In May last year, a country lifted a ban on the Bible which had been in place since 1969. When I learned about it, I laughed. I was thinking about the futility of banning the Bible. There has been a long history of banning the Bible and all attempts have failed. In one case hundreds of years ago, William Warham, the Archbishop of Canterbury, tried to ban Tyndale’s translation into English as well as other books.
Did you know that China now prints more Bibles than any other country? The Bible is now available in Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union. In fact, Russians are translating the Bible into the languages of Ghana.
It is silly to ban the Bible. For one thing, the ban never sticks. Oh, it might stick for a few decades, but history shows that a ban on the Bible is not sustainable government policy.
That’s why I laughed. I was also thinking of God’s reaction to the machinations of governments, recorded in Psalm 2 (emphasis mine):
Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
Because I have spent most of my adult life in Africa, people in the US sometimes ask me how I see my country. One of my observations: Christians don’t laugh enough at the actions of government, officials and politicians while wringing their hands too much.
We need to imitate God more by having a good belly laugh at some stuff that usually has us in consternation.
There are still plenty of places in the world where the Bible cannot be freely distributed, studied or translated. Join me in a laugh of faith in the hope that will change.