One of my favorite episodes of Seinfeld is when we first get introduced to the now famous “Soup Nazi.” His famous line, of course, is quoted in the title.
Browsing the headlines over on Digg.com this afternoon, I read that Chinese authorities have said “No Bible For You” to the athletes as they placed the Bible on the ban list for the 2008 Olympics. The news is just breaking, and the story could change, but there are several sites reporting it. They also recommend that you only bring one Bible if coming to China for the games. If you know anything about China, this will not be a surprise to you. They aren’t exactly pro-Christian there, but the amazing thing is that God is still working. In fact, the Chinese church in 1997 was seeing a growth of 10,000 new converts every day. Despite their best efforts to stop it, God’s Word is still spreading in China and changing lives.
In fact, Olympic organisers in China said there would be no restrictions on Bibles in the Olympic village. Later, the reporter for the Italian newspaper unconvincingly defended his story by asserting that a ban on “pamphlets and materials used for any religious or political activity or display” meant Bibles, even after the Chinese issued a clarification changing the banned category to “promotional materials”.
On the other side of the ocean, America is drowning in God’s Word and we still choose not to read it. There are “literally hundreds of different translations” of the Bible into English according to the International Bible Society. Perhaps it’s because we have it everywhere that God’s Word seems so unimportant to us.
It was with this in mind that we decided to create our own secondary theme for the 30 Hour Famine this year. We’re calling it “A Famine For God’s Word” (Based on Amos 8:11) and we’ll focus not only on fighting physical hunger in the world, but spiritual hunger in our own lives and in our communities. One early idea is to create a 30 day journal or activity that has students read a verse or two a day for 30 days and reflect on it. In the end, it’s all about teaching students to read the Bible regularly and thus be transformed by it.