The Bible is, for better or for worse, one of the most influential documents in the history of the Western World. We sit here together in worship this morning largely because of the Bible. Many of us have grown up hearing the stories, memorizing the verses, and reading it in the privacy of our own homes. Many of us have turned to the Bible as a book of comfort in desperate times, have relied on its words to help us make sense of what to do with our lives, and have found within its pages the challenge to be transformed into more loving, peaceful, forgiving people.
Countless expressions and idioms in our culture today come from its pages. In an article, I read this week, about this year being the 400th anniversary of the KJV, the author pointed out numerous idioms we use in the English Language today (Can you Think of Any? Slide): “eat, drink and be merry,” “the apple of his eye,” “an eye for an eye,” “it came to pass,” “fight the good fight,” “can the leopard change his spots (Jer 13:23),” and of course “Am I my brother’s keeper.
But we also know that the Bible has been abused and misused often against Gods beloved creation that the Bible teaches us about. It’s too often only given slogans status, as is often the case at sports games and on bumper-stickers. It’s been used to justify atrocities that should never happen. And the recent Florida pastor burned one people’s holy book, the Koran, in the name of our holy book, the Bible.