Desecration of the Holy Bible: What If this is the Spirit of the AntiChrist?

First, an update to the Bible Desecration Crisis.

After stamping 5,000 copies of the Alkitab without seeking consent from Christians, Putrajaya went full throttle with the stamping of another 30,000 copies even  after receiving strong protests from Christian leaders. The Malaysian Insider reports, “He [The importer] received a phone call from the Home Ministry’s state director, one Julia Johari, this morning telling him Putrajaya had given explicit instructions to immediately [emphasis added] carry out the stamping on the entire cargo of 30,000 holy books as per the conditions imposed for the release.”

In any crisis, negotiators always recommend confidence building measures to defuse the tension. In contrast, the government has delivered in quick succession a double hook punch at the Malaysian Church. Perhaps the right upper cut will be delivered in the midst of negotiations reportedly in progress between government officials and Church leaders. Church leaders negotiating with the government must stay alert!

Let us look at the stamp that has been callously chopped (imprinted) onto the  Alkitab (Malay Bible) in Klang.

The English translation reads: REMINDER: THIS “AL KITAB BERITA BAIK” IS FOR THE USE OF CHRISTIANS ONLY. BY ORDER OF THE HOME MINISTER.

The stamp imprinted onto the New Testaments in Kuching shows what a big ugly mark it really makes:

The English translation reads, REMINDER: THIS “NEW TESTAMENT/PSALMS AND PROVERBS” IS FOR THE USE OF CHRISTIANS ONLY. BY ORDER OF THE HOME MINISTER.

Notice that the official government stamp/chop is stamped on the bottom left corner, and a serial number is imprinted onto the upper right corner. obviously to facilitate the tracking of every Malay Bible used in the community by the government authorities.

Evidently, Christians must now submit to an order/law that is higher than the word/law of God. If the contemptuous act of defacing the Bible amounts to sacrilege, arrogating a higher authority above God is BLASPHEMY.

The special mark reminds me of a prophesy in the Book of Revelation about a Beast that spoke like a dragon rising out of the earth:

“Also it [The Beast] causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666” (Revelation 13: 16-17).

“No one can buy or sell unless he has the mark.” It would be devastating to be unable to buy the necessities of this life without an official mark. It is all the more devastating if one is barred from buying the fundamental necessity for both this life and the life to come – Holy Scripture — unless the book bears an official mark. And horror of horrors! Now Malaysian Christians (and only Christians) cannot buy their Holy Scriptures unless it bears a special mark. Horror of horrors! What if….What if the forerunners of the AntiChrist indeed have come?

Some years ago a group of prominent historians (Robert Cowley et. al) wrote a marvelous history book entitled What If. Their exploration of alternative scenarios of pivotal moments of history proved to be both startling and insightful. It should also be instructive for Malaysian Christians to apply the big What If question to bear upon the incident of stamping the Alkitab.

Of course, one should be extremely guarded about identifying any particular individual or organization with the Beast or the Antichrist. History is littered with such naïve and misguided attempts, and it’s not my intention here to identify the AntiChrist.

It is, however, appropriate to discern how certain individuals or organizations in history do precede and foreshadow the coming of the AntiChrist. Indeed, the apostle John warned his readers to be alert to manifestations of the spirit of the AntiChrist in his times.

1 John 2:18 — Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.

In this case there is no What If. It is indeed the spirit of the AntiChrist!

Desecration of books does not just end there. Historically there is a connection between burning of books and burning of people. This was most famously captured by the German poet Heinrich Heine in his Almansor: A Tragedy 1821.

“That was mere foreplay. Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.” (German: “Das war Vorspiel nur. Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen.”)

The Nazi book burning campaign in 1933 climaxed with the burning of Jews in Auschwitz.

Granted, we are not talking of the burning of the Holy Book now. We are only talking about marking of the Book. But What If the marking of the Book ends up with the marking of the People of the Book? The pun would be fun if not for the grim scenario. Mark my word!

The authorities wield awesome powers against which the saints are defenseless. They can only echo the prayer of the persecuted saints in Revelation 6:

“O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge… those godless authorities who callously desecrate your Holy Book?”

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Sarawak Bibles stamped with Home Ministry seal LINK

UPDATED @ 07:02:05 AM 19-03-2011
By Debra Chong and Sheridan Mahavera
March 18, 2011
 

A copy of the Bible with the ministry stamp. — Pictures by Sheridan Mahavera

KUCHING, March 18 — Thirty thousand Malay Bibles seized by Home Ministry officials from the port here were stamped today with the government’s seal without the importer’s consent despite Putrajaya’s assurance that the holy books for Sarawak Christians would be left untouched.

The move comes on the heels of an alleged defacement of a separate consignment of 5,100 Bibles shipped into Port Klang from Indonesia by the Selangor-based Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM), and has caused a surge in jitteriness as Sarawakians brace for a emotive state election expected to be called next month.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had defended yesterday his ministry’s stamping of 5,100 Malay-language Bibles in Port Klang with its official seal, saying it was standard protocol and not done to “deface” the Alkitab.

“As for the serial numbers on the Bibles, the reason why it was done to the specific Bibles is because they are subject to the particular seizure in Klang,” he added.

Hishammuddin’s Cabinet colleague Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz had also said the 5,100 copies in Port Klang remain illegal due to a prohibition in Selangor Islamic laws.

