Back in grade school I remember art projects requiring the class to search through magazines and cut out letters, words, or pictures to use in collages. After being attacked with the scissors, the remains of the magazines looked like Swiss cheese. Many professing Christ-followers have created their own custom-made Swiss cheese Bibles. I have mine.
We create Swiss cheese Bibles when we start removing the areas which we find inconvenient, difficult, or choose to ignore. For example:
- When we want to fit into or please the world, we grab our scissors and surgically remove Galatians 1:10 and James 4:4
- When we feel justified in holding onto our anger and grudges, Ephesians 4:26 and James 1:20 are snipped from our Bibles
- When husbands don’t feel like loving our wives as Christ loved the church, Ephesians 5:25 is excised from the pages
- Romans 1:18-32, 1 Thessalonians 4:3 and numerous others are removed when we strive to convince ourselves or others that sexual immorality is normal and acceptable
- When dating and marriage relationships are pursued with unbelievers, the prohibition of being unequally yoked found in 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 is cut out
- When we shirk our commands to proclaim Christ to the lost and pretend that in the end, everybody will be ok- even without Christ- we remove Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 4:12, 2 Corinthians 5:18-20, and Revelation 20:11-15
….and on and on it goes.
I am convinced that when we create holes in our Bible by ignoring the truths found uncomfortable, inconvenient or difficult, we undermine the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives. Jesus stated “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46-49). Conditional obedience is not taught in Scripture. Keeping His commandments demonstrates our love for God (1 John 5:3) and provides evidence for our salvation (1 John2:3-5). To be an obedient Christ follower is to obey His Words, regardless whether they easy, hard, convenient, inconvenient, or costly. This is the process of denying ourselves, taking up our crosses, and following Him (Luke 9:23).
I have never seen scissors packaged with Bibles sold in stores, yet we all have Swiss cheese Bibles to varying degrees. As we grow in Jesus Christ and pursue Him diligently, the holes will lessen during the process of sanctification and increasing obedience. Sometimes the Swiss cheese effect is not performed with scissors, but with Bible highlighters- highlighting the verses we like while ignoring the difficult sections. We would be prudent to also study the non-highlighted verses to find the truths requiring attention in our lives.