Tue | Nov 13, 2018

Not true! Adventist ministerial secretary says the Church uses other versions of the Bible

Published:Saturday | April 15, 2017 | 12:00 AMOrantes Moore


In recent months, the Northeast Jamaica Conference (NEJC) of Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Churches has come under fire in St Mary from three former members who claim the organisation is flawed, intolerant, and unwilling to modernise.

At a recent press conference, NEJC administrators denied the charges and appeared particularly perturbed by a statement one of the trio, schoolteacher-turned-entrepreneur Kadrian Thomas, told Family and Religion back in February.

Thomas claimed that after searching for, discovering, and contemplating new Bible scriptures, he began thinking differently and more deeply about Christianity. He said: "I realised that I had been reading with a limited mindset, a mindset where we are taught the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible is the only true version."

However, the NEJC's ministerial secretary, Garfield Manderson, denounced the comments and accused Thomas of misrepresenting the organisation.

He said: "It is totally untrue to say the KJV is the only version of the Bible that we use, and that is not the position of the church. The SDA church advises its pastors to use all versions, as long as they are true to the text. We recommend that you use all the versions, including the New International Version and the KJV. As a matter of fact, we'll even use the patios version, as long as it is true to the text.

"In recent times, you have a plethora of studies that show up the NIV, the New King James Version, and other versions, which really and truly shed light on the Bible. However, there are a majority of our members who prefer to use the KJV because that is what they were grown on, and it has been providing spiritual guidance to the church for millennia. But there are other versions as well."


Forbid him not!


On the topic of religious intolerance, in Luke (9:49), Jesus talks of a healer who had been casting out demons in His name, and criticises the disciples for rejecting the man, simply because they did not know him. Jesus tells them: "Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us."

Similarly, Manderson insisted the SDA church in St Mary acknowledges some alternative Christian ideologies, but noted that if members wanted the organisation to incorporate new ideas, they would have to follow a very specific procedure.

He explained: "While it is true they are at liberty to voice their opinions, if what they advocate is in contravention of the church's fundamental beliefs, the church is at liberty to throw their ideas out, but not the men.

"We have not really been at the point where we can properly vet their new teachings, and of course, there is a process they have to go through, and I'm not sure if that process has been followed."