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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8 Responses to Amazing Grace in North Carolina : Halloween Bible-Burning Bash

  1. Bob Sam says:

    Show Biz! Why just burn the easy stuff? Anyone can burn a bunch of atheist authors, etc. Yawn. Ho-Hum.

    But, this guy knows how to get the headlines. Straight out of the Man Bites Dog School of Publicity Seeking. At least he isn’t making his kids lie to get a Reality Show.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like someone’s taken a page from Savonarola’s 15th century Bonfire of the Vanities in Florence. Also sounds like this guy’s may have forgotten that most of Florence’s “faithful” denizens who flung their evil possessions on the fires rather quickly reverted to their former ways after Savonarola & several of his cohorts were burned on a cross. This burning business can be tricky, just ask the KKK

  3. Anonymous says:

    WHICH BIBLE?
    IF IT’S NEW, IT ISN’T TRUE, AND IF
    IT’S TRUE, IT ISN’T NEW.
    CHANGING GOD’S INSPIRED WORD IS TO CHANGE IT TO SUIT THE MEANING OF THE PERSON RE-WRITING IT. DOESN’T THAT TELL YOU SOMETHING?
    THE KJV NEEDS NO CHANGING. IF YOU ARE READING IT, YOU KNOW THAT.
    CHRISTIAN, BEWARE OF THE DEVIL. HE HAS A DECEIVING IMITATION FOR EVERYTHING. THE BIBLE INTERPRETS ITSELF; THE BIBLE CALLS IT “RIGHTLY DIVIDING.” USE THE OLD KJV BECAUSE IT’S TRUE AND BECAUSE IT KEEPS DIVISION OUT OF THE CHURCH. NEW VERSIONS CAUSE STRIFE, AS YOU CAN WELL SEE. THE DEVIL LOVES IT.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Someone needs a history check:
    Christianity is 2 millenia ago – most would agree that qualifies as “old” (even if they disagree with the claim that old = true).
    The KJV of the Bible only dates to the 17th Century. Moreover, KJV Bibles printed in the US are acutally the late 18th Century “Baskerville” Revision of that 17th Century translation. That is the KJV is only about as old as the USA, no more. If the previous writer really respects old, and cannot read the original Greek, I suggest the first English translation of the Bible (1380 Wycliffe) – but be prepared for visual and philosophical challenges because it was handwritten & loaded with translations that do not accord with the JKV. The Christian “Bible”, however rich and valuable a source of history, culture, spiritual and moral guidance, was neither formed nor frozen in the printed words of the Revised King James Version.

  5. My brief article is a satire on the absurdity of fanaticism on a small American local level, however I am most interested in the comments it has evoked. I in no way would pretend to get into the strident argument over which version of what is the only acceptable whatever.

    I studiously refrained from suggesting that supporters today’s narrowly accepted KJV would or would not be able to intelligently discuss the Complutensian Polyglot, the first printed edition of the Greek New Testament, actually Volume 5, completed in 1514. There was no plan, as history tells us, for this volume to be published separately from the six-volume set, which included a Hebrew Grammar and dictionary to help folks read the first four volumes. The ultimate publication of the total finished Catholic supported work needed the blessing of Pope Leo X and that took some five years till 1522.

    So, as we can see, playing “Name That Bible” is not something for the average parishioner to haggle over because the actual history of the Bible is a tangled, multi-lingual challenge even for dedicated scholars. And that is serious business. Difficult to understand because the devil is in the details.

    My article is anything but serious, focusing very lightly upon ignorance, intolerance and misguided zealotry. It will be interesting to see what happens Halloween night in Canton.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If he was a more “knowledgeable” person, which we seee he is not, he’ll also burn Hegel, Marx Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Nietszche, Richard Wagner’s musical and written works, H.G.Well, Hermann Hesse, Thomas Mann, George Bernard Shaw, Igor Stravinsky scores like “The Rite of Spring”, Jean-Paul Sartre and others. But then, he is in the same state where the supposedly “action” of the old crummy tv sitcom “Andy Griffith” happens. Why be so surprised?

  7. Richard says:

    Now if we can just get some other goofy cult to burn the one these nuts don’t burn it will be the greatest social advance of the century.

  8. Mtnsweety says:

    Tonight the heavens opened and rain fell. Book burning didn't take place. There were several news crews, reporters, Sheriff and protesters. If I had been the pastor I would have been embarrassed that more protesters came out than members. There may have been books destroyed but when the flock left the building it was the woman and children first, only five of them and then the pastor himself.

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