49. Books on Fire
The Amazing Grace Baptist Church in North Carolina is celebrating Halloween in a slightly different way – they’re burning all “perversions of God’s word.”
According to their website, there will be:
“Great Preaching and Singing”
and lots of burning!
Unfortunately, the website makes it very clear that this event is invitation only. So, if you wanna, you can recreate it on your own.
Here’s a list of what to burn, thanks to the AGBC:
“We are burning Satan’s bibles like the NIV, RSV, NKJV, TLB, NASB, NEV, NRSV, ASV, NWT, Good News for Modern Man, The Evidence Bible, The Message Bible, The Green Bible, ect. These are perversions of God’s Word the King James Bible.
We will also be burning Satan’s music such ascountry , rap , rock, pop, heavy metal,western, soft and easy, southern gospel ,contemporary Christian , jazz, soul, oldies butgoldies, etc.
We will also be burning Satan’s popular books written by heretics like Westcott & Hort, Bruce Metzger, Billy Graham, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, John McArthur, James Dobson, Charles Swindoll, John Piper, Chuck Colson, Tony Evans, Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swagart, Mark Driskol, Franklin Graham, Bill Bright, Tim Lahaye, Paula White, T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Joyce Myers, Brian McLaren, Robert Schuller, Mother Teresa, The Pope, Rob Bell, Erwin McManus, Donald Miller, Shane Claiborne, Brennan Manning, William Young, Will Graham, and many more.”
However, these are the books they are not burning – just to keep you straight:
“We are not burning Bibles written in other languages that are based on the TR. We are not burning the Wycliffe, Tyndale, Geneva or other translations that are based on the TR.”
Also, the website says that they will be serving “fried chicken, and all the sides.”
There are a couple factors that make this particular book burning really interesting.
First, they have a long list of scriptural reasons to burn these books. I won’t list them here, but check it out (scroll down). The first explanation, however, is a Bible verse:
“And many that believe came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together and burned them beofer all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed” (Acts 19:18-20).”
But let’s look at the books they’re burning. First, they’re burning my bud Tim LaHaye, author of the bestselling Left Behind Series. This pulls at my heartstrings, I must admit. However, this is the opposite of the evangelical fundamentalist worldview that America has lately been exposed to – a great effort to expose Megachurch culture as a positive phenomenon and an attempt to spread “the Word” in any way possible.
The folks at AGBC, however, are also burning works by Mother Teresa and the Pope. This seems like a really interesting split in the church – a rejection both of modern evangelical theology and also traditional Catholicism. In a sense, this is an old-fashioned Protestant church – King James is the only option, and no other writings or interpretations are either valid or necessary. The AGBC sees this questioning as Satan’s way into God’s world.
“The first step of Satan,” the author writes, is to “try and get man to question God’s word.” The questioning, here, is what is threatening. How fascinating. Seriously. How can you study the Bible and ask no questions? I’d love to sit in on one of their Bible Studies. I’m not being facetious, this seems really interesting.
This is a short explanation, from their website, on what they stand for:
“We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and it is our final authority in all matters. We believe in teaching “no other doctrine”, like Paul told Timothy, and that is our stand. We stand on God’s Word and not man ideas or “scholarship.” We make no apology for our stand. We are an old fashion Independent Fundamental Baptist Church. To read in more detail of what we believe go to the “What we Believe” tab. Thanks.”
Salvation is also a big part of their focus, and the website encourages readers to admit their sins and accept Jesus, much like my experience reading Tim LaHaye. Anyway, I would highly recommend checking out the website and reading through – it’s a great look into a world we don’t see much.
(Props to Aaron for the tip-off)