We Are Censoring Our Own Bible!

I have no doubt that the title of this blog will offend many people.  It’s not like we tear out Acts chapter 5 because we don’t like it, after all.  We don’t remove the messy bits in Genesis where Lot’s daughters got him drunk and raped him (located so conveniently next to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah).  How can I say we’re censoring the Bible?

I want you to think over the many sermons you’ve heard over the years.  How many of them came from the book of Zephaniah?  When did you last hear a rousing sermon from Habakkuk?  Perhaps from Leviticus?  When it comes to preaching from the Bible, the Old Testament seems to be a second-class citizen.  Those who seek to mock Christians spend more time reading the Old Testament law than we Christians do!

How many times have you heard Christianity mocked, because we wear clothes with two different threads in them (Leviticus 19:19)?  How many times have you heard why lepers were required to shout “Unclean” (Leviticus 13:45)?  Do you even know if you’re unclean right now?  Do you know if it matters?

The reality is that, as Christians, we are not under the Law.  However, you should not be surprised if some non-Christians try to use the law against you.  Given that, it makes perfect sense that we would spend more time in the New Testament than the old.

Now, do you know any prophecies about Jesus?  OK, there’s that one chapter in Isaiah (Chapter 11).  Now, where’s the prophecy that states he would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)?  Do you know where the first prophecy about Jesus is (Genesis 3:15)?  We hear about all the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled, but we spend very little time reading them.  Worse, we spend almost no time reading them in context.

Moving on to the New Testament proper, when’s the last time you heard preach that focused on a passage from Hebrews?  I’ve heard it as a supporting passage from time to time, but I can’t recall a preaching series from Hebrews.  Let’s be honest; I Corinthians is a lot more fun!  Hebrews reads like a dissertation from seminary.  I Corinthians  talks about spiritual gifts and all that cool stuff!

I fear that there are many people who go to church every Sunday who do not read their Bibles at home.  For those people, their knowledge of the Bible will be shaped by what they hear in church.  Do they know the history of the Jewish people?  Do they know that the Jews were from the tribe of Judah, of the nation of Israel?  Do they know the time-lines of Israel’s history?  Do they know how long it took to get a king, and what a mess that was?  Do they know any kings besides Saul, David, and Solomon?  Do they know when the northern and southern kingdoms split, or why?

The Bible is a massive book.  Have you read it?  Have your friends?  Is anyone helping you understand it?  If not, how much of the Bible doesn’t exist for you?

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2 Responses to “We Are Censoring Our Own Bible!”

  1. johncolumbo Says:

    AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!

    WP, studying the bible is key. I facilitate a men’s bible study every week and I refuse to study some book or study guide. We MUST read and study the Bible! I’ve heard so many times that it is God’s love letter to us, so why in the world are we sometimes so quick to settle on some study guide or book that gives us scripture like we were in 2nd grade!? It drives me crazy! The next time you or anyone else reading this are going to be a part of a Bible study choose the Bible…………. just read it and ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and discuss it expecting our glorious King to teach you!

    Great post my brother. Maybe we can start an online worldwide Bible study from a live interactive forum or video conference of some sort. Why not right?

    It’s time for the Church to stop looking for a church to attend and realize that the disciples of Christ ARE the Church and we need to discuss and learn from the Holy Spirit who this God we serve really is!

  2. WingedPanther Says:

    Heck, we can just start using blogs to post what we’re reading and what we think about it. Imagine a blog network of Bible study and commentary. It doesn’t take much, just a willingness to get to it.

    I’ve been in a few churches where they have those stupid “guided bible study” books for their Sunday School classes. They’re always lame. What’s worse is that the people seem to be forced to hash through dull material and can’t dwell on the interesting stuff.

    I’ve read a few good commentaries, and a few bad ones. Of course, whether a commentary is “good” sometimes depends on whether you and the author agree on things like cessationism, whether every passage points to Christ or some are purely historical, etc, etc, etc.

    My first rule of thumb: if you have to take a passage out of context to get it to mean what you want, you’re screwing up. If you have to interpret words in unusual ways, you’re screwing up. If you have some sort of “new revelation” that flies in the face of twenty centuries of Biblical scholarship, you’re on VERY shaky ground.

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