At least since 2002, the American Library Association has published a list of the top ten most challenged books each year. The list is compiled from “reports from libraries, schools, and the media on attempts to ban books in communities across the country.” The ALA wants to keep the public abreast of current censorship efforts.
Books that have made the list over the years have included American classics such as “To Kill a Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain, and “Of Mice and Men,” by John Steinbeck. With the exception of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” the other two made the list in more than one year, and all of them were made into movies.
Other notable publications have made the list over the years and some legitimately so, but in 2015 “The Holy Bible” was number six on the list. Some found it objectionable because of its “religious viewpoint.” I do not doubt there are many who disagree with its viewpoint; many still do.
The Bible does expose sin and that is distasteful in our current cultural climate. But it does so to warn us of sin’s consequences and to save us from those consequences when we are willing to repent and turn in faith to Christ.
To be sure there are many who misunderstand and misrepresent the message of the Scriptures, but that is only because they do not like what it says. They prefer to be self-deceived rather than comply with God’s guidance. But it is not a dangerous book.
Let’s take the Ten Commandments as an example. They are found in the 20th chapter of Exodus and repeated in the 5th chapter of Deuteronomy. The first four commandments deal with man’s relationship with God and the remaining six address man’s relationship with his fellow man.
Those six tell us to “honor our parents, not murder, not commit adultery, not steal, not lie and not to covet (not to want what another has to the point we are willing to break one of the other commandments). Stop and think about it, if every person and every nation practiced those six commandments we could completely do away with our criminal justice systems and armed forces.
No one would be doing wrong to their neighbor and there would be no need to enforce laws or go to war if we obeyed the Law of God. The real danger to society is not because we obey the Law of God, but because we disobey the Law of God. It is also the reason we need a Savior.
Jesus said, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’” Matthew 22: 37-39.
According to the Scriptures we are to love God and our neighbor; that does not sound dangerous to me.