OK, I am going to come right out and say it. I think this new bible can be dangerous.

The Poverty and Justice Bible

Why do I say that? Because the emphasis is on the wrong thing. It is like giving paracetomols to a person who has a continuous headache, when he actually has a brain tumor that needs to be removed. Or like dusting away fresh spiderwebs every day without ever getting rid of the spider.

I think a big hint of the danger that I am talking about is in the study that found that a quarter of people in Britain today cannot tell the difference between a text in the Bible and a speech by Sir Bob Geldof. Click here to read the article

Even though poverty and justice are important, this bible seems to divert away from mans biggest problem which is sin and the wrath of God and not poverty and justice because even if we can eradicate them, we are still left as an enemy of God.

As I mentioned on my previous post, do we feed the poor, look after the homeless and help those who are in need? Of course we do. Jesus commanded this in Matthew 25:31-46. But that is NOT the gospel of Jesus Christ. We do these things IN RESPONSE to the gospel. There are many people who carry out very good charitable work but they do not have their sins forgiven and as a result, will die in their sins.

If we make social justice the focus, all that we are doing is making the world a better place for people to go from

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Comments
  1. blackreformingkid says:

    It is real worrying when people can’t tell Jesus from Bob Geldof!!! I fully agree with you that this “Bible” is a real dangerous piece of work.

  2. This is an excellent article Alan… I was unaware of this new text. As a pastor of a small community church in Atmore Alabama, I like to keep up with this type of information, as I believe it is a stronghold on the church today.

    We live in a day and feel that if someone will give us a bible that focuses on the social issues of our day and puts it in an easy to read, easy to understand version, it will equip us to serve our Lord. A magic spiritual potion, so to speak.

    A couple of things I would like to consider-

    The first is that God has no trouble communicating what He wants the church to understand. In the book of Acts, He took unlearned and uneducated fishermen and propagated His gospel through every dialect in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost. As He told Moses, “who made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or the deaf or the seeings, or the blind?” In other words, Pharoh will hear what God wants Him to hear; you just go and speak.

    The second thing is that we have more different English translations of the bible today than ever and at least in America the church is ignorant of God’s word. The church lacks both conviction and commitment, so in essence understanding what we read does not necessarily lead one to the realm of commitment that Christ demands of His disciples.

    As you stated earlier, many are getting up every morning and attempting to remove the spider webs and do not even consider killing the spider… good analogy.

    In America these new easy to read and easy to understand translations have done little than immersing us in vain religion.

    malachi

  3. coldfire says:

    I have responded, in part, to your question on my own blog, but I would like to say here that there ARE in fact far more many verses to build a theology of the poor in scripture than there are about “gospel.” While I also believe “the gospel” is central to Christianity, I think that the term is complicated, and not as narrowly defined in scripture as you make it here.

  4. Sicarii says:

    Poverty and Justice Bible? Do such deviations from the true Word of God never cease??

  5. Four Eyes says:

    The Gospel is inseparable from social justice aka “good works”. To deny that is to divorce orthodoxy from orthopraxy. Can you believe correctly without acting correctly?

    It wasn’t so long ago that many churches that claimed the straight and narrow were saying that the KJV supported segregation, that the Word of God taught that one race was superior to another. It was to them the Gospel truth. The fact was without the help of paraphrases or modern translations these “followers of Jesus” had made Jesus into a white supremacist. Why? because there were selfish, they wanted to protect their way of life. It’s the way that it had always been for them. How convenient it was for them to label those that disagreed as trying to water down the word of God.

    Perhaps that’s where we are at today. To give environmentalists some room would make us have to question our lifestyle. Perhaps we are guilty of breaking the second commandment and making God and the Gospel into who we think He should be, because that the way it’s always been for us (and we know we are right?).

  6. Alan Higgins says:

    Four Eyes, I totally agree with your first paragraph. that is why I said that we do the good works IN RESPONSE to the gospel. But our primary offense is not horizontal but vertical and that is where the emphasis should always be but that is not to say that we forget the horizontal offenses

  7. Paul says:

    It’s a shame that some Christians can be so cynical.

    This new Bible merely highlights those passages which spell out God’s compassion for the poor and oppressed. It’s still the whole Bible, with nothing taken out. The publishers have added a large section on how interested readers can find out more about practical ways to help the poor, like mission work with aid agencies and charities at home or overseas, contacting government or politicians, and of course prayer.

    This Bible is not in any way ‘dangerous’ – many Christians would argue that it is essential and encourages those who share God’s undoubted passion for the less fortunate, less advantaged and less well-off than most of us.

  8. Alan Higgins says:

    Paul, as I stated before, we as christians should be doing the horizontal element of christian living but it is dangerous if the emphasis is horizontal.

  9. Mr Olan says:

    You think that Bible is something bro? The other day I saw one brother with the “Manga Bible” with Jesus on the front looking like Ken or Ryu from Streetfighter. Ridiculous!

