Books or The Book!

Popular Christian books are ruining the Gospel.

Don't get me wrong, I love to read. I am an avid reader. Everything from history to fiction to teaching books line my shelf. However I see a trend that concerns me.

I do not want to be a doomsayer but I received an email today from a friend in Alabama who expressed concern that a local church was encouraging people to embrace the "Papa" from the Shack and to set aside their Bibles. In my shock I wanted to deny his claims but my mind went racing back to the recent past.

I went back to when the Prayer of Jabez was released. People grabbed a hold of this book and before you knew it churches were teaching the Prayer of Jabez, while people sipped from their Jabez coffee cups, sticking their Jabez bookmarks into their Bibles tucked inside their Jabez Bible covers.

The fad soon drifted away as the Left Behind Series came out. Before too long I would be in a Christian Bookstore and hear people say how their church was teaching Revelation as it was found in the Left Behind Series. As the Series grew so did the T-shirts, the comics, the kids books and the movies.

Then the Purpose Driven Life came out and every church suddenly seemed lost. They all had to find their purpose in life, their purpose as a church. Of course they used the Purpose Driven Life book, video series, etc...while sipping from their Purpose Driven Coffee Cups and you get the point.

Now the Shack is upon us. People are torn, some love it, some hate it. It's either Blasphemy or the "Gospel Truth" depending on who you talk too.

Each of these books are good if you take them in context. The Shack and the Left Behind Series both were well written fiction stories that spoke to a hunger people have. However, while they may include some Biblical truths in the end they are FICTION stories.

The Purpose Driven Life and Prayer of Jabez were great little teaching books that got twisted into something more.

Everyone seems to want to read about God everywhere but in His Word. What's up with that? When did Christian Fiction define who God is? When did fiction books become the end all on the end of the world?

Don't get me wrong, we can learn from many sources and God can use anything. I have seen people who have been blessed and touched by this material and God has used it to bring people deeper into a relationship with Him. However He gave us His Word for a purpose.

2 Tim. 3:16-17 says, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

Note what it doesn't say...it doesn't say Christian fiction or Christian teaching books. It says Scripture.

So let's put God back on the throne and the books back on the shelf. Each in it's proper place.


Wm. Bill Whiting said...

Thanks Rick good word could the old excuse go away “The Bible is To Hard To Understand” I don’t think so it’s to use.

RDA said...

Agreed, esp. with all the easier translations now...anyone can understand it!

Viola said...

"Note what it (2Tim 3:16-17)doesn't say...it doesn't say Christian fiction or Christian teaching books. It says Scripture."

Well of course it doesn't because when paul wrote this to Timothy there simply was no such thing as christian fiction and the letter itself WAS christian teaching.

Nevertheless I get your point and it has rhyme and reason.
But maybe it's just not that spectacular and nothing to worry about. We Christians are still humas, aren't we? And so we of course follow fads, don't we? No big deal, isn't it?

I'd say the major problem is, that very many christians are not tought how to understand the bible. How to find out about the cultur und time it was written in and how to get a personal message out of this ancient book.
So the majority of christians depends eather on there pastor or churchleader or on someone else - for example fictionary books and christian teachings - to bring the truth of the bible close to their everday life.

Maybe we should work an that instead problem let so called "christan fiction" and other teachings be.