1. There are many different views within the "KJV only" movement
All KJV advocates (as far as I can tell) clearly agree in our love for the King James Bible and in its sufficiency in portraying to us the Words of God, though some may consider it more a matter of preference and others may consider the KJB to be as "inspired" and "infallible" as the original writings that were penned by the human authors themselves. One can have a number of convictions within that range and still fall under the KJVO label.
So many arguments between the KJVO crowd and the supporters of modern versions could be eliminated if we would first define our position. Unfortunately, I have to admit that many of us who trust in the final authority of the KJB know very little about the facts involved in the debate, and we cannot give a good explanation of our exact position. I totally confess to being ignorant of many of the issues myself, primarily based on the lack of any previous conviction to study out those details. Whereas such a faith in God's Word is certainly commendable, it doesn't warrant any credibility in giving a proper defense on our own KJVO position.
2. The "preservation of scripture" is an act of God, not man
I am pretty sure every believer will agree with that, whether we agree with the "freewill" of mankind or we hold to any particular position of "sovereign determinism." The fact that God has had His "hand" in the process of preserving His Word seems obvious to any of us. That being said, it is important to admit that, in whatever capacity we have God's Word today, it doesn't necessarily matter by what means they were preserved.
3. The whole debate, though it may necessitate certain levels of division among God's saints, is over very few and insignificant variations within manuscripts.
That is not to say it is a meaningless debate to have. I personally give my full support in the defense of the KJVO position. Neither am I against there being divisions over the issue, to the following extent: I believe pastors who stand on the KJV as their final authority should not have to fight with their congregation over such matters. If co-laborers within the church have a problem with their pastor's position, I believe they should be willing to assemble elsewhere so as not to cause division among the congregation. However, I personally see no reason to treat Brothers in Christ with different viewpoints on the subject as enemies or heretics, as long as they are not teaching false doctrine (I mean more than minor interpretational teachings) or living in open sin as a result of their position.
Now, all that being said, here is the lesson I learned from James White:
Being taught the Bible at a young age, or shortly after one places their faith in Christ, it is fairly easy to simply trust that God has given us His Word. But as we grow, and our faith is challenged, we are faced with certain questions that are hard to answer. For many, that question is "If the Bible is God's Word, why are there so many versions of the Bible" or "If the Bible is God's Word, why has there been so many revisions and corrections made over the years?" In the debate I mentioned above, James White gave a very clear and excellent answer to that question.
First, White gave his explanation as to how all the various manuscripts and texts came about. We know that the early church was persecuted, and was caused to spread out throughout the world. During this time, in order to have the scriptures, Christians would have hurried to hand write (obviously the printing press wasn't invented yet) copies of copies of the originals. These copies were used around the world and translated into various languages in time. Naturally, there were typographical errors, and occasionally words were unintentionally added or left out.
Here is what White said that really got me thinking. It is a concept that I knew but hadn't given proper thought. He said,
"If we only had one manuscript, we would have to trust that whoever controlled the manuscript didn't tamper with it..."
He added, "Instead, what we have is a manuscript tradition that goes all over the world..."
Then he explains how his "Muslim friends" say to him "You Christians added the deity of Christ to your scriptures." And he points out to them,
"that is absolutely impossible... There has never been a time when anyone had control over ALL the manuscripts of the New Testament,"
White concludes that by textual criticism (the careful examination of the thousands of existing texts) we can sufficiently prove whether or not any false doctrines have been added to our scriptures. To all of this, I say "Amen," and I contribute this wonderful truth to the working hand of the Lord! Consider the following points as they apply to this concept:
1. The same God Who divided the languages at the tower of Babel, united them on the day of Pentecost.
2. The same God Who allowed more than one Creation account (presumably) to be passed down to Moses, united them in the book of Genesis.
3. The same God who allowed two separate accounts of The Law to be recorded (Exodus and Deuteronomy), united them with the Pentateuch (first five books of the Old Testament)
4. The same God who allowed several accounts of the life and works of Christ to be recorded, united them in the four Gospels (first four books of the New Testament)
5. Surely the same God who allowed His Word to be spread throughout the world in multiple editions and variations, could unite them all in some way in which we can all have His entire Word available to us in our generation and for generations to come.
My conclusion, however, is that the KJVO crowd has the best of both worlds. We still have access to those surviving manuscripts, some of which were not available to us for many years after the King James Version (which had pretty much stood alone as the Word of God for the English speaking people for hundreds of years and had a phenomenal impact on worldwide evangelism). And we still have textual critics who say "the differences among all the texts and manuscripts that have been found are so insignificant that they do not affect major doctrine." And yet, we are very comfortable in our stand that the KJV is more than sufficient as our final authority. Despite what exactly our position is within the umbrella of "King James Only," we can rest comfortably on the fact that God has preserved His Word for us in a remarkable way, through the King James Bible.