Bible / Military / religion · July 10, 2008

Just how many bibles do our troops need? 2 per soldier, 5 per soldier?

I’ve already stated my reasoning for not sending bibles to our soldiers in Iraq.

I think that Tim Todd’s ministry is sending bibles because it is a low-cost, easy to implement, and very flashy bit of religious advertisement that is supposed to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.

But hey, just because a different religious organization is sending crates of bibles to our troops, doesn’t mean that other religious groups can’t duplicate that same unneeded effort.

I just noticed an email today from Campus Crusade for Christ. It’s been sitting in my email box since mid-June. In this email, the director of donor relations for Campus Crusade speaks about all the requests they get to send bibles to soldiers. These requests aren’t coming from the soldiers themselves – but from friends, family and concerned Christians. From this email:

Requests for Bibles for our troops continue to pour in. A recent note shares:

“My husband’s cousin is in charge of a brigade in Iraq and we would like to send Bibles to his whole brigade. They have already lost a Sgt. We could probably find out where to send them. How much would this cost? I believe there are 700 men and women in all. We have been praying for a way to reach these soldiers. His cousin, a Lt. Col., is not saved so we pray for his salvation also. Thank you.”

Meeting the tremendous need for God’s Word among our men and women in uniform is only possible with the support of people like you. Since the beginning of this year, Campus Crusade for Christ’s Military Ministry has been receiving requests for an average of close to 20,000 Rapid Deployment Kits per month.

This email links to a website that also says:

With the help of people like you, more than 1.8 million RDKs-each containing a pocket-sized New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs, a daily devotional, and a booklet that clearly shares the Gospel-have been distributed since September 2001. However, there remains much more to be done as requests for Bibles continue to pour in from soldiers, chaplains, military family members, and others.

I have one of these pocket sized New Testament bibles, perhaps not the Campus Crusade variety – but the equivalent. I picked it up from a table overflowing with bibles while stationed in South Korea. I have no idea what happened to the rest of the bibles on that table. I do know that out of my workshop, I was the only troop that picked one up.

But I have to ask, sending 257 thousand bibles per year to our troops in Iraq seems excessive. there are only about 150 thousand American military in Iraq right now. And it’s not like we get 150 thousand new troops every year – these troops have often been rotated through Iraq on several tours.

So assuming that EVERY soldier in Iraq gets a brand new bible EVERY year, then where are the EXTRA 100,000 bibles per year going?

And this is just Campus Crusade for Christ’s numbers. Remember, other religious groups are doing the same thing!

My opinion still stands – this is an easy to do, low cost, flashy method of attracting attention for your religious group. It is a fund raising bullet that looks great when religions ask believers for money. “Supplied 1.8 million bibles to our troops!” Wow! Look at the great work they’re doing!

Never mind that half of those don’t make it to the hands of any soldier.

And this leads to my second opinion. There is an ulterior motive here. There is a motive to flood a Islamic country with bibles in order to save Muslim souls for Christ. Perhaps if enough bibles get into the country, some one will take them.

To me, this speaks of both dishonesty and cowardice. Dishonest, because while a religion says a bible is going to a solder, the hope is that the solder will give it away to an Iraqi, perhaps as the soldier witnesses to the Iraqi. This borders on urging unconstitutional actions, and feels a little like coercion to me because the guy doing the witnessing is carrying a rifle.

And it is cowardly, because the religious groups involved don’t have the testicles to travel to Iraq and hand out bibles themselves. They don’t do it because they know that some Islamic Iraqis might use them for target practice.

I think that sending this many bibles to the troops in an Islamic country and pretending that they are NOT for Iraqi recruiting purposes is a lie.

But hey, I guess it’s moral to lie in order to save someone’s immortal soul.

So, how many other religious groups are sending bibles to Iraq? If Campus Crusade is doing it, and Tim Todd is doing it – how many others? How many bibles per year are going to Iraq? Easily a quarter of a million, just on these two ministries. Comment or email me with other organizations doing this.

I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re sending a million bibles per year to our poor bible-deprived troops in Iraq.