(WBIR - Knoxville) In less than a week, a bill designed to add the Bible to Tennessee's list of state symbols moves into committee.
A Knoxville Pastor told 10 News the Bible taken out of context or without the right spirit could do more harm than good.
"It's a letter, but it's a very personal letter and I'm not sure that I would want my personal letter to be the mail for everyone in the state of Tennessee," explained Central Baptist of Bearden Associate Pastor Mark Moreland.
He's one of seven pastors who spoke at Sacred Heart's ecumenical service on Friday.
Moreland believes with the right guidance the bible can be a powerful tool for bringing people closer to God,
"I wish everyone could read it. There are people who come to know God and believe in God and have faith and their lives are changed just by reading the bible."
But if forced on people it can do the opposite.
"The bible can be the most dangerous book in the world if it's read in pieces and in parts it can be very dangerous. It needs to be read and it needs to be applied by people who have a relationship to the God who gave it to us."
Right now, House Bill 615 consists of two sections calling for the Bible to be the state book of Tennessee. No other state has a state book - although Massachusetts has a state Children's book and Alabama has a state bible.
Moreland said he doesn't have a problem with spreading the word of God, but doesn't believe it's the government's job.
"We can't require people to read it, we can't be there when they might read it in the wrong spirit and take things out of context."
Louisiana scrapped a bill designed to make the bible their state book in 2014.
Mississippi currently has two bills looking to make the bible the state book of the Magnolia State.
Several pastors at the service declined to speak with us for this story. We reached out to the senate bill's sponsor, Sen. Steve Southerland, for comment but have not heard back from him as of Friday evening.