On the Swedish Salvation army youth community Blood and Fire a discussion has come up if there is literature that is dangerous for Christians to read it seems the concensus is that it depends on who is reading it and how impressionable you are. I tried to phraze a response but it turned out to be to long for a forum post so here it comes as a blogpost.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth….. it is so obvious that we often overlook it when God creates the universe in Genesis 1:1 He does so by His spoken word. If we follow through that thought we see the entire trinity represented in the creation. Gods spirit floating over the waters, God the Father, the Creator speaking with power, Jesus Christ the Word of God (John 1:1-5 ). All through the bible we see God interacting with humanity via the spoken word and I think it is very clear as we read the bible that these are words of power. In a very real sense a thing only becomes real when God has spoken it.

The same is true in our lives, we ask for forgiveness and recieve it via the words spoken by our peers relaying the divine forgiveness to us. We speak a prayer and God answers in words either from the bible or from another Christian prophesying over us, words that come true because God spoke it.

One of the best days of my life was when I got married to Hanna and in the end we where bound together first by our promise to each other (words we spoke) and the proclamation made by our pastor that we where now husband and wife. If I had said no when the crucial question was asked all kinds of chaos would have ensued, this because {{our words define who we are and how we relate to the people around us.}}

How does this realate to the written word? Well the written word carries the idea (and maybe the spiritual intent of the author) and these words also hold power, ideas contain the power to change the way we think, even ideas we do not agree with. Every time we think a thought the path of that thought pattern is engraved in our brain which makes it easier to think that thought again. So if an idea is repeated in many ways in a written text we get used to the idea and thinking it no matter what we think of the idea. Let me give you a real world example.

When I was in highschool i read Anton La Veys black bible, I din’t agree with most of what was in the but the language was simple and persuasive. In the book La Vey tells the reader repeatedly to look in the mirror and repeat the words “I am a satanist” to himself. I thought it rather ridiculous but nevertheless ass I went to the restroom one of the following days I found myself repeating those words to the mirror without really wanting to. I had been influenced by the spirit of the book even though I only read it for study purpose or out of a “know thine enemy” perspective.

In this way I believe that many books carry a spiritual intent which we need to guard ourselves against. The bible tells us that the most precious thing that we have are our hearts (Prov 4:23 ) and if we study the biblical heart it consists of three parts, our thoughts, our emotions and our will. Books we read influence all these three areas. We read ideas that influence us, books makes us feel things and based on our thoughts and emotions we make decisions.

The bible tells us that the words that come out of the mouth will taint us if we don’t weigh them carefully and that our future path and direction in life is guided by how we use our tounge. We are cautioned by the bible that we will be judged by the words we speak (James 3 ) and I believe that we will even more so be judged by the words we write which have the potential of reaching so many more people.

The ultimate example of books that can influence us is of course the bible. We believe it contains Gods word and therefore it is Holy. Not the actual book in itself (alltough I have met some people who hold that view) but the ideas and thoughts put forward in it. I don’t know any Christians (allthough I am sure they exist) that say that you can substitute the bible for any other book that puts forward the same basic ideas or principles; Or that would say that a book written by a Christian author would be the word of God for that matter. So in the case of the bible we do say that it is a book that is good for you, that will be beneficial for your spirit and soul. why then is it so hard to acknowledge that there can be books that are bad for you and will break down our spirit and soul.

Now having said all that, I do not believe or endorse the idea of burning or banning books. I think we need to use our good judgement, listen to our friends and mentors. The Holy Spirit is very capable of telling us when what we are reading is harmful, if we are willing to listen to His voice.

Words hold power, by the words we speak we form our reality and our future wich is why we are instructed to communicate in love through hymns and spritiual songs (Eph 5:19 ). When we are encountered by words that are filled with a different spirit we need to avoid them (1 Thess 5:20-22 ). If our heart longs for the things of God and our aim to be closer to Him, then we must seek that which is of God and avoid the things that will distract us from Him.

I will be responsive to the Holy Spirit’s work and obedient to His leading in my life, growing in grace through worship, prayer, service and the reading of the Bible. I will make the values of the Kingdom of God and not the values of the world the standard for my life.

I will uphold Christian integrity in every area of my life, allowing nothing in thought, word or deed that is unworthy, unclean, untrue, profane, dishonest or immoral.

This is the promise I made when I became a soldier of the salvation army. I feel that if I am unsure if a book (thought or idea) is good for me it probably isn’t. It’s probably the gentle tugging of the Holy Spirit telling me I need to turn my attention to that which is of God. I would like to end this with one of my favorite bible verses.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Phil 4:8 ESV

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Having a friend who is currently serving life in prison for murder, the details of which I wish I didn’t know, I can testify to the power of words. This man was one who had on his bookshelves the writings of Alistair Crowley as well as other Satanists. I believe that the undue influence these things had on his life before he became a Christian ultimately led him to hold life in such low regard that he did what he did.

Words have power, as you say Patrik, after all it was a word that brought this universe into being, and it was The Word that gave us a way back to God.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x