“Are you playing into his hands? Are you believing his lies? You do so to your own detriment, friend.”
“He (the Devil) was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar, and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
If I were the Devil, I would do everything in my power to keep believers from the Word of God. I would say anything I could think of, anything I thought they would believe, anything that works, to get Christians to read other things.
As Paul said, “We are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11). We know how he works. And here are some of the lies I have noticed pouring out of his factory, all geared toward destroying confidence in God’s Word.
Lie No. 1: “You already know it, so don’t read it.”
He’s lying to you. You do not know it. I’ve studied the Bible all my life and in no way could I say I “know” it. I know a great deal about it, but there is so much more. For the typical church member to shun the Bible because “I’ve been there and done that” is laughable—and dangerous.
Lie No. 2: “No one can understand it, so don’t read it.”
He’s lying. Even a child can understand a great deal of Scripture. Meanwhile, the Ph.D. holder will find plenty to challenge his thinking. Only a book from the Almighty could touch so many people at every level of their existence.
Lie No. 3: “It’s boring. So don’t read it.”
He’s lying. The Bible is a lot of things, but boring is not one of them. We’re boring, and that’s the problem.
Lie No. 4: “It’s better left to the professionals. So, don’t read it.”
He’s lying, using a lie he once sold to the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages. By keeping the Holy Scriptures in Latin (and not in the language of the people), the church could give it whatever slant they chose. Some hardy individuals paid for the right for us to own Scriptures in our own tongue with their very lives. We must not take lightly the privilege we have to own a copy of the very Word of God in our own language.
Lie No. 5: “You need to speak Greek and Hebrew to know what it really means. So, don’t bother reading it.
He’s lying. The English conveys very well the meanings of Scripture in its original languages. However, reading the Bible in its original forms is still thrilling, and I encourage people to study Hebrew and Greek, if possible.
Lie No. 6: “The English Bible was not translated correctly. If you doubt that, listen to preachers say, ‘The translators got this wrong. What it really says is….’ So, don’t read it.”
The Devil is lying, and half the time those preachers are misrepresenting the truth, too.
Lie No. 7: “It’s contradictory. So don’t read it.”
He’s got a half-truth here, but he’s still lying. There are no contradictions in Scripture regarding any doctrine or teaching of consequence. There are places where one writer says 100 people were killed and another writer said it was 1,000 … that sort of thing. Scholars often have explanations for this. (To me personally, I love those little shades of differences. They are the very answer to the charge that the church tampered with the Bible to make it say what they want. If so, they would have cleaned up those loose ends! Smiley-face goes here.)
Lie No. 8: “Experts disagree on what it means. So, don’t read it.”
He’s lying. The Christian church, no matter what denomination, agrees with 90 percent of the Scripture message. Or even more.
Lie No. 9: “The Bible is outdated. Not for our modern times. So, don’t read it.”
He’s lying. It’s as contemporary as this morning’s paper. Or even more so. And as C.S. Lewis once asked, “What does today’s date have to do with anything?”
Lie No. 10: “The Bible is just a bunch of rules. So, don’t read it.”
He’s lying once again. Scripture is anything but that. It contains the greatest stories and most inspiring teachings and blessed insights imaginable.
Lie No. 11: “You are so far beyond that. The Bible has nothing for you. So, don’t read it.”
He’s lying. And the best response to this is: “Well, I’ll see for myself,” as you open it up.
Lie No. 12: “Men wrote it. So, forget about it being divine. Don’t waste your time reading it.”
Another half-truth that is a whole lie. True: “Holy men of old wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit,” as the apostle said in 2 Peter 1:21. God inspired men and women to write the Scripture; it did not drop to earth fully written.
Lie No. 13: “Reading the Bible will turn you into a religious fanatic. And you don’t want people thinking you’re a nut. Do not risk that by reading the Bible.”
You know what they say: “A fanatic is someone who loves Jesus more than you.” What reading the Bible will do is introduce you to the Savior, teach you about salvation and nourish your soul. Anything that can do that is your friend and, instead of making you weird, will make you whole. See 2 Timothy 3:15-17. So, Satan is lying.
Lie No. 14: “No one with intelligence reads the Bible any more. Only religious fundamentalists and extremists. So, don’t read it.”
He’s lying, just as he has been lying all along. Some of the smartest people on the planet—including scientists and professors and philosophers and my neighbor down the street—read and love the Holy Bible. And they are also some of the sanest people on the planet.
Lie No. 15: “You’re too busy. You can read it some other time when you are feeling spiritual, when you have plenty of time, when you’re older. Just don’t read it now.”
He’s lying. You are not too busy, only too lazy. Or too worldly, too unbelieving or too lost. To wait until you are “feeling spiritual”—whatever that means—is a fool’s errand, and you should not fall for that. To wait until you are older is another ploy he uses on the simple-minded. Many people have planned to take care of these matters down the road, when they were elderly. The only problem is they didn’t live to become elderly. Do not let that happen to you.
Anyone see a trend here? The Enemy will say anything he wishes in order to keep you from reading the Bible.
Are you playing into his hands? Are you believing his lies? You do so to your own detriment, friend.
Joe McKeever spent 42 years pastoring six Southern Baptist churches and has been writing and cartooning for religious publications for more than 40 years. This article was originally published on McKeever’s blog.