Recently, the nation was shocked and outraged to hear allegations that U.S. interrogators of alleged terrorists at Guantanamo Bay prison had flushed a Koran down a toilet. The story, which was first run by Newsweek magazine, was later retracted. But last week the Pentagon confirmed some abuses of the Koran had occurred. According to an Associated Press report, the Pentagon acknowledged that a U.S. soldier "deliberately kicked a prisoner's holy book":
"Prison guards had thrown water balloons in a cell block, causing an unspecified number of Korans to get wet; a guard's urine had splashed on a detainee and his Koran; an interrogator had stepped on a Koran during an interrogation; and a two-word obscenity had been written in English on the inside cover of a Koran."
While I believe it is wrong for U.S. officials to desecrate the hallowed writings of any religious group, I am considerably more concerned about the defiling of the sacred writings of my own faith. Moreover, I can't understand why there hasn't been, at least by the Christian church itself, shock and outrage at radical feminism's new translation of the Scriptures that depicts Christ as a woman, named "Judith Christ," and God as a female. Could there be any more open and flagrant despoiling of Holy Writ?
According to a press release from the Law and Business Institute (LBI), which is the publisher of the new "Bible," the Gospels are corrected to reflect Jesus as "Judith Christ of Nazareth" and includes: "The Parable of the Prodigal Daughter," and "The Lady's Prayer." Other well-known passages are revised to acknowledge, as LBI vice president Bill Shakespeare says, "the rise of women in society." (See related news story)
I am incensed by this blasphemy! My anger is not directed so much at the feminist's propaganda set forth in this new translation, as it is toward the mutilation of Holy Scripture for the purpose of making God after one's own image. Whether feminism, humanism, or whatever "ism" makes no difference; to put one's hand to literally change the text of the Bible, to add or take away from it, is one of the highest sins against God.
Dr. George Sweeting, Chancellor Emeritus of Moody Bible Institute, once wrote: "For centuries God has permitted men to make their idols. Some idols are of wood and stone, while some are intellectual concepts. But God himself remains the same. Every person will one day stand before Him as He is, not as He imagined Him to be. What is God really like? The only way to know is through written revelation, the Bible."
To change God's written revelation of Himself is to venture into forbidden territory. Revelation 22, verses 18 and 19 strongly warn: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
In these passages we are told that God has perfectly revealed Himself and His will in the Scriptures. To tamper with that by adding or taking away from it is to incur God's wrath and be removed from His eternal blessing.
Some may suppose this warning only applies to additions or subtractions made to the Book of Revelation. But such a view only trivializes the matter. The Book of Revelation was simply the last book in the cannon. Its truths are tied to both the Old and New Testaments. So the warning actually covers the entire Bible.
To take away the name "Jesus" and add "Judith" in the Bible is a damnable matter. To feminize God, when He reveals Himself in the masculine, is the height of presumption.
But even so, there are still other ways to commit the heresy warned against in Revelation 22:18,19. For instance, today there is a wide array of liberal theologians, higher critics of the Bible, as well as other pseudo-intellectuals in Christendom who have essentially rejected, allegorized or ridiculed away Genesis chapters 1 through 11, or the book of Jonah, or the miracles of the Bible, or the virgin birth and literal bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Such have impugned upon the divine integrity of the Scriptures.
Interestingly, the Bible begins and ends with the same warning. In Genesis 2, God warned Adam he should follow His word precisely by not eating the forbidden fruit of "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil". But Eve, when she encountered the devil in the guise of the serpent, added to and subtracted from God's word. She subtracted from it when she told the devil that God had said that they could "eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden." Actually God had said they could freely eat of all the trees, save "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." She added to God's word when she told Satan that God had not only forbidden eating the fruit from "the tree of knowledge of good and evil," but he had also forbidden it to be touched. God had never denied Adam and Eve touching the fruit. Eve's subtracting and adding to God's revelation was the beginning of her own and her husband's demise. How amazing the Bible concludes with essentially the same warning in Revelation 22:18,19 -- follow God's word precisely; don't add or take away from it in any way.
Commentator John Phillips summarizes the matter quite well when he writes: "God's wrath abides on those who tamper with His Word, cutting out the parts which offend them and adding their own ideas thereto."
Indeed, truth is not a property dependent upon our own belief system. Instead it is sacred, absolute, unchangeable, eternal, and found in the Holy Scriptures. It is not found in some new and postmodern revision of the Bible.
Rev. Mark H. Creech (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc.