Getting the Word Out

by | Aug 31, 2006 | Blogs, The Strang Report

We still face the challenge of getting the Bible to those who need it.

This month’s cover story about those who have been martyred for helping make the Bible available to the common man means a lot to me personally. That’s because I am the direct descendant of a man who was martyred for translating the Bible—John Rogers. He was the first English Protestant martyr to be executed by Queen Mary I of England.


I read in a family history that my grandmother was one of Rogers’ descendants. I knew nothing about him, so when I was in England, I did some research at the British museum. I learned that, after William Tyndale was martyred in 1536, Rogers carried on the work Tyndale had begun of translating the Bible into English.


At that time, Bible translating was dangerous because the church didn’t want people to be able to read Scripture for themselves. It had to be carried out in secret. For this reason, Rogers published his work under the name Thomas Matthew.


His translation was called the Matthew’s Bible. I have a copy of one page framed in my office. I like to tell visitors he is my most famous ancestor—and that my roots in Christian publishing go back to him.


Though I might like to brag, what happened to Rogers was no bragging matter. According to an 1887 edition of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, his wife and 11 children met him as he walked to his death on February 4, 1555. All he had to do to preserve his life was recant his beliefs, but he refused, saying, “That which I have preached I will seal with my blood.”


Fast-forward 440 years to the early 1990s when I first visited communist China with missionary Dennis Balcombe. I was asked to smuggle some Bibles into the country in my luggage because so few were available for the fast-growing church there.
I put about 500 copies into two large suitcases. But when we went through security, the authorities opened my bags, and I was arrested. I was detained for a few hours while the authorities decided what to do with me.


Finally, I was released, but my Bibles were confiscated. Balcombe said the guards would resell them on the black market, so they would end up in the hands of someone who wanted the Word of God. But the experience showed me two things: I could see firsthand that the Bible was not wanted by the authorities in China, and I could identify with the suffering church.


The incident also made me so angry that when I wrote about it in Charisma (July 1993), I raised enough money to print 50,000 copies of the Bible in China to replace the 500 that were confiscated. That’s a hundredfold increase.


Interestingly, this “Ink and Blood” issue of Charisma will be handed out at the first Charisma Book Expo, to take place in Atlanta from Sept. 27-30. It’s said that the Christian products industry is about only one book. And though today we enjoy enormous freedom and have a plethora of Bible translations and editions, we still face the challenge of getting the Bible and other good Christian materials into the hands of those who need them.


The Bible isn’t able to change lives unless people actually read it. By encouraging those who make the Bible available through retail stores, we are encouraging more Bible reading and literacy in our culture.


I hope you can attend the Charisma Book Expo. It’s open to the public. And though it’s a trade show, we believe you will be ministered to by the authors and musicians who will be there, including Martha Munizzi, Zachery Tims and John Bevere. (Learn more at www.charismabookexpo.com.) For the first time, we are using Streaming Faith to cover all the general sessions, so you can log on and be ministered to no matter where you are in the world.


To read Foxe’s original account about John Rogers, as well as my column on being arrested in China, go to www.charismamag .com/Bible. At this site you will also find our daily Bible-reading program to help you read through the Bible in a year. I hope you’ll use it in your devotional time—because “getting the Word out” is one of the most important things we can do.


Stephen Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma. To read past columns in Charisma by Stephen Strang, log on at www.charismamag.com/strang.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Why There is Power in Your Song

Why There is Power in Your Song

Do you have a great voice? If so, then sing! Do you have a horrible voice? If so, then sing! There is power in the song. God gave you your vocal cords, voice and ability to sing. There has never been a culture in which music was not part of society. We see music...

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

Have you ever wondered what heaven was like? What does a person see and experience when they are in heaven? Is the arrival in immediate when a believer dies? These are great questions and ones that Rabbi Felix Halpern can answer. A mix-up in medicine brought about a...

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Learning to listen with discernment means that you begin to recognize the voice of God so well that other voices sound unfamiliar. In John 10:5a, Jesus told his followers, "Yet they will never follow a stranger." This statement needs to become a reality in your life....

5 Stages of Building a Successful Team

5 Stages of Building a Successful Team

The definition and purpose of leadership are directly tied to organizational models and the five stages of building an organizational model. Let’s talk about those five stages. What we say here may sound somewhat like what you may have heard before about building a...

Mario Murillo Compares America Now to Israel on Mount Carmel

Mario Murillo Compares America Now to Israel on Mount Carmel

America stands in a crucial moment, much like the moment where Elijah made Israel choose between Baal and Jehovah. Elijah said to the people, "How long do you halt between two opinions? If Baal is God..." That's according to Evangelist Mario Murillo, whose ministry...

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

There are many incidents of God giving people a sign throughout the Bible. Although I believe God still does this, I also believe that we must be careful. Asking for a sign can be misleading if other factors are not taken into consideration. In Genesis, we find an...

RECENT ARTICLES

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

The last words Jesus spoke to me in my 23 Minutes In Hell vision were, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” Then He repeated Himself and said again, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” The...
Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Praise be to Almighty God, righteous judge, holy of holies, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The earth is His footstool, and to His kingdom there is no end! Breached Births The Spirit of the Lord says this day: “There has been a breach—breached births, My...

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

The global apostolic movement is the most significant expression of Christianity today. This is the view expressed by historian Philip Jenkins. He talks about the rapid expansion of the church in the global south, much of which is reminiscent of the first-century...

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Do you have any relationship struggles? Perhaps you want to learn how to love, for real. Too often today, people search for a fairytale love and are disappointed when the fairytale fizzles, which it will. Michael Gibson, author of Real Life Love, challenges folks to...

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

Have the words that others have spoken over you ever significantly impacted you? Words can birth destinies on the inside of us and bring hope to our hearts for the future. They have the power to ignite our dreams and give life to our souls. At the same time, negative...

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose, peace and, if he can, our future. Jesus knew it was important to warn us...

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose, peace and, if he can, our future. Jesus knew it was important to warn us...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]