Some days you come away feeling very good about the knowledge of some brethren, and their strong stand for the truth. Some days, not so much. For me, October 2, 2016 was one of those not so much ones. Most of you who read this article knows the heresy held by some that all we do in life is worship. One can only imagine how twisted the thinking of one is who holds such a false position might be until he actually runs into someone who holds it and explains himself. Then he knows, at least in that one case, just how twisted his thought process is. That happened to me.
The argument presented to me, the best I could understand the ridiculous thinking and retell it, went something like this. “The only act of worship we do when we assemble together that is directed to God is the Lord’s Supper. All the rest of that worship, the singing, the praying and the preaching, well, that is serving one another. We serve one another every day, therefore everything we do is worship.”
Somehow it escaped him that the implication of his position is that we worship one another. I made the statement to this particular brother so that I would not mistake him, that not everything we do in life is worship. He affirmed that it is.
Where in the world would he get an idea like that? Well, he may have been convinced by someone else’s argument. Or perhaps he did not hear it from someone else. Perhaps he got it from the version of the Bible that he uses. That version reads in Romans 12:1, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your spiritual worship.” What version of the Bible is that? It is the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible, which has become the darling of so many.
It amazes me that over 40 years ago when the NIV came out three of the most important arguments against that pitiful product was that there is a direct contradiction between Matthew 5:17 and Ephesians 2:15, Fornication in Matthew 19:9, and other places, was replaced with “sexual immorality,” and the Romans 12:1 passage rendered latreia as “worship” rather than “service” as both the KJV and the ASV properly do. The English Standard Version of the Bible makes all three of those same mistakes. Add to that its Calvinistic rendering of Rom. 10:10, and in my mind it does not belong in the class room, but rather in the same file as the NIV, File 13!
Why do I lay the “everything in life is worship error” this brother spouted to his Bible version? Because not only does he use that version, almost all of those in that congregation except for some of the older members use it, too. How do I know that? Because I had been attending that congregation for several weeks, and expected to begin preaching for them on October 16. When a teacher in class called upon someone to read some passage of scripture, it was read from the ESV almost every time.
I might add that, since error after error spewed from the mouth of this particular brother who basically runs that small congregation, I left his house after hearing this nonsense (and to my discredit, not as self-controlled as I should have been), having made the decision and telling him they could find someone else to do their preaching.
Thirty, 40, 50 years ago, and even longer, brethren raised red flags about the modern versions, showing the error that is in them. They warned and argued and wrote articles and books, and convinced brethren to stay with the KJV or the ASV, and rightly so. So far as I can tell, we have let our guard down on this issue, and there is no telling how great a price the church and individual Christians will pay for it. We had better take up the versions fight again, and we need to start with the English Standard Version.