Friday, June 5, 2009
So, the other day I was surfing the web and I came across a great blog called "faith-theology". It's a great blog that I have started to follow. On this blog was a link to another blog in which there was a title that said "the worst bible ever". This was intriguing to me so I clicked on the link and I checked it out. What was before my eyes was unbelievable, frightening, and saddening. The blog was about a book review done by Greg Boyd author of "Myth of A Christian Nation" (a prominent pastor/theologian/philosopher). The book review was on a bible called the "American Patriots Bible". I could not believe it when I saw it. Why would anyone make a bible like this. What on earth does Jesus Christ have to do with American Patriotism. Jesus Christ has engagement with American Culture as He also does with the other culture's of this world, but American Patriotism is a nationalistic American creation, not something from God. Greg Boyd wrote an excellent review and asked some very important questions about this bible. The bible glorified Constantinian violence, there were patriotic pictures at the beginning of each book of the bible, and worst of all the commentary dared to somewhat parallel soldiers giving their lives for America with Jesus giving his life for the salvation of the world. As Richard Niebuhr would say this is a "Christ of Culture" perspective taken by this bible. This is a grave problem that must be addressed. First off what does Jesus have to do with American Patriotism? The answer to that is absolutely nothing. Not only was Jesus against patriotism and the politics of the time in the bible, but he also took a non-violent approach, and approach of humbleness is what won on the cross not one of violence. Second, what does America have to offer Jesus that other countries and peoples don't? The answer to that is nothing. We are not a Christian nation, nor a Christian world. Jesus came to save all humanity not only America and other powerful countries. Thirdly, When Christ and culture become synonomous, we should all be rightfully worried. This is a view held by Paul Tillich and others, but by no means is this idea found in scripture. When Christ and culture become synonomous there is no serparation. Christ is culture and culture is Christ. The things of God are widdled down to what ever culture wants them to be and our view of Jesus and scripture becomes a subjective one. Scripture is turned into the Constitution and Jesus is turned into General Macarthur. Not only do scripture and Jesus get widdled down to what ever we want them to be, but they also change with the times and with culture. We must have a view of God everlasting and scripture inspired. Post-modernism scares me very much with the attempt to make Jesus appeal to the times and to turn scripture into a hand book for social justice. We must have more of an eternal view of scripture and Jesus. There can be no revelation in America, for if there was there would be another grace than that which was accomplished and given through Jesus on the cross. The "American Patirot's Bible" is a sad view of what America is turning Christianity and even worse, what Christianity is turning America into. America is turning Christianity into whatever it wants it to be, and Christianity is turning America into Christianity. The act of synonymity between Christianity and America results in blurred lines and a watered down view of scripture. The root of Christianity is Jesus on the Cross and the redemption we have through the underserved grace given to us. Unfortunately it seems as though the root of Christianity is moving from the cross to American's sacrifice for their country. What are we coming to when Christian's are taking an emphasis from the cross and putting on the actions of fallen humanity? This is frustrating! I pray that Christians would realize the significance of the cross and stop trying to get around it. Why are people not satisfied with the sacrifice and grace of Jesus Christ? Don't get me wrong I love our country and I fully appreciate the sacrifice of our soldiers, but nothing is greater than the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. This is Christianity; Jesus on the Cross!