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'God Bless the USA Bible’: Good idea or bad?

Trump's 'God Bless the USA' Bible is on sale for $59.99 and features the King James Version along with America's founding documents.
Trump's "God Bless the USA" Bible is on sale for $59.99 and features the King James Version along with America's founding documents. | Truth Social screenshot

It is 2024. That means it is a leap year. It also means in the United States we are going to have a presidential election on the first Tuesday in November. Consequently, we can expect the unexpected, the unusual, the abnormal, and the bizarre to occur on a regular, but unscheduled and unpredictable basis.

The latest example of this presidential election year phenomenon is the appearance of Presidential Candidate Donald Trump touting Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA Bible,” which includes the Bible bound together with the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the lyrics to the chorus of Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.”

I consider myself to be a grateful and patriotic American. I am profoundly grateful that in the providence of my Heavenly Father, I was born in America to loving parents. My father participated in a dozen sea battles in the U.S. Navy during World War II by the time he was 24 years old, defending those freedoms.

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It was made very clear to me in my family of origin that we as Americans had been extraordinarily blessed and that average rank-and-file Americans enjoyed more liberty than citizens of any other country. Yes, as I became a teenager in the late 1950s it became apparent to me that African Americans and Hispanics did not have the same freedoms I enjoyed and that needed to change.

That is one of the many reasons I am so very grateful for the ministry of the late, great Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his leadership of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

I also believe God, in His mercy, granted an extraordinary outburst of genius to flourish along the eastern seaboard of what was to become the United States in the last half of the eighteenth century, producing the United States of America and her attendant founding documents—the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

However, and it is a big “HOWEVER,” the inspiration granted by the founding fathers was totally different in kind and degree of authority than God’s inspiration of Holy Scripture. Our founding fathers understood this. After all, they wrote an amendment process into the Constitution itself so their governing documents could be altered upon new insight. And the country has exercised that option 27 times, the first 10 in one stroke with the “Bill of Rights.”

In contrast, there is no amendment process for Holy Scripture. God revealed Himself to us in the Old and New Testaments and He has preauthenticated it to us. God explained to us in the Bible that the writers of Holy Scripture were uniquely and divinely inspired to write what God intended for them to write. God in His providence utilized various methods in communicating His revelation to us. In some instances God dictated directly what was to be written down (Ex. 20:1-2; Is.1:10, 3:16; Jer. 1:6-9, 2:1-2). At other times, He spoke through prophecies and visions.

However, a huge majority of Scripture is God using the personalities and life experiences of the writers so that they ended up writing precisely what God intended for them to write (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21). The emphasis in the Christian doctrine of divine inspiration is on the results.

The great Christian theologian B.B. Warfield perhaps explained it best. In the early 20th century some more liberal theologians began to question the nature of divine inspiration of Holy Scripture. They began to say, “Well, the Bible’s inspiration is like a stained glass window. God’s inspiration is the light and it shines through the stained glass panels that refract and distort the light. Our job is to try to discern the light that is God from the humanity of the authors who distort and alter the light by their humanity just as the stained glass window distorts sunlight.”

Warfield replied, “You are wrong. God not only is the light—He designed the stained glass window design just as He wanted it to be. Consequently, standing on this side of the stained glass window, we see exactly what God intended us to see.”

So you have Johannine, Petrine, and Pauline Greek styles and syntax in the New Testament, but each of them conveyed exactly what God had intended for each of them to write. The Bible is “truth without mixture of error” for its matter.

So I believe it is not a good idea to bind Holy Scripture together with any other documents including the Declaration, Constitution, etc. It will only confuse people by either elevating our founding documents to a level of authority they do not deserve, or they will tempt people to view the Holy Scripture as less than fully sacred.

Dr. Richard Land, BA (Princeton, magna cum laude); D.Phil. (Oxford); Th.M (New Orleans Seminary). Dr. Land served as President of Southern Evangelical Seminary from July 2013 until July 2021. Upon his retirement, he was honored as President Emeritus and he continues to serve as an Adjunct Professor of Theology & Ethics. Dr. Land previously served as President of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (1988-2013) where he was also honored as President Emeritus upon his retirement. Dr. Land has also served as an Executive Editor and columnist for The Christian Post since 2011.

Dr. Land explores many timely and critical topics in his daily radio feature, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” and in his weekly column for CP.

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