American Patriot’s Bible: combining God’s infallible Word with the idolatry of American nationalism.
If there is anything that really gets my blood boiling, it is any piece of merchandise or any program or movement that holds up the idea that being an American equals being a converted, born-again Christian, something plaguing many of our churches to this day. And this Bible version (particularly as it pertains to the commentary contained within) is no exception, but in fact, is the ultimate example of exactly what I am talking about.
Don’t get me wrong here on this point: I love this country. In addition, this in no way negates my support for our troops or my desire to see this country continue in its current (hopefully improved) state. If you have read any of my political entries, you will know this is the case. This is merely about God’s Word being used as a platform for another agenda.
God’s Word is not and never will be on any kind of equal plane as American nationalism, yes, including even conservatism, as much of a supporter as I am of it. The Gospel and God’s Word trump all of these. This particular Bible with its commentary are a disgrace. And, frankly, it is no surprise that Thomas Nelson publishers are the one’s producing this. This is one in a long line of terrible works they have put forward to make a buck (not the Bible itself obviously, but rather the commentary and marketing within it which cloud the true meaning of the text).
“Modern American evangelicalism has its own way of reconciling church and state. It imagines an ideal American founding on Christian principles, blames the nation’s decline on secularists, and mobilizes politically active believers to ‘reclaim’ America as God’s chosen land. It sees no inherent conflict between America and the Gospel. Christianity is safe for America’s political and economic order. In fact, a return to the Bible’s wisdom and morality would automatically heal the nation and secure its bright future. No one need choose between allegiance to Christ and allegiance to America.”
“The publisher’s marketing strategy makes the message plain. Its advertising campaign is slick and aggressive. The Bible’s website (www.americanpatriotsbible.com) features a short promotional video that has to be seen to be believed. No satire is possible. To the accompaniment of stirring music, three pairs of pictures fade slowly in and out of view. The first set shows Adam and Eve and then George and Martha Washington followed by the caption, ‘First Families.’ The second shows Moses and then Abraham Lincoln followed by the caption, “Freedom Fighters.” (In a delightful faux pas, the producers picked an engraving of Moses about to shatter the two tablets of the law.) The third outdoes the first two by showing Jesus with his disciples at the Last Supper and then the delegates of the Continental Congress followed by the caption, ‘Founding Fathers.’ Just in case anyone has missed the point, the video ends with the words, ‘Sometimes history repeats itself.’”
I think I just threw up a little … it’s all about the mighty $$ … and using slick marketing is a perfect way to accomplish these ends.