The first article in the series addressed the title of Butler’s book and the problems within it. Such bad titles set a problematic precedent. Today we move on. All the way to the preface.
Is Butler an ex-KJV-Onlyist?
One of the reasons that a novice might find Butler’s book to be convincing is that the man claims to have been some sort of KJV-Onlyist before becoming a typical Alexandrian. Testimonies of converts tend to hold more weight. We could call this the narrative fallacy, but we’ll just admit this is human nature. The fact that people dump the King James Bible is not, in itself, an argument against the King James Bible. It should be obvious, but that stuff has to be said in these days of shallow thinking.
I’ll say it right here: I QUESTION HIS NARRATIVE. The school or seminary (cemetery) that Butler went to (as a professed KJV-Onlyist) is an anti-KJV school. What good Bible Believer would spend more than a week at a Johnnyboy MacArthur’s cemetery? Answer: None that is worth his salt. That is the main reason that an honest person would question Butler’s narrative.
Would a good Muslim go to Bob Jones to learn about religion? Sure, some backsliders or liberal Muslims would, but a “good” one??? Of course not. Would a good follower of Richard Dawkins go to Moody Bible Institute? Of course not. It should be obvious. But somehow we are supposed to believe that a “real strong King James man” went to MacArthur’s school. I ain’t buying it. King James Onlyists preach against Johnnyboy and his heresies. They don’t pony up a bunch of shekels to “learn” from him. I ain’t buying it.
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Eph 5:11
Butler calls himself a “belligerent apologist” with “hastily conceived and wildly misinformed convictions” that should have hosed down “with cold water”. But then, inexplicably, he hosed himself down when he signed up to go learn from Johnnyboy. Nothing adds up. The most reasonable explanation is that Butler is playing up his credentials in order to hook more suckers. He wants people to think he was a super zealous KJV-Onlyist who learned the truth. But it doesn’t fit with the rest of his story. The safe bet is that he was always lukewarm on the issue.
If he wants to deny it, then it’s my opinion versus his. We’ll find out who is right at the Judgment Seat of Christ (a basic doctrine that a bunch of Butler’s tulip sniffing Calvinist heroes couldn’t figure out. Much more will be said about Butler’s Calvinism later and we will see how Calvinism is Butler’s real final authority when he gives us his “interpretation” of the so-called Great Awakenings in America. Butler could safely be called an “belligerent apologist” for the corrupt teachings of the Alexandrian apostates, John Calvin and St. Augustine.)
I find a biblical example of this in the story of David hearing about Saul’s death from an Amalekite in II Sam 1. The Amalekite (God’s enemy) tells David that Saul (the King) is dead. He claims that he himself killed Saul after Saul tried to commit suicide. We know from the cross references that this is not what happened. David puts the pieces together and isn’t fooled. Notice in II Sam 1:16, David punishes the Amalekite for what he says he did and not for what he actually did.
Veterans of these kinds of debates aren’t fooled by stories like Butler’s. In the end, Butler’s testimony matters as much as the testimony of Westcott and Hort. That is to say, it matters very little. See the comments on this subject at the end of our first article in this series. Nevertheless, the inconsistencies need to be pointed out.
Was Butler some sort of King James Onlyist? Sure. Does his own testimony prove that he had a good, consistent belief on the subject? Hardly.
Orthodox or Biblical?
The other issue that will come up again and again in Butler’s book is the issue of the authority of church history. Butler states that he wants people to “develop an orthodox view of our English Bibles.” But how is one to determine “orthodoxy”? These are words that push people back towards church history and away from the Scriptures. The issue should be whether it is “a BIBLICAL view of our English Bibles.” “Orthodoxy” is one of those flexible words that can be used to prove whatever a guy wants.
Down through church history, “Orthodoxy” has been a term used to prop up the findings of the corrupt, apostate majority. “Orthodoxy” is determined by a majority of backsliders. Truth and correct doctrine are often held by what the Bible calls a “remnant” not a majority. Similar questions about “orthodoxy” are used by Jesuit priests (oh boy, here comes more conspiracy stuff…) over and over again. Read their literature and see the truth of this. History has proven over and over that people who use such questions end up rejecting the absolute authority of the scriptures. They end up back in Rome (Catholic) or Moscow (Eastern Orthodox). See my article about the so-called Bible Answer Man.
By framing the question around whether a doctrine is “orthodox” instead of “Biblical”, Butler is showing how unbiblical he really is. It’s amazing how this stuff works. Butler doesn’t ask “What saith the Scriptures?” he asks, “What saith orthodoxy?” Those of us who are well acquainted with historical and theological writing notice these little “blips” and how important they are.
Butler claims that KJV-Onlyists have a “legalistically focused understanding of God’s Word.” Well, what are we supposed to have? Should we have an “illegalistically focused” understanding? If by “legalistically focused” he means that we think that God says what he means and means what he says, then yes. We are guilty. If not, then what kind of focus should we have according to God? These kinds of accusations are nothing more than throwing dirt at a wall and hoping something sticks. In this case it would be throwing out words and name calling, hoping to give someone the ammo that they want in order to get away from the truth of the King James Bible. There is no substance to the accusation.
We are back to the Psychological Manipulation that we wrote about in our comments about the book’s title. He wants KJV-Only people to be connected to “legalistically focused” Pharisees, although the doctrines are not connected in any way. Pharisees wanted people to follow them and their traditions (like Butler’s “orthodoxy”) instead of what God had written in the Bible. He will use a similar tactic later when he connects KJV-Onlyism to a made up creature named Vulgate-Onlyism that Roman Catholics supposedly believed in the Middle Ages. These connections exist solely in the mind of Nothing-Onlyists and have nothing to do with reality.
