Today we move to part 3 of our critique of Fred Butler’s book, Royal Deceptions: Exposing the KING JAMES ONLY Conspiracies Against God’s Word. We will continue to point out how Butler “lightly esteems” the Scriptures. Of course, if he cared what the Scriptures said very much, he wouldn’t be a Nothing-Only Calvinist.
I hope that it will be beneficial to bring up what I find to be his main arguments and look at how they flop out when held up to Biblical scrutiny.
Church “Baby” Idolatry
Nothing Onlyists are constantly blathering on about how KJV people treat the King James Bible like an idol. This is nonsense, but it is strange how close it is to Rome’s “Paper Pope” foolishness. Today, we will throw that back in their faces and say that if we are guilty of treating the King James Bible as an idol, then people like Butler are guilty of treating the “Church Babies” (more often called the “Church Fathers”) as an idol.
Butler brings up “arch Roman Catholic” (yes, I made up that term, but I like it) Augustine of Hippo. He calls him “the great 5th century Church Father.” Here we observe another “slip” that should tell you a lot about the kind of Christianity that men like Butler have. You need to understand that words like this are a “Shibboleth”. (Judges 12)
Bible Believers are very careful with calling men “great” because we know that “none is good, save one, that is God.” Of course, some people are called “great” in the Bible, but the term should be used sparingly. After looking at the life and teachings of Augustine, we can be assured that “great” is not a proper adjective.
Furthermore, there is no debate on whether the term “church father” is right or not. If you care what the Lord Jesus Christ said, you should NOT go around using the term. If you do, then you are exposing yourself as a poor Christian as far as direct statements in the Bible are concerned. We all have our problems, but breaking the commandment to “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” Matt 23:9 is inexcusable for someone claiming to be biblical, like Butler.
It’s hard to track down the exact source of the quote, but the old saying is apropos: “The church “fathers” should be called the church “babies”.” Certainly whosoever goes around giving the appellation “Fathers” to that mostly undefined group of writers from the early Church Age should be called a “Baby”. We are definitely correct to question the Biblical nature of people who use the term today. That would include Butler and people connected to his mentor, Johnnyboy MacArthur.
But even leaving off the critique of the appellations “great” and “father”, what are we to make of the theology of the man? Quick searches about the man give him the title, “the father of Roman Catholicism” (aka the “Whore of Babylon”) and “perhaps the greatest Christian philosopher of Antiquity” (Col 2:8). What is a Bible Believer supposed to think about a man who is given these titles by the world? “I trow not.”
Augustine rejected the literal account of Genesis 1 and the literal account of Revelation, i.e. premillennialism, . He taught sacramental salvation, purgatory, the perpetual virginity of Mary, and infant baptism amongst other heresies which he taught by promoting the use of the allegorical interpretation of Scripture.
Bible Believers have no business calling the man a “great” anything, unless it be: A GREAT HERETIC.
Factor For Leaving The KJB Number 1
Finally, after all this hot air, we get to something more resembling an argument from Butler. It’s amazing how much garbage we’ve had to scale to get to this point. He claims there are “two factors that brought me to the truth and a complete departure of KJV Onlyism.”
The use of the term “factor” is strange. But he had to think of a way to describe the fact that his first reason for leaving the KJB is because of A PERSON. It is because of KJB advocate, Gail Riplinger. Take note that the first reason isn’t because he read in the Bible a verse that says something like “Textual Criticism is of God” or “Translations can’t be inspired” or anything about the KJB-Only mindset being wrong. He just didn’t like what some woman said.
According to Butler, Riplinger “believed the devil was ushering in the New Age of the Antichrist and his primary instruments were modern Bible versions like the NIV, NASB, and the ESV.” Butler goes on to call this “her kooky new age conspiracy theory.”
We must point out how interested Butler seems to be in personalities and how seemingly absent the idea of “what saith the Scriptures?” is in his writings. I hope no one is stupid enough to believe that the Bible version controversy can be decided on the personalities of people, be they a Riplinger, a Westcott, or a Tischendorff.
I hope the reader is mature enough to understand that.
But beyond that, what exactly are we to call the deceptions prophesied in the Bible about the last days? If a guy doesn’t want to call it a conspiracy, then that’s his prerogative. But it sure looks a lot like one.
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, WHICH DECEIVETH THE WHOLE WORLD: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Rev 12:9
“And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.” Rev 13:14
We must not forget the definition of a conspiracy: “a plan secretly devised to accomplish an evil or treacherous end”. If what the Devil and Antichrist are about to do is not a conspiracy to you, then you have a problem with the basic meaning of words.
Again, no one is forcing anyone to call the situation in the Tribulation a “New Age” or a “New World Order”. But to say that those are completely inaccurate descriptions is unfair, nitpicky, and just plain wrong.
Butler is also upset that Riplinger thinks that the “primary instruments” that bring in the situation at the end of the Church Age and into the Tribulation are the modern English Bible Versions. This charge is of course a matter of opinion. The conspiracy of the end times is a multi pronged attack. The “prongs” include antisemitism, ecumenicalism, global governance, and a bunch of other junk. Getting rid of the King James Bible is most definitely a part of the process.
