I've been mulling over Canada's current state of affairs recently in regards to our PM's stance on abortion, assisted suicide and our homosexual and transgender laws and find myself wavering between anger, frustration and despair. Wondering frequently, "What would Jesus do or say about what is happening in our country?"
What would He do? He would not judge. He would not show disdain. He would not be intimidated by threats from those in powerful positions and He would not be on the side of the politically correct (as evidenced by his tirade in the Temple). Therefore, He would not give in to what is acceptable to society. As a Jew, He would be mindful of the Law but as the Lord and creator of the universe, He would want to get to the truth of the matter like He did with the Samaritan woman, when He very gently confronted her about her sin. He would show compassion for all involved. He would not accuse, nor would He ridicule. He would show love, peace, joy, long-suffering (self-restraint when pushed to anger), kindness, forgiveness and self-control. He would not call someone names. He would not stand on a corner with a sign condemning someone to hell. He would not be hateful in any way shape or form. But He would talk about the issue at hand. So, without judgment, or disdain, anger, or political correctness, let us look at the truth of transgenderism with compassion and love. Using Jesus as our guide, let's talk about it.
If we are speaking the truth in love and are not blinded by political correctness we should start at the root of what is causing such anger for many in regards to the transgendered person. So let's start there. Why are women (not all women, but some women) so against sharing washrooms with men who identify with us? Quite simply we are afraid of sexual predators and pedophiles taking advantage of laws meant to be inclusive to all. Yes, it is true that sexual predators and pedophiles have always been able to get into our washrooms. However, before these new laws we could call the police and have them removed. Now the police have their hands tied if a man claims they are identifying as a woman. So, what are women to do? For if we (particularly those who have endured rape or abuse) voice our concerns over allowing men to walk into our washrooms or locker rooms, we are met with derision and scorned for our supposed transphobia. It is not transphobia that makes a woman wary of a man in their washroom, it is modesty and self-preservation. Of course, those on the left will say that transgenders aren't going to attack women and children. I'm sure they won't, but it isn't those wrestling with their gender we fear. We know that trans people are also attacked and these new laws are as much for their protection as it is for ours. But there have to be safe-guards in place, because as I said, there will be many who will try to take advantage of these new laws. Now those in the LGBT community say that will never happen. But it already has in a number of places (here, here, and here to name a few) and it will continue unless women stand up and voice their concerns. We want to feel accepted and safe too. So the right thing to do is allow us some input into how these laws play out.
Men have been dressing as women for years. They've been doing it so long it's talked about in the Bible. In fact, it's forbidden in the Bible for men to wear women's clothing and for women to wear men's clothing (Deuteronomy 22:5). Of course 2,000 years ago women's garments were all the way to their ankles covering their whole bodies, while a man's garment was to the knees. So for a woman to show her legs would be utterly scandalous. Much like it was at the beginning of the last century.
A woman's garment would also be embossed or embroidered to make it clear it was a woman's garment. Their headdresses were also a different quality and colour. So like today, if a woman's garment was worn by a man it would be noticeable and vice versa. Yet God said anyone who "cross-dressed" was detestable to Him. Perhaps the reason God said He hated anyone who cross-dressed was because they were essentially practising to deceive others. God hates liars so it stands to reason that anyone who practices deception would fall into that category. Since He made a point of addressing cross-dressing in particular it clearly was a problem back then, which indicates it was a sin problem. A choice to rebel against God and not obey His laws.
So even though cross-dressing has been going on for thousands of years, it has stayed relatively under the radar, until Bruce Jenner brought it out in the open. And yes, I "get" why those on the "left" say Bruce Jenner is courageous. It is not an easy thing to announce to the world that a once celebrated sports icon wants to be a woman. It is not an easy thing to then go out in public dressed as one, all while still sounding and looking very much like a man. That does take courage and many have lauded and applauded his actions. Yet, God would say it is sin. So how are Christians supposed to respond to that?
How would Jesus react to Bruce's decision to become Caitlyn? Jesus never sugar-coated anything. If something was on His mind that might offend others, that still wouldn't stop Him. But He had the advantage of being able to see into the heart and mind of a person. He would recognize the truth of the situation and He would call it as He sees it. He knew the Word, because He was the Word (John 1:14). So Jesus would see the heart of Bruce, not his physical appearance. And like it or not, rebellion towards God would be at the heart of the problem. Today, what the Bible calls sin, we call a mental disorder known as gender dysphoria. Like He did with the woman caught in adultery, Jesus would not accuse, judge or do anything but say, "Go and sin no more." Jesus would show Bruce and all transgendered people, compassion and understanding, not ridicule. Yet, those on the left would shout loudly that to be transgendered is not a mental illness and it is certainly not a sin. But God made us male and female. Even science confirms that. This is how God created us. Jesus would see that no matter what Bruce does to change his appearance, nothing would ever change the fact that he was born a man. Jesus would want to heal him and set him on a right path, not enable him as so many are doing.
Bruce says he wants to live as the person he was born to be - a woman - so that he could stop living a lie. But God's Word says the exact opposite. As Caitlyn, Bruce is now living in rebellion against God. And because he came out so publicly, many in the world are rejoicing with him and joining in this rebellion. So much so, that women now find themselves in the ridiculous position of having to fight for the right to be heard, more than 100 years after they fought for that right in the first place. Now washrooms, locker rooms, and change rooms in clothing stores, are all approached with caution because we do not know if the guy dressed in a wig and a dress is really a transgendered person, or a man trying to take advantage of new laws protecting 1% of the population. Until laws are in place that will protect women and children from predators that will take advantage of transgendered laws, our governments need to stop pushing agendas that will, in the long run, only cause division and hurt for both sides.
