Friday, December 15, 2006

Reckless and Irresponsible

I first became aware of Hank Lindstrom and his ministry when I read an article entitled “Repentance” that was being advertised or promoted on You can read his article and the reasons why I disagree with his conclusions by reading “Is Turning from Sin Legalism?”

Well, following my initial exposure to Dr. Lindstrom, I have listened to his radio program or perused his articles very rarely and cautiously. I say cautiously because I want to see what he is saying, and rarely because so often, what he says is so wrong and infuriating.

Yesterday I decided to listen to one of his broadcasts to see if I’d hear anything good, beneficial, new, or whatever. I expect to hear him blast repentance and faith and promote KJV Onlyism, but thankfully he only promoted KJV Onlyism in his monologue…sort of.

About 2/3 of the way through his program on 11/29/06, a man called in with a heartfelt request for prayer on behalf of his son who had converted to Islam. One of the tactics used by the Muslims, and now by this man’s son, is to say that the Bible is corrupt and it is untrustworthy because of all of the different translations (KJV, NKJV, NASB, NIV, ESV, etc.). Hank responded to the caller’s statement by saying that, sadly, the current state of bible translations is in the favor of the Muslims because he agrees that current versions like NKJV, NASB, NIV, and RSV1 have been corrupted by Satan in order to distort the gospel and mislead people.

But my problem was not primarily with the fact that his bible translation conspiracy theory gave credit to the Muslims’ attacks, but it was the following “fulfilled prophesy” that made my hackles stand up. When commenting about the state of affairs in the world and the amount of havoc that is caused by Muslims, Dr. Lindstrom said,

“We are being assaulted today, head on, with Islam. If you look up Daniel 9:11, you know the number “9 11” that’s when the twin towers were taken, well there is a verse there that talks about a curse coming because of our departure from God’s word. And if you look up the word “curse” in your concordance in Daniel 9:11, it is the Hebrew word “alah”. And truly hasn’t that been a prophesy fulfilled that Allah is the curse on this world today? And God said that He would bring this curse upon the world, and we are seeing the curse of Allah right now, and it’s because we’ve departed away from His word.”2

Well, first of all I did check Strong’s Concordance and found that the Hebrew word here is transliterated as “alah” and pronounced “aw-law”.3 But let me make sure that I understand this interpretation correctly. According to Dr. Hank Lindstrom, the meaning of Daniel 9:11 is that because of the world’s rejection of the Bible, God has cursed the world with Islam? I will argue that the current state of terrorism in the world is nothing but a curse and an abomination. However, to say that Daniel 9:11 is speaking about this because the Hebrew word for curse sounds like the name by which Muslims call God is absurd.

Do you know how our Christian brethren in Arab countries refer to God the Father? They use the word Allah. If you’re shocked, you shouldn’t be. The word “allah” is no different than the English word “god”. When we refer to God the Father, we capitalize the first letter in the word, but when we refer to other types of gods or goddesses, we do not. When a Hindu refers to deity while using the English language, they use the word god, and when we refer to Jesus, the Holy Spirit, or the Father, we use the word “god” but we write it as “God”.

You may still be wondering what the point of discussing the words “allah” and “god” has to do with anything. The point is that the context of the use of a word determines the meaning of that word. For instance, look at the following example using the word “can”:

  • I can do this. “can” means “am able”
  • I would like a can of soda. “can” means “metal container”
  • I have to use the can. “can” is slang for “lavatory”

If we attempted to force a single meaning of the word “can” onto all three of these sentences, you’d have gibberish and foolishness. Furthermore, if you lived in a country that spoke Spanish, and used the word “con” (sounds like “can”) which means “with” (i.e. chili con queso) and you forced the meaning “with” into these situations, you would not only have gibberish and foolishness, but it would be complete nonsense.

Why did I bring up Spanish? Well, Dr. Lindstrom made that leap right away when he equated the Hebrew word that sounds like the Arabic or Aramaic word for god with a specific reference to the Islamic religion. It is no less foolish to do what he did than it is to do it with the above “can” example.

Let me make the issue even more clear. There is a word in the New Testament that occurs 602 times in the KJV. This is the word that is translated “but”, it is the Greek word “alla” and it sounds exactly like “allah”. This word not only sounds like the Arabic or Aramaic word for god, but it also looks like it too (the letter lamda “l” has the “L” sound and kind of looks like an “L”). Should we understand or see some reference to Islam every time that this word is used in the New Testament? Of course not. It would be reckless, irresponsible, and wrong to do so. It would also make the message of the gospel all but unintelligible.

This is just one example of his reckless hermeneutics.4 The problem with bad hermeneutics is that you can distort and misunderstand the bible so much that the message and the truth is lost. It is almost funny (you either laugh or you cry) that someone who is an ardent KJV Only supporter (even though he has said that he is not one) and who heralds the current distortions of the bible with such a loud voice is so dangerously reckless with his personal bible study and interpretation.

1 In another broadcast, he called the RSV translation of the bible, the “Reversed Satanic Translation” Bibleline Radio Broadcast, 12/14/06 11:02

2 Bibleline Radio Broadcast, 11/29/06 41:50

3 Brown, Driver, Briggs and Gesenius. "Hebrew Lexicon entry for 'alah". "The KJV Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon". .

4 Hermeneutics is the science of interpretation, especially of the Scriptures

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