December 14, 2017

In Preparation for Halloween…

shutterstock_111957125 - halloween pumpkins

On Thursday, we will post our annual classic Michael Spencer Halloween rant. In preparation for that, let’s look and see what some folks are doing to mark the occasion this year.

Burning Bad Bibles
From The Telegraph, by Tom Chivers

Marc Grizzard, of Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, North Carolina, says that the first King James translation of the Bible is the only true declaration of God’s word, and that all others are “satanic”.

Pastor Grizzard and 14 other members of the church plan to burn copies of the other “perversions” of Scripture on Halloween, 31 October.

The New Revised Version Bible, the American Standard Version Bible, and even the New King James Version are all pronounced to be works of the Devil by Pastor Grizzard and his followers.

Pastor Grizzard said: “I believe the King James version is God’s preserved, inspired, inerrant, infallible word of God… for English-speaking people.

“We are burning books that we believe to be Satanic.”

In addition to the devilish Bible versions, the article quotes the pastor as saying that books by such heretics as Billy Graham, Rick Warren, and Mother Theresa will also be incinerated.

Perhaps we could take up a collection of books to send Pastor Grizzard. Let’s see, what would make the list of “books to be burned” at iMonk?

* * *

An Atheist’s Hell House
from Laughing in Purgatory blog

This atheist blogger has five great rooms in his Hell House, guaranteed to scare the loose change out of your pockets.

  1. The Oprah Winfrey Room. With guest Dr. Oz. Visitors exit through Oprah’s gaping mouth.
  2. The Pastor John Hagee Room. A journey through the small, narrow maze of Pastor Hagee’s mind.
  3. The Justice Scalia and the Devil Room. A view of the world through a Supreme Court Justice’s eyes. Scary.
  4. The Secularism Is the New Terrorism Room. Where secular laws prevent the pious from persecuting sinners.
  5. The Chris Christie Jesus Doesn’t Want My Gay Kid to Get Married Room. Notice: this room needs to be updated now that Gov. Christie has changed his approach.

Pretty funny stuff, though I can’t imagine anything much more frightening than a tour of John Hagee’s mind.

* * *

Halloween Theological Statement of the Year
from Matthew Paul Turner’s blog

pumpkintheology

It’s the “cutting off the top” part that I don’t like.

Comments

  1. What I get tired of are all the articles which, without fact-checking, repeat the old saw that Halloween originated from pagan harvest festivals. As we Christians all know, we did no such thing. We stole our holidays from the Jews.

    But bring on the chocolate.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says:

      There is a sense to these kind of ‘origin tales’ which implies A->B->C->D is how the world works. Only it doesn’t. it is more like A->B+C->D+(sqrt(E))->F/G!->(H*log(i)J)/K->….

      Kernels of what would become something else are scattered around, especially when it comes to human culture; we appropriate, modify, reduce, remix, concatenate, and redefine with every generation. Speaking of “influence” is more accurate than speaking of “origin”; how can one tell which thread of history is the ‘true’ lineage commingled with all that extraneous other stuff.

      Personally Halloween is probably my favorite holiday as (a) it is not on a Monday [Monday holidays should be banned – because *that* is true evil] and (b) there is no expectation one will spend hours and hours and hundreds of dollars traveling to visit people one otherwise never sees. Only problem is that one doesn’t get the day off from work – the one useful holiday where I could do something I want – and all the employers stay open. Argh!

  2. I think the book burning story is several years old.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says:

      A good book burning never goes out of style; a book burning is guaranteed to be covered at least by the local media, even if the burning is performed by a group the media completely ignores the other 364 days of the year.

      I want to know if the guy provides free shipping? I’ve got a bunch of stuff I need to clear out that I’m certain this guy would not like [although it is to make room for more stuff he wouldn’t like, but I don’t have to tell him that]. I’ll include a couple of Mr. Warrens books – which are certainly not “satanic” – I’m certain Satan would be a much more inspiring author [and have a less dopey theology].

  3. David Cornwell says:

    “carves you a new smiling face”

    I’m waiting. Mine refuses to smile sometimes.