“This plan to use new Bible versions to bring about a final, one-world religion (i.e. the false peace of Antichrist) is explained by Manly P. Hall. He has been called “the greatest cultist of all.” He confessed to channeling the energies of Lucifer (see The Lost Keys of Freemasonry). Hall also admitted that he (and his “associates”) had been laboring to change the world through a mass indoctrination program that includes promoting revised versions of the Bible! They worked to change and replace the King James Bible. He writes: “The way of…conditioning would be the one used in Central Europe to condition Nazi minds…[It there] began in the public schools…[and] with the small child; which is where we will have to begin…To make things right we will have to undo much that is cherished error. The problem of revising the Bible shows how difficult it is to do this. For the last hundred years, we have been trying to get out an edition of the Bible that is reasonably correct; but nobody wants it. What’s wanted [by the majority of people] is the good old King James version, every jot and tittle of it, because most people are convinced that God dictated the Bible to King James in English…The solution to this whole problem…is…psychology…it should be an absolute requisite of education from the grammar school up…We must begin in the home with small children…[and] with the churches teaching the integrity of the religions of other peoples…We have to be conditioned…” (Manly P. Hall, Horizon, “Asia in the Balance of the Scales,” Volume 4, No. 1, 1944)”
This quote comes from Joey Faust’s excellent book, “The Word: God Will Keep It! The 400 Year History of the King James Bible Only Movement.” (I’m not endorsing Faust’s other theology, just this book.)
I know people won’t like the use of ellipses (…) in the quote by Hall and I don’t either. But it would have been too long. So I’ll link to the source here (link). The quote comes from page 13.
Also Riplinger’s connection between the modern versions’ use of the capitalized “One” and the mindset of New Agers is beyond dispute. But Butler doesn’t want you to deal with that. So he doesn’t bring it up. He is more concerned with making people think that Westcott, Hort, and Tischedorff were good Christians. What a strange motive!
To sum up all this foolishness about Butler, Riplinger, Westcott, and Hort, we need to say this: Butler goes after the easiest KJV-Only target (Riplinger) and he knows it. He even admits, “other KJV Onlyists who renounced Gail as not representing the true KJVO position.” And adds that supposedly all the other KJV-Only people make the same mistake. He doesn’t even bother to prove it. He just wants us to take his word for it. We will not.
Butler is in a pickle (apologies for my Americanism) and he knows it. He believes the same things about the Bible that Westcott and Hort did. So he can’t accept that they were heretics. He knows he has to defend them since there is a complete absence of biblical support for Nothing-Onlyism in the Scriptures, its defenders must, in some fashion at least, make the debate about personalities.
A Bible Believer is first and foremost concerned about “What saith the Scriptures?” Personalities matter, but it is a distant second.
Factor Number 2 or “Your Calvin Is Showing”…
Butler’s final authority is Calvinism. All other doctrines are subservient to it. So as he is deciding that he doesn’t like Riplinger, Butler also decides he is a Calvinist (Yes, it was his “decision”. He wasn’t foreordained.) and his Calvinism is his second “factor” for his departure from the truth. He calls Calvinism, “a second, more important factor that played a prominent role in drawing me away from KJV Onlyism.” And that “my careful study of God’s Word was leading me to embrace the doctrines of grace, what is also known as the five points of Calvinism.”
Let me make this plain. As Butler became more and more zealous of Calvin, he had to turn against many of the writers that support the doctrine of KJV-Onlyism because they are against Calvin. At least he is consistent. I’ll give him that much.
Butler is correct in stating that the vast majority of KJV-Only authors are against Calvinism (like the present author), but of course there are exceptions. Will Kinney is perhaps the best example of this. (https://brandplucked.webs.com/kjbarticles.htm) There is a clear relationship between KJV-Onlyism and anti-Calvinism that is impossible to miss, exceptions notwithstanding.
It seems that Lawrence Vance has become a particular target of Butler’s ire by being KJV-Only and also writing the main tome against Calvinism “The Other Side of Calvinism.” He goes on a “smugness-infused” diatribe against Vance’s correct assertion that five is the number that means “death” in the Bible. Of course, Vance doesn’t fail to connect that truth to the Five Points of Calvinism. Butler vainly tries to dismiss this Bible truth by writing, “a person must wonder if Mr. Vance has noticed that the name “Jesus” has five letters, as well as “Vance.”” How can someone this educated fail to notice that Jesus is connected to death because he DIED ON THE CROSS? How that escapes Butler’s attention is beyond me! He also tries to claim that somehow “Vance” having 5 letters means something. Of course, Vance, like any sinner, will die someday.
