There continues to be a misunderstanding with what i mean when i say that some people are misguided into idolizing and/or worshiping their bibles at the expense of turning to and delighting in God's living Voice which speaks directly into the hearts of His children, always has and always will. I have never said that the bible is not a useful tool in learning about the Lord and in hopefully drawing unto Him, nor have i ever said it's not good to read it as i myself certainly do. The idolatry occurs when these individuals believe the bible replaces God's living voice and that direct communication from the Lord in living relationship with Him is therefore not needed.
The girl in the video who now sits under John MacArthur's false teachings made at least a couple of statements which fall into this category (of bible idolatry) and of course John MacArthur and many other religious people are quite guilty of this themselves just as the pharisees were 2000 years ago. Lord Jesus touched upon this mistaken over-emphasis Himself in John 5:39 where He said, "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; 40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life." The scriptures are great at pointing to the Living God, but at some point we need to actually go and have relationship with Him. The Lord also said, "my sheep hear my voice", but people who idolize their bibles act as if the Lord instead said, "my sheep don't actually hear my voice, but instead they read their bibles". Lord Jesus said, "wait in Jerusalem and i will send you the Holy Spirit who will teach you all things", but those who idolize their bibles act as if Lord Jesus said, "wait in Jerusalem and i will sent you the bible". John 1 says, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God" and those who idolize their bibles seem to believe this means, "In the beginning was the bible and the bible was with God and the bible was God". Why for so many does the bible seem to be the backbone of their overall "Christian experience" while the Holy Spirit[s role in minimized? When you buy a car, at some point do you feel it's time to move on from merely searching, studying and memorizing the owners manual and begin to actually drive the car?
The John 5:39 scripture is the perfect verse to call people out of idolatry to their bibles. How long will people search and study and memorize the scriptures before they finally if ever come to Lord Jesus to receive life?... coming into a living relationship with Him, immersed in His Spirit, living by His Spirit and being blown by the Spirit as if by the wind? How long before they become His sheep who hear His actual infinite Living voice? If people haven't come to Lord Jesus for life and yet they continue to search the scriptures, study the scriptures, memorize the scriptures, etc, as the pharisees did, who or what is their God if not the bible? If they have relationship with their bible and not with the Living God Himself, wouldn't that make the bible their god? And if the bible is their god, wouldn't that make them bible idoloters / bible worshipers? Anybody still not seeing it?
An example of a statement where the bible is propped up way higher than it ought as if it were
god Himself is: "God doesn't utilize His servants today to release the miraculous. God's children no longer walk in the gifts of the Spirit including healing, words of knowledge, prophecy, etc. This all ceased once the bible was written."
It's as if people who have been indoctrinated to believe this way feel that God's greatest accomplishment was sending the bible and and that He was then able to greatly back off on being a supernatural God who speaks to His children and does supernatural works through their surrendered lives.
Just today i encountered the following article by this particular author named Jon Bauman and i see that the Lord has shown this individual many of the same things He has been revealing to me about the way in which many religious people have set up the bible as an idol while rejecting living relationship with Him which includes seeking and hearing His living voice as He said His sheep will do. He makes many excellent points and i hope that those reading this will be better able to see the truth of this deeply unfortunate and spiritually debilitating error in the lives of many who call themselves the Lord's followers through what Jon is saying.
For the benefit of those who would not likely read the entire article which is fairly lengthy, I have selected a few paragraphs out of this article (not necessarily all of the best ones) and the article is linked at the bottom:
"Idolizing the Bible
How is it possible to idolize the Bible?", we may ask. Well, I hope you will give me a chance to answer. I believe that even the good & righteous tools that God intends for us to use to draw nearer to Him can be misused simply because we misunderstand their purpose. In other words, we try to use them for things beyond what they were ever intended for. Not only can we misuse them but sometimes we may go even further and begin to idolize them, for instance: "Loving the gift more than the Giver." Anything can be an idol if it we try to have it play the role that only God Himself can fill. Misusing & idolizing something generally go hand-in-hand. Just like any tool, when it isn't used properly and we don't recognize it's true purpose, it will not produce good results. Similar to this example, I believe the role that God's Spirit is supposed to play in our lives is unintentionally being replaced by the Bible. We have misunderstood the purpose of the Bible which is to lead us to God, not to take the place of Him. There truly is a difference. We pride ourselves in our knowledge of the Bible over the experiences that we have with Him. The Bible describes who God is and what He desires but I believe that a relationship with God is something different altogether than just reading about who He is. The Bible is a powerful tool but scripture alone does not give life. We have gone beyond the intention of the Bible and have given the place in our lives to the Bible that only God's Spirit can fill.
I feel like there is such a heavy reliance placed upon the Bible itself which causes us to forget the One who it talks about. To me this reliance appears to suggest that we have no on-going, daily connection with God Himself through His Holy Spirit and that our relationship with Him is nothing more than our memorization or knowledge of the Bible. We pride ourselves in our theology of how much we "know of" God rather than actually knowing Him. I feel like we revere it as if all life worth having is found in the Bible itself as if God has been forgotten as the one who caused it to be written. The problem with this heavy reliance is that it causes us to always trust in and run to the Bible as if reading alone without inspiration from God were good enough, instead of trusting in and running to God Himself and waiting for Him to speak to us whether that be through the Bible, another book, direct inspiration, through a friend, etc... If we have to always search the scriptures for truth doesn't this only reveal that we truly don't know His voice? I believe that such weight should only be placed upon our relationships with Him "in light of reading scripture." Instead, the trend seems to be going in reverse: We look to the Bible to know God instead of God to know the Bible. Though both ways are definitely used I believe that the latter is of fundamental importance. We can read the Bible a million times over but if we never know what it's like for Him to speak to us or for Him to direct us in our daily living or if we're unable to tell when He's moving in our lives, then what are we reading the Bible for? We can do all things under the sun but if we haven't come to know God from it, what's the point? Why is it that we can read a single scripture 1000 times over but then we read it again and it comes to life? Is that God or is it the Bible that has this power to give life? Does God give life to the word or is the word self-contained with this life?
This is a relevant issue that I feel needs to be addressed to the church today in hope that each of our relationships with God become [more] real. Why do I feel like the Bible is so lifted up today, seemingly above and before God? I grew up in a Fundamentalist church and I heard it said all the time: "If your looking for truth, read the Bible. If you want peace, read the Bible. If you want a better relationship with God, read the Bible. If you want all answers to life, read the Bible. If you want to know God's plan for your life, read the Bible. If you want to know the future, read the Bible." Here's the thing, I know plenty of people who know the Bible better than I do, not like that is very tough to do, and they know it like the back of their hand but, sorry for the bluntness, they're spiritually dead and legalistic people. Reading the Bible is important but why aren't we stating just as equally "If your looking for truth, ask Jesus. If you want peace, seek the Lord. If you want a better relationship with God, go to Him and ask Him to speak to you, etc..." See what I mean? Even the Bible doesn't tell us to revert back to the Bible. It tells us to go to God personally! We have the Bible so that we may come to Him, not so that we will depend on it.
His Spirit lives within me. I do not write this because I have read it, I write it because I experience it; because He speaks to me! He is the wellspring of Life that comes from within me, that speaks the truth and delivers me from all sickness of the soul. He has freed me from burdens; burdens where at one time I was convinced were true and of God. He showed me that: "He is not academics. He is not just something to be memorized." The extent of knowing Him reaches far beyond memorizing the Bible. In essence, our lives should be writing our own story with God, like those of the Bible. Life with God is a dialogue not a monologue."