A few years ago some atheists printed a book called The X-Rated Bible. It criticized the Bible because of its graphic details of violence and sex. The authors listed Bible passages describing unfair, vicious, and even perverted acts. How could a book containing such depictions, they argued, be from God? Why does every copy have the words “Holy Bible” on the front?
These explicit accounts, however, suggest just the opposite. Yes, the Bible records some events in surprising detail. But have you considered the remarkable tact with which these events are discussed? The divine record of the most personal and private aspects of human life are found in Scripture. Yet, there is a remarkable restraint, an unparalleled dignity, a sublime decency in the relating of these situations. The Bible describes some of the most intimate moments between a man and a woman, but it does so in a manner that does not leave you feeling embarrassed. Passages like I Corinthians 7:1-5 and the Song of Solomon are pointed descriptions of marital love, but you do not feel guilty after having read them.
Unlike worldly movies and books, the manner in which these situations are described is on a much higher and totally different plane. Yes, some of the subjects the Bible discusses are the same as those people of the world discuss. But the way in which they are discussed is completely distinct. When the Bible records these human relationships, it neither stirs ungodly desires nor creates a feeling of shame. It neither incites a wicked reader to sin nor leaves a pure reader feeling guilty for having read it. It is free from the vulgarity, the irreverence, and the crudeness of man. Descriptions of sexual sin in the Bible are sometimes vivid, but they are never presented in an entertaining or appealing manner. They are always depicted as the shameful parts of human life, never inciting base desires in readers.
We must constantly monitor books, magazines, and television shows coming into our homes because of the way these very personal moments of human life are portrayed. But we never have this fear in reading the Bible. When it is read privately or aloud in the home, all who hear will be edified. None will be embarrassed, even when the darkest or most intimate sides of human life are described. We should be encouraged and refreshed by its dignity. We should take refuge in its purity. Just as important, we should practice and insist upon this same decency in ourselves and in others.
This is why the Bible calls itself “the holy scriptures” (II Tim. 3:15).