365 Bible promises for hurting people

I found a book in an op shop in Rosebud with the above title, and immediately thought, “Wow, that’s a delightfully ambiguous title. Are these Bible promises supposed to relieve people’s hurt or cause it?” It wasn’t clear that it wasn’t a book of tools for how to hurt people.

(Interestingly, an Amazon.com book reviewer picked up on this ambiguity too, posting this little ripper: “I bought this book hoping to learn a few traditional, tried and true methods for inflicting suffering on others. Instead, all this is is a namby-pamby rehash of simpy Biblical homilies about being nice and crap like that. More Old Testament plagues and the like would have improved things a bit.” Classic!)

But it seems to me the church, and Christians in general, are much better at hurting people than they are at relieving people’s hurt.

Not to mention the way that books like this use the bible: rip a verse or three out of its context, then slap it down as a timeless, infallible, cure-all promise. Especially when it’s aimed at people who are hurting, this can be incredibly dangerous.

It seems to me that, even when they’re not intended to, these kinds of books often cause more hurt than they relieve.

I can’t speak for this book really; I didn’t buy it or read it, so Alice Chapin, I have no doubt that your intentions are pure. But I have to wonder what view of the Bible or of Christian this kind of thing comes from and perpetuates.

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