Monday, July 6, 2015

Paul S.'s Trip to LCBP

My trip to Local Church Bible Publishers


Parker Memorial Baptist Church and LCBP are located in Lansing Michigan about 80 miles from me.  On a pretty July day I drove up there. 

On arriving all the missionaries were out.  I met several volunteers.  Kind, warm, and helpful.  Like the Fundamental Baptist I knew as a child in the 60's. 

Here are some interior pictures of storage and printing rooms:






While waiting for the director I took pictures inside of the sales room.                   


After about an hour the executive director Dr. Dennis Deneau arrived. He began this ministry 35 years ago from the Bearing Precious Seeds movement. He has been the publisher and involved in design and production ever sense.                                      

Cambridge closed its USA printing and binding and the small bindery in Woodstock Vermont closed too. Dr. Deneau's son bought the equipment and moved it to Cadillac Michigan, it's present home.  Currently Bible production and shipping are done from there.                         



Talking with Dennis one factor became overwhelmingly clear.  This is a 100% American Bible.  Paper from Michigan.  Cowhide from Ohio.  Printed in America.  I love American made!                                         


Dennis explained that he and LCBP are committed to the 1769 Cambridge text KJV.  LCBP distributes over 20,000 Bibles a year.  Most over the internet.  Representatives crisscross the country speaking with pastors and to groups.  I also learned our Bible friend Derek Jones has been selected to preview new products on his Youtube channel.                                                                 


What other things did I learn.  Here are a few.

1)      No goatskin in the future.  Indian subcontinent sources are unreliable.

2)      Their paper.  22 lb., opacity 82.  I was very impressed with the latest paper's quality.  It reminded me of Cambridge differing from their previous paper.  A 20 lb. paper is being sourced for future thinlines.

3)      Paragraph Bibles?  Yes in the future.

4)      315 Scofield is changing to center the printing giving an inside margin.  A 10% increase in print size too.

5)      TCR is coming back!  Large print, red letter, in the large size Bible.
6)      Prices?  Going up later this year.
7)      Overseas shipping?  No.  Dennis shared stories of fraud ranging into the 10's of thousands.

8)  Longprimer challenged? With a smile he told me what he would charge for a LCBP Longprimer!                                                                            

Then Dennis showed me the new Signature Series art gilded hand-sized Scofield.  I bought one (added Berisford ribbons later).  The dedication and sacrifice of the missionaries and volunteers us astonishing! As was Dennis' experience and knowledge in Bible publishing.  Whatever differences some have with their translation position it is certain that LCBP Bibles are leading people to Christ.                                                                                                                    

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Orthopraxy over Orthodoxy

I am a firm believer in "orthopraxy" over "orthodoxy."  That is, "right actions" over "right beliefs."  Someone may believe (or think they are believing) the "right" things, but be a mean-spirited, merciless, nasty, ugly bigoted human being (Person A).  Others (think "Samaritans" – in the eyes of the Jewish leaders of Bible days -- for Bible believers) may not technically believe correctly (in the eyes of accepted religious authorities/doctrines), but actually be kind, generous, loyal, merciful, and trustworthy (Person B). 

In my former religious belief systems, person A above, was still destined for heaven in the afterlife.  Person B was destined for “hell”.  I never believed "hell" was an everlasting place of torture, but I thought it was a real and permanent. I no longer believe this (and haven't for years), after a lot of study and thought.  This idea of “hell” is based on mistranslations and misinterpretations. It is an invention of merciless human beings. Because it keeps people in bondage to fear, I would even say it is a "satanic" doctrine, although most of the sincere believers in “hell” are not bad people.  So, the fate of person B in that system, regardless of the absurdity of "hell" in my mind, was still not pleasant, because that's just what I was taught.  

Now I'm thinking, what kind of nonsense is that?  I look back on my former belief system with horror. A lot of it is caused by taking isolated verses out of the Bible and making doctrines out of them, without realizing this is totally wrong.  What Paul said to various fledgling churches 1950 years ago usually has next to nothing to do with us today, unless it is something which tends to make one a better person.  Much of what he wrote about is cultural (e.g. women are to be silent in church; watch out so that you aren't bewitched by the circumcised, etc.), and we make a big mistake when we take something that is cultural as a timeless truth. Furthermore, Paul never said a word about “hell,” and, in fact, neither did anyone else.  There is Sheol (the underworld, the grave), Tartaros (Greek mythological prison of the Titans), Hades (mythical Greek underworld), and Gehenna (the garbage dump outside Jerusalem) in the Bible.  No hell, never, not once.  

But there is one timeless truth in the Bible, and everything should be tested to see if it lines up with it. Jesus summed it up this truth best by basically saying just to love God and love your neighbor as yourself.  That is ALL. It sums everything up.  But humans have mucked it up, over and over by making stupid laws to keep people in bondage.  I'll just say I no longer follow those human erroneous "orthodox fallacies", but take the good out of everything and test it... if it matches up with what Jesus said above, then I take it and attempt to apply it.  If it doesn't, I discard it.  

Also, recall in the Bible where two disciples of Jesus wanted to call thunder down from heaven to destroy a Samaritan city, due to their unorthodox beliefs or unbelief. Jesus had pretty strong words for those two disciples. So, if someone is an “unbeliever” in God, then the answer remains still to act out of love towards them and not hate. Maybe the person who doesn’t believe just like us is right on certain things. Regardless, Jesus seemed to be very confident that in the end, ultimately, everyone would know the truth about these matters. The orthodox believers in fact, received the strongest condemnation from Jesus in the Bible, because their actions were rotten. These are the ones whom Jesus warned of “Gehenna,” commonly mistranslated as “hell.” And, in 70 A.D., Jerusalem was sacked by the Romans and the place known as “Gehenna” was filled with dead bodies, and horrible things.  

I’ve been told I am deceived by multiple people on many occasions.  Well, I no longer care about these judgments by ignorant people. If I’m “deceived” in some areas, but still essentially follow the command to be kind and tolerant of others, then that’s fine.  Why people think they must get up in others’ personal lives and beliefs, motivated by fear, hate, or sometimes love (that is, they think by warning me of “hell” they’re doing me a favor, not knowing I’ve considered it, and reject hell completely), just doesn’t make sense to me.  It is up to each person to live life however they want, as long as they do not harm other people, or animals.  That is the bottom line.  

This shows that even an enlightened fellow such as myself can be deluded, sometime, and people can change --- hahaha!  End of mini-sermon.  Take it or leave it!  Have a pleasant day!