Metal Bible interview

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Metal Bible interview

Post by MetalForJesus on Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:58 am

Here is an interesting interview the news paper Dagen did with me about the Metal Bible, its origins, what GOD has done through it over the years, resistance and much more! The text is in Swedish but a rough English translation can be read below the link below.

http://www.dagen.se/kultur/bibeln-som-far-en-hard-varld-att-mjukna-1.735373

Here is a rough translation into English of the article:
The Bible that makes a hard world more tender
On the 8th of June Sweden Rock Festival begins. No Christian bands participate this year but inside the festival area Jesus has a gang of people ready to reach out. Their door opener number one is called the Metal Bible, that since 2005 has been translated into 10 languages. And more are on the way..
by Urban Thoms, journalist on Dagen

The History behind the Metal Bible is long and varied and goes all the way back to 1996. That was the year when Johannes Jonsson, a young Stryper loving guy, got the idea to collect testimonies from saved musicians in the metal world and print them in the same book as the New Testament. Everything done with a design that attracts the metal world.

– But back then it was not God's time, so I had to put the idea to rest on the shelf, Johannes Jonsson saids.
He is the visionary. Without him there plainly would not be any Metal Bible. But the Metal Bible has also come to form his own life.

– I am a Metal Missionary, he saids without any kind of hesitation in his voice. And of everything I have been involved with the Metal Bible is what have had the most impact. I really want to thank God for what He has done through it and give Him all the glory.
In the metal culture Johannes saw a big mission field. A global movement whose members were either not familiar with Christ faith and the message in the Bible or had plenty of prejudgements about it. An unreached people so to say.

In the early years of 2000 he every year went to the Pentecostals Summer conference in Nyhem. With a little note on the message board outside the reception he declared ”prayer for the metal world”. A small gang of hardrockers dressed in black and spikes then gathered together among the pine trees after the Sunday morning service. Prayers for different metal bands and persons in the metal scene then followed.

2002 became a crucial year for Johannes.

– Then God spoke strongly to me and said it was time to go to action. I didn't believe that I was the one that would bring it together, he confesses.
But so it was. Johannes got the advice to contact Roul and Birgit Åkesson and their organization Bible for the Nations, that works with spreading the Bible, so he contacted them.
Åkessons' were on fire about the idea and the work to collect testimonies begun. But it proved to be a tougher work than Johannes had suspected. Weeks became months that became years.

Then, finally in 2005 enough personal life stories had been collected to make sense to print the first edition of the Metal Bible. To be able to afford the printing Johannes took all his savings.
The waiting time was not in vain since the response from several of the big names like Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain for example, came first at the end. The patience had paid off.
The Summer of 2005 the Metal Bible was distributed at Sweden Rock Festival for the first time and since then ca 33 000 copies of the Metal Bible have been distributed there. Right now the ninth Swedish edition is being printed.

But the vision was bigger than just Sweden. Summer 2011 the Metal Bible was released in English, German and Spanish, which opened brand new opportunities to spread the word of God on different Metal Festivals around the world. In German Wacken the biggest Rock Festival in the world takes place yearly – Wacken Open Air – and there over 64 000 Metal Bibles have been distributed.

– I could not have dreamed that God would do much as He actually did, Johannes saids. We got the opportunity to plant seeds into peoples' lives. Some of them then make decision many years later to follow Jesus.

– The Metal Bible opens the door for many good talks about the Bible and Jesus. Because of the Metal Bible it gets just natural to talk about topics like this and on festivals we also use to put up signs where we offer prayer for all who wants. Throughout the years we have prayed for many persons.
Johannes emphasizes that they never ”push out” the Metal Bible, but instead people take a Bible of their own free will, because they are interested, and very rarely we see any Bibles thrown away in the festival area. The format also fits the back pocket in the jeans, so it is easy to bring with you.

– Many that take a Metal Bible would never touch and ordinary Bible, but the Metal Bible they are really proud to have. We have heard about people that put them on the finest place in their metal collection. Then later, when God works on them they have Bible to turn to. The big fruit comes in the long run, Johannes saids.
He has a relentless faith that the Word of God influences people positively in the long run.

Everyone is however not that happy about the Metal Bible and Johannes emphasizes that the work is a spiritual battle. Sometimes this is extra evident. Like in 2011 on Sweden Rock, same year as Stryper played there, when the members in the satanic band Watain first attacked Johannes and his friends verbally, then took a Metal Bible, ripped it into pieces and spit on it. Or 2012 in Wacken when Johannes and his friends in the network CMI, Christian Metalheads International, in the middle of the night were treated like criminals and thrown out by guards with dog from the festival area given the only explanation that the Metal Bible was a forbidden book. Since then Christians have not been allowed to distribute Bibles inside the festival area in Wacken, just outside.

– Wacken is the Mecca of Metal. It is the biggest Metal Festival in the world. That's why the fight is extra hard since it is about the heart of metal. The forces of darkness don't like what we do, that is for sure, Johannes saids.

Happenings like these makes the protection of prayer totally invaluable..

– Even if you don't like the music the fact is that this is a mission field. There are people here that otherwise would never ever be touched by the good news. If we hadn't that many that prayed for us the outreaches would not work as well as they have.
Johannes is also very thankful to all that sponsor the Metal Bible. Since the Bibles are given away for free, money to print is needed, otherwise this work would not be possible.

Until now ca 217 000 copies of the Metal Bible have been printed and distributed. Local distribution centers have been setup in countries like Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Canada, USA, Australia, Germany, United Kingdom, Bolivia, The Netherlands, Spain and more. Several new translations are on the way. Soon it will be out on Portugese, Czech, Finnish, Norwegian, Italian and Indonesian. Every time a new language is to be printed we try to find some local artists willing to contribute their testimonies. In this way the recognition factor is stronger.
– They don't need to be known outside the country.

Eleven years after the first Metal Bible was printed it has become the first contact with the Christian world for many metalheads.

– The Metal Bible has crushed many misconceptions and helped quite many to start believing in Jesus. Through it many metalheads have discovered that the Bible is a cool and interesting book that has much to say to us today, Johannes Jonsson sums up.

FACTS:
The Metal Bible
Features the New Testament and testimonies from metalheads that talks about what God has done in their lives and what the Bible means to them.
First edition was released in Swedish 2005.
The Bible text is NLT (New Living Translation), La Palabra (Spain), Folkbibeln (Swedish).
Published by Bible for the Nations.
Some of the featured persons: Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Brian Welch (Korn), Tommy Aldridge (Whitesnake), Peter Baltes (Accept), Dave Ellefson (Megadeth), Michael Sweet (Stryper), Ulf Christiansson (Jerusalem).
Besides rock festivals the Metal Bible is also distributed in several prisons.
Website: www.themetalbible.com (international) and www.metalbibel.nu (Sweden)
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Re: Metal Bible interview

Post by Devon Hill on Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:18 pm

Great interview!
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