Bible Study · Christian Blogger Stuff · Relationship with Christ

Is Our Studying Of Scripture & Christ An Idol?

*Just a little clarity from the feedback I’m getting, thanks everyone for your help 🙂 I am not saying to not read scripture, even if for the wrong reasons. Also, I am not saying scripture by itself is bad. This has to do moreso with us. Hope this helps!!!

I talked about worship last week and how worship is not only shown in music, but rather in everything we do in our life especially when it comes to Christ.

In the post How To Worship Without Music I looked at components of what makes up worship and I want to go over those points now.

Worship is devotion (commitment shown through engagement and loyalty).

Worship is shown in an offering– We surrender things over to the Lord, this allows us to become sanctified through Him, and draw closer.

Worship is shown through honor (respect).

But T. R. isn’t scripture reading part of worshipping Christ? 

Yes. 🙂

Please, do not misunderstand. If our heart and spirit are focused on reading scripture to draw closer to Him, to learn from Him, then this is not an idol because Christ is our priority and focus.

But to read scripture simply for reading scripture, like a check mark on a list of things to do, or ways to assure myself that I’m a good Christian… or to read scripture with the focus of gaining more knowledge from reading than making Christ our priority for reading, this is a problem. I’ve talked about this issue last year.

Post | Is Desiring Knowledge, Theology, Etc A Problem?

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What originally made me think about this was a sermon I listened to yesterday Paul Washer – Pray And Be Alone With God Paul made the statement that some people prefer simply reading the scripture more than spending time with Christ (paraphrase) and then he continued with the sermon.

And I’m like…

“Dude…that’s a post topic right there!” 

In the knowledge post I shared I was mainly talking about theology or reading a lot of books by other people instead of going to scripture. However, I did caution people to read scripture without the intent of gaining anything. Rather, read scripture to draw close to God first. (Not that God does not provide things for us to gain through scripture, He definitely does.) 

I don’t think it is wrong to understand what we claim to believe in, in fact, it is important we do. Our faith cannot be rooted in empty words. I feel this longing and understanding comes from a heart seeking after God, we desire to know Him and His truth.

This is not what I am talking about and I think in some ways this was not always clear in the previous post.

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But I worry we only seek scripture for our gain sometimes, and not in the manner that draws us closer to Christ. Maybe to draw us closer to people? So we can engage in a lengthy intellectual discussion or possible debate on scripture, topics of Christianity, or theology.

It is so easy to get caught up in something that is meant for good and we make it something God never intended it to become. Temptation lurks at every possible doorway. It only needs us to open the door a smidge for it to stick its ugly foot inside and refuse for the door to shut.

Studying scripture and Christ (doctrine, theology, topics, etc) it becomes an idol when we make it not about Him, but rather, what we know, what we desire to know. When it becomes about us…

I admit as a Christian blogger and as a commenter to responses on my own posts and others, sometimes, I let my focus on Christ and what He has shown me shift into trying to make my point become a bigger reason for me to discuss the topic. 

When this happens it immediately becomes a debate, it becomes an argument, it begins with me getting defensive.

And I don’t have time for that because my Savior doesn’t have time for me to act that way. Christ is what matters most. It doesn’t matter if I know the truth if knowing the truth becomes an idol and more important to me than to be Christlike in all situations. 

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It doesn’t matter that God has shown me how we as followers of Christ can get entangled into legalism not when I try to talk about it, and as soon as people disagree, I try repeatedly to prove my point…

No. I’ve already been trapped into a snare.

It started with Christ…and ended with me trying to feel justified about what He’s taught me through other people’s approval.  

It doesn’t matter if I know the truth if I am berating people for what they don’t know, or because they are not seeing what I see the same way.

It doesn’t matter if I know the truth when I feel good about myself knowing the truth and secretly judge someone else on their knowledge of scripture, theology, doctrine, and other topics.

It is not about the truth. It is not about the Law. Not when these things take precedence over Christ Himself. If He is not First, the truth does not matter and we have gone back to the Law, legalism, chains, knowing but not believing. Knowing but not showing Christ.

Knowing but not loving as He does.

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Our worship switched from Him to us. 

We devote time to prove ourselves right against anything we disagree with.

We are loyal to what we believe to be true, even if God rebukes us at a time, and we find out, we were in fact, wrong. Instead of backing down, whether wrong or right, we reinforce our stance seeking scripture to prove our point, and books to prove our perspective.

