If you follow me on Twitter, then you know that I was out of town last week. My family went on an epic adventure that found us driving from Nashville, TN to Blowing Rock, NC and then eventually Tybee Island, GA.
Along the way, we drove by something I’d never seen before. I’m not talking about “the world’s largest fireworks store.” I’ve seen roughly 26 of those, every fireworks store is the world’s largest. Nope, this was something I saw on a church sign.
And I took a picture to show you. Here it is:
When I saw it, here are the thoughts that went through my head:
1. Whoa, all these years, I’ve been living under the belief that “NIV” stands for “New International Version.”
2. They really hate the NIV Bible.
3. Maybe they don’t hate that version of the Bible. Maybe they hate things that are “International.” Does that mean they hate IHOP, the “International” House of Pancakes?
4. If they do, I bet they’re staunch Waffle House supporters. And supporters of the KJV.
5. Imagine if there was a Waffle House King James Version Bible, the WHKJV? If they ever released that, I’d get mine scattered, smothered, covered, chunked, diced, peppered, capped and topped. Probably even throw in “country” on mine which most people don’t even know about. (That means sausage gravy for you folks who didn’t grow up in the South like me. South Massachusetts, that is.)
6. Did I really make my family turn around while driving on vacation so that I could take a photo of a church sign? Yes, yes I did.
7. There are dozens of versions of the Bible and these folks didn’t say which one they loved, just which one they didn’t like. What if you’re a visitor, you see that sign and think, “Hooray, those folks don’t get down with the NIV either!” You march in on your first Sunday morning, shout out “KJV in the house!” thinking you’ve finally found some KJV brethren and it turns out they’re a church that loves the Douay–Rheims 1899 edition? That would be awkward.
8. If they put this message on their sign this week, what are they going to put up next week? Maybe, “Come with a crock pot or don’t come at all.” Or “Hymns are for Him, Worship Songs are Worship Wrong.”
9. What if this is just one grumpy person putting up these signs and the pastor is going to drive by and think, “Oh good grief!” I bet they’ll take away that person’s keys to the letter closet.
As I worked through these many, many deep thoughts, I realized there was one I left out. I prefer the NIV 1984 version. I never got on board with the TNIV. I didn’t make the jump. I might not make a sign for my front yard that says, “TNIV Totally Non-Inspired Version,” but I still get a little hung up about thinking 1984 is the best version.
How about you, what version of the Bible do prefer?