Jaysun's Journal

Independent Baptist

Jails to Jesus


MY TESTIMONY

By:  Jason W. Elder

My name is Jason Elder and on October 29th 1980 I was born right here in Gaffney South Carolina.  I know many people who blame their shortcomings on their parents but I can’t do that.  I have some of the best parents in the world.  My dad was a Highway Patrolman for 14 years and then the Chief of Police in Blacksburg for several more.  My mom worked at Hamrick’s for a number of years and currently runs her own business.

My mom brought me to church a lot when I was younger.  I went forward after service once and talked to the pastor about getting “baptized.”  We prayed a prayer and I was baptized not long afterward.  I’m sure he did everything he could to point me in the right direction but looking back, I just didn’t get it.

Yes, in the beginning I had an interest in church like never before, but it just didn’t last.  The whole experience reminds me of the parable Jesus told about the seed that fell on stony ground.  It was so quick to spring up but when the Sun was risen it withered away just as quickly because it had no root.[1]

I’ve always been an introvert and shy by nature but that was okay with me.  I didn’t really care what other people thought about me anyhow.  In fact, I didn’t even start combing my hair until seventh grade.  But as a teenager I became more and more concerned with what people thought of me.

Truth be known, that’s probably the biggest appeal drugs and alcohol had for me: they took away my inhibitions.l_16979768e35398fc887557351b43d00d

The first time I ever smoked marijuana was in the 10th grade.  And while I liked getting high, I didn’t like the smell of it.  If any of you ever been around someone smoking pot (and some of you look like you have) it has a very strong odor and knowing I had to come home to a house full of cops that always made me a little bit paranoid.  Just by walking through the door I was subjecting myself to a sobriety test.  I guess that’s why started messing around with pills: Xanax, Lortab, methadone etc. I even started selling a few here and there.  It started out being just for fun but pretty soon I was addicted not just to the pills but to the lifestyle of a drug dealer.

I kinda liked it when people would notice that my beeper was blowing up.  I was hanging out with some of the most popular kids in school.  I knew they really didn’t care a thing about me, but hey, everybody likes to feel needed.

Around my senior year in high school a young man brought me a sample of something his dad had cooked up at home called meth.

I didn’t know it at the time, but he’d just introduced me to something 10 times worse than all the pills I’d ever taken.  By the end of that summer I was using every day: smoking, snorting, and even shooting it up.  After I got in good with the cook I started selling it but unlike the pills I sold just for the heck of it, I was selling meth to support my own habit.  I can’t tell you how many hundreds of dollars worth of powder I went through but I gave Johnson & Johnson a run for their money.  That’s just what I used, God only knows how much I sold.

But all that “fun” took me to the same place most junkies find themselves…jail!  I was facing Federal and local charges and my life was in a mess.  Sometime during this process I picked up a Bible and read through it in less than 8 weeks.  I couldn’t believe it was actually interesting!  When I was released, I was placed on house arrest.  The Federal Government thought so much of me they gave me a cute little ankle bracelet to wear!  For six months I was allowed to go to church only once on Sunday morning.  I could go to all the Narcotics Anonymous meetings I wanted to, but Church only once a week.

Dec 25 2008b 005

The church my family was going to at the time was a cold, dead, liberal, Southern Baptist Church (as the picture represents).  The pastor was a Calvinist and it showed in his preaching.  I thought if this is all Church has to offer I’d be better off not going.

But then, one of my friends overdosed on painkillers.  Michael Williams laid in a coma for about week and died just after Christmas.  Still on the ankle monitor I went to the funeral home where they were receiving friends. Among the mourners I spotted a familiar older gentleman in the crowd, it was Pastor Lewis Batchelor from Open Door Baptist Church.

Several years prior, I had dated a girl that attended his church.  As two lost young teenagers, one day, we were sitting on the second pew from the front.  We were holding hands and passing little notes to each other.  We didn’t have a care in the world.  But all that would soon end!  Before I could get my thoughts together, in front of God and everybody, that old gray-haired man came out from behind the pulpit, jumped off the platform, straddled the pew in front of us, looked me dead in the eyes, and said, “Are you saved son?”  Before I could get the lump out of my throat, he looked down and saw we were holding hands.  He physically separated our hands that day and after scolding us both for being too close for his liking, he briefly lectured the young lady why she should never date anyone that’s lost.  I didn’t have enough hide left to close my eyes!  But even as a lost teenager I appreciated someone that had enough guts to tell me what was right!

