Dearly Friends & Supporters:
August 11, 2013
Greetings in the wonderful name of the Lord Jesus Christ! Thank you for your faithful and constant prayers for our ministry. Recently, I revised our statement of faith for the purpose of strengthening it and firmly shoring up our beliefs for the purpose of unity and continuity within our Vision2020Asia membership.
Two cannot walk together unless they be agreed
(Amos 3:3; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
As the lines become more and more blurred I think it is very important to stand firm upon our convictions. The definition of conviction is "a fixed or firm belief: No clever argument, no persuasive fact or theory could make a dent in his conviction, the rightness of his position." We read in Isaiah 54:2, "Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes". Vision2020Asia continues to lengthen our cords into other nations. As we do so, I believe that we also need to strengthen our stakes. The "stakes" are God's promises in His holy Word, the Bible. The content of this email in no way is intended to be divisive or hurtful towards anyone. The attached Vision2020Asia Statement of Faith is ours only. Since our ministry is very broad, I want to be very clear in our doctrinal beliefs, position and convictions. I surely trust that clarifying our position, doctrinal beliefs and convictions will not cause any offense to anyone. We want to be very clear as to where we stand so that there is complete unity within our ranks, (Philippians 1:27b). To my knowledge, the vast majority of those already working with us on the foreign field hold these same beliefs and convictions. Those working with Vision2020Asia
are required to sign a Declaration of Agreement.
As you may know, we live in a day of great confusion and compromise on every hand. For a long time a war has been waging in our fundamental circles regarding the KJV and other translations. The Word of God is the basis and root of all that we believe. For this reason, I am reattaching in this email, for our online readers, Dr. Rick Flanders article which I used in my book New Carts or Old Paths, "Why We Use the KJV". My book was released in 2010. Dr. Flanders article is the most common sense and practical article that I have ever read on the KJV subject. I reprinted this article in its entirety with Dr. Flanders permission.
I am greatly concerned about the slippage [compromise] taking place all across our English speaking world especially in what were once called fundamental churches. Interestingly, the very ministries in most cases who are adopting the "new carts" are the very ones who have moved away from the KJV only position. Almost without exception, those who have done so have weakened their standards, changed their music and in most cases they are moving towards a hyper-Calvinistic position, three of the five topics covered in my book. Are these changes just an accident? I think not! In my opinion, our nation is under the judgment of God. I personally believe that the root cause that has brought God’s judgment to our nation is the rebelliousness of our age that is being displayed by God’s people in these so-called “emerging churches” with their worldliness and carnal attitudes. God’s promise is sure, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). The judgment falling upon our nation is not because of the lost but it is a direct result of God’s people’s willful rebellion in choosing to live, look and act like the world (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1)
Simply put, our ministry desires to follow the "old paths". I have no desire to go down the road of worldliness and compromise or adopt a "limited atonement" viewpoint. It seems that one of the surest ways to do so would be to adopt one of the more modern translations of the scriptures which seem to be much more accommodating to social drinking, carnal and worldly music and in general a lowering of Biblical standards both morally and spiritually. Satan is no fool and he knows that the best way to corrupt the fruit is to dilute, pollute and corrupt the seed. Jesus said, Lu 8:11 "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God." One example of Satan’s deception can be found The New International Version (NIV) is one of the most popular and more modern translations used by a large majority of people today. Proverbs 30:5 in the KJV says, "Every word of God is pure". 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God". If "every" word of God is pure and "All" scripture is given by inspiration of God then how is it that the NIV translators have removed or changed more than 60,000 words in their modernistic translation?
For just a little comparison of what I am trying to say about the NIV versus the KJV by a young lady, Viktorya Hale go online to: http://voices.yahoo.com/king-james-version-kjv-vs-international-version-351537.html and carefully read her article. Although, I do not know her and may not agree with all of her assessments or interpretations her article is very enlightening. It clearly shows how that in just one chapter of the Bible, Acts 2, in comparison to the KJV, the translators of the NIV have diluted, polluted and even corrupted the exact meaning of God's Word. Rick Flanders in his attached article explains the difference between the methods of translation used by the KJV translators and the translators of the NIV. Personally, I want a word for word formal equivalency translation and not some individual personal interpretation or ideas.
