I sometimes wonder what many Christians would do if they were not able to push their beliefs and preferences on everyone else as doctrine. Hey, I am all for self confidence in certain matters, but I am also aware of what the Bible says about being meek and humble and (close your eyes), submitting ourselves to each other.
The last time I wondered into a Christian book shop, I was amazed to see the number of "self help" books and other books Oprah would be proud of occupying far more shelf space than Bibles. Buried off in a corner were a couple of shelves of technical Biblical research books. I asked the owner what was up with all this. He sighed and said he just sells what people want and they DON'T want "Bible books" as he called them.
I find this very sad and disconcerting. When I inherited my first home fellowship in 1971, at the ripe old age of 18, I had just graduated from high school and was working as a strike breaker at a major manufacturer of camping supplies in Wichita. I was taking home over $100 per week, which as a lot of money in 1971, and especially for a teenager living at home.
Over the course of that summer, I decided the best thing I could do with my new found wealth was to each week purchase a Cambridge wide margin Bible for someone in the fellowship. These things were very expensive even 40 years ago. But, the joy provided by giving a top of the line leather bound wide margin Bible ready for notes was priceless. Every single person in that growing fellowship received one of these Bibles by the time I headed off to Wisconsin in September of that year.
In downtown Wichita there is a religious store called the Better Book Room. This is the place I would purchase the Bibles years ago. I was quite the celebrity around there for I kept the purchasing manager on his toes for he knew he had to keep enough of those Bibles in stock or I would get mad. He never ran out, bless his heart.
Last year we gave a niece who lives back east and who graduated from high school a nice Bible with her name and year engraved on the front. Although she sent us a thank you note, we know that her response to that gift was probably to either roll her eyes and/or hide it so none of her friends saw her with a (God forbid) Bible.
It is truly a shame that the idea of giving a Bible is now days somewhat equal to giving someone a case of the flu. Most people would look at it with a quizzical look on their faces wondering what they are supposed to do with such a big book. Since few people read the Bible anymore, let alone study it; most people see no need for yet another book to lie around the house collecting dust.
Back "in the day", Bibles were passed down from one generation to the next as a true family heirloom. Now days there are few, if any family heirlooms left. What was important to one generation is meaningless to the next. However understandable this is with things, it is truly a shame that it has spilled over to Bibles.
I have been told that even in many ministries and denominations that believe the Bible to be the revealed Word of God, fewer and fewer people bring a Bible to church with them. When is the last time you saw someone carrying a Bible around with them? When is the last time you saw a person reading the Bible at the local coffee shop or restaurant?
It is very UNCOOL to be associated with the Bible right now. Whereas it is still OK to be a Â€ÂœJesus personÂ€, any attempts to take things to the next level and publically display one's faith in and love for the Word of God is treated with scorn, disdain, ridicule and outright hatred.
Perhaps it is time to once again proudly start toting our Bibles around instead of hiding them. Perhaps it is time to start again the tradition of passing along family Bibles. Perhaps it is time to stop be ashamed of the Word of God but rather be blessed that we have it, know it and can share it.
The power of the Bible is taken for granted by 99% of the Christians on this planet. In the Islamic faith the Koran must be set on a shelf that is higher than your head to give it the reverence due to it. How many Christians just throw their Bible in some draw or box... really makes one wonder just why it is our faith has been desecrated upon by the vast majority of the world. If we cannot respect it ourselves, why should they.
10-odd years ago I gave most of my family members a Bible for Christmas. Many of them were not serving the Lord at that time. Now they are all serving the Lord, plus a few others in the family that they have shown the Way too!
yesterday my son was coming home from church and as is the custom he always travels with his gran. I think the reason for that is she will always stop at the shop and buy his sweets.
Well yesterday they stopped at the shop and tom turned to his gran and asked her, "If I left my bible and my Lego on the front seat with the car unlocked, which would be stolen?
His gran wondered where this was going so she said that she didnt know.
Tom said that the Lego would be stolen and that was a pity because his Bible was much more important than his Lego, but that other children would not realise that.
And this came from a boy who would die rather than give up his Lego.
My views are that many think they know more than the Bible now, why read it. Or, they know just enough verses, without further time or study, to think they know about something, without finding the whole truth of scripture, about what they claim. Others have revelations they feel are newer, so also surpass it. Joseph Smith, one example. And others who claim the same. Most don't care to read now, if it is not visual, they are not interested. They assume any biblical-based video, is what the bible says. Same with the self-help books, or any book besides the Bible. Don't beat around the bush, concerning scripture, hope this is ok. God Bless.
Of course it is OK!!! You speak the truth, brother!!!
For any of us who claim to believe the Bible to be the Word of God, it behooves us to never allow what man says to usurp what God says. "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation" has to be one of the most difficult passages in the Bible, but it is there in Peter nonetheless.
Thanks for your insight and honest thoughts.
More young people are looking for meaning in their lives. One young person has said, "So many kids in high school, they're just trying to search for something real, because there's just so much fake in high school."
There is a fine line between making Christianity cool and obscuring the real message. Many youth ministries organize trips to Christian music festivals to attract more kids. It confuses what it means to follow Jesus. Are they passionate about loving your enemies, or are they really passionate about what you felt at the rock concert?
There's a drive to market Jesus as cool, make Jesus a rock star --to get the kids interested. Is that the right way to go though?
Many Bible characters were very cool in the sense of being "marked by calm self-control (especially in trying circumstances); unemotional; "play it cool"; "keep cool"; "stayed coolheaded in the crisis".
But to say that Jesus was one cool dude, well that seems irreverent, to me.
But I get what you are saying in your blog.
Blessings to you, too!
At the moment, I am thinking of the people who risk their lives to get the Word of God into the hands of others... and the people who risk their lives to receive it. It is very sobering to think about whether we love and desire God's Word enough to take that same sort of risk.
To be a Christian is to also be hated for His Names' sake as He states in Mark13:13. As K stated, the huge persecution of Christians everywhere, and those risking their lives! Twisting the truth, etc. How sad! Let's endure to the end! God Bless you, my friend! Dave
Sigh -Unfortunately this is all to true these days even amongst Christians. It just isn't cool to be seen with a Bible and books written by Christian authors are more sought after than Gods Word "the Bible". One might wonder -is it the lack of good teaching in the Church today -is it just a Sign of the Times -are Christians today just looking for an Easy Way of Christianity. Guess you could search for the answers all day and never really find the right one. As for me -I find Gods Word to be the best source.