Anyway, at the funeral, I talked to Pastor Batchelor briefly then spoke with Michael’s dad and step-mom.  I was doing a good job at keeping back the tears, but I couldn’t do it much longer.  I left off talking with his parents and headed for the door.  But somebody stopped me before I left!

It was Preacher Batchelor!  3295_1081054466467_1229465601_30345208_3992325_nWhen I broke down weeping he hugged me and tried to comfort me.  I don’t remember what he said to me, I just remember he was there when I needed him.  When Sunday rolled around, I started thinking about that little old church on the other side of town.  I remembered the friendly people and the plain preaching.   I literally begged my mom and dad to take me to Open Door Baptist Church.  I don’t remember whether mom or dad went with me.  All I remember is how happy everyone was that I came.

For six months I went to Church every Sunday morning but one.  I was saved, born again, on a Wednesday night in March 2001.  Not long after that, my dad got saved!  We were both baptized on Easter Sunday!    I was so overwhelmed by the grace of God that brought me salvation that I took all my ambitions, my plans, and my life and with joy placed them at the Master’s disposal.

Much has transpired since that day.  The Lord has been so good that I cannot possibly list all the blessings He has sent my way.  I only wish to encourage you not to give up hope on a loved one or friend who may be struggling with the same things I did.  There’s a God in heaven Who specializes in lost causes.  If He can save me He can save anybody.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2Cor 5:17)

Jason W. Elder

Assistant Pastor

Tabernacle Baptist Church

Gaffney SC


[1] “And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.” (Mark 4:5-6)

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November 3, 2009 Posted by | Addiction, Bible, Death, God, Guidance, Jesus, preacher, Religion, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

WHY N.C. Pastor Will Burn Bibles, Books, & CD’s


NC Pastor to Burn Bibles

The title says it all…or does it?

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Holding a “sin-burning” (as some would call it) is nothing new.  However a Bible is the last thing you would expect to see thrown in the fire!  Nevertheless, as crazy as it sounds that is exactly what one North Carolina church is doing.

The church also plans to burn religious books by such eminent authors as Billy Graham, Rick Warren, John McArthur, James Dobson, Charles Swindoll, John Piper, Chuck Colson, Tony Evans, Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swagart, Franklin Graham , Bill Bright, Tim Lahaye, T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Joyce Myers, Robert Schuller, Mother Teresa , and The Pope!

Tapes and CDs which contain what the pastor considers ungodly music are also on the list.

Needless to say it has sparked a firestorm of controversy.  In fact the church’s website was down for some time, perhaps after being overwhelmed by visitors. But can it really be as bad as it sounds?  After all, they don’t plan to burn every kind of Bible… just everything that is not the King James. Versions like the NIV, ASV, NASB,  etc.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t burn Bibles of any kind.  But I kind of feel bad for the poor old boy… He is trying to draw attention to the issue of Bible versions… a fact that the media glosses over with ease.

What if, next Sunday morning you attended a church where the preacher stood up and, reading from “the Bible” said, “You SON OF A BITCH?”  Well that’s exactly what he would say if he was reading from one of the first editions of the Living Bible.

In 1Samuel 20:30 the King James Version reads: “Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman…” But Kenneth Taylor’s Living Bible says, “…You son of a bitch…”

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Being a Christian, I hate to even type that out but that’s exactly what it says.  The editors of that version have since changed the wording because of complaints, but I kid you not, that is exactly what the Living Bible says.

Knowing that, would you still fault him for burning a Living Bible?

I’m not trying to defend Mr. Grizzard’s publicity stunt (which is all this amounts to).  If I was the host of such an event I certainly wouldn’t give an interview to a reporter in my overalls like this Pastor did! I do wish he would have spell checked his flier at least before he sent it out, its littered with misspelled words.


Nevertheless, Christians should be alerted to the issue of Bible versions.

Take the NIV for instance, if you’re an avid reader, you must have noticed that it removes entire verses in some places.

Also in John 1:1 the King James Bible says, “…the Word was God.”  Those of you familiar with the Bible know that “the Word” is a reference to Jesus.

The deity of Christ (Jesus being God in the flesh) is one of the most basic Bible doctrines. But the New World Translation says,”…the Word was a God.”  Thus the NWT, a ‘translation’ put out by the Jehovah Witnesses, denies the deity of Christ.

