“Let’s play Bible swords.”
I was at Vacation Bible School in 1994 when I first heard this phrase. Every kid in the room had a Bible in their hand, no cheat tabs or fingers in the pages yet.
The leader shouted “John 3:15…GO!”
Every kid in the room is hustling through the pages trying to find this Bible verse first, because the winner got candy as a prize. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the books of the Bible memorized, and I didn’t even know if John was in the front or the back of the Bible. So I turned to the table of contents in the front of the Bible, scanning with my finger looking for “The Book Of John.” Just as my finger hovered over the page number, a girl to my left stands up and says “I got it!’
Ugh. The other kids were way faster than me. It was almost like they were cheating, but they weren’t, they just knew the Bible (and had lots of experience playing Bible Swords.)
Today, I see a different version of Bible Swords being played by Christians, and the reward isn’t always candy. It’s a version of Facebook Bible School where people combat the ideas of their opponent, they pick and prod and argue, and fight for the moral high ground – and their weapon of choice is the Bible.
In our social media driven, politically charged culture, too many people are using the Bible as a weapon (a real sword). They’re proud of their ability to find random things in the Bible, out of context, as quickly as possible, and leverage their findings to wound their political.
Using the Bible as a weapon to win an argument, or even to “prove your point” is NOT the way of Jesus, nor is it the way of a biblically informed, fruit-of-the-Spirit producing Christian.
Let me be clear, I believe the Bible is 100% God’s word. But it’s not a weapon.
I love the verse: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
It says the word of God sharper than a sword, it does not say “use it like sword.” Also, it isn’t even referring to the Bible, it’s referring to JESUS. He’s the word the became flesh, which is living and active. But, let’s assume that verse IS talking about the actual Bible.
The fact that it has two edges makes it easier to penetrate, and it cuts very deeply. This is the very reason why you SHOULD NOT wield it as a weapon, but rather, be CAREFUL with it. Don’t use the Bible like a warrior uses a sword, instead, use the Bible like a surgeon uses a scalpel. Or better, receive this blade for yourself! Allow God’s word to pierce, penetrate, and cut deep into your own heart, filleting open your motives and innermost being. But don’t use it as a tool to destroy or attack someone else, ESPECIALLY if they aren’t open to receiving it.
In conclusion, stop using God’s word as a sword in your petty battles, finding fault in others and punishing them with the word. Instead, start using it as a mirror (James 1:23) to reveal your own inconsistencies and when see your own faults, THEN you have something to talk about.