  10. Roland says:

    How sad – deeply sad. God’s heart was so broken for the poor and the marginalised, and the way in which people had chosen to live in relationship with each other – oppressing, ruling, denying and hating, that when Jesus came to live amongst us his life was spent showing us other ways of relating to each other.
    And time and again his stories point to alternative ways of dealing with the outcast, the oppressed, women, the poor, the marginalised – in other words real justice issues.
    For too long the church has found it much easier to focus on the spiritual realm, as though the “Kingdom” Jesus refers to is NOT here on earth but only somewhere else on an ethereal plane. Jesus taught us to pray that Gods will would be done here ON EARTH. He made it very clear that we way we live our lives in relation to each other, (feeding the hungry, tending to the sick, the poor, the widow), was a DIRECT reflection on our relationship with him – HE IS the poor and the sick and the needy.
    I am very thankful for this text which helps us to refocus on the very issues which break God’s heart – when people refuse to recognised the Jesus in each other.

    • rocksonmama says:

      yes. u and paul are right . how insightful of u . exciting to c christians with their heads on right.
      cheers : )

  11. comment says:

    “There are many people who carry out very good charitable work but they do not have their sins forgiven and as a result, will die in their sins.”

    First – YOU have NO idea who will die of their sins. Only God does.

    Second – this bible is not saying that works will earn redemption. look into it a little bit more. it is still a bible, and still teaches about faith.

  12. Alan Higgins says:

    Did I specify who exactly will die in their sins? Did I specify names? No I did not so my statement is true? Because a person gives charitable does not mean their sins are forgiven.Secondly their website places an emphasis on poverty and justice. This is not mans main problem. Sin is mans main problem and escaping the wrath of God is mans main problem. As I said in my article, christians should help the poor but we do an injustice if we emphasize the wrong area

  13. Roland says:

    Good heavens brother Alan – Jesus clearly states that we will enter in the new heaven and the new earth when we have intentionally found Him where? Not in heaven on a cloud! But in the very people we call the poor, the marginalised and the oppressed. We will find him amongst the naked, the hungry and the homeless. Amongst the sexually abused and the refugees. We have to look sideways (what you call horizontally) to find our calling. We have to look into the eyes of the socially outcast to find Jesus. Why else would James say that true religion is helping the widow and the poor. Jesus says His way is the only way. Was he talking about a “vertical” obsession, or was he perhaps saying “do what I do” – I reach out to others every day, all day, to oppressed women, to the sick and lonely, to those who are hungry, to the those you would rather not mix with – or reach out to. “Thats where you will find me”. Would God endorse the poverty and justice Bible? He wrote it and lived it – of course he would! He is a God who loves justice and whose heart is broken for the poor. he was born into poverty and showed us the ways of justice even unto death.

    My sense is those who would rather not focus on these issues are like those who wouldnt come to the banquest feast – Jesus response was to call in all the homeless, the hungry and the “least of these”.

  14. Alan Higgins says:

    As I said:

    ………. do we feed the poor, look after the homeless and help those who are in need? Of course we do. Jesus commanded this in Matthew 25:31-46. But that is NOT the gospel of Jesus Christ. We do these things IN RESPONSE to the gospel. There are many people who carry out very good charitable work but they do not have their sins forgiven and as a result, will die in their sins.

    If we make social justice the focus, all that we are doing is making the world a better place for people to go from

  15. Betty says:

    Alan,

    You are right on. This book, I will not dare call it ‘the Bible’ or ‘a Bible’ because it is not. It’s a distorted version of the True Bible, inspired by the Holy Spirit. This book is inspired by man, Rick Warren and many others who co-conspired with him. We as believers need to hold fast to what is TRUTH and recognize what is error, and this book is error, it is heretical and blasphemous. This book masks itself as another gospel and I believe to be demonically inspired.

    Satan comes as an angel of light, but he’s a liar and a thief and a murderer! He’s come to steal, kill and to destroy! To destroy Truth. It’s false Christianity. It’s like putting in a little bit of arsenic! It doesn’t kill right away, but destroys slowly and subtly that we don’t even realize it. This is the work of Satan to water down and to destroy the work of Christ. To lessen the cause of Christ which was to redeem mankind unto Himself, to reconcile man to a HOly God, to deliver us from the bondage of sin, the bondage of ourselves, from the bondage of darkness, and to deliver us from the wrath to come and the final judgement. Wake up Christian! Stop deceiving yourselves and be deceived no longer!

    Galatians 1:8-12 “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you hve received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men?For if I still pleased men, I WOULD NOT BE A BONDSERVANT OF CHRIST. (EMPHASIS MINE) But I make known to you, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. ”
    This Poverty and Justice ‘Book’ is not a revelation of Jesus Christ.

    2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers: and they will turn their ears away from the Truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry”.
    Do you have itching ears, Christian!