We surrender being Christlike and choose to harbor judgment, bitterness, anger, and blind deception. These…we honor in our heart.

What God freed us from becomes a rope from the wickedness we encouraged, entangling us further into the trap we walked into. The God we cry out to is not, in fact, Christ, but a god of lies and deceit, one we entertained in our mind, only to find how it numbed us from the inside out. 

And for many we are too stubborn to admit this failure and falling out, so lukewarm as we are, we halfheartedly try again…

or simply remain the same. 

Are we trying to prove something when we read scripture, read a book by a Christian author or scholar?
Are we guarded with defenses against any disagreement someone may have against what we say and think?

Think about it. I know I need to.

(NIV) Luke 11:52, “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”

*I wrote a post explaining a little bit more on this topic, in case anyone was confused

Confusion On Scripture Being An Idol? | Clarification On Tuesday’s Post


Don’t use this as a way to stop reading scripture, rather, cling to Christ and seek His hand as you continue to read scripture. Here are some other posts I’ve written on scripture.

Post | Why Do I Need To Read The Bible 

How To Study & Apply The Bible Series

Page | Bible Study & Help (Resource of these posts, and all of the posts of the Bible Summaries I’ve covered thus far) 


he is with us in all seasons

Monthly Scripture – (NLT) 1 Timothy 1:19, “Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their conscience and as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.” 

*** Community Prayers | February ’19 –Join Me In Praying For Each Other And If You Have A Request To Add Let Me Know.

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23 thoughts on “Is Our Studying Of Scripture & Christ An Idol?

  1. To say that studying scriptures is an idol is difficult for me to accept. What I hear you saying is our motives and usage of that knowledge can be self-promoting. Studying the scriptures is good. Our motives can be wrong, our application of that knowledge can be wrong, but studying the Word is good.

    I think you are saying spiritual PRIDE is an idol because the scripture is given to accomplish God’s purpose. So we should read it.

    Isaiah 55:11 (ESV)
    so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Exactly, I may need to clarify. It is not the scripture but reason behind it. I’m also not saying we shouldn’t read scripture. Rather, be aware of why we are reading and/or seeking knowledge. There are things that are good God gave us, as I shared, that mankind has used for bad. Thanks for your input.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Even if someone was reading scripture with wrong motives, my solution would be to tell them to keep reading/studying. It’s just semantics but studying scripture can’t be an idol, it’s our life line to Christ.

        Just thinking out loud. Great topic worth exploring. I’m opposed to living like a pharisee and wielding my knowledge to make me feel good or that I somehow garner more favor from God because of any knowledge collected.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’m grateful for the discussion and I added a little clarity note talking about this. We are encouraged to examine our own heart and I hopr this post encourages others to go to Christ so we are aware of the truth. Scripture by itself is certainly not an idol.

        I agree. So important we do not become like the Pharisees.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! I’ve been trying to deal with a Christian friend of mine who want to argue over scripture. To me it’s not worth the argument. I think we all need to be open minded enough to accept that others can read the same verses and come to different conclusions. When we come into these conflicts it’s import to pray and seek God. Then we can find the truth and grow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. …now I’m curious. What’s the scripture?

      I do agree with you and find that it is silly for a Baptist to expect a Lutheran to agree with them and vice versa. Within the same denomination, that might be a conversation worth having.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. A conversation is always worth having. You are absolutely right on that point. Sorry I didn’t make what happened clearer. I was taking about a conversation that turned into a heated argument that led to some hurt feelings. Then it was a “Let me beat you over the head with scripture” fight. Now bringing up scripture that supports the way you think isn’t wrong but the attitude was wrong. I too have to make sure that I approach these conversations with the right attitude. I’m not going to bring up the scripture because to me it didn’t relate to a core issue of our walk with God. It was semantics in my option.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’m sorry that happened.

        Spurring each other on toward life in Christ is so valuable, that I rarely battle over scripture unless it encroaches upon the work of the Cross (salvation related).

