The following are ten ways we weaponize the Bible. By weaponize I am referring to using the word of God as a way to prop up our “false self” or manipulate others.
1. When men use Ephesians 5:23-31 to coerce submission from their wives
Biblical submission works both ways. A woman will usually be more prone to submitting to a husband who submits to Jesus and allows God’s love to manifest through his life. When husbands love their wives as Christ loves the Church, it is a dealbreaker for most women. A husband who merely quotes this verse to his spouse without the preconditions of sacrificial Christlike love toward her is weaponizing scripture to have his way.
2. When spiritual leaders utilize one of the APEST gifts as a title to demand obedience
When a person claims to be an apostle or prophet according to Ephesians 4:11 and uses it as a title to get other spiritual leaders to submit to them, they are weaponizing scripture. When a pastor uses his title to demand autocratic obedience, he weaponizes his vocation and the Bible against the sheep.
3. When we use the Bible to judge one lifestyle and overlook many other sinful lifestyles that do not offend us
Romans 1:24-32 has been used to point out the seriousness of certain sexual sins. However, the context demands that other sins mentioned in the passage be included as well. The other sins mentioned by Saint Paul that most Christians ignore are: covetousness, malice, envy, strife, deceit, maliciousness, gossip, slanderer, being haughty, boastful, disobedient to parents, etc.
When we point out one sin while ignoring other sins in the Church and culture, we weaponize the Bible.
4. When we marginalize people because of their unbiblical political beliefs
When we castigate people because of who they voted for in an election, we use the Bible as a weapon instead of a bridge to reconcile them. Of course, there is nothing wrong with disagreeing with a person in a spirit of humility. Unfortunately, for the past 20 years, we have seen an alarming increase in the number of Christians engaged in politically driven vitriolic public spats on social media. This is not the way of Christ.
5. When we look down on unbelievers
When we have a “holier than thou” attitude with unbelievers and act as though we are better than them, we use the Bible and our faith as a weapon against them.
6. When we legalistically judge other Christians who are not living up to our standards
When we have bad attitudes towards weak Christians, instead of attempting to help them, we weaponize the Bible against them (Galatians 6:1-4).
7. When we use the Bible as a pretense to do unbiblical things
Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of His day for their misuse of the word of God and traditions to get people to serve them (Mark 7:8-13). For example, some people neglect their family in the name of putting the kingdom of God first (Matthew 6:33). Even the devil tried to weaponize the Bible to get Jesus to jump off the pinnacle of the temple (Matthew 4:5-7).
Whenever we use the Bible as a pretense to justify unethical behavior towards others, we weaponize the Bible.
8. When we don’t speak the truth in love
Biblical faith must always be conveyed with an attitude of love. If not, it will be ineffective in God’s eyes (Galatians 5:6). When biblical doctrine/truth is robotically spewed out of a person’s mouth, it is weaponized merely to prove a point or win an argument.
9. When we objectify people to accomplish our biblical mission
When spiritual leaders don’t really care about people in the Church but use them merely to accomplish their mission, they are weaponizing the Bible against them. (People used in this manner eventually get hurt by the Church.)
10. When we demand biblical ethics that we are not living ourselves
When we use the Bible as a particular standard (in the Church or home) that we are not willing to live by, we are weaponizing the Bible against others to have our way.
– Joseph Mattera
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