Recently, I attended a local Pastors fellowship and I was introduced to two small books by Dr. James Sightler, son of the late Harold B. Sightler. His books are available at http://www.sightlerpublications.com/bookstore/bookstore1.htm . For those who would like to delve deeply into this subject, his 380 page book “A Testimony Founded For Ever the King James Bible Defended in Faith and History” is also available online at Sightler Publications. Dr. Sightlers books are all very well documented with footnotes and quotations. His 380 page book has 547 footnotes to verify his accuracy. He has researched this subject for 12 years and although a medical doctor, he is an authority, especially on Westcott and Hort. I have learned so much and I am convinced that the KJV is God’s preserved Word for the English speaking world today. I have and will use nothing else. Even though I have always held to the superiority of the KJV I have come now to the conviction of exactly what our revised statement of faith now says in this regard [the 2nd and 3rd paragraph newly added],
.......that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the verbally inspired Word of the Living God; that they are inerrant in the original writings; that the Old and New Testament are to be considered the supreme and final authority for creation, faith, conduct and all matters pertaining to this life and the life to come. (Psalm 119:89; Prov. 3:5; Isa.8:20; Isa. 40:7-8; Matt. 24:35; II Peter 1:19-21; II Timothy 3:16-17).
…… that God has promised to preserve His true and perfect Word for all generations. We believe that He has fulfilled His promise by preserving the very words of the inspired prophets in the Masoretic Hebrew text of the Old Testament canon and the Textus Receptus (or Byzantine) Greek text of the New Testament canon. (Psa. 12:6-7; Psa. 19:7-10; 119:89 & 160).
…… that the word-by-word equivalent of these divinely preserved Hebrew and Greek texts is the King James Version of the Bible, and that it is the preserved Word of God in the English language. Our conviction is based upon the historical record of its translation, its accuracy, its endurance, and its miraculous manifestation of divine power. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:21; Mat. 24:35; 1 Pet. 1:23; Isa. 40:8, 59:21).
I would like to reiterate the four reasons given in the last sentence of why we believe the KJV is the preserved Word of God for the English speaking world, "Our conviction is based upon the historical record of its translation, its accuracy, its endurance, and its miraculous manifestation of divine power." I will leave it go at that since I do not wish to get into a debate on this subject. If we don't stand for something we will fall for anything. Since I am the founder and director of Vision2020Asia I choose to stand upon the KJV only for our ministry. In doing so, I am not saying that God cannot use other translations. He can. Even though the other translations may be diluted, polluted or even corrupted God will honor His Word, as long as, it is His Word and not the words or ideas of another. It is my desire to use a translation that I KNOW I can depend upon for historicity, accuracy, endurance and its miraculous manifestation of divine power. The KJV has proven to be such a translation. Praise God!
Since our Vision2020Asia Expanded Statement of Faith along with IGM’s Position Statement will be published in our materials I am required according to our mission policy to give the following disclaimer.
“Views, opinions, and attitudes stated may not always reflect those of International Gospel Missions: A Baptist Mission Agency.” ......................................................................................
Please pray for my upcoming trip to India October 8 – November 19th. Please also pray for the needs associated with our upcoming conference November 1 – 4 in Dimapur, Nagaland. This conference will be the first conference where we are targeting the rising 2014 graduates from the numerous Bible Colleges and institutes in the city of Dimapur. It is our prayer that scores of these rising graduates will present their bodies as living sacrifices to take the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the regions beyond.
Pray also for Golla Jayaraj who arrives in the USA on September 4 through October 22nd. Pray that God will protect him and give him good success as he shares his ministry in some of the US churches. I will be taking Jayaraj to New England September 18th through October 4th. May God continue to bless you.
Brother Jim Starr
James W. Starr, DD