Some of us have been around long enough to see that the Bible we treasure has been used to multiply the pain of racial minorities, women, the poor, the mentally ill, the divorced, abused, addicted, unemployed, and prisoners.
This past week I attended an event that showcased the stories of people who have repeatedly heard the Bible used to tell them they are going to hell, even if they believe in Jesus.
The event was, in my opinion, courageous, painful, messy, controversial, and heartbreaking.
What came out so clearly in the personal stories told is how many of these persons, young and old, are convinced that they did not choose their path. They told of childhood suicidal fears of being found out, personal loss, a desire to change, prayers to change and their desire to be counted among those who love Jesus because of what he has done for them.
Unfortunately, we can’t change a history of misusing the Bible to unintentionally drive hurting people into hellish silence and torment. But with God’s help we can stop being the kind of people who are once again, unwittingly using the Bible to do to others what we would never want done to ourselves—or to anyone we love.