Thursday, July 12, 2007

Leave your Bibles at home. We’ve got you covered.

I am a big proponent of using technology to present the gospel and to assist in the worship service. The use of projectors, video, graphics, and software like PowerPoint can add a lot of value to a church service. What a wonderful tool to help provide visual aid to teachings and lyrics during worship. However, this great tool is producing some potentially deadly side effects. It is actually discouraging people from bringing their Bibles to church and searching the scriptures during a teaching to verify truth. It is stunting the growth of many Christians and leaving them in a state of infancy, not able to feed themselves, and always relying on others for nourishment.
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. - Acts 17:11
How can we examine the scriptures to verify what we’re hearing is truth if we don’t even bring our Bibles to church anymore? I know this isn’t the case with every church and I know this is not a new argument or phenomenon, but the practice of bringing Bibles to church is continuing to decline. Pastors don’t intend for this to happen. But, it is still happening in churches every week all across America.

This is also bleeding into peoples lives away from church. Bibles are being left on shelves, in bookcases, and under beds on Sunday mornings and also throughout the week.

Unfortunately, church pews are increasingly being filled with “kool-aid drinking” members who choose to put their trust in the big screen rather than examine the scriptures for themselves. Paul was thrilled that the Bereans actually verified his teachings with scripture. Luke called them “of more noble character”. I propose that churches don’t have to throw the baby out with the bath water. I believe you can still utilize technology including scripture on the big screen as long as the culture of the church strongly encourages its members to come equipped every weekend with their Bibles, ready to examine the scriptures for themselves, and committed to playing an active role in their own spiritual growth.


Peter Kirk said...

Here in the UK as well few people bring their Bibles to church. But I don't see why technology is discouraging it. Anyway, the Bereans didn't examine the Scripture while Paul was speaking, but afterwards, "daily" although Paul probably only preached once. Examining the Scriptures to follow up the leads in a sermon is certainly a good thing, but surely this should be afterwards, not during the service and so distracting one from the pastor's words and the rest of the service.

Anita Hensley said...

barna talked about this years ago. he 'prophesied' that people would lose familiarity with the Bible because of the 'big screen.' he said something along the lines of peoples habits- don't bring it to church, don't bring it to meetings, soon don't pick it up at all. he also talked about how new believers learned to use the Bible and the found the books because everyone else in church was using them.
I can say that for sure the 'newly churched' i meet often don't see the need for a Bible or get the know how to use one or learn to find the books because no one else around them is using them