5 Things I Wish Christians Would Admit About the Bible


Admit it! You're a liar!
Admit it! You've been duped!
Confess it! You can't cover it up any longer!
Face the truth! Wise up! Admit it!
We do God and His Word a disservice when we turn Scripture into something it's not. Those dastardly Christians.

1. The Bible Isn’t a Magic Book.

Who needs to admit this? Does anyone really believe the Bible is "a magic book?" Would anyone reading your blog believe that the Bible is "a magic book?" Seriously?
Doesn't the Bible condemn magic?

The Bible isn’t The Good Book.

Not good? The Bible is an evil book?? We need to "admit" this?

It isn’t really a book at all. It's a lot of books. It’s a library.

Oh. I see. "Click bait." Saying controversial things to get people to click on the link. Nothing controversial here. Is there anyone reading your blog who denies (or won't "admit") that the Bible is a collection of "books" (or letters, or songs, or historical chronicles, etc.) and not just a single book by one author?

2. The Bible Isn't as Clear as We'd Like It To Be.

I've never met anyone who says this. Most people say "I don't like the Bible because it clearly says ________ [something I disagree with]."

Often, (especially when arguing), Christians like to begin with the phrase, “The Bible clearly says…” followed by their Scripture soundbite of choice.

See, you admit that this is "often" the case. People find the Bible is pretty clear. They just don't like what it clearly says.

It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.
Mark Twain

If we’re honest, the Bible contains a great deal of tension and a whole lot of gray on all types of subjects.

A "whole lot of gray." I don't believe this. Certainly on most subjects about which the Bible takes a stand, it is perfectly clear.

The Ten Commandments prohibit:

1. Idolatry - worshiping a false god
2. False Religion
3. Swearing a false oath - perjury
4. Refusal to work and rest
5. Disrespecting parents and other authorities
6. Murder
7. Cheating on your Wife
8. Theft
9. Slander
10. Covetousness

Nobody says "I don't want to know what the Bible says about covetousness, lust, anger, and taking home supplies from the office, because the Bible just isn't clear enough for me on these issues."

Those people aren't always taking the entire Bible into account.

Really? Sometimes the Bible says theft and adultery are OK, but we won't "admit it?"

If we’re honest, the Bible contains a great deal of tension and a whole lot of gray on all types of subjects. For example, we can read the clear Old Testament commandment from God not to murder, and later see Jesus telling His disciples that violence isn’t the path His people are to take.

Sounds clear to me. That's why I'm a "pacifist."

But we also see God telling the Israelites to destroy every living thing in enemy villages, (women and children included), and we read of Moses murdering an Egyptian soldier without recourse from God.

And there's some reasonable basis for believing that God TODAY wants every living thing destroyed somewhere? Somebody is actually confused on this "gray" and "tension"-creating issue?

One of the readers of your blog believes he has the call of Moses, and is preparing to kill the slavemasters of his people? Really?

I believe we are prohibited from initiating force against others, so I'm interested in the excuses Christians have for not following the Commands of Christ (and the rest of the Bible, really). These are certainly pretty pathetic excuses.

Why did God command the extermination of the Canaanites? What was the purpose of "Holy War?"

David murdered Uriah the Hittite, so he could commit adultery with his wife. Are people really thinking that God is winking at murder and adultery by recording this fact in the Bible. Really?

It's not that the Bible is "unclear" or "gray" on these issues. We just need to do our homework. We need to jettison our excuses. Don't go blaming the Bible.

That’s why some Christians believe all violence is sinful, while others think shooting someone in self-defense is OK. Some find war justifiable in some cases, while some believe all war is inherently immoral.

I've never read anyone, anywhere, ever, justify "shooting someone in self-defense" based on the action of Moses. Yes, some people justify war by the verses on "Holy War," but that claim never withstands any scrutiny. Never.

Same Bible. One subject. Several perspectives.

"Several perspectives," but they are not the "perspectives" of the Bible. They are the perspectives of the people who don't want to obey the Bible. No reasonable person can maintain with any integrity the proposition that the United States federal government should have killed, crippled or made homeless a million Christians in Iraq and overthrow a Christian-friendly government and replace it with an Islamic theocracy under Shariah law (this is what the U.S. did in Iraq) because "God commanded the Canaanites to be destroyed". Because destroying Christians in Iraq is one of many "perspectives" advanced in the pages of the Bible. Come on. I call B.S.

This is clear. Other wars are not as clear because we haven't been asking the right questions. Nobody wants to challenge their traditional thinking by comparing it with the crystal clear teaching of the Bible. They use the Bible as a deceptive and manipulative excuse or rationale for their own autonomous desires.

That's not to say that truth is relative, that God doesn't have an opinion on violence or that He hasn't given us His opinion in the Bible. It's just that the answer may not be as clear and straightforward as we like to pretend it is.

Yes, it  is  to say that truth is relative. Or worse than that. If you can't read Jesus and conclude that the U.S. was wrong to do what it did to Iraq, then you don't really care what the Bible says. You're just looking for an excuse to do what you have already made up your mind to do, or if the war in Iraq was an "accident" or "mistake," then you refuse to admit your huge mistake, apologize, and make restitution.

If you're not saying that "God doesn't have an opinion on violence or that He hasn't given us His opinion in the Bible," then you're saying that God has not made His opinion clear and straightforward.

And I think that's a falsehood.

Many times, when Christians say the phrase “The Bible clearly says…”, what they really mean is, “The way I interpret this one verse allows me to feel justified in having this perspective.”

Absolutely true. Don't blame the Bible. The Bible is "clear and straightforward." But the Bible is also for people who are willing to read it, think about what they read, and submit to it.

