NIV Ready To Take The Next Step

According to an article by Susan Olasky in the March 29, 1997 issue of World magazine, the New International Version is quietly going "genderneutral." This means words such as; he, man, brothers, and mankind will be replaced with such words as; person, people, brother and sister, and humankind. Larry Walker, one of the 15 members on the Committee for Biblical Translation says, "At the present time, almost everyone is for it (unisex language)."

This unisex language opens the door for women to be in church leadership. In this regard, Gilbert Bilezikian, professor, writer, and a founding elder and influential theologian at the Willow Creek Community Church believes, "There cannot be authentic community as described in the New Testament without the full inclusion of the constituency of members into the ministry, life, and leadership of the group. "In other words, "You can't have a New Testament church without women being in leadership." Willow Creek has had women elders since its founding in 1978. (Willow Creek was the model for the progressive movement among the assemblies.)

The issue is more than just a translation of the Bible. The real issues are "feminism" and "obedience." Willow Creek is an example of those who are willing to set aside Biblical distinctions in order to accommodate women who desire to exercise leadership in the church, and men who lack the conviction and commitment to take a stand against it. While they are ready to supply some rather intellectual explanations for . their departure from Scripture, in reality compromise, appeasement, and expediency become the governing principles rather than obedience to the word of God. (I Sam. 15:23)

Of course many will point to the rapid growth of such churches and attempt to justify such departure from the Word of God. The truth is, there is never justification for such departure. Once again men and women have failed to bring their imaginations (reasonings) into. captivity to the obedience of Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5)

This is simply another step in the apostasy of the professing church. Many may mock such a thought, but the Adversary is clever and knows that the accumulation of such departures produces the same effect as a massive and radical one. In fact, it may produce a greater departure since many will not stand against small changes over time, while a quick and massive departure would receive much more opposition.

The question we each must answer, and each local church must answer is, "Will we stand against such error, or will we take the easier and popular path of compromise, appeasement, and expediency?" Are we ready to be ridiculed and belittled? Remember, God has said, "obedience is better than sacrifice."