Friday, May 20, 2011

TV and the KJV

I was reading this short article in the New Yorker, celebrating 400 years of the King James Bible and its contribution to the English language, culture, etc., and was struck by how sometimes "high" and "low" culture intersect on strange topics, for different reasons.

Laestadians will often give different reasons for their King James Onlyism, sometimes tipping a hat to its beautiful language, but of course that is not the reason they insist on it. I've heard people say that the Kings James version was inspired and protected by God in ways that later English versions were not. Many of those same people would be shocked to learn that the original 1611 King James Version contained the apocrypha and also the astrological signs of the Zodiac.

When I was in college I took a class on media and I remember the professor saying, "99% of all households in the United States have at least one television. The other 1% are either college professors or religious fanatics." Having been raised in the 1% of non-college professors, it intrigued me that academic elites and religious fundamentalists would share a rare behavior for different reasons.

What are some other examples of this?

2 comments:

  1. I can't think of any other examples, but I believe the OALC limiting themselves to only the KJV is another one of their ways to maintain control over what their people know and learn. Don't they teach that you can only gain understanding of the bible through the interpretation of the preachers? The bible is God's inspired word for mankind. It's His way of communicating His truth to us. It's daily food for our souls; we starve spiritually without it. And it's through God's word and prayer that we truly come into relationship with Him. God loves us, and He wants us to connect with Him personally through His word. You do not have to be a preacher to understand the bible. God sent us His Spirit to teach His truths to us, and all we have to do is ask for understanding. God's Spirit is a perfect teacher, unlike the preachers. Many, if not all, OALs have been raised to believe that they are saved by going to church. How sad. If you are OAL and you believe you are right, test what you've been taught by reading your bible daily and asking God to teach you His truths.
    I pray Lord that you set the OAL church free. Reveal to them the errors of their teaching. Make you, Jesus, the focus of their faith. Help them to know that they can have a personal and real relationship with you. Help them to have victory over their sin and joy in their heart for the finished work you did on the cross. Help them to understand that you see the heart and character of all people. Help them to understand that they are not an elite group of people, but that your grace and gift is offered to all who believe and accept it. Help them Lord, because some day they will stand before you and give an account for why they put more trust in their church, preachers, and religion than they did YOU. In Jesus' name, amen. Jackie K.

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  2. Hi Tomte! Haven't posted for a long time and I see there hasn't been a response to this post, so here are some thoughts:

    Television was called a "vast wasteland" in a speech by FCC chairman Newton Minow 50 years ago. This quote (from Wikipedia) still applies today even with all the variety available, in my opinion: "When television is good, nothing — not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers — nothing is better.
    But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite each of you to sit down in front of your own television set when your station goes on the air and stay there, for a day, without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.
    You will see a procession of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly commercials — many screaming, cajoling, and offending. And most of all, boredom. True, you'll see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few. And if you think I exaggerate, I only ask you to try it."

    I don't know when you went to college, but I'm pretty sure more people than that narrow demographic is turning away from television today. For one thing, there are more choices with the internet and video availability. I personally know educated, thinking people who are raising their children without television and loving it. It's the ultimate counter-cultural thing to do, and families are better for it. In fact, the days of traditional television viewing may soon be over because of the streaming venues available via the internet.

    That said, I rely on television (satellite) for news, music, and entertainment. I read books for educational and spiritual benefit. I think television is worse than the internet in many ways because you don't have to do anything but sit there and let your brain zone out. The internet is more interactive. And I'll always love books - and not the Kindle kind :-).

    Hope everyone is enjoying summer!

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