I find this move by this ‘pastor’ as disgusting as you can get.
There is an old, snooty church joke that goes something like this: Miss Smith approaches her pastor, incensed that he has replaced the King James Bible with the New International Version. “Pastor, bring back the King James,” she says. “If it was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me.”
Last week the joke was ignited—literally, at the Halloween book burning sponsored by Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, N.C. The church’s Web site declared the burning to be “a great success.” Works thrown into the flames included those by supposed heretics Billy Graham, Mother Teresa and emergent church guru Brian McLaren. “It was a success because God’s Word was glorified and uplifted,” according to the Web site. Claiming scriptural warrant for the burning, the site quoted Acts: “And many that believed, came and confessed and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts, brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.”
Most disturbing, Scripture itself was burned—onto the pyre flew modern translations of the Bible like those that the woman in the joke deplored. Amazing Grace is a self-proclaimed King James Only church: “We believe that the King James Bible is the Word of God,” says the church’s Web site. “We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God. We believe that the KJV is inspired of God.”
In this, the church in Canton is part of a larger movement that claims the Authorized, or King James Version, of the Bible is the only reliable translation. Indeed, some have even claimed that it is inerrant—because it is based on a superior Greek text. The concerns that animate the King James Only movement have their source in late 19th- and early 20th-century anxieties about German higher criticism of Scripture: Does a text have to be inerrant in order to be reliable? (And within these conversations about which Bible to read are also whispers of another debate: Some fundamentalist co-religionists argue against reading the KJV, on the grounds that King James himself was supposedly gay.)