I Enjoy That Quote Too, But …

There are thousands of quotes floating around the internet. My social media feed is full of them every single day. This is not a new phenomenon. When I first entered the ministry, people would shout different quotes at me. One person used to say to me over and over, “People don’t care how much you know, till they know how much you care.” For him, that settled the issue of the connection between preaching and pastoral care.

Let me say this clearly: I enjoy a good quote too, but that does not equate it with Biblical truth.

One of my Facebook groups shared this quote, “God would rather I am sitting in a boat fishing and thinking about him than sitting in a Church thinking about fishing.” People responded with their affirmative statements except for one fellow who used a hashtag as his response – #thingsJesusneversaid. It sounds like a good view until you try to align it with the words of Jesus or any part of the Bible.

We may like a quote because it expresses something we think or feel. It captures our thoughts and puts words to it. I am glad you like and are possibly inspired by it, but that does not mean that it rises to the same level as God’s word. This is true even if the quote is from a Christian source or a religious leader.

One statement within our movement of Church was to “call Bible things by Bible names.” The idea was that once we step out of the pages of the scripture, meanings can get changed, and intents can be skewed. The same is true, with quotes from both the famous and infamous. We can take a nice turn of phrase and elevate it to the level of undeniable truth, which we should not do.

Go ahead and enjoy that quote. Put it on your wall in a beautiful frame, have it emblazed on a T-shirt, or make it the background on your phone. The one thing I want to warn you about is that you should not build your life on it. Only the Bible is worthy of that type of action.

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