While doing some online research I discovered an interesting fact. Each year the American Library Association compiles a list of the top ten most challenged books in America. Most are on the list because of offensive language, violent content, sexual explicitness, or for addressing controversial issues like homosexuality and transgender people.
I was somewhat surprised to learn that number six on the list of “the top ten most frequently challenged books of 2015” is the Bible. It is challenged because of its “religious viewpoint.”
That is probably because the Scriptures condemn much of what our current culture condones. Consider what Paul wrote, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God,” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
Paul’s warning covers most of our popular practices. It turns out the Bible is actually full of contradictions; it contradicts those sinful things we are so inclined to do. The Scriptures are unpalatable to our fallen nature and when we stubbornly “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” our dislike of the Scriptures turns to disdain, and eventually open animosity as we witness today.
The believer has a much different perspective of God’s Word. We see it as a “lamp to our feet and a light to our path.” That is, it can illuminate where we are at emotionally and spiritually and clearly guide us to the remedy for our spiritual plight. Just as all roads led to Rome in the Roman Empire, all Scriptures lead to Christ in the kingdom of God.
Those things we once chaffed under in our disbelief, we discover in coming to Christ are not confining at all, but liberating. We begin to see that obedience to God’s imperatives, whether it is something we should do or not do, is actually meant for our good. The life of the believer becomes productive, fulfilling, and enjoyable.
Solomon put it this way, “The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day,” Proverbs 4:18. When we walk in the light of God’s Word trusting He knows what is best, the night is increasingly dispelled to reveal the goodness of God.
The Bible being on the list of the top ten most challenged books in America is just a symptom of our nation’s drift away from the biblical principles it was founded upon. And while it may be one of the most challenged books in America, it remains the number one all-time bestseller in the world. It seems number six is the Book of books.
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever,” Isaiah 40:8.