Sunday, July 25, saw Pastor Giardino teaching his morning adult Sunday school about the controversy around different bible versions. He started out referring to the recent James Cameron movie, Avatar, the biggest box office hit of all time. The movie refers to an alien race or deity that comes to earth. Pastor read definitions of the word “avatar” which generally means an incarnation of a god. The point of bringing up the movie was to illustrate how movies and today’s New Age culture are conditioning people’s minds for the coming of the Anti-Christ, who will be deity that performs miracles.
In a similar line of reasoning, the newer translations of the bible, such as the New American Standard Bible or the New International Version, take and pervert the words and the message. Pastor Giardino introduced the book, New Age Bible Versions, by Gail Riplinger, as the definitive work on the subject of navigating different bibles. Diluting the Word of God and tainting the message is major concern in modern Christianity. Riplinger’s book brings to light the gospels and gods of the New Age, comparing the perversions of counterfeit bibles to the one true Word found in the King James bible. Pastor Giardino provided a few examples of the differences and their impact on the meaning of the passages. He said it is essential that Christians today have “the sharpness of a two-edged sword”, “a gospel according to the scriptures.” His colorful analogy was, “You can’t cut Italian bread with a rubber knife”, and further, you can’t save souls with a “spiritual butter knife”. Thus, he warned against casual churches using counterfeit bibles with a pop christian culture (PCC). “What’s the next generation going to be like?”, he asked concerning these churches, “Are they really saved?” Pastor expressed regret about the loss of people from Baptist churches that have failed to teach their congregations why they are Baptists.