John Stonestreet on Why the Bible is Not a Prop

Presidents and politicians using the Bible or Christian symbolism for political ends is nothing new. Some, as President Trump did Monday afternoon, pose with Bible in hand. Far more common is the selective quoting, misquoting, or downright twisting of Bible verses to advance political talking points.

After nights of rioting and violence across America and even right outside the White House, the President punctuated his speech by walking from the Rose Garden to an historically important church that was nearly burned down the night before. He then posed with a Bible in hand beside the church sign.

The Bible should never be used as a prop.

Trump was condemned widely, and not just by those who take the Bible seriously. In fact, among the loudest voices were religious leaders who themselves use the Bible as a prop (and their religious mantles as cover) to advance a theological progressivism, especially revisionist teachings about sexuality and abortion. For example, on the TODAY show, Mariann Budde, Episcopal Bishop of Washington, D.C., accused the President of abusing “the spiritual tools and symbols of our traditions and of our sacred space.”

To reduce the Bible to a prop, a mere “spiritual tool” or a mere “symbol,” however, is to miss the Bible’s real power, a power the world so desperately needs right now. After all, it is the explanatory capacity of Holy Scripture, its ability to describe the contours of reality and the human condition so accurately, that makes it so valuable, especially in confusing times like these and not just to Christians.

Rather than using it to advance an agenda or score points with a religious base, it would’ve been far more valuable and helpful if the President had opened it and read to the nation its words of comfort and conviction, and especially its call to repentance.

In his book For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch Hunts, and the End of Slaverysociologist Rodney Stark argues that Christians were the very first people in history to even imagine that slavery was not a normal condition of human society, as was universally assumed throughout history.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet