By Tom Lamb-- New Zealand
Can we make an idol of our Bible:
No, I am not a fanatic! I do not sleep with my King James, nor will I be buried with my own KJV when I die! Sentimental attachment? Nope!! I might use it as a doorstop or a glue weight, when there is nothing else around that's handy. And I would not be scared to dump or incinerate one when it got too old and tatty. If people go over board here (as some people always tend to do in any area of faith) then it is not my problem but theirs. It is also not God's problem. It's not the material fabric (the physical paper pages or the books cover) we follow, but the words (whether scribed, penned or punched on a keyboard) which are spirit, and they are life. So please read on:
A common accBliption against King James bible people is they have become so caught up in one book by God, they have become idolaters because they actually worship the King James instead of God. A scripture they might quote here is John 5:39:
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
In other words, "you're too caught up in the Book but not the Person!"
Now doesn't that sound koool!!! The very reason they say we are caught up in the Book is the very same reason we are caught up by the Person Christ Jesus our Lord, who wrote the Book in the first place so He could say:
... they (that's the scriptures contained in the Book) are they which testify of me.
Psalms 40:7 ... in the volume of the book it is written of me.
You want to know Jesus, then you need to know the Book! Want a relationship with God, then be confident, without wavering, in the Book you are reading. There's no alternative folks!
Also, the people who Jesus were speaking to here had the same problem as Catholics, Judaizers, and all Religionists have today; they were putting the word of God on a par with their tradition or culture, which of course cancels out the word, as the word of God stands alone. I think Matthew 22:29 is appropriate here:
Yea do err, not knowing the scriptures.
In regards to worshiping the word, or elevating it to some place of importance it doesn't deserve, as some would put it, let's allow the word to speak for itself:
Acts 13:48 ... when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord.
I thought we were only supposed to glorify Jesus? But scripture reveals they are one and the same ... they (the scriptures) which testify of me (Jesus).
Again, 2nd Thessalonians 3:1 ... that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified.
But the excuses keep coming:
"The star only pointed to Jesus. So if the wise men had worshiped the star instead of finding Jesus, they would've missed the mark. Therefore, let us use scripture to find Jesus and not worship scripture!"
Wow, sounds awesome this time!! Choooice Man!! The RP agrees with the first point but not the second. The Star was not our daily bread, nor was it our rock to build our faith on, nor is it the Christian's guide because ...
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Many follow stars today whether they be horoscopes, movie "stars", sport "stars", or rock "stars". Some, have even made their Minister or Pastor into a Superstar. Some, sadly, even try to hitch a ride behind a comet with tragic consequences. All these things the bible plainly piano coversns against. Also, man spends billions on technology while millions starve, thinking he can reach the stars and find life's answers. But Jesus through the scriptures says:
I am the way the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
And this has nothing to do with thanking your lucky stars or knowing your 'Sign'! Live by the "stars" and you will end up like them, perverse and bound. Jesus said:
... if ye continue in my word,then are ye my disciples (followers) indeed ...
Stars, whether they be great people or popular personalities, mystical powers or heavenly phenomenon's, are corruptible! But Bible Believers have been born again by the incorruptible word of God.
Also, notice how scripture gives such pre-eminence to the scriptures:
* Romans 4:3. For what saith the scripture (in regards to Abraham)?
* Romans 9:7 ... the scripture saith unto Pharaoh.
* Romans 11:2 ... the scripture saith of Elias? They don't say here, "the Lord saith!" No, the scripture saith!!
* Galatians 3:8 ... the scripture foreseeing that God would... Can scripture look into the future?
* Galatians 3:22 ... the scripture hath concluded all under sin. Can scripture think? Can scripture make
judgements? Can scripture make predictions? Sounds like final authority to me!
Doesn't the scripture have a ring to it; like a Person, like Divinity? With breath, with spirit, as well as authority? How many more facts do we need?
* The scripture is holy (2 Timothy 3:15), meaning pure, without blemish or corruption.
* Of truth (Daniel 10:21), meaning true, without error or mistake. Infallible. The scripture that is!! Scripture!! Is making factual scriptural statements like this worship or idolatry?
Last of all we must consider this very important scripture:
Ps. 138:2 ... thou hast magnified they word above all thy name.
Get this: God has made His word above the name of Jesus! If you read the above verse in most modern translations you will miss the point completely (and know doubt it's deliberately rendered so). For they read:
RSV ... "thou hast exalted above everything thy name and thy word". (emphasis mine) Changing the meaning completely; the word and name being on equal status.
NASB ... "Thou hast magnified Thy word according to all They name." (emphasis mine) Again changing the meaning completely; the Lord's name put above His word this time. Reversed roles.
And why has the Lord magnified His word above His name?
You see many armies have gone out in God's name pillaging, raping and maiming. But has it been scriptural? Many prophets have prophesied many strange off-beat things in Gods name. But has God told them to?
Jer. 27:15. For I have not sent them, saith the LORD, yet they prophesy a lie in my name ...
Think of the many 'weird and wonderful' things done in Jesus name today, without scriptural backing?
Get the drift!! What is done in Jesus' name, must line up with scripture first, or else it's not of God. The name of Jesus is very important, but it is not enough, it must be backed up by the authority of the Holy Book. The two are inseparable and must go hand in hand.
In regards to the accBliption of worshiping the Book, it must be mentioned the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is the most precious and exalted name there is, and is the only name by which man can be saved. Praise God He has told us so by His word. Because God has made His word His final back-up in everything that pertains to life, faith, and practice. Therefore, we cannot help but exalt, magnify, glorify, and elevate the word of God, as contained in the scriptures within the pages of the book called the Holy Bible, to a place of prominence and pre-eminence in everything we do ...
... that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified.