Living Free in the Spirit of Christ

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Is the Bible Your Idol?

Posted on June 22, 2017 by Alexander
worship bible.jpg

Do you substitute the Bible for God?

I first proposed this thought in a forum. I should not have been surprised at the out cry of some responses but I was also delighted by those who understood my intention: that is, not to diminish the wonder of the Bible but to point out how it can become an idol that replaces God.

That the Bible can become an idol should not surprise anyone who walks with Christ. Consider the Jews. They prance the scroll of the Torah around their synagogue service no different than Hindus carrying carved idols of Krishna. Even some of the Messianic Jews, who know the truth of Jesus, prance the scroll of the Torah around their congregation in like fashion. This is also true of some Protestants. One of the forum readers made this comment:

“Some of us are old enough to remember when the expectation was that the Bible be treated as sacred and holy. You washed your hands before you handled it. It was to be on the top of any stack of books. It was to be displayed and not hidden away in a drawer or cabinet. The pages were not to be soiled or smudged.”

While the Bible was the main example of idolatry, my purpose in the thread was to address idolatry in our heart. Paul told the Colossians this:

Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

Idolatry of the heart is not focused on physical objects, per sé, but abuses the God intended purpose of the thing. Fornication is sex outside marriage; uncleanness which is lewd behavior; inordinate affection which is lust; evil concupiscence which is longing for the forbidden; and covetousness which desires that which belongs to another, all of which Paul calls idolatry. Just because something is religious does not exclude it from being an idol. It is not the object that is an idol, but how a person regards the object that can make it an idol.

I am not pointing fingers at others because I, too, am searching my own heart for God to break the idols that I am unaware that I have. Many others who understood my point listed several other idols to consider.

Another comment  said this:

“Placing one translation  of the Bible above others, sometimes even faith itself.

King James Only people have the tendency to say if you do not read the King James you are being deceived. I have even been called a satanist for not reading the KJV. This within the last week actually. That is the worst kind of insult to throw at a believer just for not reading a specific translation.”

Still another said:

“I agree, I’ve met people that seemed to make the Bible this 4th persona of the Trinity,”

This one even considered God as an idol.

“The fact is some people make God an idol, they change the nature of God to fit their warped doctrine. God is Love, and only Love is one such Idol. The God of Calvinism is also an Idol as well as the Universal salvation God. Naming your Church after a man is also idolatry. The Creeds of man, such as the Nicene and Apostles Creeds. Using the so Called Church fathers as religious authority in many ways is idolatry. Using the religious teachings of men or extra biblical writings is also idolatry. The Pope is an Idol to millions of people.

One of the worst ways to form an Idol is to use the conjured up ideas of one’s own mind and saying it is God or the Holy Spirit speaking to them. This is nothing but pure idolatry.”

That same person then said:

“Here is another Idol, when people replace a false personal relationship with Jesus Christ and thinking they do not need the Church. ( The Lone Christian ) It’s just me and Jesus against the world. It is idolatry “

When I began the thread I included a passage from Isaiah 46:1-2

Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth; their idols are upon the beasts, and upon the cattle; the things that ye carried about are made a load, a burden to the weary beast.
They stoop, they bow down together, they could not deliver the burden; and themselves are gone into captivity.

The danger of idolatry is the bondage and burden it places upon the idolater. The first  commandment (have no other gods before Him) and second  commandment (make no graven images or have idols)  are for our benefit, not the Lord’s. He is jealous for us only in the sense that he desires our best welfare.

When one believes that the only way you can “hear” God is through the Bible then one substitutes the Bible for God. As stated many times before we are not casting the Bible aside. One can easily be deceived by the imaginations of one’s own heart or the voice of demons whispering into our spirits. We read the Bible both as a love letter to us from God and as a reference point of recognition for the voice of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. We all agree that God will never contradict the written Scriptures which are His testimony about Himself and His relationship with mankind. The Holy Spirit never contradicts the written Scriptures.

Popular verbiage creates confusion. The Bible is called the Word of God and many confuse the Bible with the Logos, who is the Living Word of God. I tried to clarify this point:

“I took a philosophy class at Dallas Baptist University where I learned that the Greek word, “logos” meant more than just “word”. The professor pointed out that Plato had coined the term to represent the “idea” beneath all creation. This “idea“, or logos, is the source of each created thing. So there is an “idea” for a tree, for example, that is the source for the creation of a tree.

The teacher believed that the Apostle John was aware of the Greek philosophy and chose that word, Logos, as a way of reaching the Greek audience in declaring that Christ is the “idea” behind all creation. Paul in Colossians tells us that Christ holds all the universe together, so the teacher’s point of view has merit.”

We are warned in 1 Corinthians 2:14 that the natural mind does not receive the things of the Spirit for they are spiritually discerned. We understand the Bible by the Spirit, and, of course, this is what most who are arguing that the Bible is the only voice of God, since God uses rhemas (Greek word meaning “that which is spoken”) when a passage jumps out at you. We are all in agreement that God uses this as one way to communicate.

A Swedish woman said this:

“The Bible is His word, and we absolutely have to read it in order to learn about Him. But we cannot even comprehend it without Him teaching us, because it is spiritually discerned. If we don’t seek HIM first, then how could we even use the Bible?

The Bible is a product of the Holy Spirit, so without His guidance when reading it, we are making an idol of something created. We must seek a relationship with Him not only in Truth, but in the Spirit, and the Spirit must come first.”

This hit the nail on the head about what I was addressing. It is listening to the Spirit by whatever means He uses that we live as Christians.

As said by the first commentator:

“And yet when we are yielded to the Spirit, we have the gift of discernment that informs us when the words of others just aren’t quite right. IMO, it is only those who lean into their own understanding who are likely to be deceived. “

The purpose of the Bible is to help us to know God, not to replace God.  It is very easy to lean on your own understanding with natural thinking.  Knowing the Spirit through the Bible comes by seeing the main point of the message by its context (which gives you the spirit of the message) and by believing the good character of God in all the message of the Bible.


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