A Rant which May not Impress You, if Read Correctly

“How many of us have actually ever read through the Bible? We get bits and pieces of it, but never read through chapter-by-chapter.”

A layperson said this to me the other day. The more I think about it, the more upset I get. I get upset with myself for not reading Scripture devotionally as often as I should. But I get really upset with others if its true. Is it true? Are you all completely ignoring the Word of God to such an extent that your only exposure to it is the readings on Sundays and the bits and pieces and verses you might read in The Witness or the occasional Bible study you attend?

Seriously? You call it the Word of God, the eternal Truth, the Revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God-Man, you have multiple copies in your homes, and can buy more for mere pennies and you don’t take time to read through it? At all?

Again, we are all guilty here. If Scripture is what we say it is, we are neglectful, lazy sods. Do we take our faith and our identity that carelessly and thoughtlessly?

Of course we are never worthy to bear his name. Of course we do not make ourselves worthy by knowing His Word. But let us not loose the salvation we have been given through neglect. Do not tempt God with laziness.

You too, pastors.

You too, Hall.

2 comments on “A Rant which May not Impress You, if Read Correctly

  1. This is a modern problem, which is to say that from a Christian perspective it is a non-problem.

    For the great majority of Christians in most ages of the Church, their only exposure to the Word of God has necessarily been the readings in the public liturgy on Sundays and other holy days. This is because many, if not most, Christians were illiterate, and even among the literate most Christians could not afford to own a copy of the Scriptures until after the invention of the printing press and the development of book publishing for the masses. And yet Christ died for the poor and the unlettered as well as for those with the wealth, leisure, and education necessary for the private reading of the Scriptures.

    The truth is that for lay Christians in general, the public liturgical reading of Scripture, the preaching of the Gospel, and the administration of the sacraments are among the essentials of the Christian life; but the private reading of Scripture is ancillary. If that were not so, teaching the illiterate to read would have always been among the first tasks of Christian missionaries. Indeed, one might expect to have a clear Scriptural instruction to that effect and/or to see accounts of the Apostles doing just that in Acts.

    But neither Scripture nor the history of Christian missions indicates that teaching people to read so that they would be able to read the Bible has ever been of first importance. That is not to say that those of us who are literate ought not to read the Bible. But to treat private reading of the Bible as a matter of first importance, the neglect of which puts our salvation at risk, is a mistake.

  2. See. You’re not impressed. 🙂

    Seriously I sympathize with what you are writing. The historical argument is something I make routinely. But in this case you are wrong to make it.

    First, historically speaking, the Mass/Liturgy was offered multiple times per day, and so the laity had much more opportunity to hear the proclaimed Word of God, not just on Sundays.

    Second, we don’t deal in hypotheticals nor make arguments from silence. God didn’t tell us in Scripture to wear shoes either. We do have cheap, easy and free access to Scripture and so my main point remains: you call yourself Christian, but neglect the Word of life sitting mere feet from you day after day.

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