How To: Avoid Being a Bibliolater

HolyBible678Bibliolatry is the rendering of divine services to a leather-bound, paperback, or hardcover book called the “Holy Bible”. In all technicality, worship of the Bible is actually a form of idolatry that largely stems from forgetting its messages of simplicity. Thus, to avoid Bibliolatry, one must carry out the simple messages of the Bible. Too often though, theologians and Biblical scholars alike become guilty of Bibliolatry. So how does one avoid committing Bibliolatry? First off, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go into Biblical studies or Biblical theology. What I am saying is that there is an inherent danger in going into these fields so one should pay attention as to how to avoid Bibliolatry.

1. Keep the overall message of the Bible simple! Advanced theologians can go into all these different metaphysics and what-not but the Bible isn’t a book written for the intellect, it’s written for the unsophisticated. St. John Chrysostom once said in regard to the gospel of Matthew, “neither did He say, you have revealed it to fools, but to babes; to unsophisticated, that is, to simple-minded men; and He implies that so far from their missing these privileges contrary to their desert, it was just what might be expected” (Homily 38 on Matthew).

2. Don’t forget the overall message of the Bible! Too often we forget the overall simple messages of the Bible and we want to make them even more complicated than they really are. We forget the following:

–God’s unconditional love–we want to say God requires “x” and “x” in order to be saved, truthfully, I was surprised the other night when I heard my deacon challenge our table group at our Eastern Christian formation class saying, “Show me what verse in the Bible does it say that if one isn’t baptised he isn’t going to end up in Heaven!” (in reference to some of us like myself who haven’t been able to hear the Gospel at all).
–Atonement with God–the Bible is quite simple on this. It doesn’t really explain the “how”, we just know that atonement stems from love and self-sacrifice. Anything short of this is a false atonement theory.
–Creation–the Bible doesn’t go into detail with this either yet we think it does with our old Earth, young Earth creation debates within the church. If we let go of this and let the Bible’s simplicity speak, we just end up with creation.

3. Some passages aren’t written for certain groups of people! I see street preachers holding signs out with 1 Cor. 6:9-10 being proclaimed to atheists! The problem is that there tends to be a contradiction between Paul and Jesus on these verses–or is there? There’s not. Jesus came for sinners, not the prideful arrogant (Rom. 5:1-11) and Paul wrote to Christians (1 Cor. 1:2). There is no contradiction between Paul and Jesus because Jesus was speaking to a broader audience than Paul was. Non-Christians need to hear Jesus’s message. When they become Christians, they can hear Paul’s message.

4. Understand that sometimes, the Bible chooses to be ambiguous. This is where speculative theologians and more advanced theologians can work out problems and we can either agree or disagree with them. But the point is that the Bible just chooses to be ambiguous at times and we are called to go no further. So don’t go further thinking that the Bible is crystal clear on everything, don’t treat the Bible as an ultimate answer book, and don’t stray from the simple message of the Bible and you should remain free from Bibliolatry.

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About newenglandsun

A student. Male. Passionate. Easily offended. Child-like wonderer. Growing in faith, messing up daily.
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6 Responses to How To: Avoid Being a Bibliolater

  1. jrj1701 says:

    A wise man once told me to worship the Creator, not the creation.

    • Bibliolatry exhibit A
      https://answersingenesis.org/

      Ken Ham is even lying right now about not believing in aliens so they won’t go to Hell even though reliable sources (aka, not Ken Ham) says he does believe in aliens and that they will go to Hell. Go figure.

      Bibliolatry exhibit B
      http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/

      This site is scary. I wouldn’t click if I were you.

      Bibliolatry exhibit C
      http://www.remnantofgod.org/

      This one’s even worse…tritheistic Bibliolaters.

      • jrj1701 says:

        I needed a good laugh, yet tis sad that folks truly believe that God is totally revealed in the Scriptures, too stuck in the guide book to enjoy His INFINITE creation.

      • Maybe some day the Evangelical Biblicists will learn. Goodness! I leaf through Scot McKnight’s The Blue Parakeet at times and it scares me how people who take this Biblicist view do so at the expense of great traditions like the Holy Orders (aka, poorest historical and Biblical theology I’ve ever read)! I’ve been sent Greg Boyd’s comments on how the church adopted Neo-Platonism practically via its negative theology and this corrupted the church but honestly, what other God do we have? Some God who’s nothing more than a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

        I honestly don’t think that the Biblicist Protestants really get how destructive to the Christian faith they’re actually being by elevating the Bible to such a high position as they’ve put it. Oh well. We can forgive them. It’s possible that they’re just bummed at the Almighty God displayed in the more High Church traditions than they are actually believing it’s slightly off. I think deep down they wish they could be High Anglican, Catholic, or Orthodox. And we can pray that they will realise this!

      • jrj1701 says:

        Something that I am realizing is how folks are forgetting how everybody is special to God, that He loves everybody, even those that are refusing to see the Truth, that we are constantly misaligning our fear, and thus closing ourselves from His healing. Every single one of us is a unique creation of God, and our primary job is to deny our will and learn His will for us, thus being unique individuals each has a different role and path to theosis, and folks like me have to learn it the hard way. The sad thing is that I keep getting distracted by those who want the whole world to do it the hard way, the modern day Pharisees that are not even doing it themselves, the modern day iconoclasts that want to destroy all beauty because it distracts them from the primary goal, those who wish to place an infinite God into a finite box.

      • How very true dear friend. I’ve had to learn a somewhat hard way myself. Being an Evangelical Anabaptist at first and not realizing the comfort that can actually be truly given in Jesus then to lose faith and become an Arian while attending an Evangelical Covenant Church, then eventually a Satanist and a Luciferian while still attending the same church, then ultimately suffering more and more crippling blows to my faith not being able to see the end in sight.

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