Permit me to write a few lines in addition to what has been written in the “Beacon Lights” concerning “Some Thoughts on Using You and Your”. I find the discussion most interesting.
I read in my dictionary that the form “thou,” which is the personal pronoun of the second person singular in the nominative case and of which all the other forms of the British dialect are related, is archaic except in some elevated or ecclesiastical prose. Archaic language is “that which is worked by the characteristics of an earlier period, antiquated, current of an earlier time but rare in present-day usage.”
With those definitions in mind, let us remember, first that we hold to the King James version of God’s Word, which contains this language. Therefore, for us to more fully grasp Scripture and enjoy the blessings thereby, we must use “thou” and all the forms included therein since our prayers are essentially Scripture. Secondly, perhaps at some date the English language will become more transformed so that many words will be archaic to the point of words having unrelated or opposite meanings. Hopefully at that time, lest we bear an unburdensome yoke by not understanding Scripture due to a language barrier, the church authorities will adopt a Bible translation eliminating much of the archaic language so that we with our children may again read God’s Word for a richer blessing to God’s glory. I do not believe that the King James version has become so archaic to warrant this change yet, and possibly never will until the Lord returns.
Concerning those who have eliminated this degree of archaic language, we must not condemn them for becoming antichristian in conduct, but, tolerating their practice, show them that they have introduced nonuniformity for they do not speak the language of Scripture as we have it in the beloved King James version. I believe that is why so often you see the elimination of this archaic language coupled with an unfaithful translation of Scripture, for have not recent observations by our pastors in the “Standard Bearer” and “Beacon Lights” over the years pointed out this unfaithfulness?
We must spend little time concerning the degree of archaic language and considerable time concerning the depth of the archaic language unless our study becomes difficult and we turn to our ecclesiastical bodies for a clearer translation.
Ed. Note: This is the first contribution received for the public opinion column “Bridging the Gap.” Readers are encouraged to send the editor their opinions and ideas concerning the generation gap.
January 6, 1970
Dear Beacon Lights Staff:
I wish to write a few comments about the “generation gap.” But before I proceed, let me mention that you already imply that a gap exists by your title “Bridging the Gap.” Perhaps this too occurs because of the frequent comments of a “generation gap.”
I believe, first of all, that the Sovereign God Who controls all things by His counsel should certainly rule out any gaps in our generations. The very thought of a “generation gap” implies that there is no power which sovereignly controls all things, but ideas and methods have changed so significantly that the rapidity of this change devotes a gap. Therefore, I would maintain that a gap does exist. When we see so much less respect for laws (parental and civil), the reduced standards on morality, and great reduction in church membership, we see that there is a gap in the development of sin. I don’t believe that great emphasis must be placed on changed customs although the advocates of this increased development of sin seem to be somewhat similar in appearance by attempting to appear of an advanced generation. But, for the youth of the church, we must view the gap in a positive way—more completely respect the laws that God has established, use the Word of God as our moral standard rather than as societies wishes, and see the reduction in church membership and subsequent exalting of the work of man’s hands as signs of the coming of the antichrist. To a small degree blame for today’s problems can be placed to a lack of communication between parent and child but to a great degree on a lack of communication between God (the source of all good) and the creature.
Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinion.
Originally Published in:
Vol. 29 No. 10 February 1970
I would like to make a few comments about the recent article in the Beacon Lights entitled “Ists and Isms.” I wish to make a few comments on the definition of sect and the relationship of provincial tendencies to a sect.
First of all, the author does mention that there are many definitions of the word sect. However, he prefers the definition of “a one-man affair”; that in all of its features it is a one-man affair. The understanding that I get from the term sect, substantiated by Daniel (sic) Webster, is “one of the organized bodies of Christians; a denomination.” From such a definition, we as Protestant Reformed Churches are a sect, a denomination, regardless of the fact that we as Churches never possess the belief that our denomination is the church militant (sic). I cannot see that the word sect definitely possesses a humanistic tie; but rather a sect is an organized group having a common purpose and a common interest.
Secondly, the author writes: “Now a second obvious mark of a sect is her provincial tendencies. In the end, of course, such a people find themselves alone. They are entirely cut loose from the church world and in that church world they no longer have an influence.” I understand that the obvious mark of a sect (a denomination) is her provincial (limited, narrow) tendencies, and that a sect will be alone in many respects. But does this mean that she will no longer have an influence in the church world? This can perhaps be answered by quoting a recent message on a church bulletin board near Fort Gordon, Georgia, where I am presently stationed, “The church that is not against something is seldom for anything.” If we as churches are distinctive and have provincial tendencies, we will have an influence on the church world. We must have provincial tendencies and for that reason we are given as we read in Ephesians 6:14-17 to put on the whole armour of God.
Frank Van Baren
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