vast array of Bible comics & new translations( many of which are heavily paraphrased) & while I understand the motives of those who have brought them out, I ask myself- Are they really necessary?
I love studying history & one thing I've discovered, is that during the long period when people considered reading nothing but the King James, most of the people who loved it & read it were poor & uneducated! My Grandfather had a very basic State education, & yet read & loved the King James Bible, all his life. Once upon a time nearly everyone went to Sunday School (children & adults together), & then a family worship service was enjoyed by all. Everyone was used to the same Bible & everyone enjoyed the same simple teaching from it. I feel this produced a greater unity than the typical bible study today, when someone pipes up with,"But my Bible doesn't say that! That verse isn't in mine!!" What confusion this brings- instead of making things easier to understand-confusion & discord reign. Give me the old style any day!
I mentioned Bible comics before...Again I can understand them being produced to reach a wider people group, but my concern is this...If a little boy is allowed to read Spiderman or Superman comics during the week & you teach him that they're just for pretend, how does the child differentiate between Superheroes & the Lord Jesus Christ, when they are both in a comic book?
I feel it's robbing the child of learning the fear of God & how awesome he is & that when you put Him in a comic book, you are reducing Him to a fantasy figure...
My husband enjoys a good biblical movie that is historically accurate to help him picture the scenes in God's Word- but he realizes that these can never take the place of reading God's Word. We also have an audio KJV on CD set & this I feel is another valid tool to help people who may have difficulty reading the Word of God. Maybe there are other things we can do in our churches to encourage people to read...
We may live in a visually bombarded culture, but I believe we do the Kingdom of God no favours if we becomes slaves to the form of culture we are in, & dumb down the Word of God to reach the masses-something very precious will be lost & we could end up preaching another gospel.
Times may change, but the power of the blood of Jesus does not- I fear we are dumbing down the Word of God in the name of making things easier to understand. There has to be a better way.