87 thoughts on “Giving the Bible Its Proper Place”

        1. My Baptist church calls it a narthex. But then we also have a Tenebrae service, celebrate Lent, have a Christ candle, AND our ministers wear robes during the holy days from Advent through Ascension Sunday.

        2. The Conservative Baptist church I was saved at had a Narthex. Wasn’t any different from other churches’ lobby or foyer, but I sure love that name for it!

    1. The F in IFB stands for Fanatical when it comes to their obsessive worship of the KJV Bible. Webster’s Dictionary defines the word originating from Latin: fanaticus – inspired by a deity, frenzied from: fanum – temple.

      Hence, this bizarre display of their “god” is a fanatical statement defying conventional etiquette. Like all fanatics, they are over-the-top, whack-jobs. Should we be surprised by anything less?

    2. Yep, they do indeed worship the Bible. My own mother tried to “prove” that the Bible is God because the Bible is the Word of God and Jesus was the Word, or something like that. However, this particular church is not as hard core as they should be in these last days. They have KJV printed unobtrusively on the spine rather than in big bold letters on the FRONT COVER in the SAME FONT SIZE as Holy Bible, because, after all, if it ain’t KJV, it ain’t Bible, haymen?? I think that this pastor needs to get right with God and not be ashamed.

    1. My former religious social club might not have had AJ come in and sing for them (not that he would have them), but that’s the style they would have allowed.

  1. Even as a rug, I would think an IFB pastor would think that was inappropriate since you’re not even supposed to use your Bible as a coaster or (according to our former pastor) even set another book on top of it!

      1. He always said the Word of God was so precious that nothing should be placed on top of it — it should ALWAYS be on the top and never used as a coaster. He would go on about how he has seen Bibles with “rings” on the cover because people sat their drink on their Bible. The only acceptable thing to do to the Bible was to highlight and write notes in it.

        1. That’s right — you can write comments and draw diagrams, but coffee rings are out of the question!

        2. I was actually chewed out once by a customer in Lifeway Christian bookstore because I tried to use wide margins as a Bible selling point — They told me they would never DARE write in the Bible. So they left with a Scoursby Bible . . . guess it was okay for him to write in it.

        3. So … It’s good to have your Bible look beaten-up and worn, but not to have it look like you read it while you drank coffee.

        4. E X A C T L Y ! ! ! Our pastor was a “Coca Cola” guy so maybe a coca-cola ring would be acceptable, but never a coffee ring!

        5. My former, former, former fundy CEO was a HUGE Coke-a-Cola guy (and coffee with 6 tablespoons of cream) until he was smitten with kidney stones. He must have been a closet Bible-as-a-coaster guy and therefore suffered the consequences.

          Be sure your sin will find you out! (which, by the way, I really do believe)

          B.R.O.

    1. When I lived in Moscow, we were told that the protestant Christians there find it highly offensive to leave a Bible on the floor. This was said to be a hangover from Soviet days when Bibles were sometimes in extremely short supply and thus merited extra care. Many churches there also had rules about not putting something else on top of a Bible, like a hymnbook.

      1. My people believed that books (all books) should be treated with extreme care. We never dog-eared a page, wrote or drew in a book, or left one on the floor or outdoors. And there was a proper procedure for turning a page, to avoid the risk of tearing the paper.
        I heard people mention the “nothing on top of the Bible” rule, but no one around me ever insisted on it.

        1. i know a ton of people at my Fundy church that do that. i believe there were more that did that than didn’t.

  2. I had a teacher in fundy high who told us in Bible class one day to put our Bibles on the floor and stand on them. Then those who had smaller Bibles therefore had a harder time fully standing on them. It was supposed to be a metaphor, I think. It felt disrespectful to me.

    1. My Sunday school teachers wouldn’t have even joked about standing on a Bible. They would have viewed that about like standing on our Moms’ faces– something you not only don’t do, but don’t even think about.

  3. “I like big Bibles and I cannot lie.
    You Christian brothers can’t deny
    that when a girl walks in with a KJV
    and a bookmark in Proverbs you get stumped.
    It looks like one of those large-unz
    with plenty of space in the marg-unz…”

  4. Their church lobby looks like a law firm (except for the tacky KJV decal). I feel that this does not glorify God. Where is the track rack?? The big gold world?? The framed copy of an ORIGINAL page from the KJV1611?? The big board with all the missionary letters?? This is a seriously compromised church.

