A Bible Bully is someone who uses scripture as a weapon. Maybe in their youth Bible Bullies were the “sword drill” champions of their Sunday School class (anyone remember “Sword drills”?). They learned to find scripture verses in a hurry. Now they use (misuse?) their Bibles like literal swords. They seem eager to slice and dice any who might disagree with their slant on life. They learned to find Bible passages (chapter and verse), but sadly like playground bullies, they missed the important Bible lessons on kindness and gentleness.
Offer a differing opinion on life, scripture or politics to a Bible Bully and take cover. They will whip out a Bible verse faster than a gunslinger with a six-shooter in the old West. Locked and loaded with their pet Bible verse bullets, they are armed to “Biblically” shoot down anyone who disagrees. “Biblically” is surrounded by quotation marks in the previous sentence because one can argue that their approach is far from “Biblical.” Cherry picking Bible verses that support their positions is a Bible Bully’s favorite tactic. Sadly, too often such scriptural manipulation misses Jesus command to “Love one another” (John 13:34) and it completely misses the point in the whole of scripture.
Bible Bullies are found on both sides (all sides) of the current divides and debates festering in our country. Neither side is free from Bible toting yet (ironically) unbiblical fanatics. Be wary of those who weaponized scripture to suit their own causes. Refuse to accept their challenge to a dual. Don’t likewise weaponized Scripture that suits your slant. No one comes out the winner in such sword fights, and generally the Gospel is the loser as the world watches dueling Bible Bullies. Instead remember these verses representing the whole of Scripture generally not found in the Bible Bully’s repertoire:
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
Be kind and compassionate to one another Ephesians 4:32
Encourage one another and build each other up 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Hebrews 13:1
Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. Romans 14:13
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:7
And of course,
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’Matthew 22:37-39
Don’t be a Bible Bully.
Be Like Jesus.