Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Love of Books and the Hate of Untruth

I love books. Fiction & Non-Fiction. Classics & Contemporary. There is just something about a book that lures me.

The most dangerous place for me to be is in a bookstore with no spending limit. I hope I someday have a room in my house that is wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-floor filled with books. The room will have huge picture windows and over-sized furniture for reading pleasure.

However, I do not love all books and I think some people write, well I'll just say it, crap. For instance, if I am reading a novel with a lot of cussing or intimate scenes, I stop reading and if I purchased the book, I put it in the trash.

I also believe books can be deceiving, most especially Christian non-fiction. The cover can look beautiful. It can entice you to buy, make you think its content will be worth the money, and even create a false sense of trust in the author. You may think, "It is in the Christian aisle or bookstore, so it can't be all bad." And, you may be right. But, don't you want the book to be all good so that you don't have to pick out the truths from the half-truths?

More than once I have stood in the local Christian bookstore appalled by what they are selling, but even more appalled by what they are NOT selling. I have been known to tear-up in the aisle in both anger and sadness as I think of how authors are deceiving people and, most of all, offending God. It makes my heart hurt.

I have had the wonderful privilege of growing up in a home that taught me to validate everything I read and hear with what the Bible says because the Bible is the authority and Word of God. Therefore, I have a spectrum of authors and preachers that I feel comfortable reading and here's why: these authors start with the Bible and end with the Bible. They merely explain what it is saying and challenge me to live thus.

There are many authors out there that write good things, but subtly in the text are truths that do not completely align with God's Word. What a scary thing!

And that, my friends, is why I enjoy Elizabeth George (more in a future post). She does not try to appeal to women by using feelings and emotions. She knows how women think; how women struggle; and how women react. She knows what the Bible says about how we are called to live. She takes those truths and challenges women to apply them to their lives and live godly.

All that to say, be careful what you read and hear. Match everything up to what God has written in His word.

The Preacher sought to find acceptable words; and what was written was upright—words of truth. The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd. And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.
For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-14

And, from the final chapter of the Bible:

For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Revelation 22:18-19

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