So one of my friends shared this story from Fox News about Kanye West fans who created “a new version of The Holy Bible that replaces every mention of God with Kanye West.” The adaptation is called The Book of Yeezus, and can be acquired for a single payment of only $20.
The story was shared with the comment “Disgusting.”
I thought it was funny. I commented, “Not gonna lie. I kind of want one.”
Other users were not amused.
I got the distinct impression that the people responsible for the Kanye West Bible – and possibly Kanye West himself – would compete with people who posted photos of Buddy Jesus having gay sex with a Ken doll for worse seating in hell.
Youth who wore mixed fabrics to their Sabbath job they took in disobedience to their parents where they stole snitches of Red Lobster and took said “Goddammit” when they cut themselves had sinfulness that paled by comparison and should probably apply for an eternal destiny elsewhere.
When I spoke up in defense of Kanye West, noting he wasn’t responsible for it, and the book, noting that God can take a joke, people assumed I wasn’t a Christian. When I assured them that I was indeed a Christian, there was more finger-wagging.
Why are so many Christians so swift to say that if you see things differently than they do you may not be a Christian? What is it about Christianity that so frequently lends itself to this judmentalism?
A while later, someone else answered – an answer I thought was so incredibly telling:
Not judgementalism, truth.
And that solved the puzzle.
“Not judgmentalism, truth.”
What it is about American Christianity that so frequently lends itself to judgmentalism? In a word, truth.
Not truth in and of itself, of course. Truth is objective. Truth is absolute. The truth that leads to judgmentalism here is not objective truth, but opinion masquerading as truth.
Truth is running rampant in American Christianity. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, has truth. Focus on the Family ran something called The Truth Project. A google search for “absolute truth” will launch you quickly to several Christian sites arguing for absolute truth. I once found a note I had written years before that said “I believe in absolute truth. Some people don’t.” I threw it away like it was on fire, repelled by my own arrogance.
Thanks to this massive marketing campaign, many American Christians view being a Christian as equivalent to having the absolute truth. If you are a Christian in possession of a Bible, you have absolute truth.
The problem arises when other Christians in possession of Bibles disagree with you, because…
- To have the truth is to be a Christian.
- To not have the truth is to not be a Christian.
- I have the truth.
- Therefore, I am a Christian.
- You disagree with me.
- Therefore, you do not have the truth.
- Therefore, you are not a Christian.
Which explains the old joke about someone who arrives in heaven and is told to avoid a certain area, because that’s where a particular denomination, choose your own, resides, and “they like to think they’re the only ones here.”
We have the truth. They don’t have the truth. Our salvation is dependent upon our possession of the truth, so if we don’t have it, our very eternal souls and salvation are stake.
But doesn’t this contradict what the Bible actually teaches? Some business about being saved by grace through faith, not because they didn’t edit a Bible to have Kanye West’s name replace God’s throughout?
But who cares. We have The Truth.
EDIT: If anyone wants to buy me a copy of the Yeezus Bible, send me a message on my facebook page and I’ll give you my address.