Beijing Bibles

Sam Rainer

November 13, 2007

Will the Chinese government allow athletes to bring Bibles to the 2008 Olympic Games? Reports are mixed, and certainty is clouded as to whether visitors into the country will be allowed to bring the Word of God. The latest reports state that each athlete can bring only one personal Bible.

At issue is something more than a political statement. At issue is the authority of the Bible. Clearly, the Chinese government does not hold to the inerrancy, infallibility, or inspiration of Scripture. But these characteristics of Scripture mean little without the total authority of Scripture.

The Bible is the highest authority for all people. Scripture is not subordinate to history, modern logical schemes, government, or philosophy. God imparted this divine authority to Scripture. Therefore, Scripture contains exactly what God wants everyone to know. All people should believe and trust in the words of the Bible because these words are divine in authority. Since Scripture has a divine author, its authority must be divine as well. Scripture is divinely inspired. Therefore, it possesses divine authority.

Remove the authority of Scripture, and evangelism looses footing. Evangelism is the communication of the gospel message from those who know Christ to those who do not know Christ. It is the telling of what a person must do in order to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. Evangelism is not a method; it is a message. Behavior alone is not enough to convey this message. Lifestyle must be coupled with a verbal witness.

Evangelism and Scriptural authority are linked closely. One of the most critical commands in Scripture is that of making disciples. One of the most critical characteristics of Scripture is its authority. Since Scripture is the ultimate standard of truth, proclaiming this good news truth is one of the most important messages that can be relayed to someone who does not know Christ.

The Scriptures do not leave people in a state of bewilderment. The Bible provides the firm foundation on which a person stands. God’s word details for us what is right and wrong. As Christians, we do not follow cleverly contrived myths. The Bible gives a path forward. It represents a blueprint for the way in which we should live our lives.

Pray that the Chinese government will allow athletes the honor and privilege of bringing their Bibles to one of the most multicultural events in the world. The gospel can be shared without a Bible. But it is my prayer that many of these athletes will have the opportunity to give the ultimate standard of truth, God’s Word, to someone who has never heard about the amazing grace of Jesus Christ. Pray that Beijing will be inundated with Bibles. Pray that multitudes will surrender to the authority of Scripture and hand their lives over to Jesus Christ.

4 comments on “Beijing Bibles”

  1. Josh H. says:

    “The latest reports state that each athlete can bring only one personal Bible.”

    That’s more than I would expect from a communist controlled nation.

  2. Sam Rainer says:

    Josh – pithy as usual. But it sure wouldn’t hurt the 2008 Games to have a few more to go around!

  3. Josh H. says:

    Perhaps pithy but I’m genuinely surprised China would allow this at all. That is not to say I find it satisfactory.

  4. Sam Rainer says:

    Josh – To be honest, I find it surprising as well.

    I believe the power of prayer to be stronger than the Chinese government – pray that doors will open to allow a flood of gospel presentations into Beijing this coming summer.

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