“KWTX News – CANTON, N.C. (October 13, 2009)—The Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, N.C. will celebrate Halloween by burning Bibles that aren’t the King James Version, as well as music and books and anything else Pastor Marc Grizzard says is a satanic influence.
Among the authors whose books Grizzard plans to burn are well known ministers Rick Warren and Billy Graham because he says they have occasionally used Bibles other than the King James Version, which is the sole biblical source he considers infallible.
According to the church’s Web site, members will also burn “Satan’s music such as country, rap, rock, pop, heavy metal, western, soft and easy, southern gospel, contemporary Christian, jazz, soul (and) oldies.
“We will also be burning Satan’s popular books written by heretics like Billy Graham, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, John McArthur, James Dobson, Charles Swindoll, John Piper, Chuck Colson, Tony Evans, Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swagart, Mark Driskol, Franklin Graham, Bill Bright, Tim Lahaye, Paula White, T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Joyce Myers, Brian McLaren, Robert Schuller, Mother Teresa, The Pope, Rob Bell, Erwin McManus, Donald Miller, Shane Claiborne, Brennan Manning (and) William Young.
During the book burning, according to the Web site, barbecued chicken fried chicken and “all the sides” will be served.”
There’s a movie called ‘What the deaf man heard’ in which there is a scene where the young new pastor gets fired up about a statement made by a popular boy band and so he decides to burn said band’s music in a great fire. They succeed in burning a massive pile of music, but that’s not the only thing that goes up in flames. (If you haven’t seen the movie, this is what happens – the rich man’s son lights the fire and it sends sparks into the air that land on a box of fireworks. One of them goes through the church’s stained glass window and lands in the baptismal font – the temporary storage place of alot of moonshine in a dry county. The uninsured church goes up in flames and the pastor risks his life to make certain that nobody is inside. But to see what happens next, you’ll have to rent the movie for yourself.)
Is it really God’s work to burn stuff?
It was a requirement in the Old Testament, but people eventually forgot the meaning of the sacrifices and burnt offerings. They got so wrapped up in meeting the law as correctly as possible that their worship became empty and their hearts were far from God. So God sent Jesus to be the last sacrifice ever needed.
In the new testament, most of the references to the word burning refer to the ultimate fate of those who choose to remain outside of Jesus. They are the weeds that are burnt, the brush that are set afire, the cursed land good for nothing that will be set ablaze in the end. However, there is this one story…
Seven sons of a Jewish Priest failed to drive out evil spirits from the demon-possessed. Then one day an evil spirit told them he had heard of Jesus and Paul, but he didn’t know the brothers before he beat them until they were disrobed and bleeding.
Acts 19:17-20, “17When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. 18Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. 19A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. 20In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.”
The reformed sorcerers recognized that if they continued to dabble in the magical arts they ran the risk of demon-possession. Burning their scrolls happened after repentance saying, “This thing that was the most important thing to me that I spent hundreds and thousands of dollars on – I give it up. I don’t want to have anything more to do with it. I don’t even want to see it again!” They became afraid. They honored Jesus’ name. Those who believed now confessed their sins. They burned their scrolls publicly. As a result, the word of the Lord spread near and far.
So it appears that there really isn’t a Biblical reason to pile up various music, Bible translations, and Christian books referencing said translations and burn them. I do have a better suggestion – they say that the average American has nine Bibles on their bookshelf. Take all these translations that you find flawed and send them overseas. There are hundreds and thousands of Christians who’d like to have a Bible of their own. It would help them to learn English and maybe even save a soul. As for the rest, donate them or sell them and use the money to feed the hungry. But if you really want to burn something, start with your pastor’s sermon notes.