The Bible Is Not A Prop!

I was disappointed this week to see our nation's highest elected leader using the Bible as a prop on national television. It came about during the recent protests over the senseless death of another African American male at the hands of law enforcement officers. The setting for what seemed to be nothing more than a photo-op was the historic St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., one block from the White House. This church has been a place of worship for many American Presidents throughout its 200-year history.
An Interacted and Used Bible!

The Bible is the Word of God! It is God's written revelation of Himself and His saving plan for the world. But the Bible is not a prop or a political ploy! A "prop" by definition is a "theatrical property, something to be used for a media production or theatrical play." To use the Bible in this manner or way is a misuse of this blessed and life-changing gift of God.

I received a picture and comment from one of our daughters this week. It was a copy of the Bible we gave her sometime back and she was showing me how she has been reading and interacting with its message and truth. I immediately noted all of the colored-pen notations that came from her daily devotional reading, note-taking from sermons, and mentoring Bible studies she shares with her friends.

Some readers prefer not writing in their Bibles in order to absorb the inspiration and teaching from clean and uncluttered pages. Others of us think through and apply its contents by underlining certain words and verses as well as writing in the margins. Sometimes our notes are accented with colored pens and high-lighters! I have personally used this latter approach throughout my Christian life! I refer to this as a "used' Bible!

In this discussion of misuse and proper use of the Word of God, it might be good to let the Bible instruct us from its own inspired pages:
     1. The Bible is a "lamp to my feet and a light for my path" (Psalm 119:105).
     2. "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).
     3. "Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17).
     4. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:6).
     5. Jesus said that His work was to "fulfill the Scriptures" (Matthew 5:17). At the beginning of His earthly ministry He read from Isaiah 61 and defined His calling as Savior, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me... to preach good proclaim recover sight for the release the oppressed... Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing" (Luke 4:18-19, 21).
     6. "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good and pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:2).

Each day as I read and study my Bible, God speaks to me. He takes me to the "woodshed" which prompts my confession of sin. He opens my eyes to the injustice, violence and the inhumanity of mankind. He lifts my vision to His glorious and saving purpose for the whole world through Christ Jesus, my Lord. He teaches me about the relational blessing of loving God with all of my heart, soul and mind, and of how He wants to transform all my other relationships through Golden Rule living and "loving my neighbor as I love myself" (Matthew 22:37-40).

What or where would I be without God's words of wisdom and life? As the hymn writer prays, "Let me more of their beauty see, wonderful words of life... teach me faith and duty; beautiful...wonderful...wonderful words of life," (Philip P. Bliss, Wonderful Words of Life).

I can't regard the Bible in a casual, superficial way! I have to show up every day at His feet for instruction through God's Word! Don't you?!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.


  1. My dear Micheal, you watch too much news and sometimes we read things completely wrong when we don't know that person. Many people of the Bible were very sinful so we all are.,but God has his way birds using all of us. we all know the news media has their way of wanting to sway us in whatever direction they think. The best we can do is not watch the news. God is the only one who knows our hearts. We all must pray for each other and look for the best in each of us. Love
    You Mike.

  2. You make a good point that only God knows our hearts, but Christians should be informed and must hold our leaders accountable.


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