Here is an interesting question: do you love God more than the Bible or vice-versa? Many Pentecostal preachers and televangelists stress an extreme importance on the Bible. The Bible is vital to understanding how God has operated in the lives of men and women in the past. Reading the Bible helps us to understand and learn about this God who we cannot see but exists all around us. His character and personality are revealed and because God is consistent, we can figure out what to expect in our relationship with Him.
But on the flip side, extreme focus on the Bible can lead to undesirable results, particularly Bible worship. When the Bible is talked about like a textbook, a manual, instructions, a pamphlet, a tour guide, or a set of magical chants and incantations that produce results when repeated a certain way, then the value of the bible in decreased because it now sits in the same space of my, “How to put together your bookshelf” instructions.
Consider this story told to me by my father and probably told to him by someone else:
There was a women whose newly wed husband had been overseas at war for the past year and half. Communication by phone was not an option for the soldier so the couple frequently wrote letters to each other. The letters were full of passion, both expressing how much they missed each other and how difficult it was to live without the other. The woman frequently cried because her heart ached for her husband, worrying about his safety and missing his warmth next to her. But the passionate letters he sent her gave her comfort as she would read them several times over. Eventually the war came to an end and the woman received word that her lover was finally coming home. On the day of arrival she bound up the letters and headed to pier, waiting for his ship to arrive. As the hull of the ship broke through the daylight, many on the pier began to cheer. But none was happier that this women. The ship finally arrived and the soldier began to pour out. As their searching eyes met each other, he ran as fast as he could towards the woman and she ran toward him, clutching the letters. As the soldier spread his arms open to catch his excited wife coming toward him, she suddenly ducked under his open arms, ran to the edge of the pier and began to read the letters, sobbing as she went through them one by one. Confused, the soldier said, “I right here baby, you don’t need the letters anymore”. The wife replied, “yes, I know. But oh, how I love these letters”.
Did you catch it? The women fell so in love with the letters, that when her husband arrived, she ignored the person the letters was about. This is what Bible worship is like. To be so engulfed in the Bible that you miss God is wrong. To be caught up in principals but not Jesus is wrong. And to be Biblically sound without a Godly mind, heart, and attitude is dead wrong. Read the Bible to know more about the awesome creator of the the universe. Then worship Him and not the Word.