It was only a matter of time. We should have seen it coming.
God have mercy on us.
Thomas Nelson publishing has put out what they’re calling The American Patriot’s Bible, a NKJV version of God’s Holy Scriptures “targeting the spiritual needs of those who love our country.” In their own promotional materials they tout this new Bible as using the history of the United States to connect the people and events of Scripture to our own lives. “The story of the United States is wonderfully woven” into the Bible by these people. And now they’re selling it, complete with a glossy cover depicting, not the cross of Christ, not the empty tomb, not the historical and traditional symbols of the Christian faith but, the American flag, George Washington, and the Declaration of Independence.
Please, don’t buy this Bible.
To borrow the words of Greg Boyd — and I agree with him with everything I’ve got — this Bible is “idolatrous, dangerous, and profoundly damaging to the Kingdom. I feel compelled to denounce it in the strongest possible way I can.”
The goal of this Bible and its publishers is to tie American patriotism to the Christian faith, to make the two one. To be a Christian is to be patriotic, according to this Bible. To be patriotic is to live the way God calls us to live. The teachings of Christ “results in the purest patriotism.”
This Bible claims that the phrase “One nation under God” in our country’s pledge of allegiance strengthens the spiritual weapons mentioned in 2 Corinthians 10:5 which “forever will be our country’s most powerful resources in peace and war.”
This Bible equates John 3:16’s “God so loved the world that he sent his only Son” with Colin Powell’s quote about sending our soldiers into foreign lands to fight for freedom. Same thing. See how God-like we are? This Bible claims in other notes and charts and quotes in the margin that fighting for liberty has always been at the heart of our religion. It quotes General Douglas MacArthur saying that sacrificing (and, of course, killing others) for country represents “the noblest development of mankind.” The commentators on the pages of this Bible add, “as long as other Americans serve their country courageously and honorably, his words will live on.” Whose words? God or MacArthur? In this Bible, it’s hard to tell. And that’s by design.
John 8:36, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed,” in this Bible, is paired up with a long commentary on the Bill of Rights. In direct opposition to our God’s demand that we actually give up all our rights.
Joseph’s statement in Genesis 45 that God had sent him to Egypt to preserve life is equated in this Patriot’s Bible with our country’s Declaration of Independence. Don’t you see? God sent Joseph. God sent the Declaration of Independence. Same thing. See how blessed we are?
Israel’s demand for a king in 1 Samuel, in this Bible, teaches that Americans have a duty to vote.
Please read Greg Boyd’s review. Click here. It’ll take probably three or four minutes to read. But you need to read this. Please. I’m begging you to read it. He says it much better than I can. This is important. These are teachings that go completely against the whole of Scripture, wrapped up in Scripture’s suit and tie. This is Satan — yes, I’m serious — the wolf sneaking around in sheep’s clothing.
The fact that there’s a market for this kind of Bible is disturbing to me. It’s a sad statement about the state of God’s Church and his people in this land that there would be demand for it. This is the kind of thing that perpetuates the practice in our churches of praying for our American soldiers and their families, but not praying for the Iraq and Afghanistan soldiers and their families. We pray for the success of our soldiers, the completion of our country’s mission, but not theirs. As if God is on the side of the U.S. As if our politics and our economic systems and our wars are the righteous will of God and nobody else’s is. This is the sort of stuff that keeps us thinking that God’s will for the world is salvation in Christ AND democracy AND free enterprise. All three. In that order. We think. These are the blasphemous teachings that keep Christians in this country feeling good about asserting personal rights and personal freedoms, at the expense of others, in direct violation of our Savior’s teachings. This Bible weakens the Kingdom.
Please, don’t buy it.
And may God have mercy on our souls.