I’m realizing that the Bible has a dangerous sort of power. It’s not unlike anything with power really. Anything as explosive and influential as the Bible should be expected to be dangerous in some ways. It’s like “the force” in Star Wars. If you use it right you can be in touch with and then able to protect the whole galaxy. If you use it wrong you might just turn into Darth Vader.
I heard once (probably in history class) that dynamite was not originally invented to kill. Dynamite, which has arguably led all the way to nuclear weapons, was originally created for mining. It was originally intended to benefit the world, a very practical and powerful invention. But just like anything with great power it is dangerous. Handled wrongly or stored incorrectly it can become unmanageable and unpredictable, it is very dangerous. And, just like anything with power, it can be used for things as productive as mining to things as destructive as war. It can help people and it can destroy them.
The Bible has an uncanny brand of power, a mysterious and mystical power. It has the power to bring down great rulers from their thrones and lift up humble people (Luke 1:52). The gospel can bring great joy, abundant life, restoration, healing, and renewal but if it has this kind of power shouldn’t we be careful with how we handle it?
I hear a lot of pastors and speakers quote the bible and sometimes it just breaks my heart what they do with it. They carelessly toss verses around to prove their point, taking it out of context, out of its real definitive framework and they defile it. The Bible has been used by some to do good things but by many others it has been nauseatingly misused. It has been used to marginalize women, segregate races, institutionalize Christianity, label and categorize people, justify murder, rationalize apathy, keep people in poverty, keep people away from education, away from thinking freely, away from love. The Bible has been used to destroy the very message it wants to bring. As dynamite was brought into the world to bring prosperity and has been used to destroy prosperity, the Bible was brought to bring peace and acceptance yet has been used to destroy the very things it stands for.
Have you ever heard a song and been moved by its rhythm, its lyrics, or its shear creativity? There are some songs that draw us to a place where we could never get through any other medium, a place of harmony, where everything feels right. There are still other songs that drive us crazy, that make us feel strangely out of sync with things, they make you feel ugly inside. The Bible can play a song, a number of different tunes all of which have the power to change the world but it is for us to decide what kind of song it will play. We can use it for beauty or for destruction. We cannot take it for granted. We have to revere and even fear its power; we have to handle it with care.