This verse came up in my Bible reading last week and I thought about you, dear reader, and myself and plenty of others who write consistently and for people's edification. It's a brutal one, but what a warning.
How can you say, "We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us"? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie. (Jeremiah 8.8)
Did you see that? Did you hear their claims?
We are wise and the law of the Lord is with us. We've got this figured out. We know what we're talking about and what we're doing. We've read the Bible. It's on our shelves and coffee tables and iDevices. Oh.So.Flippant.
And what's worse is that the scribes, the ones who are supposed to handle the text with care and teach others to do the same, have made it into a lie. When they write blog posts, they twist the Bible to mean what they want it to mean. When they write books about living the Christian life, they add a heaping scoop of opinion to the revelation God has already given. When they compose articles for magazines or other outlets, they're sure to make the Bible look like the crest of the cultural wave-of-the-moment.
As a pastor, I know that reading the Bible "by yourself" can get you into trouble in a hurry. Individually, we're prone to make it say what we desire for it to say. So the believing community (including those who have gone before and have passed down a tradition to us) has to have a voice as we read.
But as a pastor, I also know that you can basically pick up a good translation of the Bible and read it and understand it. There are some hard sections, but for the most part it's pretty plainly understood. You don't need a new book (though I'm a fan of books) or a blog (though I'm a writer of a blog). You need the Bible.
And then you need to obey it.
But that's just me thinking thoughts...