However, the de facto law minister had told The Malaysian Insider that the 30,000 Alkitab in Kuching could be released immediately as there was no enactment in Sarawak against the use of the term “Allah” in non-Muslim publications.

 

The ministry stamp in the Sarawak Bibles.

The Sarawak importer, James Redas, told The Malaysian Insider that local Bumiputera Christians are highly upset at what they see as a desecration of their holy book and will make their feelings felt at the ballot box.

“They know what to do when the elections come,” he remarked.

Sarawak is the most culturally-diverse state in the country; but in terms of religion, about seven out of 10 people there are non-Muslim.

Yesterday, The Malaysian Insider reported that the Sarawak cargo worth RM78,000 had been left untouched after the BSM complained its Port Klang consignment had been defaced.

Today, Redas related the situation has changed.

He received a phone call from the Home Ministry’s state director, one Julia Johari, this morning telling him Putrajaya had given explicit instructions to immediately carry out the stamping on the entire cargo of 30,000 holy books as per the conditions imposed for the release.

Alarmed, Redas said he asked the director to withhold the task while he consulted national church leaders.

However, by afternoon, he received another call that the deed had already been carried out.

He said he rushed to the ministry’s office in Jalan Satok here where the holy books had been stored since being seized from port in January, and asked for two copies as proof.

“I requested two copies of the Bible to confirm that they have been stamped. I specifically said I won’t want to take the collection,” Redas said in recounting the day’s events, adding he had to fill out a form to acknowledge the move.

“This in no way means that the Christian community accepts these Bibles. These two copies are just samples,” he stressed.

He said the peninsula-based Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM), which represents over 90 per cent of churches nationwide, had advised him against retrieving the remainder of the ministry-endorsed cargo.

As can be seen in the pictures snapped by The Malaysian Insider, the stamp which appears on the inside page of the Bible’s cover prominently displays the words: “Untuk kegunaan penganut Kristian sahaja [“For Christian use only”].

 

The ministry stamp clearly says the Bible is for Christians only.

The government’s move to release the Bibles has, however, sparked fresh concerns of reigniting Malay-Muslim anger and fears over non-Muslim use of the word “Allah”, which reached a critical point last year with arson and vandal attacks on several houses of worship.

The Christian and Muslim religious communities have been engaged in a tug-of-war over the word “Allah”, with the latter group arguing that its use should be exclusive to them on the grounds as Islam is monotheistic and the word “Allah” denotes the Muslim God.

Christians, however, have argued that “Allah” is an Arabic word that has been used by those of other religious beliefs, including the Jews, in reference to God in many other parts of the world, notably in Arab nations and Indonesia.

The tussle is still trapped in the courts after the ministry won a stay of the 2009 High Court ruling that allowed Catholic weekly The Herald to use “Allah” in its Bahasa Malaysia section.

“This is because in Selangor and other states in the peninsula besides Penang and the Federal Territories, there is still an enactment that prohibits the use of Allah by non-Muslims,” Nazri said.

The 10 remaining states currently enforce the Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non-Islamic Religions Enactment, which restricts the use either verbally, or in print, of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims.

The Najib administration was to have discussed the Alkitab and Allah row in the weekly Cabinet meeting in Putrajaya today, but has maintained an elegant silence on the subject to date.


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10 Responses to “Desecration of the Holy Bible: What If this is the Spirit of the AntiChrist?”

  1. Voon Choon Khing Says:

    Thanks for your enlightening update for prayers!

  2. Katie Says:

    Alkitab is available online and is an iPad and iPhone application.
    Start downloading before mcmc also clamp on dat

  3. Kee Lan Says:

    Would like to be kept posted on news.

  4. John Ow Says:

    Does this mean that Christians are allowed to use the Alkitab, including references to Allah…….?

  5. leslielee Says:

    WHERE IS THE WORD FROM? DOES THE FOUNDER OF THIS WORD PROHIBIT SUCH A WORD BEING USED BY CHRISTIANS AS GOD.HOW HAS THIS WORD BEEN USED IN MALAYSIA.

  6. Larry Owens Says:

    As Christians all we have to do is look around and see the events in this present evil world and know our Lord & Saviors return is not going to be delayed much longer.

    Come Lord!

    AMEN

  7. The Alkitab issue: different Malaysian Christian responses @ B L O G P A S T O R Says:

    […] Dr Ng Kam Weng on Desecration of the Holy Bible: what if this is the spirit of the antichrist? […]

  8. Stephen Sum Says:

    We lives in the end of times awaiting the coming of our Lord Jesus again.
    The signs are all there pointing to the glorious second coming where we will takes on a new form, rid of all sins and sickness, basking in the glory of our God enjoying everlasting life.
    Let’s us continue to give thanks for this undeserving Grace given to us.
    History have always shown that the more the church of Jesus is persecuted, they will comes out of it growing stronger and bigger.
    Praise the Lord; I can see the numbers of believers growing fold by fold in Malaysia.

  9. Tan Yuew Ming Says:

    This is good news, this shows that they – the govt., recognise the threat, influence the Bible has on their – the Muslims, community. The word of the Lord is the word of the wise that can lead people out of ignorance, to not simply follow the propaganda of the govt. as they are now doing.

  10. Welcome to Malaysia Says:

    Welcome to Malaysia…

    […]Desecration of the Holy Bible: What If this is the Spirit of the AntiChrist? « Religious Liberty Watch[…]…

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