Would A Grammar Checker Help?

by David Padfield

For the past ten years nearly every letter, article or booklet I have written was prepared on some sort of computer. The spelling checkers that come with most word processors are both a blessing and a curse. They guarantee every word will be spelled correctly, but they can't tell if you used the right word. That's why I bought a grammar checker; it catches incorrect articles, tenses, and misused verbs and pronouns.

Sometimes I get in too big of a hurry to use the grammar checker, and I usually end up regretting it. Some time ago I sent a note to a man and mentioned the recent "lettering" I received from him (I meant "letter"). After I mailed my letter, I looked at a copy of it and the mistake jumped off the page! A few seconds of electronic proofreading would have saved the day, but I was too busy.

Have you ever considered the profound changes that would happen if preachers would run their sermon outlines through a grammar checker before they got into the pulpit?

It would definitely help Baptist preachers. They teach that all believers are the children of God. Here is a simple case of using the wrong tense of a word. The Bible teaches that believers have the "right to become" (future tense) the children of God (John 1:12). It might also help them with the mess they make of Acts 2:38. It would show them the phrase "for the remission of sins" expresses the force of both verbs, "repent and let every one of you be baptized."

Do you think it could help our Catholic friends? Their adoration of Mary borders on idolatry. They reflect the attitude of the woman in Luke 11:27 who said to Jesus, "Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed you." The reply of the Son of God destroys Mariolatry. Jesus said, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it" (Luke 11:28). Yes, Mary was blessed in being chosen to bear Jesus, but He insists that "more" blessings rest upon "those who hear the word of God and keep it."

A study of the language used in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 would have prevented the Newark Episcopal Diocese (Hoboken, NJ) from ordaining an avowed homosexual as a priest. Paul spoke of homosexuals and sodomites in this passage and said "such were some of you." I know what they used to be, but now they are washed, sanctified and justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. These men repented of their sin before becoming the children of God.

Have premillennialists noticed that Jesus is now reigning? 1 Corinthians 15:25 says He is reigning now (present tense); premillennialists claim His reign will begin at His return (future tense).

Those who teach that you can get a divorce for "just any cause" would have trouble with Matthew 19:9. Jesus said the only reason for one to put away a spouse is "for sexual immorality." Only the innocent spouse has the right to Scripturally remarry.

It would be interesting to see the changes that would take place if all preachers would "speak where the Scriptures speak and remain silent where the Bible is silent" and "call Bible things by Bible names." But, speaking in Bible terms would be difficult for some—they would have to learn a whole new language.