Misusing The Bible

Misusing The Bible

By Eddie Boggess

 From Cedar Grove House to House/Heart to Heart, January/February, 2014

            Abbott Griffin misused the Bible.  According to a report on the Toledo Blade's website1, early one morning a convenience store clerk was loading ice into an ice machine outside the store when Griffin allegedly attacked him hitting him with a Bible.  Griffin is accused of pummeling the clerk with blow after blow from the "sword of the Spirit."  The clerk fled into the store, and Griffin followed, Bible in hand, where he demanded money from the clerk.  Fortunately, police arrived before Griffin could escape, and he was arrested. 


            Abbott Griffin (allegedly) misused the Bible.  Unfortunately, he is not alone in doing this.  While the word of God is not often used as a weapon in knocking over a Circle K, it is still frequently misused by sincere, well-meaning people every day. 

             Frequently the claim is made that one can "prove anything by the Bible."  Along with it is the common claim that each person is entitled to his own "interpretation" of the word of God.  These ideas are a direct result of the religious division in society today.  There are literally thousands of different groups all claiming to represent the teaching of the Bible, and yet all believing different things.  How can all these different teachings come from the same book?  Many people are misusing the Bible.

             Far too often, man comes to the Bible with an attitude of seeking to find what he already believes. He finds a verse here and a verse there that can be "interpreted" to justify his belief.  So, he claims that the Bible teaches his viewpoint.  The only problem is that others are doing the same in order to justify their opposing viewpoints.  No one is stopping to think that this is unfair to the Bible and to God. Think about it.  No one would do this with any other book.  With any other book, one would read carefully and try to understand the meaning that the author intended.  To pull out a sentence here or there and claim a meaning other than that the author intended is to misinterpret the book.

             The Bible is the inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  God has a specific message that He has given to man through it.  To understand God's message, man must approach the Bible with an attitude of accepting what it says, not reading into it what he wants.  James said: "Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21).  The word "meekness" has the idea of submitting to the control of the word.  In other words, instead of trying to control God's word by twisting it to one's own viewpoint, man must follow the Bible wherever it leads him.  This is going to take diligence on man's part (2 Timothy 2:15), but this effort is necessary.  Man must get God's will from the Bible, not whatever he wants.  Anything else is to misuse the Bible in a way far worse than Abbott Griffin is accused of doing.


 1 http://www.toledoblade.com/Police-Fire/2013/08/31/Accused-robber-uses-Bible-to-hold-up-store.html