  4. God places you on his front porch to mold and rot before some kid beans you with a baseball bat?

    Oh wait, it’s one of those cute analogies that aren’t meant to be thought about beyond surface deep. lol

    • Adam Tauno Williams says:

      > God places you on his front porch to mold and rot before some kid beans you with a baseball bat?

      Hmm. If porch is a metaphor for a job and the smashing the getting shipped off to an old folks home… that might be spot on depiction of American life.

    • I kind of liked the people as Jack O Lanterns analogy. I thought it was rather cute.

  5. kerokline says:

    “scoops out all the icky stuff.”

    Like… brains?

    God is a zombie O_o

  6. I live in the same area as the NC church that burns Bibles. I believe they make an event of it every year.

  7. I’ve always suspected that many Christians had empty heads… Now it’s confirmed!

  8. Grizzard does have a point. Who other than Satan himself would lead Bible translators to remove the phrase “him that pisseth against the wall” from the text of scripture? That line is freaking inspired!

    Of course, I just can’t get over the irony of CHRISTIANS burning BIBLES. Couldn’t the fundamentalist pyromaniacs get their jollies roasting the Koran or the Book of Mormon? Shouldn’t other religions be more interested in burning the Bible? I’m surprised Dawkins isn’t hosting a burn of his own. He’s got a longer burn list than just about anybody.

    • cermak_rd says:

      Actually Richard loves the King James version of the Bible. He has even offered to do a reading for the former Archbishop on Christmas day. Prof. Dawkins may be an atheist, but he is definitely a cultural Anglican.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        A “Church of England Atheist” like Philip Pullman described himself?

      • That’s rather odd. From his debate with Rowan Williams you would guess he had never encountered anything resembling progressive, big-tent mainline Christianity. He came in to the arena with his Jerry Fallwell maneuvers and was deftly brushed aside by William’s vastly superior intellect and philosophical background (imo). It almost seemed as if it was news to Dawkins that there were religious people who weren’t fundamentalists. It was quite a good spirited debate, however.

    • Marcus Johnson says:

      For you, Miguel, with love: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qo3o4nfiG7A.

      Just in case you hadn’t had a good laugh today.

  9. Adam Tauno Williams says:

    >Shouldn’t other religions be more interested in burning the Bible?

    Or they manage to find something more productive to do with their time.

    We Christians will probably be able to wring at least one more century of squabbling and temper tantrums from the tattered rags of the reformation.

  10. Richard McNeeley says:

    I wonder how you get into the John Hagee room, I am assuming that like his mind it is closed.

    • Well played.

    • Like. A lot.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says:

      +1 Ba-zing!

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      I wonder how you get into the John Hagee room, I am assuming that like his mind it is closed.

      Shaped charges.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Or…
        “A new idea couldn’t get into your head even if it had Hunt and Liddy to help it!”
        — Meathead to Archie Bunker

    • Re John Hagee room.

      If it has a narrow door, Hagee himself could not get in. If you have seen Hagee on TV, you know what I mean.

      I used to watch him on TV a lot, so I’m familiar with his style and favorite topics.

      He does scream a lot about Israel (I’m pretty pro Israel myself, but the guy almost elevates it to a dogma). He likes to rant against Democrats (I’m a Republican, so I get it, but I don’t like hearing preachers who spend a lot of time bashing a political party). He rants about cultural war stuff, how homosexuals are taking over, how there are more fatherless homes.

      I saw two different episodes where he said something about how having wealth proves you have God’s favor, which made me wonder about impoverished Christians in parts of the world such as Africa. I don’t think you can point to wealth as an indicator of God’s favor.

      J. Hagee’s son, Matthew, lost a ton of weight a few years ago and preaches at Hagees church.

      In one sermon, where M. Hagee mentioned adult Christian women, he essentially said their only role in life is to be a great helper to their husband. M. Hagee did not even mention the possibility that there could be never-married Christian women over the age of 30 watching his sermon. It’s just assumed by him that all women past 20 years old are married with a kid.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        If it has a narrow door, Hagee himself could not get in. If you have seen Hagee on TV, you know what I mean.

        Church-Potluck-Every-Week physique?

  11. Regarding the Halloween theological statement of the year: I like Jack o’ Lanterns and all, but I would rather be made into a pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, if I have any say in the matter.