        I don’t have interest in sparring over eschatology (end times) or other secondary issues.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “Our worship switched from Him to us.”
    Amen. Sometimes I wonder if we couldn’t call ourselves our own idol, maybe not a lifetime of self-idolatry, but every time we switch from worshipping Him to us.
    And the crazy thing is, I really don’t want to worship a god like me, knowing all my weaknesses and how I need someone infinitely stronger and wiser than myself! If I’m my own god, I’m doomed.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Let me know if it feels like I’m overstepping here, TR, haha. But I wanted to exhort those who read this and feel convicted about being prideful with spiritual knowledge and reading Scripture for selfish reasons to not stop reading Scripture!!! That is definitely not the answer to this problem and it’s exactly what the enemy of your soul wants. Keep pursuing the Lord and keep doing it through reading and studying Scripture! Repent of how you may be abusing it and let the realization drive you deeper into Christ, knowing you need Him even for the simple task of reading His Word with a pure heart. Don’t let the wiles of the devil draw you away from Christ; instead, let Christ take them and turn them on their head to result in a glorious increase of the life of Christ within you!

    And TR, I had to laugh at this: “Are we guarded with defenses against any disagreement someone may have against what we say and think?” Jesus walked me through almost this exact question last night and carried me through into victory. It wasn’t about making Scripture an idol, but it did have a lot to do with spiritual pride in my own heart. I love how Jesus highlights things He wants us to really learn!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You are fine!!! We are not to run from the Source but come to Him boldly. I appreicate your encouragement for people to keep coming to scripture because we should, but recongize the state of our heart. Amen! Praise the Lord for guiding you and showing you what He wants you to know. He loves us!

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Excellent post T.R. I like when you said, “If our heart and spirit are focused on reading scripture to draw closer to Him, to learn from Him, then this is not an idol because Christ is our priority and focus.”

    I agree with you because as you said, if we are studying Scripture to draw closer to Christ then it’s not an idol but it can if all we’re striving for is for it be a check mark on a list of things to do.

    You have so many good quotes T.R. Some of my favorite quotes from your post include:

    1). “Our faith cannot be rooted in empty words. I feel this longing and understanding comes from a heart seeking after God, we desire to know Him and His truth.”

    2). “But I worry we only seek scripture for our gain sometimes, and not in the manner that draws us closer to Christ.”

    3). “Studying scripture and Christ (doctrine, theology, topics, etc) it becomes an idol when we make it not about Him, but rather, what we know, what we desire to know. When it becomes about us…”

    4). “If He is not First, the truth does not matter and we have gone back to the Law, legalism, chains, knowing but not believing. Knowing but not showing Christ.”

    5). “What God freed us from becomes a rope from the wickedness we encouraged, entangling us further into the trap we walked into. The God we cry out to is not, in fact, Christ, but a god of lies and deceit, one we entertained in our mind, only to find how it numbed us from the inside out. “

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really glad you liked the post. It is so important we come to God out of lovr and ask for Him to rebuke us and guide us when we are doing what He wants. Even if on the outside it looks good.

      Like

  6. My dad was one who read the scriptures for intellectual knowledge and debate. He was a legalist, too, of the kind of the Pharisees, who was engaged in all kinds of wickedness behind closed doors. One day he saw me reading the scriptures and he asked me what I was researching, or something like that, for he loved to argue.

    But, in a way, he did me a favor. From him I learned that I didn’t want to be like that, although I never was an intellectual, not ever. I was reading on a 4th grade level when I entered college. I still have a terrible time with reading comprehension, but I think that has been a blessing, as well, for I truly have to trust in the Lord to understand what I read. And, I hate arguing, probably because my dad loved it so much, but I just don’t like to argue. I will stand on what I believe, though.

    Anyway, like I said, in some ways it was a blessing for me to have such a father because it drove me to want to find out what a real (genuine) Christian was like and to be one of those, not in performance, but in genuine love for Jesus Christ and with a genuine thirst for his Word in order to apply it to my life.

    So, anyway, I get what you are saying here. We need to hunger and thirst for the Lord and for his Word because we want his Word to be applied to our lives so we can grow in him and become mature and so we can walk in obedience to him and in surrender to his will for our lives, not so we can check it off our list or so we can win arguments.

    But, we need to know the Word, too, so that we are not deceived by those who will twist scriptures to their advantage in order to turn us away from our pure devotion to Christ. And, we need to know the scriptures so when Satan comes at us with his lies that we can get out that sword of the Spirit and use it to refute his lies. But, we need to live what it says, i.e. we need to walk the walk and not just talk it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! I want us to look at our heart which in turn helps us look at our walk with Christ ❤

      I'm grateful that God is able to use negative things in our life for HIs glory. It's a promise we are given in scripture, and He clearly has used this for His glory and to guide you closer to Him. ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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