Yesterday, I was told “A Bible that is falling apart probably belongs to someone who isn’t”. It’s a quote from Christian Johnson.
It’s clever, it’s funny, and it holds some truth. It’s easy to remember and fun to repeat (when we are feeling good). But is it true or is it an over-simplification in order to emphasise a point?
Be careful of Christian catch phrases that distort the truth.
What is the quote’s underbelly? What’s the message for anyone who is or has been overwhelmed? For anyone who feels their life is falling apart?
No Christian would say getting into Godvs word is to be avoided - it is an absolute necessity. However, the context of this quote was a session where we were being exhorted to read the Bible rhythmically every day. Not bad advice - and the advice is embedded in the concept that we are all unique and will relate to the Word of God in unique and creative ways.
For me, though, it had a subtle sub-message. When read backwards - “A person who is falling apart probably isn’t reading their Bible.”
How many people do you know who DO have well-worn Bibles and strangely DO have their world fall apart around them - taking them with it for a time? I know many people whose lives have fallen apart when something has happened to them, their spouse or their child. The implication is that if you read your Bible voraciously you will not fall apart. I’m not sure that is true.
A truth can be stretched a bit too far. The Bible actually says that hard times may well be the plight of the righteous - they may often seem overwhelmed - but the Eternal rescues the righteous from what oppresses them. Psalm 34:19 (Voice)
So be careful what extra-Biblical catch phrases you believe. Get the Bible into you as best you can - and in a way that brings you joy! It will help you to discern truth from questionable quotes.
Posted on 2 May, 2016 by David Stanfield
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