As I was scrolling Facebook, I came upon a friend’s acknowledgment of having doubted God’s existence for a while. Don’t worry, my friend is fine now. It reminded me of a verse from the Book of Evangelical, chapter 12 and verse 23:
“Thou shalt not acknowledge thou art having a crisis of faith until certainty hath returned.”
A friend commented and said he remembered reading that verse. I think plenty of us are familiar with the Book of Evangelical, but when I ran a google search for it, I couldn’t it anywhere, even on Bible Gateway. I checked my NRSV and, though it even contains the Apocrypha, it’s missing the Book of Evangelical. I think my NASB has it, but I lost it somewhere and haven’t seen it for years.
All that to say, I’m sorry. I don’t have a full copy to post, but I memorized a few passages in Sunday School. If you remember any verses I forgot, I’d welcome the addition.
Without further ado,
Chapter 1: God’s Opinion About the Bible
1:1: The Bible is the inerrant word of God. It is historically and scientifically accurate, except for the parts that are obviously metaphorical, which thou shalt know by their disagreement with well-established and indisputable science and history.
1:2 The Bible hath no contradictions: As it is written, “Thy word is truth.”
1:3 The Bible doth not condone anything we now acknowledge to be wrong, such as slavery.
1:4 God said it, I believe it, and that settles it for me.
1:5 Genocide is evil, unless the Bible says God did it, for if the Bible says God did it, then it is so, and God’s ways are higher than our ways, so if God commanded genocide, then that particular genocide was holy, righteous, and good, for it is written, “The Canaanites were full of wickedness, so God destroyed them.
1:24 Thou hast the Spirit of God abiding in thee, so thou shalt know the truth when thou readest the Bible, for it shall be obvious unto you.
1:25 If any shall speak evil of thy interpretation, thou shalt say thou art not interpreting, for no word of God is subject to private interpretation.
1:26 In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, charity; in all things, Jesus Christ.
1:27 Thou shalt know what things are essentials, for thou shalt firmly believe they are essentials and that they are true.
1:28 If anyone shall believe the words of this book, yet shall live them out in a way of which thou dost not approve, thou shalt say, “Thou hast not the Spirit of God abiding in thee, else thou wouldst see it my way.”
1:32 Thou shalt read thy Bible, pray every day, and thou wilt grow, grow, grow.
1:33 If thou readest not thy Bible, forgetest to pray, thou wilt shrink, shrink, shrink.
Chapter 3: Commands Concerning Language
3:14 Thou shalt not use the A word, the B word, the C word, the D word, the F word, or the G word. All words beginning with E mayest thou use, for there are no naughty words that start with E.
3:15 Thou shalt not use the G word or the G-D word, for saying God’s name in anger is the same as taking God’s name in vain.
3:16 Thou shalt not use the H word, the P word, the S word, or the T word, for the Bible tells thee so.
3:17 “Gosh,” “darn,” “shoot,” “sugar,” “frack,” “fudge,” and other words similar to words that are forbidden mayest thou use, but verily I say unto thee, they shall damage thy witness.
3:22 If a friend or pastor uttereth words with which thou shalt wholeheartedly agree, thou shalt respond by saying “Amen.”
Chapter 4: Commands Concerning Clothing
4:6 Women shall not wear two-piece bathing suits, nor shall they wear mini-skirts, halter tops, or form-fitting clothing, nor yoga pants, lest they cause their brothers to stumble.
4:7 Men may wear whatever they want, for women art not subject to temptation through what their eyes shall see.
4:8 If a man shall lust after a woman, he is not to blame, for whatsoever the woman hath chosen to wear is to blame; she shall bear his guilt and his gaze.
Chapter 5: Commands Concerning Christmas
5:1 Christmas is not a pagan holiday, nor shalt thou suffer to live any who blasphemously say otherwise.
5:2 In Christmas shalt thou keep Christ, nor shalt thou suffer any stores or governments to remove it.
5:3 As the wise men brought gifts unto Jesus, so shalt thou bring gifts unto thine families and friends, and, if thou hast time, thou shalt volunteer to help those less fortunate than thyself,
5:4 and if thou hast extra money, thou shalt send some to support the missionaries, for verily, verily, I say unto thee, the eternal souls of the hungry and thirsty lost are more important than food and drink, for it is better to go to heaven starving than to go to hell hydrated and properly fed.
Chapter 6: Commandments Concerning America
6:1 Thou shalt get America back to God.
6:2 America was a Christian nation, founded on Christian principles by Christian men of God, except for Thomas Jefferson, who basically believed in God and thought Jesus was cool, so shalt he be co-opted anyway.
6:3 Abortion is murder and is a sin against God, and for it shall America face judgment.
6:4 Thou shalt not suffer the gays or lesbians to get married, but shalt pray the gay away.
6:5 America existeth but only for the providence of God, the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
6:6 America ceased to be a Christian nation when the lie of evolution became widespread, an evil that hath been the root of all other evils, including abortion, gay marriage, and interracial marriage, which God no longer seeth as evil, nay, but ill-advised.
I can’t remember any verses from chapter 7. Help?
Chapter 8: Commandments Concerning Atonement and the Afterlife
8:1 Heaven is for real.
8:2 So is hell.
8:3 Jesus spoke more about hell than about heaven.
8:4 Most of the people you meet are going to hell.
8:5 If thou dost not accept Jesus Christ into thine heart to be thy personal Lord and Savior, thou shalt be eternally tormented in hell, which is a real place.
8:6 If thou awakest in hell, it is forever, nor shall there be any backsies, for it is written, “It is appointed unto man once to die, and then cometh the judgment.”
8:7 Randomly selected verses in Romans shall be called The Romans Road, and shalt tell thee how thou must be saved.
