Anyway, I was in "Books-a-Million" yesterday. They some Bibles there. And Bible covers. One was leather, with "NFL" on it, and laces on the spine. That was kinda cool, because it would kinda look like you were carrying a football, but you really had a Bible.
"Books-a-Million" is a Non-Christian Bookstore, which means you have to use extra discernment (TM) in there.
Case in point: There's this "John MacArthur Study Bible". I don't know much about John MacArthur, but apparently, he likes to kinda dilute stuff. I flipped open to Matthew 23, where, as everyone knows, Jesus climbs the turnbuckles, and goes off the top rope onto the religious teachers who thought they were big stuff. Or, at least, that's what I thought:
But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
MacArthur says that doesn't really catch it, though. Jesus really meant that religious teachers shouldn't tie up loads that aren't Bible-based and put them on people's backs. Biblical loads? Go ahead.
So I guess Jesus wasn't so rad after all. He was just saying they were putting the wrong loads on people. Bible-centered weights? Well, hey, you need those, and that's what we teachers are for, I reckon.
Then Jesus says this:
Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant.
Or...not. This feller MacArthur lets us know that what Jesus really meant, here, is that you can look at a guy as your "Teacher", and yeah, in fact, you really probably actually should. Jesus wasn't some wild man, folks.
Which stinks for me, because I kinda like Jesus as wild man.
Then I flip to where Paul is writing about the "terror of the Lord" -- "phobos", which means like, "terror" -- and MacArthur says to chill: Paul really means don't get all, you know, phobic. Just have a big-time respect for God.
Okay, but...it's just kinda...wimpy.
Anyway, maybe the rest of it is awesome, but I put it down after a couple minutes. And I saw they had a Thomas Kinkade mug-thing seemingly just like the one at the Christian bookstore.
I don't want to criticize this fellow's Study Bible. Everybody has a God-given right, in this country, by golly, to write their own Study Bible, and I will defend that right -- the one to write a Study Bible -- to the death. I just don't think people should water down the Truth. They shouldn't make it less dangerous, or less scandalous, or less offensive, or less shocking. Or less bold. Or -- you know-- less manly. I'm not saying he' s a false teacher, but beware false teachers.
That's my opinion.