Skip to comments.Falling on Deaf Ears?—Why So Many Churches Hear So Little of the Bible
Posted on 10/21/2013 7:46:32 PM PDT by ReformationFan
It is well and good for the preacher to base his sermon on the Bible, but he better get to something relevant pretty quickly, or we start mentally to check out. That stunningly clear sentence reflects one of the most amazing, tragic, and lamentable characteristics of contemporary Christianity: an impatience with the Word of God.
The sentence above comes from Mark Galli, senior managing editor of Christianity Today in an essay entitled, Yawning at the Word. In just a few hundred words, he captures the tragedy of a church increasingly impatient with and resistant to the reading and preaching of the Bible. We may wince when we read him relate his recent experiences, but we also recognize the ring of truth. Galli was told to cut down on the biblical references in his sermon. Youll lose people, the staff member warned. In a Bible study session on creation, the teacher was requested to come back the next Sunday prepared to take questions at the expense of reading the relevant scriptural texts on the doctrine. Cutting down on the number of Bible verses would save time and, it was strongly implied, would better hold peoples interest. As Galli reflected, Anyone whos been in the preaching and teaching business knows these are not isolated examples but represent the larger reality.
(Excerpt) Read more at albertmohler.com ...
My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge? Something like that...
Bump for later
And lest anyone want to make this into a denominational war, these materials were made possible because Jeff Cavins came from a Protestant minister background, with its emphasis on complete Bible study, before he converted (? back ?) over to Catholicism.
That "Bible study discipline for the pewsitter" culture that the Protestants kept alive is much appreciated, and its reintroduction into Catholicism is helping many members learn and solidify our faith.
All true, and the abandonment of old hymns in most congregations has ruined the atmosphere of spirituality. The American people are impatient with God but patients with their secular powers.
I had the opportunity to travel with an associate pastor to a hear him preach a message at a church in a neighboring town. He is a great expositor of the Word and taught aspiring young preachers at a local Bible college.
On the way back home he asked me “Did you notice anything wrong with that church?”
My mind flashed back through the service and I remembered that their pastor was very nice, the people were nice, the church facilities and grounds were nicely maintained, the choir and singing was nice, etc..
I replied, “No, what was wrong?”
He said “No-one had their Bible with them.”
Then I remembered seeing “nice” hymnals in the nice pews, but not even a Bible there in the pews, or anyone carrying a Bible.
I’ll never forget that.
Indeed. Stories like that make me think of this country gospel song by Kitty Wells-
My Bible is on my iPhone.
But you’re free to judge and condemn if you’d like, since I don’t carry a leather-bound book with me when I go to church ...
Hmm - I keep a good Bible on my iPhone, and is a service really the best time to do Bible reading? I know that I need to do my reading in a quiet, disciplined fashion....
FWIW, I used to be a staunch 9-Marks adherent, including emphasis on expositional preaching. Until I remembered that Jesus was not an expositional preacher. He was a thematic preacher.
A few people having Bibles on mobile devices, corresponding with typical social distribution of e-book readers, is one thing.
A church completely devoid of paper Bibles is still indicative of a major problem.
Sensitive context aside, here’s a response to that I wrote:
The source article laments those who grow impatient with a half dozen verses. There is, of course, a problem with churches which barely have references to Scripture at all in favor of “relevance”. We should, of course, read the Word in depth and breadth, focusing on the content therein rather than upon ourselves.
Addressing this in no way should lead to _ignoring_ the needs of the people, relentlessly hammering away at verses in minute detail without helping listeners grow into the material from where they are and without removing stumbling blocks that hinder them. Christ’s ministry time and again focused on the debilitating needs of individuals, resolving those problems by application of the Word and using that resolution as an opportunity to teach it. When children clamored to see Christ and the disciples resisted, He insisted on allowing them to come; surely He taught them, and did so on their intellectual level and with examples relevant to them, however simplistic.
Yes, we have the model of presenting the Word to the people at rapt attention, given at length and explained as needed. Yes, the people stood at attention - and we may safely presume the presenters did not go on at indefinite length, testing the strength and will of the people until just a few hardened minds & bodies were left standing. And yes, the Word was presented - as a manageable totality in the context of limited human existence, not spending years on a small portion thereof.
Of course the people must hear the word - all of it, at their level. The source article criticizes those who refuse to hear more than a minuscule fraction of Scripture, preferring to hear about their own concerns. The other extreme is no better, presenting such that most cannot comprehend more than a minuscule fraction, and ignoring their very real concerns. When the people come to hear the Word, meet them where they are in mind and body - else they are unable to receive it.
Educated, and can read! Hated as well, very sad! So much for tolerance.
Very true on both counts.
Have your scripture and then preach it.
The Word is for instruction. Some of us are kind of slow. You will have to bear with us while we try to understand. And how can we understand if no one will guide us?
I’m an Orthodox Christian. Many Protestants think that there is little or no Biblical preaching in the Orthodox Church.
That is not true. We have reading of the Epistle and the Gospel, and Biblical preaching every single Sunday and Feast Day. (I’m a lay Reader, so I am blessed to do some of that Epistle reading).
And we have truly powerful Sacraments, too!!!!
An impatience with the Word of God? Or a lack of the flow of Grace because of what Bible versus are being selected and for what reasons?
IF, when Jesus said in Matthew 22:35-40 and Mark 12:28-34, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind", and "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" are the commandments upon which "hang the whole of the Law," He actually MEANT it,
When Jesus said in John 13:34-35, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another," He actually meant THAT too,
Perhaps, just perhaps, He was teaching us HOW to teach - not just what to teach.
In fact, maybe He was also giving a Special Dispensation, so that His power would flow maximally through the teachings IF they were taught in this manner.
In which case, the darkness of this age would not be able to prevail over His teachings, and people would not get bored hearing them, and would not get angry hearing them, and would not turn away from Him, and turn, instead, towards Islam and progressive communism and late-term abortion and drugs and self-hatred.
For as Jesus also said in Matthew 11:28-30, Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Which means if people were sharing Jesus' teachings in the proper way, with "gentleness and a humble heart," that "easy yoke," that "rest," is what those hearing those teachings would experience. Instead however, people arrogantly teach damnation, against Jesus' instructions, and drive people away - and straight into the hells that have plagued the world to this day.
“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”
But youre free to judge and condemn if youd like, since I dont carry a leather-bound book with me when I go to church ...
Psalm 119:11 -New International Version (NIV) 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
That must have been it then. They all had the Word hidden in their heart. Thank goodness it's on your Iphone.
Cracks me up when folks contend Catholic’s unfamiliarity with the Bible.
Each Mass has a reading from the Old Testament, one from the New, and a Gospel.
Citing chapter and verse is a parlor game, having little to do with the knowledge of the Bible.
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