TOLEDO, OH - Great Lakes Independent Bible Church (GLIBC) has been a KJV-only church since its founding in 1927. In fact, there have been two things that GLIBC has never compromised on: the gospel and the KJV - at least until July of this year.
While the gospel is still the central focus of the church, its stance on the KJV appears to have changed. Pastor Wayne Warren told TBNN, "The folks here at GLIBC really have a desire to be as biblical as possible. We were all under the assumption that the KJV was the perfectly written word of God. Then, last July, a new member of our church literally rocked our world."
That new member, Mark Stanton, reportedly told the leadership at GLIBC that the KJV was not the original word of God. Mr. Stanton's bombshell was that the scriptures were originally written in Hebrew and Greek.
"We quickly realized," stated Pastor Warren, "that if the KJV was just a translation, then it could not be absolutely perfect. We were stunned and greatly disappointed."
TBNN has learned that within one day of Mr. Stanton's announcement, the deacons of the church called an emergency meeting to decide what to do. After the meeting, the deacon body mailed a letter to the church that announced the following: "Since the bible was originally written in Hebrew and Greek, and we want to be as biblical as possible, we realize that we need to switch to Hebrew and Greek in our services. This coming Sunday, our 8:30 service will be held in Hebrew, while the 11:00 service will be in Greek. We will be selling copies of the Biblia Sacra at the front door."
As you can imagine, things got off to a rocky start. For one thing, no one in the church speaks or reads either Hebrew or Greek. Also, no one knows any Hebrew or Greek songs. During the first Sunday after the change, the services were made up of quite a bit of humming. Few of the members seemed happy about all this. That was in July.
Now that October has rolled around, the church seems resigned to its fate. Pastor Warren indicted that the church has begun offering classes in both Hebrew and Greek. A local rabbi and a Greek Orthodox priest have been hired to teach. The progress is slow, but within about seven years, some of the members might be able to worship in at least one of the services.
For now, though, the main result appears to be confusion. For example, the people will now sing the songs, but they do not know what most of the words mean. When preaching occurs (right now by the same rabbi and Greek Orthodox priest), the members can catch a few words here and there such as "chesed," "adonai," "kurios," or "graphe." However, the main points of the messages are lost.
Not surprisingly, the church's overall membership has declined from 321 to 287 since July.
We did learn of one main benefit that has occurred through all of this. The GLIBC body is now enjoying some wonderful Jewish unleavened bread and Greek wine every time they celebrate the Lord's Supper.
According to a recent church newsletter, "It's not easy being biblical in this post-modern culture; but we're going to do our best. FYI: We will be adding classes in Aramaic beginning after the first of the year. Sign up now for a free book!"