Long ago, a Jewish king (Jehoiakim) was handed a scroll with a message from God (written by Jeremiah). As the words were read aloud, the king was offended, and with a small knife he cut out a part of the scroll and threw it into the fire. Whenever he heard things that angered him, he cut it off and added it to the fire. Eventually the entire text was tossed into the flames. Jeremiah 36:24-25 says, “Yet neither the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words was afraid, nor did they tear their garments. Even when Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them.”
Jeremiah (and Baruch) ended up rewriting the words. In the end, the king lost his kingdom because of his disobedience.
Another famous leader, Thomas Jefferson, in 1803, sat in the new president’s house in Washington and opened his Bible. Instead of prayerfully reading, he searched the text for Jesus’ greatest teachings, cut out his favorite portions, and pasted them into an empty book. He called it “The Philosophy of Jesus.” That book was lost.
In 1819, he started over and created his own “Bible”called “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth,” commonly referred to now as the “Jefferson Bible”. In his version, Jesus was not divine. No virgin birth. No bodily resurrection of Jesus. No miracles…none. In a 2004 introduction to the “Jefferson Bible, Percival Everett says” He decided that the rules of the club to which he wished to belong were not the rules he wanted to play by. So instead of changing clubs, he changed the rule book by literally cutting and pasting together only the sections that he found relevant to his interpretation.”
In our time, people still want to play by their own rule book, still challenge our acceptance of Scripture. They say some parts are “too old-fashioned.” It’s not politically correct to believe in the doctrine of hell. And the Bible’s view on homosexuality? Completely “out-of-step” with our “modern notions of tolerance and inclusion”. Whole denominations are being pressured to reject parts of the Bible because some truths are just “too offensive.” We are told that in our “enlightened” generation, we now know how to interpret those sections, and sin is not really sin anymore….
When we’re tempted to overlook or ignore a portion of the Word of God, remember: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). Don’t cut up your Bible!