Relevant Magazine, now apparently run by the devil himself, says we've made the Bible into an "idol":
The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it.
You've heard that phrase before. You've read it on bumper stickers. You may have even said it a time or two. It's an odd little religious mantra that perfectly captures the strange, often paradoxical relationship we modern Christians have with our mysterious ancient text,
Many of us have made the Bible the single pillar of our faith, but not all of us have a complete grasp on what it actually says (Especially not the earlier, weirder stuff).
We'll agree without question that it is filled with words from the very mouth of God, and yet we can't really be bothered to crack it open all that often (and again, definitely not the earlier, weirder stuff).
"The earlier, weirder stuff"?
Only someone poisoned by post-modern secular Wokedom would treat the Word of God that way.
In case you're wondering, author John Pavlovitz has been poisoned with that drivel, since he identifies as a Unitarian Universalist "pastor."
Rather than admit and wrestle with the obvious complexities we face in historical context, writing style and author intent, too many Christians simply hide behind some incendiary, line-drawing, black and white, all-or-nothing rhetoric.
Maybe that's because the Bible has become for so many believers, a fourth addition to the Trinity; something to be worshipped, rather than something to help us seek the One worthy of worship. We've come to treat Scripture as the destination of our spiritual journey, rather than what it was for the earliest believers: essential reading material on the way to the Promised Land.
Yes, proper exegesis and exposition is essential when studying the Bible, and improper understanding has led many to impose their own meaning on the text (-cough- prosperity preachers -cough-).
This isn't just saying that though.
This is saying that it's possible to be overly dependent on the Bible, as if God and His Word could ever be separated.
The real problem, is that too many of us are choosing to simply deify the Bible as Divinity itself; something the Bible itself never asks us to do. It is not, as we so often mischaracterize it, "The Word of God" from John 1:1, Jesus is.
Ah, yes, the famous American "Jesus," so easily molded into whatever spirit of the age we wish and to invoke whenever convenient.
Except the real Jesus, being the very embodiment of the Word, said he had not come to abolish all "the earlier, weird stuff," but to fulfill it, and that not even a single letter of "the earlier, weird stuff" would disappear.
For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. - Matthew 5:18
Pavlovitz goes on:
The question we need to ask ourselves as modern believers, is whether or not we really trust God to speak clearly and directly to someone, independently of the Bible. We know of course, that God can and does communicate through Scripture, but must that be the only method He employs?
This has a familiar feel to it.
"Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say..." - Genesis 3:1a
Ah yes, that's it!
I'll give you one more quote:
If we trust in a Jesus who is alive, and in a God who is fully present to individuals through His Holy Spirit, we will be fully expectant and confident that His voice and vocabulary are not confined to 66 books and 800,000 words. The Bible commands us not to add to the Scriptures, but that doesn't mean that God can't.
This is the exact same mentality that has led men like Barack Obama to say God has revealed new information for our more "civilized" minds on things like gay marriage, transgenderism, and abortion.
It's the same thing that led the Gnostics into telling others they needed "secret knowledge" in addition to the Gospel – a practice readily coming back today.
It's the same poison from the Garden, where we are told to search within our own hearts and feelings to hear the will of God.
Pastor Gabriel Hughes, founder of When We Understand the Text, had this to say about Pavlovitz back in 2014:
He tells a story about the time he experienced the ocean, and how this is like experiencing God. "I wish more Christians would admit that the Bible, at its most perfect and inspired, is a collection of words about the ocean," he writes. "They are not the ocean itself. God is the ocean." Oh, brother.
Christian, it should go without saying that the Bible is not a collection of words about God. It is the very word of God. You cannot separate God and his Word. Psalm 138:2 says, "I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word."
Pavlovitz's blog is called "Stuff That Needs to Be Said." No. None of it does. It's empty often morose droning that slanders the church. It makes no effort to elevate Christ and therefore provides no edification for the believer. Please, Christian; with a discerning heart, realize that Pavlovitz is blogging for his own benefit and no other. Stop sharing his articles.
When Jesus was tempted by Satan, the weapon of choice used by both parties in the ensuing struggle was Scripture. Not only did Jesus respond to Satan's claims using God's Word, but Satan used it as well.
That should tell us something. It should tell us that Jesus, being equal with God (and infinitely more powerful than a scheming fallen angel), relied on Scripture to answer Satan. It should also warn us that Satan uses the very words of God, whether in the Garden or on a mountaintop, to try to deceive us.
It's not shocking that someone who denies the exclusive claims and supremacy of Christ and the Gospel would write something like this article for Relevant.