There are many other examples I could list but time fails me.  I simply want to say that this man who has been slaughtered by the media, might have his heart in the right place even if his methods are questionable.

WWJD?

Again, I wouldn’t do it myself; but when we ask WWJD, let’s not forget we’re talking about the same Jesus who, when He saw the commercialism in the Temple, “…made a scourge of small cords…” and then “…drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.” (John 2:15-16)

Leave your thoughts and comments.

October 15, 2009 Posted by | Bible, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

THE KING JAMES BIBLE – The Word of The King


Who is as the wise man? and who knoweth the interpretation of a thing? a man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed.  I counsel thee to keep the king’s commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God. Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him. Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?(Eccl 8:1-4)


There are many things in life that we can’t be sure of, but there’s one place you can go to and rejoice in the fact that every verse, every chapter, every jot and every tittle is pure, unadulterated, Truth! (I know we don’t have jots and tittles in English, but the chapter divisions and italicized words don’t even bother me). And that, my friends, is the King James Bible.  I’m not a Greek scholar; I’m not an intellectual by any stretch of the imagination.  My goal tonight is not to woo you or charm you with my wisdom.   I have a simple mind and a simple faith.  But though my faith is simple, it’s sure and steadfast.  And that’s because men of God filled with the Spirit of God have taken the Word of God and taught me the things of God.

Verse 4 is my text verse tonight: “Where the word of a king is, there is power…”

Why do we make such a big deal out of the KJB?  What’s the big deal about which Bible you use?  The most common cop-out I hear is, “Well, my pastor uses such-and-such Bible, so that’s the one I use.”  Can I tell you something?  That’s the reason why there are so many cults in the world!  I believe you should respect the preacher, but the reason so many people are in Hell today is because they listened to what man said and not what God said! Well, I don’t want you to take my word for it; I want to motivate you to do your own study.  After all, ignorance will be no excuse at the judgment seat of Christ!


FIRST OF ALL DIFFERENT VERSIONS ARE DIFFERENT:

Scholars criticize the King James only crowd.  They try to make us out to be retards and overcritical for knit picking or harping on a few words these modern translations change or leave out People talking about the different versions say, “Well, it says the same thing, just in a different way.” But can you imagine changing one word in the Constitution? Instead of “We the People of the…” What if it read, “We White People of the…”


What if we omitted one word from our First Amendment?

Instead of “Congress shall make NO law…” It would be “Congress shall make law respecting an establishment of religion…

What about our Second Amendment?

Instead of “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” What if we changed that to: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be allowed.” I think it’s obvious that different versions of the Bible say different things, use different words.


SECONDLY, THE KJB ISSUE AFFECTS YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN:

Fruitland Seminary (rhymes with cemetery) has been touted as one of the Southern Baptist Convention’s most conservative schools.   (And I’m going to get on Independent Baptist Colleges here in a minute so hold on.) But a young man named Phillip Luther started school at Tabernacle this year (2005?).  He had gone to Fruitland the year before and the first thing (I believe it was) his Theology teacher handed out was a sheet of paper titled: “REASONS THE KING JAMES VERSION IS NOT THE BEST TRANSLATION.”  His teacher’s name was Dr. Carlisle Sanford. I mention his name because I hope somebody tells him I said he is a LIAR and he’ll give an account one day for misleading those young men and women.  Jesus said it’d be better for you to drown like Lacy Peterson, with a millstone around your neck, than to offend one of His little children.

Dr. Sanford’s 1st Lie: “INCREASED KNOWLEDGE OVER THE LAST 400 YEARS CONCERNING THE BIBLICAL WORLD AND THE ORIGINAL HEBREW AND GREEK TEXTS HAVE RENDERED MANY OF THE KJV RENDERINGS OBSOLETE.”


First of all, he’s never seen the “original” Hebrew or Greek because they don’t exist.  (So, if “the original Hebrew and Greek texts” are his final authority – then he has no final authority – he has no Bible.) But we do have copies of copies of the original autographs. And 85% of the over 5,000 extant (existing) Mss fall into the Received Text (Textus Receptus) category. In other words, the King James Bible and the Text that underlies it, is supported by more manuscripts (that actually exist), than any modern version that was ever burped up out of Hell.