    Let’s not forget the words of Jesus when He spoke to Judas Iscariot, after a woman came and broke an alabaster flask to anoint HIs head with oil: Mark 14:1-10 ” Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and whenever, you wish you may do them good: but Me you do not have always.”
    Taking care of the poor is a result of our FAITH. Draw people to Christ first, lead them to repentance, then let their faith be manifested in their works. Yes, I know that Jesus said that because Judas’ heart was not for the poor, but Jesus never said anything He didn’t mean. People, we will never be able eradicate poverty. Preach the Gospel of Salvation!

    Acts 3:1-10 When Peter spoke to a lame man who was wanting alms (one’s possessions): “Silver and Gold have I none, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk….So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them – walking, leaping, and praising God. ”
    Peter brought him to Christ first, which is more important than giving him alms.

    If we want to see things changed, the heart of man has to be changed first. Jesus came and preached the Gospel, to bring us to salvation. John the Baptist was beheaded for preaching repentance, the disciples and apostle were martyred not because they didn’t give to the poor, it was because they preached Jesus. Jesus is the “Only Way, The Truth and the Life and nobody comes to the Father but by Me”. That sounds pretty narrow to me. This is to address the one who said that the Gospel is not narrow.

    ” Go and make disciples of all nations…Matt 28:18

  16. Timothy Gambo says:

    please i need poverty and justice Bible, how do i get it?
    please its urgent help me get it.

    Timothy Gambo (Dr)

  17. Good faith produces good action. It is all about faith. How do you know that the Bible is not from good faith to God?

    There are a lot of comments here, how many of you already read the whole Bible or you guys just made prejudgment?

  18. Does the Bible say that if we help the poor, we can go the heaven??

    If not, what is the problem with the Bible. The Bible doesn’t emphasize on what we do will save us but what we believe in God will transform our lives and produce good action.

    The central theme of the Bible is Love. The love I mentioned here is with justice. If we say we are Christians, but our lives never transformed to love others, to help others, what kinds of Christians we are?

    In order to spread Gospel, we have to show our love. Remember what Paul said, if we do anything without love, it is like cymbal.

    We have to follow God, how God loves us? He loves us first, then he sacrificed His only son for us. If God didn’t love us, there is no point Jesus died for us.

    Read the Bible carefully. The Bible is asking Christians to show God’s love, us love to spread Gospel and this is what World Vision does and does it successfully.

  19. Lacie says:

    I see where you’re coming from. The spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ is number one priority. But I look at the life of Christ, & I can’t help but notice how passionate he is about justice & how he went past charity & giving & entered into relationships with the poor. Too often we understand & seek forgiveness of sins, but we think that’s it. I think this book is highlighting God’s heart for poverty & injustice & encouraging us to realize that when we do choose to follow Christ, we must live out justice, just as he did.

  20. Alan Higgins says:

    Thanks for your comment Lacie. I hear what you are saying. I just think that sometimes the PRIMARY focus can be lost but yes we must deal with poverty and injustice as well

  21. TIMOTHY GAMBO says:

    ALL I WANT IS THE COPY OF THE BIBLE FIRST. HOW DO I GET IT WHO DO I CONTACT?
    WHO DETERMINE WHAT IS SIN? ABSOLUTELY IS GOD.THAN LET US GET A BIBLE THAT IS EASY TO READ AND UNDERSTANDING FOR GOD TO SHOW US WHAT IS SIN AS PRIMARRY PROBLEM WITH HIM (GOD)
    WHO DETERMINE WHAT IS POOR OR RICH OF COURSE HARD WORKING, THERFORE LET US DISTIGUISHED BETWEEN HARDWORKING FOR RICHES AND SPIRITUAL REVELATION OF SIN.
    REV.DR.TIOMTHY GAMBO

  22. tscnarchives says:

    I have, over the years, created several “topical” Bibles or New Testaments for myself.
    In the first one, I highlighted all the verses in the NT concerning prayer. I included many of the conversations that people had with Jesus as “prayers,” just to notice how He answered people when He was here in bodily form. The most interesting reply He gave someone was, “What is that to you? Follow Me.”
    I did another on Salvation and Healing. I started with those terms, found the Greek words that were translated salvation or healing, and found all the other English words stemming from those, and used different colored highlighters, and some notes, to sort them by underlying Greek.
    Another was on evil and Satan – I still haven’t finished that one, though I’ve been working on it for a couple of years. There is only so much of it I can stand at a time.
    I don’t cut anything out. I just highlight the subject, leaving it in context. I label the Bible or Testament, and place it on my reference shelf: “genealogy of Jesus,” “time cross reference,” “salvation & healing,” “wealth & power,” “music, singing, & instruments,” or whatever.
    None of them are my favorite, and certainly not my only, Bible. They are a help when I want to focus on a topic, both when I do my original study, and when I turn back to them later.
    I’d put the Poverty & Justice Bible in a similar category, but without all the original work.
    Chill. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be?

  23. Meg says:

    Such a good article thank you for being bold enough to say this I think it’s always concerning when parts of the Bible are elevated above others it’s all His word and should be respected as such

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