Theistic evolutionists – they are now calling themselves “Christian evolutionists” – often charge us with “idolatry.” They claim that we idolize the Bible instead of Jesus and demean us with the indictment of “bibliolatry,” as this Facebooker has done:
- There is a trend in modern society, no more than a trend...a religion, an idolatry that elevates scripture above Jesus. This 'bibliolatry', if you will, is rooted in a modern mindset that values reductionism over mystery. A reading of the Bible over Jesus.
Must we choose either Jesus or His teaching? Why should not the two go together, as Jesus taught:
- Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them… Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. (John 14:21-24; also John 15:7-15)
If we love Jesus, we will keep His Word. If we don’t keep His Word, it means that we don’t love Him. We cannot love Jesus by baking for Him or even by touching. The way we love Him is by abiding in His Word. This abiding determines all else – faith, worship, obedience, and even love.
The Bible uniformly reveals that loving God is a matter of loving His Word. Hating Him is hating His Word. The two are inseparable! God demonstrated this to King David, when He confronted him about his adultery with Bathsheva:
- Then Nathan [the Prophet] said to David, “… This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite [Bathsheva’s husband] with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’ (2 Sam. 12:7-10)
Here, “despising the word of the Lord” is used interchangeably with “despised me.” These two concepts are inseparable. When we reject God’s Word, it is tantamount to rejecting Him. Why then are we charged with “bibliolatry?”
Either our detractors do not know the Word or perhaps they even despise it. I pray that it is the less serious explanation – the first one – and that they might see the error of their charge.