19 October 2009

Amazing Grace in North Carolina : Halloween Bible-Burning Bash

Graphic composite by Larry Ray / The Rag Blog.

It's a Halloween bible roast!
Burning 'perversions of God's Word'

By Larry Ray / The Rag Blog / October 19, 2009

The Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, North Carolina, has big plans for Halloween and just might win the "Old-South Small Town Flaming Fundamentalist Award." The church is planning a really big bible burning, or as they see it, "Burning Perversions of God's Word." And as long as the flames are roaring, "We will also be burning Satan's music such as country, pop, heavy metal, western, soft and easy, contemporary Christian, jazz, soul, oldies but goldies, etc."

Bluegrass seems to have made it, along with classical music but I bet Pastor Grizzard would toss Offenbach's "Orpheus in Hades" on his pyre if he knew about classical music.

All this is being done in an attempt to rid the immediate area of all those other bibles that "are not the word of God" and Grizzard has it honed down to anything that is not "based on the TR." And he is not referring to Teddy Roosevelt or that huge carnivorous dinosaur, T Rex.

The single abbreviation is for "Textus Receptus", or "Received Text," the great recitation straight from the mouth of God, AKA the King James Bible, as defined by Pastor Gizzard who coheres to Erasmus's original Greek Testament. Any other biblical interpretations are flawed and not the word of God according to the Pastor and his 14 church members.

So scholars beware! Check the list, "We are burning Satan's bibles like the NIV, RSV, NKJV, TLB, NASB, NEV, NRSV, ASV, NWT, Good News for Modern Man, The Evidence Bible, The Message Bible, The Green Bible, ect.(sic)"

However, there are some exceptions, again straight from their web site, "We are not burning Bibles written in other languages that are based on the TR. We are not burning the Wycliffe, Tyndale, Geneva or other translations that are based on the TR. We will be serving Bar-b-Que Chicken, fried chicken, and all the sides."

To make sure Halloween is clean fun for all, Grizzard's web site promises a raging fire from other blazing blasphemy penned by the likes of everyone from the Pope to Oral Roberts:
We will also be burning Satan's popular books written by heretics like Westcott & Hort, Bruce Metzger, 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, William Young, etc.
Canton, North Carolina, is in the shadow of Cold Mountain, which inspired the 1997 NY Times bestseller of the same name about a post Civil War romance and it seems like a nice enough place. I hope the Amazing Grace Baptist Church makes sure to get a special burning permit, otherwise the fire department might be called out, and fines levied. Or at least that is what Article B, Fire Prevention and Hazards of the Town of Canton, NC Code of Ordinances, seems to say in Section 3-2011: "Open fires prohibited in fire limits. It shall be unlawful for any person to ignite, use or maintain any open or unenclosed fire within the fire limits of the Town." (Code 1963, Sec. 8-1)

It would just take all the fun out of Halloween not to be able to burn the writings of Mother Teresa and Jimmy Swagart.

[Retired journalist Larry Ray is a Texas native and former Austin television news anchor. He also posts at The iHandbill.]

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