Around 25 years ago I was asked to do pulpit supply just one Sunday in SW OK. We drove out to the church, arriving just before Sunday School. I said I’d just sit in the empty nursery at the back of the sanctuary and collect my thoughts for the message rather than sit in the sanctuary for the adult class.
However, I could hear what was being said in the class. The teacher was talking about versions of the Bible and how he could never be a part of a church that used anything but a KJV. Everyone seemed to be in agreement. There I sat with my NIV in my lap preparing to preach the only sermon I would ever preach there.
I didn’t want to stir anything up, so I slipped down to the church basement where the only other class, the teens, were meeting. I looked in several empty rooms, sure that there’d be an old KJV laying around somewhere. No luck.
Back upstairs, I could see that there was a pastor’s study off the platform and I guessed that there would be a Bible there.
The adult class ran just a bit long and, since everyone was already in the sanctuary by then, they wanted to get right to the service. I said I’d like to step into the pastor’s study for just a second. Some folks gave me a strange look, wondering what I needed to do that for after having been praying in the nursery for all of Sunday School.
In the study, there were several nearly empty bookshelves, but I didn’t see a Bible. Then, as they were starting the music for the service, I spotted a stack of a few rag-tag Bibles. I grabbed the one that looked the most presentable and hurried to my assigned spot on the platform.
I opened the Bible.
It was written in Chinese.
(During the offering I retrieved one of the more ragged looking Bibles – it was KJV.)