The Gaslighting of the American Church

Gaslighting is being told that what is conspicuous is not at all what is happening. A reporter standing in front of a burning building and saying that the riot occurring before your eyes is “mostly peaceful” is an attempt at gaslighting. Gaslighting is a methodology of authoritarian regimes to cause people to question what they see and accept whatever scenario they are being fed.

What the Church has witnessed for over 400 years is the spiritual fruit of adhering to the King James Bible. Every protestant denomination, congregational, presbytery, or episcopalian have for 4 centuries considered the King James Bible the sacred word of God in English. During this time, by God’s grace, the most extraordinary and exceptional of nations was founded, the United States of America. Now we are being told that 400 years of God’s blessing through adherence to the King James Bible never happened because of the failures of the Greek Received Text tradition. The sweetness and nourishment of the spiritual water for four centuries proves the purity of the well. As Carl Trueman has pointed out, the modern self has triumphed over societal and ecclesiastical institutions, the most egregious of these institutions being the Church which finds its foundation on and authority derived from, the word of God.

In an Orwellian spirit, the modern church goer is compelled to reject what they know to be true for what the authoritarian theological and ecclesiastical elite are telling them, and, because advocates of this critical gaslighting possess information dominance the common church goer has few options other to believe what they are being told. We are witnessing a censoring and erasing of the past, and the authoritarian imposition of a new “day one” from which all biblical analysis originates. I say authoritarian because of the post-critical disdain for pre-critical exegetical and theological formulation, the contempt held for Reformation era theological codifiers, and the derision pointed at the King James Bible. All bibles, except the King James Bible, are part of the panoply of multiple version onlyism.

What then is to be done when the answer to the question is conspicuous but there is a strident prejudice against the obvious, when absurd statements like, the burden of proof rests with identifying the TR with the autographs, when up until Warfield the every Protestant denomination, the believing community, American culture, and academy recognized the King James Bible and TR as the word of God? The question itself indicates the success of modern critical information dominance to erase four centuries of theological and ecclesiastical history from the mind of the questioner. So thorough has been the gas-lighting of post-critical information that reasonable appeals to the pre-critical past is like pointing to a blank slate and saying, “can you not see it?” The answer is no, they cannot see, their perceptual set beginning in the late 19th century, the historic limit imposed by post-critical information dominance.

For example, when Mark Ward says he spoke to multiple resources and together no one could locate any reference to Psalm 12:7 referring to the preservation of words prior to King James Version Onlyism, we should all take this observation to heart. For him this was not lax scholarship. After all the resources cited to the contrary, if his historical context for the theological and exegetical formulation began in the late 19th century, then such a finding is understandable. Ward’s paper is a current exhibit that the late 19th century is where theological and exegetical history begins for the information dominant. I surmise that if Ward finishes his paper, he will simply double down on the “fact” that there are no credible arguments for the preservation of “words” in Psalm 12:7, or perhaps, he will not finish his paper because it would require him to acknowledge the credibility of pre-critical theological and exegetical formulation, thereby breaking ranks with monolithic information dominance of which he is a part. Ward is a perfect example of the next generation of scholars who have bound their academic careers, not to critical investigation and discovery, but to the status quo of the information dominant. The thing ultimately to be forgotten is not Reformation theological codification, but the One, Jesus Christ. A scripture inaugurated in ~1881 is connected to the 1st century only on the word of those who possess information dominance. Christ and Christianity will be what the elite say He and it is.  

Published by Dr. Peter Van Kleeck, Sr.

Dr. Peter William Van Kleeck, Sr. : B.A., Grand Rapids Baptist College, 1986; M.A.R., Westminster Theological Seminary, 1990; Th.M., Calvin Theological Seminary, 1998; D. Min, Bob Jones University, 2013. Dr. Van Kleeck was formerly the Director of the Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, Grand Rapids, MI, (1990-1994) lecturing, researching and writing in the defense of the Masoretic Hebrew text, Greek Received Text and King James Bible. His published works include, "Fundamentalism’s Folly?: A Bible Version Debate Case Study" (Grand Rapids: Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, 1998); “We have seen the future and we are not in it,” Trinity Review, (Mar. 99); “Andrew Willet (1562-1621: Reformed Interpretation of Scripture,” The Banner of Truth, (Mar. 99); "A Primer for the Public Preaching of the Song of Songs" (Outskirts Press, 2015). Dr. Van Kleeck is the pastor of the Providence Baptist Church in Manassas, VA where he has ministered for the past twenty-one years. He is married to his wife of 43 years, Annette, and has three married sons, one daughter and eighteen grandchildren.

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