But I think we’re missing the big picture here! Daddy always told me “Son, follow the money!”  The King James Bible isn’t copyrighted and these big publishing companies can’t make any money off it.   So they come out with a new version. And when the copyright runs out on their new versions, they come out with a New, New Version. I’m telling you, they’re greedy, of filthy lucre.  I Believe I’ll Stay With The Old Time Way. I just like it!  I’m not picking up nothing else – if for no other reason – I’m not about to learn John 3:16 all over again.

I realize that the New Testament was written in Greek.  But, if Jesus had spoken perfect King James English it wouldn’t add to my faith one bit.   God has preserved His Words in English. And if you have a King James Bible, you have a copy of the very Words of God.  I do not believe it lost anything in translation and I certainly don’t believe we need another version.

If we laid all the Bible experts end to end they’d still never reach a conclusion.  Nothing is wrong studying Greek and Hebrew but I do get upset when a man starts “correcting” my Book.  I feel like Billy Sunday, he said “When the latest scholarship says one thing and the Word of God another, the latest scholarship can go plumb to Hell for all I care!” We fuss at Charismatics for speaking in tongues but the average Baptist preacher refers back to the Greek so much, the sign outside might as well say ‘Pentecostal’.  And the truth is 99.9% of them couldn’t carry on a conversation in Modern Greek if their lives depended on it.  You know they’re just quoting what some egg sucking, pencil pushing, “scholar” says anyhow.  But without fail, Sunday after Sunday, congregations are oohed and ahhed by their pastor’s “knowledge” of the Biblical languages!

Nowadays, seems like every time I turn around they’re coming out with a new Bible of some kind! But after 600+ Bibles in the English language – do we really need another one?   I could understand if there were 5 or 6 or maybe even 10 or 20 different English Bibles – but 600?   You would have to be a fool to believe that every 1.4 years the English language changes so much that we need a whole new Bible.

Well if Fruitland is among the cream of the crop I’d hate to see the cob they come off of! But, I’ll move on, because the problem isn’t limited to Southern Baptists. One of the books I had to buy and read at the Independent Baptist College I attend(ed) was A General Introduction to the Bible, by Geisler and Nix.  On Pg 43 of this textbook, talking about the original Hebrew and Greek texts, it says: “…some errors of copyists have obviously crept into the text.”  And in a footnote, the author goes on to list those “obvious” errors.

(I gave the congregation a handout listing the “supposed” contradictions along with a “very simple” explanation of them.  I may post that handout later).   That made me so mad, I had a hunting knife right beside me, and I stabbed that thing, I tore the pages out, I kicked it across the room – then I remembered I still had homework to do in it. I know that makes me sound like an idiot, but what that textbook implied really and truly bothered me.  If there really was a mistake in ONE part of my Bible, then it could be mistaken in other places too!  I’d been up till early in the morning trying to prove to myself that those two verses the textbook listed didn’t really contradict each other.  And when I found the answer, it was so simple, I was angry with myself!) Now, my heart says, along with the Psalmist, “Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.” (Ps 119:140)

Other required reading I had at Tabernacle Baptist College was Our God-Breathed Book by John R. Rice.  I had heard a lot of good things about John R. Rice so when I came to page 376 I was a little disappointed when learned there were no perfect translations. But one encouraging thing about it, on page 382, I learned the American Standard Version could “correct” the “mistakes” in my King James Bible. Isn’t that a blessing?  (Sarcasm is just another service I offer.)

The whole problem is Scholars are too quick to assume that the Bible has errors and they aren’t willing approach it out from the standpoint of faith. For instance, they believe we should treat the Bible as any other book in order to show unbelievers it’s really above other books.   But by doing that we’re trying to convert unbelievers by the strange method of participating in their unbelief.   Even if we’re successful in the end, we’re still justifying the ungodly means.   But without faith it’s impossible to please God! Rom 14:23 – “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin”  If I cannot take the Bible in my hand and by faith say this is the preserved Word of God, then it is sin.  My motive is to get you to appreciate what God has done for us in giving us the King James Bible.  It should motivate us to engulf ourselves in the pages of Scripture.

REASONS WHY WE NEED OUR BIBLE:

First of all, you can’t even get saved without the pure Word of God!  1Peter 1:23 “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”  In Matthew 13 Jesus told about how a man sowed good seed in his field, but his enemy came in at night and sowed tares.

I studied those tares out.   Initially, when they first come up, they look the same as the wheat.