In the meantime, as Christians, let us show compassion and understanding as Jesus would. Do not rail against people who are so desperately trying to fit into society. Do not judge them and do not call them names. This is not the proper behaviour of a follower of Christ. Instead, show your concern by contacting your appropriate representative in government and let them know you want the same consideration that is being given to transgenders (to provide a safe environment in which to shower or use the washroom) to be given to you. And then pray and leave the rest in the Lord's hands.
Today, when I went to study my Bible I asked the Lord to show me His truths and to keep my eyes, ears and heart open to hearing Him. What I was shown next lead me on a three hour search for answers. This is what happened. I read the following verse in the NKJV edition of the Bible.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Then I read it in the NIV.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation
Notice anything different? An important doctrinal statement is missing in the NIV. The NKJV says that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but are walking according to the Spirit. In other words if you are still sinning (walking according to the flesh) you are still under condemnation. Say what?!? Read them both again carefully. The first one requires an action on our part. A conscious decision to not walk according to the flesh, but to walk according to the Spirit. But according to the NIV (and most modern translations) no one stands condemned who is in Christ Jesus. The NIV has distorted the meaning of this verse so much that for more than twenty years, Christians, myself included, have believed the only thing we need to do to be free from condemnation is believe in Jesus. But according to the KJV and other older versions of the Bible, we are still under condemnation if we continue to sin after believing in Jesus as our Saviour. Is this why Paul said that we should "work out our salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12)? Is this why Jesus said, "Away from me I never knew you" (Matthew 7:21-23)?
When I first became a Christian I mainly used a NIV. My church only used the NIV and the Bibles they had in the pews were all NIV. It has only been in the last ten years or so that I became wary of it. And I only became cautious because I started to dig deeper into Scripture and would from time to time discover discrepancies like the one above. When I started hearing about the "war" between KJV enthusiasts over all modern translations (particularly the RSV and the NIV) I didn't give it much thought. After all, if you are reading your Bible, does it really matter which translation it is? Well . . . I am starting to think that those who love the KJV have a point. When NIV translators (and others) delete relevant passages that actually change doctrinal beliefs, we have a problem. By changing Scripture the NIV translators (who also relied on the RSV) set the standard for future modern translations. So for more than twenty years this blatant alteration changed the doctrine and central teaching of most believers. This is a game-changer, because it is no longer saying, "I'm saved because of Jesus." It is now saying, "If I am a believer and I continue sinning (walking according to the flesh) and not walking according to the Spirit, I am still condemned." Could this be true? How do we verify this? By comparing Scripture to Scripture. 1 John 2:3-6 says, "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked." So then, it is clear we must walk according to the Spirit. But what happens if we stumble and sin? 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Alright, so we have verification that if we sin, confession is needed to be right with God once more. These verses seem to confirm that if we do not walk according to the Spirit, but continue to sin after confessing Jesus as Lord, then we are still under condemnation. For those in the Hyper Grace or Free Grace movements, you need to pay attention to this, because if you don't repent of your sins and confess them, you are walking in accordance with the flesh and its earthly desires. Which means you still stand condemned before the Lord. God will not be mocked. You cannot walk according to the dictates of your flesh and expect God to be happy with that. Matthew 7:21-23 confirms this, "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!"
Getting back to the verses at hand - when I saw the differences in them I immediately went on a search as to why and how it changed and which Bibles changed it. It came as no surprise that most modern translations have left these words out. So how did this happen? What Bible should we trust now and why?
In 1604, soon after James’s coronation as king of England, a conference of churchmen requested that the English Bible be revised because existing translations “were corrupt and not answerable to the truth of the original.” The Great Bible that had been authorized by Henry VIII (1538) enjoyed some popularity, but its successive editions contained several inconsistencies. The Bishops’ Bible (1568) was well regarded by the clergy but failed to gain wide acceptance or the official authorization of Elizabeth. The most popular English translation was the Geneva Bible (1557; first published in England in 1576), which had been made in Geneva by English Protestants living in exile during Mary’s persecutions. Never authorized by the crown, it was particularly popular among Puritans but not among many more-conservative clergymen.
The translators of the NIV used as their source for the New Testament a Greek Text based upon the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus of the fourth century. Both of which were missing huge sections of the New Testament that we know today. It is also known as the Alexandrian Text. It originated in Egypt and represented less than 5% of known Greek Biblical manuscripts, but unfortunately they were considered more authentic because they were “old.”
However, the King James Version of the New Testament manuscripts were copied century after century from earlier ones until they wore out. This text, called the “Received Text” or Textus Receptus (also known as the Byzantine text, Syrian, Antioch, or Koine text) was used in the King James Version. The Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus may be lauded by scholars, but with so many deletions in the text the Textus Receptus is a far better standard to go by than corrupt copies – no matter how old they are.
Jay P. Green, Sr., General Editor and Translator of the Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, states in his preface:
So do yourself a favour and stick to older Bible translations. They are far more reliable.