The Bible. The best selling book of all time, has also been the most banned. It’s been burned, criticized, scrutinized, taken out of context, twisted, mocked and been the cause of death for millions around the globe since the beginning of the Christian church.
It’s incredible to think that the Bible hasn’t only been outlawed by non Christian nations and atheistic despots, where in many cases people have been martyred because of their possessing scripture, but that the Roman Catholic church, and even the early Church of England did put the faithful in prison, or to death because they translated or read it in their own languages.
The Roman Catholic church was full of hypocrites, godless, vain and covetous men who preferred their power and privilege to feeding the sheep as Jesus commanded Peter. They were no better than the pharisees whom Jesus railed against. White washed tombs with dead men inside. And woe to them who put stumbling blocks in the way of the faithful, or should I say, fearful.
It had to be a fearful thing to desire the Lord Jesus, but be kept from Him because of power wielding men who lorded their special knowledge over the peasants and the poor who remained unsure of salvation or even heaven. A works and money based religion where they just might get those indulgences, special favors if they just hand over the money, or whatever they had to barter with.
And to think that through the centuries of darkness, those few brave men who followed God’s calling to tear down that veil once again and allow the people access to the Word of God were persecuted for it, suffered, and were often martyred for it.
Fast forward to modern America, or even the modern world where computers, phones and apps have virtually every translation, in more languages than can be imagined- and the majority of Christians in the west are more ignorant than those peasants of the Dark Ages. It boggles the mind.
I know I posted this quote not too long ago, but it bears repeating. Jim Elliot, martyred with 3 others in the Jungles of South America has the creds to have his words repeated. He saw it over 50 years ago, and would be even more disgusted if he were to see it now…
“Those whimpering Stateside young people will wake up on the Day of Judgment condemned to worse fates than these demon-fearing Indians, because, having a Bible, they were bored with it – while these never heard of such a thing as writing.”
People around the world know they could die for even having just a portion of the Gospels, if they can even get a hold of that. There are some countries where a whole Bible would be a luxury too unimaginable, and the people are grateful beyond words just to share one. The Bible is as valuable to them as the pearl found in the field. While they might not have the money to buy the field for the pearl, they willingly put their lives on the line just to possess even a portion.
Just as with everything in abundance, complacency grows along with laziness and a sense of ingratitude. A loss of interest… A loss of value. There is no excuse for modern Christians in the west to be biblically ignorant! This has been a thorn in my flesh for years, and I’ve held myself to the same disgust for as long as I’ve had a Bible, and fail to read a portion of it every day. There is no excuse. To fail to value the Word of God is bad enough, horrible- but considering also the blood that has poured so we can have it to read should account for something. To ignore the Word, or have it decorating one’s library or sitting room while it goes unread… only to hear so called preachers form a feel good message by using one verse is reprehensible.
sigh. Enough of my rant. Folks have poured their lives into following God, to give the world His Word. We need to learn about them, or at least refresh our memories of them so we can be a little more grateful for what they’ve done for all of us.
William Tyndale was such a man. I have two videos, one a documentary, the other a movie. If you’re interested enough, both are excellent, but I hope you’ll find time to watch either one.
Matthew Henry had it right when he said, “Where the Word of God has no place, no good is to be expected; room is left there for all wickedness. A sick person who turns from his physician, and will take neither remedies nor food, is past the hope of recovery. The truth both heals and nourishes the hearts of those who receive it. The truth taught by philosophers has not this power and effect, but only the truth of God.”
Heather’s Pastors often say, “When Scripture speaks, God speaks”. It’s time Christians start realizing that and get back to His Word.
Have a blessed day all.