[sword-devel] GNU and OS ideologies and indulgences

Steve Tang sword-devel@crosswire.org
Tue, 11 Dec 2001 06:13:12 -0700 (MST)

On Tue, 11 Dec 2001, Jerry Hastings wrote:

> Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 00:48:37 -0700
> From: Jerry Hastings <hastings@dancris.com>
> Reply-To: sword-devel@crosswire.org
> To: sword-devel@crosswire.org, sword-devel@crosswire.org,
>     Leon Brooks <leon@brooks.fdns.net>
> Subject: Re: [sword-devel] GNU and OS ideologies and indulgences
> At 10:36 PM 12/9/2001 -0600, Jerry Kreps wrote:
> > > Free-gratis is good for people who ``can't afford'' a Bible
> >
> >I am curious as to who cannot afford a Bible but can afford a
> >computer?  It seems to me that one of the Sword's (plus Bible modules
> >& Bibletime) biggest advantages is that it can be downloaded into
> >areas where a printed version of the Bible might not be able to go.
> >And, as an Open Source app, it can be freely copied and spread, which
> >is to say nothing of its value as a study aid to God's Word.
> Right! It is great to be able to supply ministers and students who have 
> limited funds with gratis Bibles so they can use their limited funds on 
> other things for the glory of God. (Perhaps others are providing them with 
> the computers to use it on.) And it is very nice to be part of getting the 
> Scriptures into places where it is forbidden. But there is something more. 
> What began with men like Tyndale and Luther and technology like the 
> Gutenberg press, is still developing today. Without the Reformation what is 
> done here today would only have been allowed for the "anointed". Most of us 
> today probably don't anoint kings and priests. And those that do, probably 
> see any anointing as having a lot less scope than it did before the 
> Reformation. And we don't buy and sell  indulgences. Or do we? It has been 
> said, by one of the pioneers of making free Bible etexts and study etexts, 
> that the granting and accepting of permissions in the Church, for money or 
> gratis, is a modern equivalent of indulgences. Taking what God freely gave 
> and then demanding others get permission before they can use it in the way 
> they wish. The best thing about SWORD may be that so much can be done with 
> it without anyone needing to ask permission to do it. No one connected to 
> SWORD even has to know about these things that may be being done.
> 1 John 2:20 YOU have an anointing from the Holy One, and YOU know the truth.
> Jerry

Kudos to the team from a newbie supporter.

This effort is important to me for the following reasons.

1. I'm a naturalized Chinese and God put a burden in my heart at around
'86 to work on the new wave of Chinese immigrants. Thank Him I saw Chinese
population here at least quadrupled since and most of the new comers grew
up in an atheist environment and judging from the way they accept the good
news, they really need Him. Most of these people are well educated and
perhaps are the cream of the intellectuals from that country.

2. A lot of them stayed, but a lot are seeing the economical oppotunities
back home which most western world have been seeing for a long time. Every
time I see somebody who came here, accept Him, and go back, I simply wish
to bless them with all the Christian treasures so available around here. A
CD has been what I have in mind since I found Sword. BTW, I also learned
that PC are very accessible there, in cities where the bulk of population

3. Importing bibles into China is still officially frowned upon. As far as
I know, a personal copy is ok, but a box full of bibles spells trouble.

4. American Christians perhaps have a hard time believing what our Lord is
doing there. Acts 1 comes in handy in describing it. Unfortunately many
heresies, some well-intentioned, pop up fast also. I believe that we need
to properly feed them, not just the good news and milk, but also solid

5. To me, the Sword project is solid food. I'm watching silently what the
project is about and have already worked out a few Chinese modules on my
own. I am looking forward to understanding enough to be 'officially'
helping the team in any way I know how. I seem to sense that UTF-8 is
difficult for a few people (including me) but would encourage you to march

6. I've learned also that we have excellent Christian teachings and
materials, but areas in the front line are where you need be to really see
the Holy Spirit work. Not all of us can go to the mission fields, but we
can certainly support our soldiers in ways we can.

Steve Tang...