Jerry Newcombe

Currently in the theaters is the movie, Safe Haven, based on the book by Nicholas Sparks. In the book, the bad guy goes around quoting Scripture.

Is quoting Bible verses indicative of a mental imbalance? To some of our cultural elites it would seem so.

By way of full disclosure, I have neither read the book nor seen the movie. (Nor do I want to vote with my money by buying a ticket for it, saying, “Yes, Hollywood, make more Christian-bashing movies.”) However, my wife read the book and said it’s a great story about an abused wife, fleeing from her mentally imbalanced Scripture-quoting, husband, who is a bullying cop. I have no idea if the movie has mollified the anti-Christian aspect of the novel; hopefully, it has.

My wife said, “It’s such a good story. Why should the horrible husband quote the Bible and base his irrational behavior on what he believes it to say. I’m so upset.”

Why is the bad guy---in many a movie and TV show---quoting the Bible? Put it this way, in the vast majority of cases when a character quotes from the Scriptures, is that a cue that he or she is a good character or a bad one, or even just comic relief?

I remember on Sanford and Sons from the 1970s a crazy aunt who would tote her Bible around and quote different verses, like, “The truth shall set you free!” She was a whack job.

Do you know anyone like that personally?

One man I used to know who went around quoting Scripture was among the nicest people I’ve ever known in my whole life. Charlie used to memorize Bible verses and quote them all the time. He was also one of the happiest people I’ve ever known. He had the most irrepressible smile.

Charlie used to go to prisons six days a week for ministry, since he retired in 1964 until he died in 1994. By the end of his life, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) so disabled him that the prison authorities said he couldn’t visit anymore unless he had a volunteer to wheel him around.

Every single day he found a volunteer. I was that volunteer on January 1, 1994. It was the first time in my life I had been in a prison.

Charlie gave out 8 x 10 certificates to inmates for having memorized key Bible verses, 1 John 1:9 on the forgiveness of sins or John 3:16 on God’s gift of Jesus to the world, etc. Yes, he went around quoting the Bible all the time. And no, he didn't go around killing people the way Hollywood’s Bible-quoters do. He only helped people---everyone without discrimination.

Hollywood and our popular culture have brainwashed millions to think that if someone quotes the Holy Book, then we know he’s certifiably insane or worse.

Jerry Newcombe

Dr. Jerry Newcombe is a key archivist of the D. James Kennedy Legacy Library and a Christian TV producer.