  12. MelissatheRagamuffin says:

    Wouldn’t the money spent on buying up Bibles to burn be better put to use buying and distributing King Jimmy Bibles? But, I guess that wouldn’t get them into the news.

  13. Do the KJV-types ever give a (lucid) reason for why that version is especially blessed? I wonder if you could troll them by suggesting they’ll only see real inerrancy if they read Scriptures in the original Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek…

    In video in the article you can see part of the list of authors to burn. I have to say I kind of agree with them on some points…

    • And of course, now we have a growing ESV Only group. How long will it be before they start burning NIV’s and other versions they think aren’t up to the Holy ESV?

    • I actually read a few years back on line but can’t find it. A study by some quasi-linguistic scholar (not my words) that tried to prove that the English in the KJV was basically ancient and the root for all other languages. It was an odd argument even for KJV only folks.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says:

        Interesting. I think this is possibly an out-of-scope academic statement [mis-]interpreted by a layman.

        Because my philosopher and linguist friends DO SAY things like “all English literature is derived from the KJV”. They mean this in a very specific way – in that speech forms, cliches, styles, etc… of even modern literature written in English upon examination bears the fingerprints of the KJV [a text of vast influence even outside of religious circles].

        • Richard Hershberger says:

          Even that still needs some work to be made fully sensible. Modern Standard English derives from the Midlands dialect of 1600 or so. Pretty much anything written in that dialect is readily understandable by an educated modern English speaker. (If it is written by hand, the orthography is likely to give us fits, but that is a different matter.) Even going back two hundred years earlier, Chaucer wrote in this same dialect, and his work isn’t that hard to figure out. Works written in other English dialects are pretty much incomprehensible and require translation. By the 17th century these other dialects had pretty much dropped out as literary dialects. (The exception is Scots, if you consider that a dialect of English and not a distinct language: it is a charged question.)

          So it is true but banal that all (modern) English literature runs through the language of the KJV. It is less banal to observe that the KJV was a particularly influential example of Early Modern English, but if we are having that discussion we really need to bring Shakespeare into the discussion as well.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            (The exception is Scots, if you consider that a dialect of English and not a distinct language: it is a charged question.)

            Like Russian and Ukranian, right on the border between dialect and separate language?

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        “If John the Baptist used the Kynge Jaymes Version
        Then it’s Good Enough for Me!”
        — “Gimme that old Kynge Jaymes Version”, a filk by a “Pastor Ron” from the early Eighties

        • And which KJV do they mean? The 1611 edition?

          (Joh 3:16) For God so loued ye world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne: that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life.

          The 1769 edition?

          (Joh 3:16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

          One of these has to be the true, only one!

    • srs says:
      Do the KJV-types ever give a (lucid) reason for why that version is especially blessed?

      You did say “lucid.” Do they have reasons? Yes. Are they what most would consider lucid? No.

      Some of them try. They will argue that the Byz. mss are superior, that the TR is more accurate, etc.

      But the vast majority use hokey arguments to support their views.

      Many of their arguments in favor of the KJV 1611 are actually nothing more than negative cases against modern versions.

      They love to play “guilt by association” and the like.

      For example, Zondervan hired a woman to assist in some kind of minor capacity, as a consultant, for some NIV version. She happend to be a lesbian.

      From this, KJVOs assume this woman must have snuck in all manner of pro-homosexual rhetoric in the NIV or something.

      Westcott and Hort played a role in hobbling together a greek text. Because they expressed an interest in the paranormal, they are said by KJVOs to be Satanists/ occultists, so you cannot trust modern (lower) text crit.

      KJVOs feel that Roman Catholics snuck heresy into modern versions.

      KJVOs overlook the same things in the KJV that they condemn modern versions for. It is rumored, for example, that King James had a homosexual affair with some guy (one or two authors even wrote books about his affairs or man crushes).

      A Roman Catholic named Erasmus put together the TR, which in part underlies the KJV. But do KJVOs care about that? Nope. They hold many double standards.

      The KJV you have today is not identical to the 1611 edition. It has undergone revisions over the centuries.

      I think the very, very first KJV 1611 edition had the (Roman Catholic) apocrypha in it. That right there would disqualify the KJV going by KJVO standards, but KJVOs are inconsistent.

