William Branham - Salt Is A Savior, not a Savor:
Yesterday, after posting an example of Voice of God Recordings covering up Branham's mistakes in the transcripts, we received feedback that was well worth examining. In our example, William Branham stated that Salt was a "savior" and specifically stated that "salt saves" the meat. Using this example, Branham claimed that we, as Christians, should be salty enough to save others.
One commenter asked a very valid question: Did not William Branham use this word to describe preservation? And is not this word spelled "savour" in South Africa and in the UK?
These questions, as I said, are very valid. Both are exactly correct, and had the post been directed simply to the single word itself, we would be in error. As with all errors, we remove the post and issue an apology and correction. But while the commenter's questions are valid, there are three major points that must be considered. Since others are asking the same question, it is worthy of a second post to examine the underlying issues:
The first point is doctrinal:
William Branham taught an "elect bride" doctrine, similar to other cult leaders. His theology was that the "Message Christians were a subset of Christianity as a whole, and that only his group had the "original truth" As many of you are well aware, this teaching can be found throughout many destructive cults, especially those impersonating a "Christian" ideology who teach their people to sever themselves from other Christians.
Each usage of this "salt is a savior" doctrine is referring to preservation, though Branham carries it further than simply lasting longer. Salt preserves the meat. I will disagree that salt "saves" the meat. This may be to limited understanding, so a simple scientific test can help better understand. Simply let some meat start rotting until you smell it, pour some salt on it, and leave it on your table for a few days. You will quickly agree that salt cannot save.
When Branham used this doctrine, he was referring to exactly that scenario -- but with people instead of meat. He told his followers that this was a lost and dying world, and that they needed more "savour" (pronounced "savior") in their salt to help save the world. Take this example:
Let our lives be so salty, that others can watch the way we act and live, that they'll want to live that way, too. You know Jesus said, "Ye are the salt of the earth." But if the salt has lost its testimony, its—its savour, its drawing power, then it can no more heal or save. Salt saves when it contacts, and we must—we must be God's contact. We are His point of contact, as Brother Roberts many times refers to putting his hand on the radio or something for a point of contact.
Branham, 63-0123 - Identification
In this instance, Branham is not using "salt" as an example of preservation, but of salvation. And he is not using it as taste, to attract unbelievers. He is specifically stating that Brother Roberts "touches" with regards to salvation. If this were CORRECTLY transcribed as he spoke, he is literally saying that "as salt is a salvation, brother Roberts touching is a salvation."
The second point is context of Scripture:
William Branham, as many of you are aware, twisted several passages of the Bible out of context, sometimes to the extent that cult followers believe the exact opposite of the text. Ex-members have submitted many of these examples, and they are found throughout the posts on seekyethetruth.com.
It is important to understand Matthew 5 as it relates to the "salt of the earth." Reading again from Matthew 5:13-16:
13 "You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.
14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
In this passage of text, the writer is referring to "taste," not "preservation." In fact, the first verse specifically mentions "taste." The author by no means implied that an "elect" subset of Christians would have greater preservation power, or even that they had the power to save by .. ahem .. touching a microphone as in the Roberts example. The writer is simply stating that as Christians, we should attract others to Christianity by our actions. If we "taste bitter" to unbelievers, will they decide to believe? Will they want to become "bitter" also? As many of you are well aware, in Branham's following, the vast majority are prideful towards other Christians and scornful to unbelievers. While matching Branham's theology, that they might somehow "touch" an unbeliever and they magically decide to believe, they are doing the very opposite of this passage of text. Why? Because Branham's examples were not aligned with the context of scripture.
The third is translation:
In some countries, the spelling is different than in the United States. My comments were in no disregard of other cultures. But William Branham was not from Africa. He was not from the UK. There are many other words that you can use as examples where other Countries' spelling favors the Elizabethan English, and our spelling does not. So why do the editors and translators not also use THOSE words? Can they decide that William Branham spoke Elizabethan English for one single word throughout his ministry?
But more than that, I assume that some are reading this post rather than listening. When one listens to his voice, he is not saying "savor" or "savour." He is saying, "Savior," and then using the word with regards to salvation. Regardless of the spelling, his pronunciation of the word does not match the transcript.
Yet we have other instances where his misuse of a word is translated exactly as he speaks -- making the lives of translators for other nations absolutely miserable. There is NO such word as "haint," yet it is translated exactly as William Branham spoke. These instances do not translate well. Ask George Smith how much he enjoys translating the Message into Spanish, and specifically ask him why so many sermons have never been translated in the last 50 years. So why does Voice of God Recordings choose to (halfway) correct this one single word, and why did they chose to correct it in Elizabethan English? Why not correct it in Branham's own language and spelling?
In my opinion, this is done on purpose.
As others pointed out, we have ministers preaching Branham's mistakes with absolute authority. There are ministers who actually preach that "salt saves." To reverse this would be to cause them to question the doctrine. And once they question the doctrine, they will notice that the scripture was taken out of context. And once they notice the scripture out of context they notice that this was a fundamental element of Branham's "Message."
... and if this fundamental element of the message is flawed, then how many others were also flawed?