The truth of the matter is: Neither.
The well intentioned illustrator got it wrong. The Bible, God’s written word, by itself cannot control a person. The illustrator should have compared the love of money to love for God.
The problem for mankind is that we are totally incapable of knowing and submitting to God and unless God by his Spirit makes us alive to Him we will never be able to know and submit to his perfect revealed will.
We believe this is why it is important for a theology of the New Covenant to have a right understanding of Pneumatology (A Doctrine of the Holy Spirit). If we fail to understand pneumatology’s centrality to the believer’s doctrine of the New Covenant then we are no better off than the man who looks to the Bible with its leather bound covers and paper pages to make him holy in God’s eyes.
You and I can read the Bible from cover to cover and never know God anymore than a picture of George Washington on your currency can enslave you to greed.
So you see my friend, even if you are a theologian you can know about God yet never really know God. Union with God requires a life giving miracle. Of this miracle the apostle Paul wrote;
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. – Romans 8:9-11
So the question is simply this; what or who controls you?
God’s Word testifies to the truth that a man or woman to be truly free they must walk (live day in and day out – all the time) empowered by the Spirit of God. It’s the only way for us to have victory over the sinful appetites of our flesh. God’s written word in our Bibles speaks to this very truth.
The Free Walk by the Spirit of God
Unlike others who look in every direction to find their help except to the Spirit of God I will tell you plainly, the Spirit of God guarantees to the one who seeks his aide victory over the desires of their flesh.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. – Galatians 5:16-17
It’s high time for God’s saints to lose their language of defeat by looking to God for the victory he’s promised. So look to God. His written word tells you to. Your love for God will be evidenced by your dependence upon God’s Holy Spirit to fulfill his perfect will.