    1. A copy of an ORIGINAL?
      That must be priceless!

      My brother has a page from a Gutenberg Bible– NOT an original (he’s not a billionaire), but one printed on Gutenberg’s old press in Mainz. Apparently the press and the type Gutenberg used are still around, and they make sample pages to sell as souvenirs

  5. This might be one of the few instances where someone could tweet the guy a respectful ‘Why do you have a picture of The Bible on the floor? ‘ because I would really like to know the reasoning behind that.
    We always respected our Bibles….never put anything on top of them. I knew of people who slept with them under their pillows. Not sure why….for some kind of protection maybe.

    1. The use of Bibles as talismans has a long history here in America:

      They took Boggs to a little drug store, the crowd pressing around just the same, and the whole town following, and I rushed and got a good place at the window, where I was close to him and could see in. They laid him on the floor and put one large Bible under his head, and opened another one and spread it on his breast; but they tore open his shirt first, and I seen where one of the bullets went in. He made about a dozen long gasps, his breast lifting the Bible up when he drawed in his breath, and letting it down again when he breathed it out — and after that he laid still; he was dead.

      Huckleberry Finn, Chapter

      1. Then there’s this:

        “The black spot! I thought so,” he observed. “Where might you have got the paper? Why, hillo! Look here, now; this ain’t lucky! You’ve gone and cut this out of a Bible. What fool’s cut a Bible?”

        “Ah, there!” said Morgan. “There! Wot did I say? No good’ll come o’ that, I said.”

        “Well, you’ve about fixed it now, among you,” continued Silver. “You’ll all swing now, I reckon. What soft- headed lubber had a Bible?”

        “It was Dick,” said one.

        “Dick, was it? Then Dick can get to prayers,” said Silver. “He’s seen his slice of luck, has Dick, and you may lay to that.”

        — R. L. Stevenson, “Treasure Island,” Chapter 29

    2. Sleeping with a large Bible under your pillow might help protect against GIRD.
      Elevating your head and shoulder when you sleep helps reduce the severity of gastric reflux.

  6. I’ll second the “That’s just weird.” From the picture, it looks like it would show up as a big black spot as you walked into the foy-ay. Like the tiles had been damaged by an unwise choice of cleaner or something, until you got closer and realized, oh, that’s just the Bible. Hmmmm.

    I never did grow up with the “Bibles on top” reverence in my fundy days. I guess my fundy church was more super-conservative evangelical – could that be the difference? I do remember everyone protecting them with those large colorful vinyl Bible covers.

    The only bibliolatry I was exposed to was, strangely, in my pre-fundy Catholic days. I remember my 1st grade teacher, in Catholic school, telling us how to stack our books in the opening beneath our desk seats. We had to place them in a neat stack, and our Religion book had to go on top. Since it was the biggest book, it made for an unstable looking stack. A couple years later, when my family converted, our super-conservative evangelical fundy-like or whatever church never seemed to treat actual Bibles like this. So I always associated this physical book reverence with Catholicism, though I realized later that it was just my own experience. I’d always thought the fundy worship of the KJV1611 was mainly idolatry of the text itself, not so much physical incarnations of it.

    Anyway, this is indeed weird.

    1. It makes me think of that scene from “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”:

      “Is there any risk of floor damage?”
      “Technically, it is floor damage.”

  7. My old IFB church staff manual had a rule that stated we were never to leave our Bibles on the floor. If our Bible was in a stack of books, we were always to have it on top with the front cover out. Overkill, yes. But this is overkill in the other direction. If you’re going to paint a Bible mural/mosaic, why put it on the floor and not the wall?

    Reminds me of those last supper or nativity scene doormats. Not a well thought out idea. But then again, that’s assuming there’s thought going on.

    1. We would encourage the children to bring their Bibles to children’s church, but they have to do something with them while singing “Rolled Away” so we’d always have them put them on the floor under their seat. Sometimes that did make me feel disrespectful. I’m not sure where that feeling came from unless at some point someone had said it. My parents didn’t mind a Bible on the floor if it was placed neatly next to a chair where someone had been reading it, but they did say we should put the Bible on top of any pile of books.

  8. How many people do you estimate have run to that spot, stood on the Bible and proclaimed, “I’m standing on the Word of God!”?

    I have seen pictures of the mosaics that the early church had for floors with Christian symbols. They are quite ornate and beautiful. I have seen Catholic Churches with the Christian story proclaimed in symbols from floor to rafter. Both of those inspired awe.
    This looks like a decal adhered to the floor with a wax coating over it. Quite tacky.

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