Do you want to read the Bible more than you have in the past? If so, you’re not alone. Have you been successful in reading the Bible more often? Then you are nearly alone. That’s very sad. Especially when you see what’s coming in this article and in the rest of the series We’re going to continue looking at the Barna Research study commissioned by the American Bible Society. The study is titled: State of the Bible 2017: Top Findings. If you haven’t read it yet, the first article is Searching for hope – but not finding it? The entire series (still being written at this time) is called State of the Bible. There are seven sections in the detailed findings. We’re going to look at the first one in this article – Bible Engagement Most Americans Desire Greater Bible Use This is one of the most interesting findings in Section 1 of the study. More than half of all adults wish they read the Bible more often (58%). This is down slightly from 2016 (61%). Each segment expresses a desire for more Bible reading, in fact, one in five Skeptics (22%) and one in five non-Christians (21%) wish they read or listened to […]
“But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you.”
This is something most Christians would have read. Hopefully, we also remember. But, do we really believe it? Maybe we believe it, as long as it’s for someone else and not for us. You know -NIMBY – not in my back yard. Or even in my neighborhood.
The thing is, Jesus said this would happen. As Christians, how are we supposed to respond when Christians are persecuted? Let’s start by getting some context for the opening line.
So which one is it? Was Jesus telling Peter the rooster was going to crow once, or twice? Does it matter?
Well, yes it does matter. You don’t want to give someone a “free pass” to say there’s a discrepancy between the Gospels, and therefore there is an error in the Bible. There should be at least an attempt to see why this apparent discrepancy might exist.
However, first and foremost we need to see if it’s really even different. Conclusions are no better than the assumptions upon which they’re based. So, we really cannot just assume the verses disagree without verifying it.
When we want something to happen but it doesn’t, sometimes we say “God is sitting this one out”. But is it really true that God is sitting it out? Is it ever true?
When we don’t get what we want, it’s east to blame it on God. We just claim that God is sitting it out. It’s easier that saying that maybe it’s our fault.
A person who attends church regularly – but still doesn’t know the back story behind the song – it’s perfectly reasonable to think that this song is written by someone who has had their life blessed by God and is celebrating that. Which she is – don’t get me wrong. But does the person singing the song know that Sarah wrote this song, not in spite of what happened in her life – but exactly because of what happened – and what God is doing for her? I doubt that very much.
… That’s why Christians call the Friday commemorating Jesus’ crucifixion Good Friday – not “horrible friday”. One more time – not because of the way Jesus died, but because of the fact that we made Jesus’ death necessary by our own actions. It’s Good Friday, because that death is what saves us from God’s judgement.
Do you really think the God you claim to believe in and follow would be pleased about the part you play in this whole assault weapon industry? Maybe you make them for sale to individuals. Maybe you sell them. Maybe you protect the right for people to have them – at the same time protecting our “right” to be killed by them? Maybe you own one, claiming one of the reasons above for having it. Would God be pleased with you?
“The results show that Americans overwhelmingly believe the Bible is a source of hope and a force for good even as they express growing concern for our nation’s morals.”
This is an interesting quote. The bottom line is that “many” Americans are searching for something that Americans “overwhelmingly” believe is in the Bible. However, even as that’s happening, they also think the country is going downhill. What does that mean?
Genesis – including the creation account – was written by Moses. It was the beginning. If we don’t believe it, then we’re calling it a lie. And once we begin to call God a liar, how can we all of a sudden claim to believe anything at all that He says? If we can’t accept the things are are plainly visible, how can we begin to accept the things that aren’t visible at all – let alone the things that will happen in the future?
Again, we see the part about not to be taken literally, but even more so, we see obvious and intentional exaggeration which takes the non-literal part of the definition even further. Therefore, when we see complaints about things that obviously aren’t “true” – we need to examine the very real possibility that they were never meant to be true in the first place – but that they were an extreme example that was even exaggerated in order to make that wake-up call and jolt the hearer into paying attention and hopefully getting the intended meaning of the parable – as opposed to trying to figuring out what’s wrong with the literal words of the parable.
I do know now, after these past 7 years. Some of it was for others, based on feedback I’ve received. Some of it was certainly for me. The cost has been high. And yet, looking at the image at the top, I realize that when we’re talking about this particular cost, it’s really not necessary to blow up the budget – because the budget is way bigger than we can even begin to realize.
What I’m looking at for this topic is the kind of slavery we allow to come on ourselves. It starts as something “innocent”, or so we think. It’s a thrill, or so we think, We can control it, or so we think. Then it ruins our lives, maybe even in spite of what we think. It could be nearly anything – work, money, alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography – you name it, we can become addicted to it. Those are the kinds of things Paul was talking about in Galatians.
Any attempt to say that we must have faith and do stuff above and beyond that to earn our salvation – it takes away from Jesus’ death, as I mentioned – but it also takes away our only means to judge for ourselves whether or not our faith is real. By saying that faith alone isn’t enough – people are taking away our ability to stand firm in our belief – before we die / before it’s too late – whether or not our faith is real and therefore whether or not we are saved.