Even if Butler is correct about “Vance” and “Jesus,” If you are writing a book and you think that those two examples somehow overthrow the clear teaching of Scripture on the issue then you are completely dishonest. One wonders what Butler supposes the number 5 to mean in Scripture. He is absolutely silent on the matter. He just wants us to think Vance is wrong. This is what the Bible calls “a false balance”. Typical. The whole debate of KJV-Onlyism vs. Nothing-Onlyism is predicated on the Nothing-Onlyists having “a false balance”. They apply a hyper-critical standard against us that they would never dream of applying to their own ideas. If they did, they wouldn’t be Nothing-Only.
As I often write on this blog, I am not writing to help people like Butler. They have crossed the line and are dishonest about the matter at hand. This blog exists to help someone who is trying to get honest answers about the material that Butler brings up.
Butler finishes the chapter by shotgunning accusations. He is back to his classic technique of throwing “you-know-what” at a wall and hoping some of it sticks. His quick attacks will be answered by quick defenses as this article is already getting long enough.
Butler writes, “When I sought out the proof for my King James Only beliefs, I discovered there was none.” To which we respond by saying “When we seek out proof for the beliefs of Nothing Onlyism, we discover that there is none.” Despite whatever warts KJV-Onlyism may have, it is at least in the same ballpark as the beliefs about the Bible held by David, Peter, Paul, and the Lord Jesus Christ. None of them held beliefs like Nothing Onlyists in any way, shape, or form.
Butler also states that, “KJV Onlyism begins with the conclusion the King James Version is the Word of God, and then re-interprets the historical evidence supporting that conclusion.” This is slanderously untrue. Bible Believers begin with the conclusion that GOD’S WORDS EXIST SOMEWHERE. We base this belief on the clear teachings of Scripture (Matt 24:35, etc). The other verses will be addressed later as Butler brings them up.
Also, note the infantile insinuation that somehow “re-interpreting” the evidence is always a bad thing. Re-interpreting evidence happens all the time and there is nothing inherently wrong with it. It can be abused no doubt, but then the burden of proof is on the accuser. In this case, it would be on Butler. But the accusation is given in isolation. This accusation is the same nonsense as the claim that KJV-Onlyism is a conspiracy theory. It’s only designed to trick people who aren’t used to dismantling these types of intellectual accusations. Unfortunately, many aren’t used to it and Butler’s claims will catch many unawares. Hopefully after reading these articles, you won’t fall for it.
Further note the classic comeback: “Nothing-Onlyism begins with the conclusion that only the originals were inspired and then re-interprets the historical evidence supporting that conclusion.” If Butler wants to treat KJV-Onlyism that way, then he needs to apply that standard to his own beliefs. He doesn’t. I say this with charity: every Nothing-Only scholar is a first rate hypocrite.
Butler goes on to say, “Our faith should never be in contrived and subjective speculations, which is what KJV Onlyism is ultimately founded upon.” To which we respond by saying “You’re a pot calling the kettle black.” If you think that KJV-Onlyism is “ultimately founded upon” “contrived and subjective speculations,” you should look at “Nothing Onlyism” and “Biblical Criticism”. But dishonest people like Butler would never ask those types of questions and seek the answers that ultimately matter in this debate. They don’t want people to ask basic questions. If they did, people would see that whatever “contrived and subjective speculations” are in KJV-Onlyism, Nothing-Onlyism is worse.
The next shotgun shot by Butler is that, “certainly King James Onlyism is a fringy idea that is unsupportable by the facts of church history,” We are tempted to turn the argument back on Butler. But we must assent that Nothing-Onlyism isn’t fringy and it is supportable by the facts of church history. However, it must be noted that that neither are Crusades, Papal Conclaves, or Inquisitions! Crusades and rejection of the Bible happened all the time in the Chruch Age. Whether an idea is “fringy” by church history standards shouldn’t matter at all.
Of course, there is a measure of subjectivity to this argument. This subjectivity makes it a poor argument. Who determines what is “fringy” in church history? Who determines what is “unsupportable by the facts of church history”? For that matter, who determines what the “facts” of any subject of history are when it comes to ideas? If Butler means something like “No one believed KJV-Onlyism before 1900”, then he is most certainly wrong.
See the book by Joey Faust referenced above for the truth on that matter.
Butler ends his chapter with the laughable statement that, “Many folks have never heard any challenges to KJV onlyism, especially coming from someone who affirms the divine nature of Scripture, it’s infallibility, and inerrancy.” The obvious question is what does he mean by “many”? For some, sure. He definitely cannot mean “all”. Among the groups of churches that I have spent the last 14 years around, all of them talk about the arguments of Nothing-Onlyism. When teaching verse-by-verse, we always bring up the points of the textual critics when we get to them. We then show where the text critics are wrong and why they are wrong. We do the same thing with the heresy of Calvinism.
We would also retort by pointing out that the vast majority of American Christians have never heard any challenges to Nothing-Onlyism. This statement is more accurate than Butler’s statement.
We could also point out the fallacy that Butler believes in “infallibility” and “inerrancy” but that will be saved for another time. This article has gone on long enough. Thanks for staying with me.
Examine my claims. Examine Butler’s claims. See which one matches the Bible.
Enough for now. We’ll continue this series soon. Lord bless you.
“For the word of God [is ]quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Heb 4:12