Standing for Truth and Defending Your Freedom
Standing for Truth and Defending Your Freedom

Word of God or Handbook for Maniacs?

by Jerry Newcombe

Recently, I heard about yet another movie being made where the villain goes around quoting Scripture. Is quoting Bible verses indicative of a mental imbalance? To some of our cultural elites, it would seem so.

Why does the bad guy in so many movies and TV shows quote the Bible? Think about it for a moment: in the vast majority of cases when a character quotes from the Scriptures, is that usually a cue that he or she is a good character or a bad one—or perhaps even mere comic relief?

I remember on Sanford and Sons from the 1970s a crazy aunt who would tote her Bible around and quote different verses, like, “The truth shall set you free!” She was a whack job.

Do you know anyone like that personally? I certainly don’t.

One man I used to know who went around quoting Scripture was among the nicest people I’ve ever known in my whole life. Charlie was a stellar member of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and was very active in Dr. Kennedy’s evangelism program there, going out to visit people with the Gospel at least three times a week. At his funeral, Dr. Kennedy eulogized Charlie by saying, “A mighty redwood has fallen.”

Charlie used to memorize Bible verses and quote them all the time. He was also one of the happiest people I’ve ever known. He had the most irrepressible smile.

Charlie used to go to prisons six days a week for ministry, from his retirement in 1964 until he died in 1994. By the end of his life, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) so disabled him that the prison authorities said he couldn’t visit anymore unless he had a volunteer to wheel him around.

Every single day he found a volunteer. I was that volunteer on January 1, 1994. It was the first time in my life I had been inside a prison.

Charlie gave out 8 x 10 certificates to inmates for having memorized key Bible verses, such as 1 John 1:9 on the forgiveness of sins, or John 3:16 on God’s gift of Jesus to the world, etc. Yes, he went around quoting the Bible all the time. And no, he didn’t go around killing people the way Hollywood’s Bible-quoters do. He only helped people—everyone without discrimination.

Hollywood and our popular culture have brainwashed millions to think that if someone quotes the Holy Book, then we know that person is certifiably insane—or worse.

You’d think if someone was filled with Bible references, then he must be mentally unbalanced.

And yet reality shows the life-changing power of the Scriptures, which have turned untold numbers of people away from lives of crime and dissolution. No less a cultural icon than William Shakespeare’s writings are replete with some 1300 biblical quotes and references.

Even the world’s leading atheist, Richard Dawkins, former professor at Oxford, and author of the best-selling book, The God Delusion, essentially says you’re culturally illiterate if you are not familiar with the Bible. In page after page of blasting the Christian faith (and Islam); after saying terrible things about the Scriptures, suddenly, he says positive things about the Bible---as literature.

Dawkins states, “The King James Bible of 1611---the Authorized Version---includes passages of outstanding literary merit in its own right, for example the Song of Songs, and the sublime Ecclesiastes (which I am told is pretty good in the original Hebrew too). But the main reason the English Bible needs to be part of our education is that is a major source book for literary culture.”

Dawkins goes on to cite scores and scores of phrases from the Bible that are common in our parlance, such as “Be fruitful and multiply,” “East of Eden,” “Adam’s Rib,” etc.  

This does not mean Dawkins in any way believes the Bible to be the Word of God. But he does regard the Bible in general, and the 400-year-old King James in particular, as a “treasured heritage.”

For those who have never taken the time to read it, the Bible contains a great deal of wisdom---teaching such concepts as: As a man thinks in his heart so is he; you reap what you sow; do unto others as you would have them do unto you; love your neighbor as yourself, and so on.

Several years ago, David Van Biema wrote a cover story for TIME magazine (April 2, 2007), wherein he said:  “Should the Holy Book be on the public menu? Yes. It’s the bedrock of Western culture. And it’s constitutional---as long as we teach but don’t preach it.”

He even implies life would be boring without it: “Without the Bible and a few imposing secular sources, we face a numbing horizontality in our culture---blogs, political announcements, ads. The world is flat, sure. But Scripture is among our few means to make it deep.”

Sadly, when you see a character on the big screen, if he or she is quoting the Bible, it’s almost a sure sign that he’s crazy or evil or both. The other characters need to hold on to their wallets and get ready to defend themselves. Thankfully, the reality is far different.

I think this stereotype is a Satanic lie to keep people from reading the Bible for themselves, because it isn’t “cool.” We read the Bible in order to encounter the Triune God, who dominates the sacred volume from the first to the last page.