When you read this title, did you think “Obviously, the Bible is a tool, not a weapon”? The Bible refers to itself as ‘a sword of truth’ and a sword can be used as a weapon. But as Christians, are we called to use Bible scripture for hurting or helping? Why would I even ask this question? Because I’ve witnessed far too frequently, how Bible and scripture is used not to bring peace and healing, but division and anger. The Bible, what we Christians claim and believe to be the divinely inspired word of God, is used to sow seeds of dissention and bitterness. How does this take place? There are several ways the Bible is used to hurt rather than help.
Bible scripture is quoted, often out of context, for sinful reasons:
– To prove oneself ‘right’ in a debate.
– To point out a fault or perceived error in someone else with the intent of ‘showing them up’.
– To attack a person’s beliefs, credibility, integrity or personhood.
– Any motive that is not rooted in love.
The Bible says of itself: ‘All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice.’ (2 Timothy 3:16). This scripture is bantered around as catch-all justification for any and all debate that may come up. The quoting of scripture becomes sinful when it becomes prideful. If I’m truly trying to help someone along and my reasons for doing so are loving and kind, that’s the kind of ‘reproof’ and ‘correction’ the Bible is speaking of, and not wanton quoting of scripture for selfish reasons. And it’s not enough to say ‘my motives are right’. Most everyone wants to believe that he has only the best of intentions. But as I Samuel 16: 7 says, ‘Man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looketh on the heart’; He sees whether the motives are pure or selfish.
Another issue with quoting scripture comes in when people ignore the scripture injunction in Matthew 7:3. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” When quoting scripture in reproof or correction, it is very easy to ‘overlook the plank’ in ones’ own eye. I have observed Bible quoting people who are engaged in all kinds of unloving, sinful, unbiblical behavior while still feeling justified in attending to the mote in another’s eye.
When people use Holy Scripture this way, it is done in vain. It is no different in God’s eyes to pervert His Word for ones own gain than it is to use His Name in oath or curse. My goal in writing this article is to warn would-be Bible thumpers about the dangers inherent in using the Bible for selfish ends. I also want to address those who have been hurt by Bible bashers. Please know that God does not deal in hate. If you’ve been attacked by someone who has use the Bible to hurt rather than help you, I urge you to literally, consider the source.
For more on faith, please visit the linked blogs.