I will intentionally start with a question pointing to a root problem facing Christianity today: some may not be consciously aware it exists, although I’m convinced many realize it, yet bury their heads in the sand or willfully embrace it to maintain church order. This situation stems from a grave error within the church, not without. The problem, a rampant use of the BOBV by both church leaders and laypeople alike.
There are many versions of the Bible, some better than others, yet at the core many are fine. Some Christians hold to the KJV (King James Version) only, that’s fine; others use different versions hoping to obtain clearer understanding due to the Old English used in the KJV, which makes it harder to understand, which is fine too. However, the use of the BOBV is fatal to the faith. This version overrides all other versions and is often used automatically in conjunction with whatever version of the Bible you prefer. What exactly is the BOBV? The BOBV stands for Black Out Bible Version.
The Black Out Bible treats Scripture as a buffet. Verses are used or dismissed (blacked out), not with link, rather by the reader’s mind, so they don’t have to deal with issues distasteful to them. However, the Bible is God’s word to mankind, thereby, if you or I try dismissing verses, passages of books or whole books of the Bible, we no longer obtain the whole Word of God. Instead, we are left with a shell resembling God’s Word!
People like this version because it allows them to hold dear their own ideas of who God is, how He behaves and limits what God expects of them in comparison to an actual valid versions of the Bible. I know someone living in Japan who claimed to become a Christian, yet hated someone for wrongs done against her. She declared, after being shown Christians are to love our enemies, her God, who lives in the sky, allowed her to hate people if they deserved it. Of course this opens a window of problems, one being, who decides who deserves one’s hate. I brought the problem to her attention by asking her Biblical questions: how many Gods exist? She admitted only one. Then I asked, if your god allows you to hate others and the Bible’s God does not, which God is true? She paused, then admitted she’d not fully thought through her claim.
My example is merely one of many types of illustrations we could use to show why people desire to use the BOBV. Some examples are minor while others enormous. Nonetheless, the danger is real. By allowing the BOBV to exist, we pollute God’s Word, changing it to fit our viewpoints, converting the Bible from God’s Words to man’s words. To some degree, denominations are guilty of using the BOBV when relying on doctrinal statements contradicting clear biblical teachings. Sometimes this is due to tradition or ignorance, while other times people cannot handle a God who thinks or acts different than they comprehend He should. Thereby, indirectly or willfully, they create a god acceptable to their beliefs and worship their god in vain, Mark 7:7 "Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men," while claiming to worship the only one true living God of the Bible. Sadly, they try using the BOBV to support the existence of their god by ignoring verses contrary to their viewpoint.
Some may laugh that I included such a question in this book, however, after reading through the book and noticing the topics covered, and seeing God’s clear teaching regarding those topics, those same folks may find they are guilty of using the BOBV without even knowing it. God’s Word does no contradict itself, therefore what we conclude from it cannot contradict or our conclusion is false. Throughout the book I avoid making assumptions and conclusions not clearly stated by the text. This is intentional, but limiting. If I insert false assumptions, I get false understanding and my understanding is limited to what God has revealed. I may not have an answer some questions I am asked, if God has not clearly revealed those answers in His Word, but I would rather say I do not know because God has not revealed it than assume or conclude error and then teach those errors as truth.
God has not given us all the answers, 1Cor 13:12 "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known," but He has given us enough to live godly lives and do His will. In fact, most Christians know enough about what God wants that we could stop learning today (not suggesting such) and live out only what we know and we would have enough to keep us busy until we awake in heaven and see God personally.
Let us read on, being Berean, Acts 17:10-11 "And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so," to see if what we think about God is what God has revealed in His Word and be willing to change our thinking to match that of God’s as needed, Rom 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."