The Bible is not the Word of God.
That statement will upset & maybe even alienate a whole truck load of Christians, Pastors & Preachers.
That is not my intention.
I hear you speaking of: ‘we need to get back to the Word.’
Sometimes you say: ‘we need to spend more time in the Word.’
Or: ‘we need to study the Word.’
Other times, when under fire, you might say: ‘The Word is the final Authority.’
Some Churches describe themselves as Word-based Communities.
And you would be spot on, if you weren’t talking about The Bible.
When did ‘The Bible’ become ‘The Word’?
When did the line between the two become so blurred?
The line between inanimate & alive?
Maybe we prefer it that way, for then ‘The Word’ is something which we can hold, in our hands & manipulate?
Instead of Someone.
I’m reminded of that powerful beginning of an account, written a long time ago: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ (John 1:1)
Surely ‘The Bible’ isn’t God?
Or is it?
Could it be that Christianity has forsaken the Word & adopted ‘the word’?
Which can be held.
‘For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.’ (Hebrews 4:12)
Perhaps the intentions of our hearts are good?
But ‘The Word’ cannot be held.
The Word cannot be studied.
The Word studies & pierces & discerns.
The Word cannot be owned or translated or printed.
The Word owns.
Even prints, in our being, an awareness of being ‘us’.
The Word is ζοη – alive in a supernatural way which cannot be comprehended.
The Word is δυναμιs – powerful beyond anything which exists or can be known.
The Word is not the book on your bedside table or the YouVersion-code on your tablet.
Could it be that we have made Scripture our idol, our golden calf?
That instead of it revealing The Word, pointing to God – it became our god?
Could it be the reason why Christian communities are so often so passive & self-absorbed, instead of alive & powerful?
Could it be that even ‘Pentecostal Communities’ have fixated on the letters printed on paper & lost their awareness that His Word is He?
May we, as people of the Way, the Truth & the Life be set free.
May we come to see.
And as we see Him, may He come alive in us.
And spill from us.
Into our world.
For that is what happens when people are released to move beyond the Bible into the presence of the Word.
We are transformed beyond our own attempts.
We are filled beyond our own fear.
And He spills, like rushing water, from our being.
(How dry the dessert we inhabit.)