Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Problem With Reading The Bible

"The Problem With Reading The Bible Is That You Might Begin To Believe It."                                                                                   

For many years my faith life was like many Christians, maybe most Christians.  I grew up in the church, drifted away at a certain age, and decided to return after I was married and had kids of my own.  In fact, in fairness my return to church was mostly due to the urging of my wife, Pam.

While church was part of my life during those years, it was just that -- a small part of my life.  It was basically an hour on most Sundays.  Apart from Sundays, I gave little or no thought to God.  Indeed, on Sundays I gave little thought to God -- more concerned with how I would spend the rest of the day or even what kind of cookies they would have after service.

After a few years at Heartland (then Christ Temple) I began to become somewhat more involved in church, and perhaps slightly more involved with God.  Then, out of the blue, much to my shock and disbelief, I was asked to be an Elder in the church.  Frankly, at the time I had trouble imagining that there were many people at our church who were less qualified than me to take on that responsibility.  I will never forget meeting Jack DeHart for breakfast to get his view on whether this was a good idea, or whether it was a nutty as it seemed.

Ultimately, I was persuaded that this was something I should do.  However, I also decided that if this was the path I was going to take I needed to become more qualified.  And, one of the areas that made me feel unqualified was my relative lack of biblical knowledge.  And so, over the next few months I made it my mission to really study the Bible, and also to spend time studying "apologetics" -- and particularly the historicity of the Bible.          

I cannot tell you the exact time or day, but at some point I had an epiphany (at least for me).  In fact, I had a series of epiphanies.  The first was simply this -- that if this book called the Bible was true, everything in my life had to change.   It was an odd revelation for someone who was now an elder in the church.  But that is truly where I was at the time.

Of course, over time the revelation continued to come.  I came to realize, among other things, that there would be a significant cost to following this Jesus.  I came to realize that the authentic Christian life would be one of sacrifice and often would be difficult.

My point, of course, is that reading the Bible is transformational.  The Word of God has the power to change everything.  So, read it at your own risk!!  Consider yourself warned.

By the way, below is a link to an interview with Rosaria Butterfield -- an English professor who read the Bible as part of a research project and was completely transformed.  The interview, and Rosaria's conversion, is amazing.  The interview is long, but I think has some great reminders about the power of prayer and the results of real Christian love.  But, most of all, it is a powerful testimony about the power of the Word. 

Rosaria Interview  

+Rosaria Butterfield 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just read this blog John and I must confess, I want to really start reading and studying the Bible as well. The only problem is I have no idea where to start...I have had this feeling for some time, and have always used the excuse I just listed above, as my reason for not seriously starting and finishing this.
I realize that is Not a valid reason in the eyes of God and have made a vow to just open the Bible and start reading. I believe God will direct me where He wants me to go. I just need to make the first step in Faith.
Thank you so much for your Blogs.
Joyce Waterfield

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