8:8 Hell is really not torture, but separation from God, which is torture.
8:9: Jesus lived the life I could not live, he died the death I should have died.
8:10 Jesus died to satisfy God’s wrath against our sin. If thou shalt say otherwise, thou art a liar and the truth is not in thee, nor art thou a Christian.
8:11 Thou shalt win souls, and to win souls, thou shalt convince them to pray the sinner’s prayer.
8:12 The sinner’s prayer is as follows: “Dear Jesus, I admit that I’m a sinner, and I believe thou diedst for my sins, and I accept thy forgiveness. Please come into mine heart. Thank thee Jesus. Amen.”
8:14 Whosoever is a Christian shall be raptured and taken to heaven, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Thou mayest hotly debate with thine friends whether the rapture shall be pre-trib, post-trib, or mid-trib.
8:15 The unsaved and impure shall not be raptured, but shall be left behind and suffer the great tribulation, which shall be seven years; no more, no less.
8:17 If anyone shall deny the words in this chapter, he is not a Christian, nor is the truth in him.
I know I memorized at least verses 4 and 12 of chapter 9, but for the life of me I can’t remember them. Sorry.
Chapter 10: Commandments Concerning Righteousness
10:3 Thy good works shalt not save thee, but when thou art saved, thou wilt know thou art saved by thy good deeds.
10:4 If thy deeds are evil, thou wert not sincere when the sinners prayer thee prayed, and thou must come forward while we tarry a moment, lest thou spend an eternity in hell.
10:5 Love the sinner, hate the sin.
10:17 Thou shalt not run thine own life, but shalt give God the keys, the pen, and the steering wheel. How to do this is a profound mystery, but thou must do it to be wholly sold out for God.
I think I must’ve been asleep when they preached about Chapter 11. I’m sure I would’ve remembered it.
Chapter 12: Commandments Concerning Faith and Doubt
12:8 God will not give you more than you can handle.
12:20 To believe is not enough; thou must know that thou knoweth that thou knowest thou art saved.
12:21 Verily, verily I say unto thee, unless thou knowest thou art saved more than thou knowest thou art breathing, ye shall not enter the kingdom of Heaven.
12:22 If thou shalt have a crisis of faith, ye shalt not speak of it.
12:23 Thou shalt not acknowledge thou art having a crisis of faith until certainty hath returned.
That’s all I can remember for now. There may be a few more chapters, but I really can’t remember. Bring it in the comments.
David M Schell
I am a doubter and a believer. I have a Master's in Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, but because faith grows and changes, I don't necessarily stand by everything I've ever written, so if you see something troubling further back, please ask! Read More.
11 thoughts on “The Book of Evangelical”
This is fantastic! I seem to recall this text being referenced in 2nd Hesitations, but never knew what was in the original until now.
As I’ve looked further into the manuscripts, I found a conjectural emendation between 6:4 and 6:5 that reads as follows: “If a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender person cometh into the assembly, he shalt in no wise be permitted to speak of his orientation, for to speak thereof is to identify with sin. Instead shalt he pretend to be straight, for to embrace one’s sexuality is nigh unto actually having gay sex, and if he pretendeth hard enough, the universe shalt manifest straightness unto him.”
After I read this, I went to check if any of my Bibles had the Book of Evangelicals. I found that one of my Bibles had it, but it was worded differently than what you have here (maybe yours is the KJV?) and the forward called it the “Study Notes” instead. Interesting…
I was thinking the missing Chapter Seven must have been about…. If you prayed the Sinner’s Prayer and later doubted or back-slid, then you must not have ever been truly saved. Because “Once saved, always saved” and “..neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand, not powers, nor principalities, nor rulers of this world… except you yourself.” But I guess that was covered in 10:4. 🙂
Excellent! You nailed it. My first Bible (KJV only) had the Book of Evangelical after the Book of Fundamentals, and I remember many of the passages you mention.
I was in a “seeker sensitive” church, so we had the updated version of the BoE – it’s important to be relevant you see. Chapter 7 was concerning media, but especially music. Some of the verses I memorized.
4. What you take in with your eyes and ears goes to your heart, guard your eyes and ears from wordly evil.
5. Garbage in, garbage out.
6. Secular songs are evil, even if the words seem benign it’s all about sex and drugs and you shouldn’t listen to any of it. Unless it’s a country song or you can somehow twist the lyrics into talking about God.
7. Any movie rated higher than PG will likely have sex, nudity or swearing, none of which can be justified by any of the content. Don’t watch these movies.
8. If you do watch movies higher than PG, feel properly ashamed, and confess to a friend so they can pray for you.
Chapter 11 was concerning proper Christian relationships.
22: Pray for your fellow Christians, especially if you think they may be backsliding. Gather a group of friends to discuss and pray, but keep the person at arm’s length so their sin doesn’t contaminate you.
23: Christians don’t date. Relationships form out of mutual devotion to God, especially at service events.
28: If you are alone with a member of the opposite sex, the temptation will be overwhelming, flee temptation and keep your relationship pure.
That must’ve been paraphrased from The Message’s translation.
3:23 Upon having a good thing happen to thee, thou shalt declare that thou art blessed. For declaring thy fortune be from the Lord shall convert thy neighbor.
I grew up in a Southern Baptist church but am not sure I know what the BofE is. I’ve read this entire article trying to figure out if it’s satire making fun of the rigidity of evangelicals or if it’s sincere. On the one hand, much of this is VERY familiar and I know many, many people who subscribe to this thinking. On the other hand, some of these are so extreme, almost straight out of an SNL skit, it made me re-think the sincerity of it.
Alas, the comments have given me my answer. Thanks everyone for all the info 🙂