Continuing our examination of Expressive Individualism and its particular manifestation in the Multiple Version Only Movement, we pick up again with Pastor Ben Wright’s post that we discussed yesterday. Pastor Wright observes,
“As Jonathan Leeman puts it in One Assembly, there are unintended consequences to our churches’ expressions both of our members’ individual preferences and our pastoral preferences. He writes, ‘The devices of the marketplace aren’t exactly conducive to encouraging people to eat in another guy’s restaurant. You’ll never see a McDonald’s commercial celebrating their common cause with Burger King in solving the problem of hunger’ (113). We’ve unintentionally undermined our partnerships with our sister churches and with the mission Jesus entrusted to us.”
We are in agreement with Pastor Wright on this point, and to drive the point home with greater clarity regarding the problem that is Multiple Version Only-ism [MVO] let us co-op Wright’s words above and make a few minor changes.
“There are unintended consequences to our churches’ expressions both of our members’ individual preferences of the version they read and our pastoral preferences regarding the version he reads. The devices of the marketplace aren’t exactly conducive to encouraging people to read another guy’s version. You’ll never see an ESV advertisement celebrating their common cause with the Message in solving the problem of biblical illiteracy.’ We’ve unintentionally undermined our partnerships with our sister churches and with the mission Jesus entrusted to us when we prefer Multiple Versions Only.”
We see again, as we saw yesterday, that the formula is the same. All that needed to be changed was the variable. Where in the original quote the variable in question was “preferences in worship” and in the modified quote I have changed the variable to “preferences in choosing versions of the Bible.” In sum, the MVO movement boldly calls for the proliferation of versions and accepts such a proliferation as a device of the markets. As a result, ESV publishers don’t encourage people to read the KJV or the NIV. ESV publishers encourage people to read ESV’s. Then the believing community is encouraged to embrace as many Bibles as they like and all based on their given preferences.
On the point of preference Wright concludes his article this way,
“The cancer is the tendency in your people – and yourself – to think we need our church to express what we prefer, what makes us comfortable. When our comfort undermines our mission, it’s an idol. Kill that idol. But save the body.”https://www.9marks.org/article/do-9marks-churches-foster-expressive-individualism/
We could not more heartily agree. At StandardSacredText.com we argue that the Rule, the Holy Scripture, “chooses” you by the power of the Spirit speaking through those words to the people of God who accept those words, not by preference, but by faith to be the word of God to the English-speaking Church. In like manner we have also argued in the same vein as the quote above, the comforts and preferences of the MVO position have undermined the mission of the Church [see yesterday’s post] and as such are idols to be killed in order to preserve the body of Christ.