I know a great photographer. My family has used her on a couple of different occasions, and she is simply the best. Everyone who sees her pictures absolutely loves them. I would recommend her highly and will use her for all of our photographic needs. How much sense would it make though if I asked her to bring over all of her equipment to the house to help me with my most pressing need right now, a deck that desperately needs to be stained? No matter how superior her camera and lighting is, it won’t do much good on the deck. It wouldn’t make sense, no matter how great she is with photography to expect her to be equally prepared and skilled when it comes to carpentry or fly fishing or chemical engineering.
But many of us have been taught that it’s ok to treat the Bible that way.
The Bible is life giving. Every word it says is true. It informs our lives. It guides, inspires, and corrects. But, in the words of Reggie Joiner, “the Bible is all true, but not all truth is found in the Bible”. Yet we stretch the Bible to force answers that it doesn’t supply on it's own. Here are three things we can all do to avoid damaging others with the Bible:
Quit Using The Bible To Speak When It Is Silent
Just because the Bible doesn’t tell us the year that the universe was created doesn’t mean that it’s less valuable. There is no reason to be afraid of what the Bible doesn’t include. God inspired the writing of the Bible to include what it includes. He has also inspired it to leave out what it leaves out. If He is ok with us not having all of the answers, then we can be ok with it too.
Quit Using The Bible As A Fact Finding Tool
The Bible wasn’t written to supply you with pithy answers to atheists who challenge you. It’s a bad idea to use the Bible to try to prove how wrong other people are. The Bible is a beautiful collection of stories, history, and poetry. It’s a story to be caught up in, not a tool to bludgeon others with. When we read the Bible with the primary goal of relating to God we will never be disappointed.
Quit Using The Bible To Try To Prove Your Point
When we go to the Bible to back up what we already believe we close our eyes to things that God may be interested in showing us. The Bible is not a tool to prove how right you are. It’s an invitation by the God of the universe to open our hearts and minds and be changed. When we read the Bible we are entering into a relationship. In the same way that it’s not good to use someone for our own purposes, it’s bad to use the Bible simply to win arguments.
The Bible is a powerful book. It doesn’t need to be twisted to do things it doesn’t do. It does everything we need for it to do. When we force the Bible to say things it isn’t really saying, we either become discouraged or we hurt other people, and the Bible doesn’t exist for either of those purposes.
Quote from Reggie Joiner at Orange Tour Charlotte 2015