I recently heard a popular praise song. Overall, it was a good tune, but there was one verse that really bothered me:
These are the days of your servant David rebuilding the temple of praise.
This verse bothers me for two reasons. The first is that it is Biblically inaccurate. David did not rebuild the Jewish temple. That was Zerubbabel. He rebuilt it several decades after it was destroyed by the Babylonians. It was built centuries before the Babylonian invasion by Salomon, David’s son.
David never rebuilt the temple. He never even built the first one. In fact, the first temple was built years after David’s death. To attribute the rebuilding of the temple to David would be like attributing the moon landing to the Viking Eric the Red.
The second reason this song bothers me is that no one seems to notice the Biblical inaccuracy despite the fact that it is a popular song sung weekly in many Bible believing churches.
The same day I heard that song, I listened to a podcast made for small business owners. The podcast was not a Christian podcast, but one of the guests talked about using biblical principles to run his business. He talked about how he did not take a salary for the first three years after the founding of his business because he wanted to follow the biblical principle given to the Israelites when the entered the Canaan and were instructed to continue eating the manna God provided for the first three years.
Yet this principle is nowhere in scripture. In fact, God stopped providing manna shortly after the Israelites entered Canaan specifically because the Israelites were able to live off the land and no longer required the heavenly bread (see Joshua 5:11-12).
There may be great wisdom in investing all profit from your business back into the business for the first 3 years, but we should not go around making up Bible stories to back up our business decisions.
Misquotation, or misuse of the Bible seems to be a growing trend, and the unfortunate thing is that it often goes unchallenged. Quotes from the Bible are taken out of context to make a point. Stories are told as biblical that cannot be found in the Bible. Verses are written for praise songs that make no sense biblically.
And no one seems to challenge it.
No one seems to even notice.
As a society, we are biblically illiterate. This includes those of us who call ourselves Christians. We believe the Bible to be God’s message to us, but we don’t know what it says.
Think about this for a minute. Millions of Americans believe that the Bible is not only a message from God, but God’s primary message to us. The English language has more translations of the Bible than any other language. America has more biblical resources than any other country. Yet even as Christians we have such a week understanding of the Bible that it is easily misused and misquoted without being challenged.
Whenever someone quotes or references the Bible in any context, find out where that reference comes from. If you find it to be misquoted or misused, challenge the person who is made the mistake.
If we really believe the Bible is scripture, we should read it, study it, know it, and not allow it to be misused.