A friend loaned a book to me months ago, "I think you'll like this," she said, handing it to me. I put it on my bookshelf, not really interested in reading it, and let it sit there until I'd read through the books I'd deemed more important.
I picked it up whilst in the middle of a social media fast and, on a quiet evening alone, began to read. It was entrancing. The words blended together like a symphony, producing the most beautiful mind images. Then I noticed that my friend had tucked a handwritten note inside. The note gave some background information on the author who (honestly I'd not even looked at who the author was) she said was a strong Christian woman and glorified God in all she said and did.
Intrigued, I decided to read more on this woman and her family. A quick online search revealed that both she and her husband engaged in extramarital affairs, with him fathering children to two sisters. My brow furrowed when I read that they'd both supported Hitler and his elimination of Jews during the Holocaust.
The timeline indicated that her affair happened during the writing of the book I was currently reading.
So while she was writing about relationships, God, and love, she was indulging in her own lusts.
This is why we follow God and not people.
And why we don't put people on pedestals (or petal stools as I once saw online, ugh). Because the life of the book's author was not one I wanted to have my own reflect. The pages of the book she wrote were filled with things that gave me moments to think about my own life, some pointed me back to God, and some spurred me to write more. Yet the author was flawed (as we all are).
There is only one book with an Author that we can trust fully. The pages are life-giving, convicting, and full of hope. When you read the Bible as a Christian, it comes alive. The Author is the standard. Other books can be good to read, but we have to reach into our a pocket full of discernment with which we can sift the good from the not so good.
John MacArthur made recent news for his outspoken, and honestly quite rude, comments about Beth Moore, another popular Bible teacher. I'd just finished reading one of his books about ministry and was struck with the wisdom in it. His rambling though. It erased his wisdom from thousands who could learn from him. Many people will never give him a second look and will dismiss everything he says or writes. Yet even in reading his book I found I agreed with about 80% of it. I didn't write it all off though. I sifted it through what I've learned in my own Bible study. I took the good and left the bad.
Excuse me while I have a moment to sing the theme song to a favorite 80's show.
When we read the Bible we don't have to separate anything. All of it is truth. It's 100% correct and parallels the Author of it. The more I read it the more I learn from it and the closer it brings me to God. It is trustworthy. And those parts of it that make us uncomfortable? They are for our benefit. They help us grow into the people He wants us to be.
During this time in which we are forced to stay home and live quiet lives, I encourage you to pick up your Bible and begin to read it. You will never regret spending time in God's word. And you will only benefit from it. There's nothing else in life that has a guarantee like that.