When you read and study this library in its totality, there are certainly themes and continuities and things that connect exquisitely, but if we’re honest we can also admit there are ambiguities. It doesn’t diminish the Scriptures to admit that they are complex. On the contrary, most great works throughout history are.

On the issue of mass destruction of innocent Christians, there are no "ambiguities" in the Bible.

"Well I don't, know, I think a person could read the words of Jesus and the words of the other authors in the Bible and conclude that the military invasion and devastation of an entire nation who were never any threat whatsoever could well be justified by the Bible...."

Really? Seriously? Come on. You "admit it."

In 2003, there were "Christian" churches that cheered and applauded soldiers/congregants/parishioners who were going off to Iraq. Today, many in those very same churches would have doubts if one of their members announced he was going to Iraq to blow up a neighborhood full of Christians. What seemed obvious in 2003 seems at least a bit more doubtful in 2015. Is that because the Bible has become more "clear and straightforward" in the last decade? Or is this something we should "admit" about church-goers, not "about the Bible."


3. The Bible Was Inspired by God, Not Dictated by God.

Another bogus argument.

Christians will often rightly say that the Bible was “inspired by God,” and I completely agree. However, that idea often gets twisted in translation.

I fear that it is about to be twisted.

The people who wrote the Bible were not "inspired" as if they had just read a really touching Hallmark Card and had to emote.

The Bible is “God’s Word,” but we need to be careful about what we mean when we say it was "written" by God. These are the words of men who were compelled by God to tell, not only what they claim to have heard God say, but things happening in and around them—their struggles, personal reasons for writing and specific experience of God. Of course they were inspired by God, but they remained inspired human beings, not God-manipulated puppets who checked their free will at the door and transcribed God’s monologues like zombies.

God created the authors of the Bible.

He created them exactly the way He wanted them.

He created them to write exactly what He wanted them to write.

They were fearfully and wonderfully made, created in the Image of God, with reason and moral conscience, but they were also the human pencils in the hands of a Sovereign God.

God is sovereign, not man. Get used to it.

The book of Timothy says the Scriptures are “God-breathed," that they originate from God, but it doesn’t claim they are God-dictated.

Yes it does.

4. We All Pick and Choose the Bible We Believe, Preach and Defend.

OK, but you can't blame the Bible for this kind of sin.

Christians often accuse believers with differing opinions of “cherry picking” from the Bible;  holding tightly to verses they agree with, while conveniently jettisoning ones they are uncomfortable with.

Isn't this the same point as #2?

The only problem is, each time this assertion is made, the one making the accusation conveniently claims objectivity; as if they somehow have a firm, dispassionate understanding of the entirety of Scripture, without bias or prejudice, and that the other is violating that.

So nobody really understands the Bible.

As we mature in our faith, some of us may be able to shake off some of our personal biases and get closer to the true meaning of Scripture.

What a concept! Then why this article? Why not an article on how to grow up?
But until then, most of us have our own Bible, made somewhat in our image. And this is a problem with the Bible that Christians need to "admit?"
Remember the title of this article:

5 Things I Wish Christians Would Admit About the Bible

There are as many specific individual interpretations of Scripture in history as there have been readers of it. Our understanding and belief about the Bible is a product of our upbringing, the amount of study we’ve had, the friends we’ve lived alongside, the area of the world we live in, the experiences we have and much more.  

Is it really fair to accuse someone else of selectively using Scripture, unless we’re prepared to admit to the same crime in the process?

Yes, it's fair if you have studied the Bible and come to an accurate conclusion and the other is playing games. It is not the case that human beings are inherently incapable of understanding the Bible. It is not the case that people who say the Bible is against adultery have their own "perspective" and those who say "God wants me to be happy" have an equally valid "perspective."

5. God Is Bigger Than The Bible.


This past week, I took a walk along the beach, taking in the ocean. For those who’ve ever done so, you understand the vastness; the staggering beauty and power; the relentless force of the tides. You know the smallness you feel; the overwhelming scale of creation you find yourself face-to-face with.


Billions of words have been written about the ocean. I could gather up every single one of them; the most beautiful, vivid, accurate descriptions from fisherman, marine biologists and poets. I could read every last word about the ocean to someone who has never been there—and it would never do it justice.


There’s simply no way to adequately describe the ocean in words. You have to experience it.


I wish more Christians would admit that the Bible, at its most perfect and inspired, is a collection of words about the ocean. They are not the ocean itself.


God is the ocean.

The Word  is  God. John 1:1

The words in the Bible point to someone for whom words simply fail.

The God-breathed words in the Bible are divine, powerful, and never return void.
The words are filled with good and lovely things that give us some frame of reference, but ultimately, God is far too big to be contained in those words. This is bad logic.
This is bad metaphor.
"God is a Spirit" -- nothing can "contain" God.
The "WORD" -- logos -- is not a physical container.
God's Word is both abstract and personal.
All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge can be found in God's Word.
God's Word is living and divine.
The WORD is as big as God. And God is infinite.

How big is the word "Love?"

The Bible is not God.

God's Word is divine.
The Bible is a library filled with inspired words about God. We can discover and explore and find comfort there. We can seek the character of God, and the message of Christ and the path we’re to walk in its pages. The phrase "the Name of God" refers to God's Character and Authority. See below.

We can even love the Bible. I certainly do.

I don't just love the Bible, I worship the Bible.

But we should worship the God who inspired the Bible.

I will worship toward Thy holy temple, and praise Thy Name for Thy lovingkindness and for Thy Truth: for Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy Name.
Psalm 138:2
Fear God. Fear His Word.
My flesh trembleth for fear of Thee; and I am afraid of Thy Judgments.
Psalm 119:120

The Bible equates God and His Word.

12 For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

11 So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Isaiah 55:11