Friday, May 29, 2009

Sinking to New Lows

I have never been much of a fan of "special interest" Bibles. I guess for me it comes down to the belief that the Scriptures in and of themselves are adequate to speak to every individual, regardless of any affiliations or backgrounds. I can see some value in a basic study Bible that provides background information on the text itself. But I see no purpose in the proliferation of Bible's that aim to "open" the Scriptures specifically to men, women, blacks, whites or any other group. It seems to me we are doing precisely the opposite of what God wants. He wants to unite us in his body. We, however, are trying to subdivide the body in the hopes of ever-greater sales.

Just when I thought we'd hit the bottom in this category, I saw the American Patriot Bible in the bookstore recently. Words cannot express the feelings that came to me. I think this review captures all of my criticisms quite well and probably more eloquently than I could, so I encourage you to take the time to read it.

Being a believer is not about being a patriotic American. I think that the two have fairly little in common, in fact. I'm not saying that we cannot love our country. But my allegiance is not first and foremost to my country. It is to my king and to his kingdom, which is above all countries and includes many and women from every nation, people and language. His kingdom is not a place to wave the flag of a particular nation. I cannot find any evidence in Scripture to support the idea that America is God's new chosen nation. To claim that is to implicitly claim that other nations just don't matter as much to him, which is arrogant and unbiblical. In the era of the New Covenant, there is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, American or non-American. We all stand equal at the foot of the cross. So do we really need a Bible to tell us how wonderful it is to be American and how proud we should be of this fact, a fact which most of us had no control over anyway?

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