Why do we Christians weaponize Scripture?
Yes, I’m going there today.
I realize Scripture tells us God’s Word is like a double-edged sword. It divides—but the division isn’t between people. We don’t get to use it to destroy people. It discerns our thoughts and attitudes, anything inconsistent and detrimental. In Ephesians 6, the Word of God is again likened to a sword in the context of the armor of God, which we are instructed to put on, but “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” What if people are not on our side but are siding with these rulers, authorities, and spiritual forces? Be cautious. As soon as we start using God’s Word to justify ourselves, we no longer use the armor of God the way he intends. We twist and misapply his instruction.
We often weaponize Scripture against people who believe differently than we do, perhaps believe similarly but aren’t in the same place or lifestage. Those things don’t make people better or worse. It certainly doesn’t position us as judge and jury. God doesn’t give us weapons of truth to abuse other people. He gives them to us to live well—to trust him, to acknowledge him, and to not lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). Anytime we approach, read, apply, or speak God’s Word, we can only authentically do so if we are humble. Humility is required of faith. Boldness is required of faith as well. But never cancel one out for the other. Be boldly humble and humbly bold.
Otherwise, we commit offense of going against Scripture in trying to defend it. If we misrepresent the content of Scripture by our approach, our speaking of the truth is weakened. Of course, there are times that because of our lack of understanding, we will misrepresent it. But we should most definitely never rationalize our behavior because we are speaking words of scripture, as if the truth of the words, even out of context, cancel our behavior and motives.
Let’s constantly ask ourselves, “What does our attitude and approach reveal either in affirmation of the truth or in hypocrisy of the truth?”
Remember, be boldly humble in your response.