      • P.S. srs says:
        Do the KJV-types ever give a (lucid) reason for why that version is especially blessed?

        Oh yeah. I remember one lameo argument they used to use is that the KJV has supposedly sold more copies or has been used by more people than the NIV, NKJV, or NASB, so it’s obvious, they say, that God has specially blessed the KJV.

        I don’t get that.

        It’s like saying Howdy Doody was more popular with 1950s era kids than Star Wars because it was more widely watched…

        Okay, but Star Wars was not released until 1977. How can a movie for kids that did not even come out until the 1970s be blamed for not being as popular with kids who were kids in the 1950s?

        KJVO arguments are a little anachronistic at times

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Do the KJV-types ever give a (lucid) reason for why that version is especially blessed? I wonder if you could troll them by suggesting they’ll only see real inerrancy if they read Scriptures in the original Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek…

      I got news for you. There are some KJV types out there who Truly Believe Kynge Jaymes Englyshe IS the original language. Then there are the “double inspiration” types who claim that God re-Inspired Kynge Jaymes’ translators so their KJV is as Completely Without Error as the original Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek Direct Revelations. It’s a weird version of Verbal Plenary Inspiration.

  14. I never did understand why some Christians are so opposed to Halloween (or the Easter Bunny, Santa, etc).

    I went to one Baptist church where the preacher said he no longer permits people to dress as Santa and visit the church to hand out presents. He felt the same way about Halloween.

    My mom and grandmother were very devout Christians, but both celebrated Halloween. My mom said my grandmother would give candy out Oct. 31 to the kids. My mom used to take me out trick or treating when I was a kid, and she’d hand out candy on Oct 31 when she brought me back home from my trick or treating.

    I used to watch Bob Larson on television. His show was aired late night on TBN either in the 1980s or 1990s.

    Larson claimed to exorcise demons, talk to demons, etc. He had an anti Halloween episode once. He was even opposed to a product he showed of a baby bib covered with cartoon like, smiling Jack O Lanterns on it.

    I think this gets into the fact that Christians have liberty in Christ. If you believe it’s a sin to celebrate Halloween, fine, then do not celebrate it, but please stop sermonizing or writing blog pages to other Christians telling them it’s a Satanic holiday they should all avoid.

    When I participated in Halloween as a kid and teen, I never once worshipped Satan or did anything evil. I considered the holiday merely an excuse to wear a costume and get some candy.

    This was on Prophezine:
    Ten Reasons I Kissed Halloween Goodbye
    The end of it, is that because this Christian woman (who wrote that page) in particular feels convicted to celebrate/ observe Halloween, every single other Christian on the planet is supposed to as well. 🙄

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      The end of it, is that because this Christian woman (who wrote that page) in particular feels convicted to celebrate/ observe Halloween, every single other Christian on the planet is supposed to as well. 🙄

      This is called “Tryanny of the Professional Weaker Brother”.
      The Christianese version of “Tyranny of the Most Easily Offended”.

      Because the Professional Weaker Brother gets everything their way for their convenience while all the rest of us have to tiptoe on eggs 24/7 lest we cause the Professional Weaker Brother to stumble.

      Thank You, Mike Warnke.
      And Bob Larson.
      And Joanna Michaelson.
      And all the others so terrified of Satan slipping his Woopee Cushion hiding under their butts they turned it all into a Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory.

  15. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    And as resident Brony, there’s a Pony for that, too.
    The Pony analog of Halloween, Nightmare Night:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCZkgouf_e4

  16. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    Just for information, I did a search on “Bob Larson” on this site and got almost entirely the IMonk Annual Halloween Rant. Check their comment threads sometime.

  17. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    Halloween Theological Statement of the Year
    from Matthew Paul Turner’s blog

    pumpkintheology (picture)

    It’s the “cutting off the top” part that I don’t like.

    Reading the chalkboard in the picture:

    “He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff … and then He carves you a new smiling face…”

    I flashed upon this little Momento from classic Dr Demento:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wr-kn0JG5p4

  18. Can’t recommend this enough: The King James Only Controversy by James White, now in an updated edition. Bethany House Publishing, I think.