Butler’s nature is being clearly revealed. He never states things clearly. Here, he makes accusations using weasel words and loaded terminology. There is nothing “legalistic” about KJV-Onlyism. In honesty, the word shouldn’t be used to describe anything in this debate. We might as well call our position “carmelized” or “objectivationistic”. Both terms have nothing to do with the topic.
I want to have the attitude toward the Bible in my hand that David, Jeremiah, Christ, and Paul had towards theirs. If someone wants to call that “legalistically focused”, then that’s their problem.
Sticks and stones, brother. Sticks and stones.
“Conspiratorial” KJV-Onlyism is “damaging to Scripture itself”?
Butler continues on his diatribe about KJV-Onlyism being “conspiratorial in nature”. This was thoroughly addressed in our first article in this series. Long story short, Butler is also a conspiracy theorist, as are all conservative Christians. He just wants to intimidate people into rejecting the King James Bible by connecting it to conspiracies. Only a weak minded fool would cave to this kind of accusation, especially since Butler himself doesn’t believe that all beliefs labelled “conspiracy theories” are false.
Butler then adds to this a neat, little bait and switch. He claims that our doctrines are “damaging to Scripture itself”. Quite the accusation! But watch as this ridiculous claim falls apart on itself.
“Scripture” is defined by God as “given by inspiration of God”. Of course the Modern Versions change the text, but nevertheless the standard for something being “Scripture” is very high. Never in the Bible is “Scripture” a reference to “Nothing-Onlyism” or the principles of Textual Criticism. In fact, anyone familiar with Greek and Latin roots knows that “Scripture” has to do with something “written” and not “ideas” or “principles”. Butler, as all Alexandrians, talks about “Scripture” but he never uses the Bible’s definition of the word. He uses his own definition. He will do the same with his Calvinist heresies.
The easy rebuttal to the above accusation is that it reads into what Butler has written. This is partially true. But Butler (probably intentionally) never defines what he means by “Scripture”. In spite of any possible intentional “Plausible deniability”, the above is a fair representation of what Butler believes. “Scripture” to him is the general ideas about lost original texts which may or may not be found in certain various Greek and Hebrew manuscripts which require the ever changing “science” of textual criticism to help to understand their meaning. Quite the mouthful!
If you ask me what is “Scripture”, my answer is easy. The King James Bible on my desk.
Nothing-Onlyism is a doctrine of great confusion. Not only does it discard the Biblical definition of “Scripture”, it also accepts the contradictions inherent between all the different versions, manuscripts, etc.
Vaticanus and Siniaticus have as many contradictions between each other as they have with the King James Bible. Modern versions also contradict each other and, of course, they contradict the King James Bible. People like Butler like to spew out the lie that they still like, enjoy, and appreciate the KJB. He says that he has “a deep love of the King James translation”. (Notice that he doesn’t say “King James BIBLE”. Always a nice tell…) With all these authorities, look at the contradicting mess that their bad theology creates:
Is the reference in Mark 1 to Isaiah as in the Modern versions or to “the prophets” as in the KJB? If “Isaiah” then you’ve got a problem because the next words come from Malachi and not Isaiah. They cannot both be true scripture.
Is Isaiah 14 about “Lucifer” or the “day star” or “morning star”? The latter titles are given to Jesus Christ in II Pet 1 and Rev 22, respectively. The question could easily be phrased, is Isaiah 14 about Christ or the Devil? In the modern versions, the chapter is about Jesus Christ. In the KJB, the chapter is about the Devil. They cannot both be true.
Also, note the contradiction on the topic of Old Testament Salvation in Romans 11 between the ESV and the NIV. Both cannot be true. Is salvation “no longer on the basis of works” as in the ESV which implies that it was on the basis of works in the Old Testament? Or is the NIV correct when it says of salvation that “it cannot be based on works,” which implies that works had nothing to do with Old Testament salvation? These are mutually exclusive and cannot both be true at the same time.
If you don’t think these massive contradictions are “damaging to Scripture itself,” then I can’t help you. You are not honest, unfortunately. You need to go pray about that for a while. Regardless of feelings and emotions, the fact is that Nothing-Onlyism is “damaging to the Scripture itself.”
Our “arguments are aligned with those of atheists hostile to the faith”
The final charge from Butler’s preface that will be addressed is this: that King James-Onlyists’ “arguments are often aligned with those of atheists hostile to the faith.” The normal reaction of a Bible Believer to this is: YAWN!
Seasoned warriors in the good fight of faith know that you will encounter all kinds of people of the pilgrim pathway. The fact that they are on the right road at that time and place has nothing to do with whether you are wrong or that they are right. Always remember that A BROKEN CLOCK IS RIGHT TWICE A DAY. At those two moments when the clock is correct, it doesn’t matter at all. The clock is still broken.
In spite of the huge problems of Muslim theology and atheism, we have to admit that we agree that the “science of textual criticism” is a complete joke. What does that have to do with anything? Is that supposed to make us feel bad or something?
Butler would agree with most Muslims that homosexuality is bad. Are we to infer that because Butler and Muslims agree on this point that Butler’s conservative Christian beliefs are false? No sane person would make that judgment. But it differs little from Butler’s charge.
Butler would agree with most atheists that Muhammad was a fraud. Does that mean anything? Of course not. Agreeing theologically with a false religion on one or two points has no bearing on anything.
If a guy had to guess, he would say that Butler probably knows these truths. It is becoming obvious that Butler is becoming more and more devoted to the idea of throwing mud at a wall and hoping that it sticks. Butler is smart enough to know the flaws in these types of accusations. But he continues on.
Butler will eventually get to some points that have some substance. But they are completely lacking in the preface. Lord willing, we’ll get to those soon and give an answer.
Stay tuned. Don’t touch that dial.