And that’s always been the Devil’s Mode of Operation. – Deception by Imitation! The devil isn’t concerned with destroying the Word of God, half as much as he is replacing the Word of God.  But if you want people to get saved, you’ll sow the Good Seed. Secondly, the Bible will keep you from sin. Psalm 119:11  “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book.

The Bible will give you Strength. When God led the children of Israel through the wilderness, they would have starved to death out there, but He gave them bread from Heaven.   When Israel found this bread on the ground, they took one look at and said to themselves, “Huh?”- and so they named it, “Manna.”  “Manna” means “what in the world is this stuff?”

When I talk to some people about the King James Bible, do you know what they say?   “Well, I just can’t understand all those words” or “ It’s so hard to read…” But if you’d just spend half as much time reading the Bible, as you do watching television and reading Cosmo; I believe God would open that book up and show you great and mighty things which you know not!  Hey!  There’s nothing spiritual about being stupid!

Our problem is we’re too much like Israel.   They got tired of Bread from Heaven.  They said it was “Too old fashioned” for them – but the real problem was they wanted flesh! They were being fed, in fact they were eating the very best God had to offer!     Israel just didn’t like what was cooking!  If that aint a picture of mankind I don’t know what is!  We could care less what’s good for us – Just make us feel good –give us flesh!

You may not like the King James Bible; – it treats you rough, just like life does.

But in it you’ll find sixty-six books of the Power of God. When you open this Bible you’re breaking open the Bread of life!   It’ll give you what you need to walk through this desert land.  Jesus said, “I AM that bread life!”  What can Jesus do?  He and He alone can satisfy that hunger you have deep down inside!  “O taste and see that the LORD is good…” Psalm 34:8.

Let me just be plain: you may read the King James Bible and find something that’s wrong.  But the defect is not the Bible – there’s something wrong with YOU. If find something wrong, you must be reading the Queen James. I believe I have, the plenary-verbal, inspired, infallible, inerrant, Words of God, preserved in the English language and it’s called the King James Bible. I do not believe the King James is merely a good translation. – It IS the Word of God. I believe the Genesis account of creation was a literal six-day period.  I believe that because of sin man is eternally separated from God and already under condemnation.   I believe, that though many animal sacrifices were made in the Old Testament, not one single sin was ever purged by the blood of bulls and goats! (Heb 10:4) I believe God is a righteous, thrice-Holy God, Who must execute judgment upon the ungodly.  Yet I know that I know that I know, that there is a fountain filled with blood underneath which man can find mercy and shelter from the wrath of God.

I admit, I don’t understand every single verse in the Bible, but I do believe it. And we’re not called to be understanders but believers. If God said it, it doesn’t matter who believes it; that settles it.   I’ve never seen Heaven, but I believe there is one.  I’ve never seen Hell, but I believe there is one.  How do I know that?  Because the Bible says so!   How do I know I’m saved?   Because the Bible says so!  But of all the things in this world: the most profound, heart warming, thing in my life is being able to sing – without a doubt in my mind:

“Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

For The Bible Tells Me So!”

In conclusion, let me say this to my crowd:  I’m talking to the independent, fundamental, Hell-raising, God honoring, Christ exalting, home-schooled, breastfed, women-don’t-work, King-James-only-and-only-King-James, Bible believing, Baptists.  Listen to me!  So what if you’re King James only, what difference does it make what Bible you don’t read?

We’ve got all the outward stuff down pat but we must raise the bar.  The world has a right to look at us and see an outliving of the indwelling Christ!  Unfortunately, many in our ranks carry a King James Bible and live a New American Standard life.

I used to challenge my Sunday School kids – I’d told them “if you’re such big Christians I dare you to carry a Scofield Bible under your arm all day at school.”  The very idea seemed to send cold chills up their spines.  Well, I used to do that.  Nowadays I’m tickled to death if they even bring a Bible to church. But I wonder how many of you parents have even read your Bible since Sunday? How many of you have devotions with your family? Did you know, you prove what you believe by what you do? Why should your kids think you believe the Bible – you never read it? Jesus said, “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63.  If that’s so, how can you live the Spirit-filled Life, without reading His Words?

Hey most of us don’t have a problem with plenary verbal inspiration.   We have a problem with plenary verbal obedience.  We can read a newspaper from front to back and never put it down – but if we read two chapters of the Bible we think we’re God-fearing, Christ-honoring Christians.  I think we might all need to beg God’s forgiveness for being so lackadaisical when it comes to reading His Word.

October 28, 2008 Posted by | Bible, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment