Lifeway Christian Resources, the retail and sales arm of the Southern Baptist Convention and the bane of biblical Christians everywhere, pulled down the Teen Devotional ‘The Word According to Gen-Z’ after several examples of the bible translations they use in the book to make the scriptures more accessible and relevant to Gen Z readers (Born 1996 to 2015) came to light showing what might only be described as a great irreverence for the word of God.
Other Translations include “Since Day Uno there was Cap G. Big J was chillin’ with Cap G, And Big J was Cap G” for John 1:1 and “I marco-polo’d Cap G and he didn’t leave me on read, and snatched up all my scaries” for Pslam 34:4.
In a statement issued on Twitter, Lifeway clarified that the book was not in fact a new translation of the bible, but rather defended the product as a sound piece of literature, with the decision to remove the book done out of an overabundance of caution so as to not misinterpret Lifeway’s commitment to sound biblical doctrine (hahaha).
By all accounts the book isn’t the trainwreck that some make it out to be- it is accurately described by Lifeway, and if you remove the goofy, blasphemous paraphrase portion (which, if we’re being honest, are scarcely worse than the Message Bible or the NLT), might be a decent, run-of-the-mill evangelical literary offering. The creators of Sunday Cool think so, explaining their motivation for creating the devotional.
Life started with God’s word. But the bible isn’t boring or outdated – life still starts with God’s word. It actively transforms us. It pierces our hearts with truth. His Word empowers us with confidence to live for him.
Over the next 30 days, the guys at Sunday Cool will guide you through unique daily devos with verses translated into Gen Z lingo. You’ll learn about the reverence, ministry, and application of God’s Word. You’ll also see how Scripture isn’t just about reading, but deep study and enjoyment of the very God who created you.
But what is laughable is Lifeway’s protestation that they are doing so out of “reverence for and commitment to the authority and seriousness of the scriptures.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
Far from being concerned about equipping Southern Baptists with an exquisite selection of the best books that Christendom has to offer, Lifeway’s primary driving factor is the pursuit of the almighty dollar, routinely taking little sidequests along the highways and byways of the Baptist experience, on a mission to attain some of that sweet, sweet filthy lucre.
How else can you explain their propensity to stock every sort of soft-covered spiritual strychnine they can put on their shelves in any space not currently occupied by a Beth Moore bible study?
We ask that metaphorically, of course, as the Lord was merciful to his children when he took out Lifeway’s physical locations and then cursed them with a 25% drop in online sales. Consequently, we’re thankful for every hardship they endure, every calamity they suffer through, and every misery they abide. Harsh? Hardly. How else should we feel about the largest retailer of heresy in the world?
We have one prayer for Lifeway: that they utterly and completely implode into a smoldering crater for all the gangrenous blasphemy they’ve been peddling for decades. Our feelings run to the point where if the Lord tarries a thousand years, old Southern Baptist men and women will look back with solemn eyes, wistful words, and speak with deep regret and shame that they ever allowed the theological abortion known as Lifeway to be even passingly associated with their denomination.
Alternately, we pray that Lifeway steps back from the black mass they’re currently engulfed in, rend their proverbial garments, and repent for the great sins they’ve engaged in by giving Southern Baptists the knife to slit their own throats on account of all the poisonous content they’ve been providing over the years.
Then they can burn 80% of their books and turn the whole affair over to men and women who understand the content they sell should be what pastors, elders, and church leaders recommend as being the most thoughtful, engaging, edifying, provoking, and biblically faithful resources they can give SBC churches in order to build their sanctification and help them understand the purposes and character of God.
Lifeway will then ensure that the books, movies, and music they sell will be thoroughly vetted to determine if the authors are being faithful to the scriptures in their exegesis, interpretation, extrapolation, and application so that churches and members can feel confident that the “new and improved” Lifeway has done their due diligence in actually caring for their souls and spiritual well being.
One of the two.
Until then, let it burn.
Editors note. A portion of this article appeared in another post on this site, with the permission of the author.