Wednesday, October 11, 2006

worshiping the Bible?

I love the Bible. I have loved it since my conversion. I almost always have a Bible on my body. I love memorizing Scripture and meditating on it.

Something I've been thinking about lately is whether its possible for the Bible to become an idol. I believe that the Bible is verbally inspired by God, and that everything written in it has the weight of God's authority behind it. But do I love the Bible more than I love God?

I know that sounds aweful. Its aweful to love anything more than we love God. But I guess I find it easier to read, study, and memorize the Bible than I do to pray. I'm wondering if I end up having more allegiance to the Bible than I do to Christ, because I can hold my Bible, the words don't change, they're not elusive. I can put my Bible in my pocket.

I guess I'm also trying to figure out whether being addicted to the Bible is the same thing as being addicted to the person of Jesus Christ. It is his book. I guess I just feel the need to be honest about the fact that I spend more time thinking about the Bible than I spend thinking about Jesus. I love Jesus. I believe in him. I worship him as God. I want to be more faithful to him every day. I want to give him the honor that is do him, not only in word, but also in thought and action.

I'm just wondering if its possible that in my heart I've elevated the book above the Person, or if that's even possible.

16 comments:

JD said...

Jason,

I struggle with that too. Since I originally started blogging, and felt God calling me to share, I have noticed that there has been more study, discussion, and evangelization, at times, than prayer. You are not the only one and I struggle in my heart to make sure that the blogging I do gives glory to God in all that it is and that I am not writing to show that I am smart, or to hear myself talk, or to convince myself that the evangelization is good, especially when I am neglecting my prayer life.

I recently was nominated for a position on the Executive Board of my home church by the Lay member committee. It was funny. As soon as I opened the letter, my gut feeling, my heart said, "Say no." I talked to my wife about it and asked for her prayers as well as praying about it myself. I asked a friend of mine, whom I deeply respect, his take on it and for prayer. The one thing that he said that sticks with me most is ,"If God wanted this for you at this time in your life, there would be absolutely no hesitation about it. You would not be here asking my opinion, you would be asking for prayers to do what is right by God."

When it came down to it, no matter how it may seem, is the "small still voice" always said NO. My biggest concern was would I accept the nomination for God's glory or my own. It would be nice to be involved at that level, but I really think that I have and can continue to do more for my church where I am now. Now, I am not bogged down by the logistics and politics that would come into play at the next level. Now, people feel comfortable sharing with me because they are talking to me and not the "church." Just as with the bible issue, I could have let that become something more than it was.

I thank God for being so clear with this opportunity for me. I wish that other times in our life God was just as clear in the more complex things, like possible Bible worship.

Thanks for the brain tingling, heart string pulling, question.

PAX
JD

Jason Woolever said...

hey jd. i can relate to those struggles. way to go. i think we should usually say no. yeses should be few and far between.

Brett said...

My first reaction is that it is not possible. The Bible is God's revelation of Himself to mankind. As this revelation is studied and meditated on properly, the Holy Spirit will guide in making application to the life of the reader. If we aren't in love with His revelation to us, how can we ever love Him back in a proper manner?
You have a good problem. A more serious problem would be someone who says they are in love with Jesus and prayer but not His word so much. Or they see the Word as being a stepchild to a relationship with God and prayer.
This can lead to praying and loving a Jesus (God) that we created in our own heart and own mind, and not the Jesus (God) that is divinely revealed in scripture. When this happens, we are worshipping an idol that we created.

Jason Woolever said...

thanks for the feedback brett. its good to get your opinion. in your mind i really wouldn't have a problem then. that's encouraging. i'm still thinking on it.

Anonymous said...

Jason,

I think that we can all relate. After all the disciples asked, "Lord teach us to pray".

I will have to admit that my prayer life is not what it should be. But I learn by hearing the prayers of others and my the concept of praying the scriptures and making the text you are reading / studying /memorizing, a personal prayer to the Lord.

I agree with Brett that there are those that reimage Jesus rather than keep the to the historical record of scripture. Yes, Jesus called all to him, forgave sins but always told the forgiven. "Go, sin no more." "Avoid this sin" There are some that neglect this fact as they recall the love of Christ.

My pastor recently spoke on prayer and fasting. The need to spend more time seeking the prescence of the Lord. He mentioned fasting could now include shutting off the TV, radio, cell phone and just make time to "Be still and know He is God."
May the Holy Spirit strengthen the daily prayer life of all of us.

John Flores
Frisco, Texas

Jason Woolever said...

amen to that john!

JD said...

Thanks, John! Sometimes something simply said can mean more than all the analytical mumbo, jumbo.

PAX
JD

Anonymous said...

Hey Jason,

The first thing that comes to my mind is John chapter 1: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. From reading your blog and listening to you speak, it is evident that you are into the word much more than you are into the physical object. So looking at it like that, you are worshiping and honoring God.

It is good to question our motives and to ask God to search out our hearts. The very fact that you question shows you have a heart for Christ. Keep up with your learning and your questioning, and allow God to continue to use you to bless those around you.

Your friend.

Jason Woolever said...

thanks

greg hazelrig said...

I think you can only worship the Bible if you spend so much time reading and reflecting that you have no more time to live out your faith. If all our spare time is spent in any kind of personal/private devotion then how can we take up our crosses and how can we be Christ to others?

If you've got time for that, I think God just loves the fact you care enough about Him to spend so much time with Him.

My two cents worth.

Jason Woolever said...

good thoughts greg. the tendency toward a kind of seclusionism would hinder the command to love God through loving neighbor.

Mike Rayson said...

Here's my 2c on the matter. Can you worship the bible... sure thing!! On its own, the bible is merely another book. Read or studied without the presence of the Spirit guiding and illuminating and revealing, its just pages bound together. A good read.

I have met plenty of folk over the years of ministry who I regarded as 'Father Son and Holy Bible' types. People not at all interested in grace, but totally in love with law. And there's plenty of that in the bible.

We sometimes lose sight that, as incredibly important and vital to the life of the church, the bible is the word of the Word of God. The true word is not 66 books bound together as decided on by the council of Nicea, but is Jesus - the complete revelation of God. And my God cannot be contained to 66 books.

That said, don;t take me for a liberal ratbag who thinks the bible is not much more than a good John Grisham book - it is the inspired word of the Word. But a preocupation with scripture... or for that matter, a preoccupation with prayer or fasting or whatever, are tools that shine the light for us to the True light.

As the psalmist wrote, 'Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path'.

Mike

Mike Rayson said...

erm... re-reading the last part of that post makes no sense at ALL!!!

OK - a preoccupation with prayer of fasting or scripture or communion or the church flower committee does not in and of itself lead us to eternity. But in context are tools that lead us to Jesus. Too much of anything but Jesus is a bad thing.

Does that make sense????!! Its after midnight and my brain is fried.

Jason Woolever said...

mike, you actually did make sense, but that may be because i fried my mind permanently in college!

I like that idea of the Bible being "the word of the Word".

That helps differentiate the two, without demeaning either.

Anonymous said...

Quote the rapper, "Word!"

John Flores
Frisco, Texas

John said...

Something I've been thinking about lately is whether its possible for the Bible to become an idol. I believe that the Bible is verbally inspired by God, and that everything written in it has the weight of God's authority behind it. But do I love the Bible more than I love God?

Yeah, I've noticed this trend in some people sometimes.