Scripture Worship

This week a pastor in Florida cancelled his plans to burn a Quran on the anniversary of the September 11 bombings. Muslims all over the world were incensed at the thought of this Christian guy burning their holy scriptures. For some strange reason it got me to thinking about a guy that I once knew in my fundie years that would not allow a book or anything else to be placed on top of his bible - he revered the bible in a way similar to Muslims.

Not so with all Christians though. While most of us revere the words written in the bible we do not actually worship the bible to the point that we are ready to raise arms when it is defaced - actually many of us write in our bibles with highlighters, pens and pencils. Last year the US military burned donated bibles in Afghanistan because the Afghan government, and our military, did not want Christian soldiers giving them out. From what I remember the event did not cause a stir amongst Christians.

Four years ago I offered these thoughts on Bibliolatry from Michael Spencer, the recently deceased Internet Monk:
What I heard as a young man was Bibliolatry. It’s a word that conservatives hate to hear, but we must hear it. The Bible is ours for dozens of good, God-inspired, Christ-exalting reasons. But we can exalt the Bible in the wrong way. We can go too far.
My “turning point” helped me to find the Bible as the Word that presents the Living Word, God’s mediator, given for us and for our salvation: Jesus Christ. I learned to listen for the difference between Jesus Christ and Holy Scripture, and to not equate God and His written word in ways that abuse both God and those who love scripture.
My friend John and I have had many discussions over the term "bibliolatry" in part because John is offended by the term. It is not my point here to enter into a debate about the word but to rather say that religious people can be easily offended by the way that their scripture is being treated. The recent reactions to the Quran burnings is just one example of this.

Sometimes our views of our holy writings can create a bit of a sensitive edge in us. And sometimes it doesn't take much to offend us. And if you are wondering about my view of scripture - here it is - I doubt that it will surprise many of you.

How about you? Did it offend you when the military burned bibles last year? Did the reactions of some to the Quran burning threat surprise you?

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