When Cecil B. DeMille wanted to make the epic film, The Ten Commandments, he had to convince Samuel B. Mayer, the legendary head of MGM studio (and a real money tight-wad) to open up the vault for what would be an expensive movie to make (with all the special effects required). The conversation went back-and-forth between the two for quite a while: DeMille (“It will be a blockbuster, making you tons of money”) and Mayer (“But what if it isn’t, I’ll wind up in the poor house.”) Finally, Mayer said to DeMille, “Alright, if you are such a religious man, let me hear you recite the Lord’s Prayer. If you can do that, then I’ll sign on and give you the funds.” DeMille thought to himself that the only prayer he knew was the one his mother taught him at bedtime, when he was a little child, so he quoted to Mayer – “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord, my soul to take.” After hearing it, Mayer said to DeMille, “I really didn’t think you knew it!”
China is losing the war it’s waging on Christianity within its borders. The more the Communists crack down on the underground church, the more it seems to grow and grow. Those in the know (Chinese mission-ologists) now say that of the country’s 1,000,000,000 (one billion) population, 100,000,000 (one hundred million) are born-again believers. That means one-out-of-every-ten Chinese know Christ as Saviour.
So now Beijing has devised a new plan, rewrite the Bible. Already the Chinese government has been stripping away all religious references (Bible, Christ. God, miracle, baptize, prayer) from literary classics such as Robinson Crusoe, The Count of Monte Christo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, etc. As an example, “when a star falls, a soul goes to be with God” in Hans Christian Anderson’s, The Little Match Girl, has been changed to “when a star falls, a person leaves this world”. Next is The Good Book. A five-year project is in the works to make the Scriptures more Communist China friendly by translating in a number of elements of Buddhism (for God) and Confucianism (for Christ) and taking out any portions that are deemed as being anti-state. For instance, here are two expectations:
Romans 13:1 retranslated in
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God (replaced with Buddha): the powers that be are ordained of God (replaced with Buddha).
Acts 5:29 removed out
(Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in his name?) Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
The bottom line? One thing is for sure, when the Communists are done re-writing all that God has said – it will truly be the ultimate red-letter edition.
There is a growing acceptance movement in the church that is called Red-Letter Christianity. What is it? A red-letter Christian is one who elevates the red letters printed in most Bibles (i.e. the words of Jesus) over the black-letters printed in the Bible (like the words of Moses, David, Paul, John, etc.). They consider the latter to be inferior to the former. In so doing, their major doctrine is The Sermon On The Mount and their way of living is WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?).
Note – Red-Letter Bibles are really a fairly recent innovation, starting back in 1901. The idea originated with a German immigrant named, Louis Klopsch who was the editor of a national religious magazine called, The Christian Herald. And it was while meditating on Luke 22:20 (This cup is the new testament in my blood…) that the thought came to him of putting the communion verses like this in red ink. And so the first red-letter Bibles had only four verses printed in red ink (Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20 and I Corinthians 11:25). But eventually, all of the words of Jesus were changed from black to red.
You say, “But pastor, the Bible is very clear in II Timothy 3:16. It says that, All scripture is given by inspiration of God… I totally agree. But for red-letter Christians there is a major disqualifier – II Timothy 3:16 is written in black ink and not in red ink.