The Devil has a reputation for being evil; not dumb or stupid. He ever seeks to use the chief tools of Christians against them, especially the Word of God which is commonly called the Bible.
I spoke of translations in my previous blog. That ole deceiver has flooded the market with translations of the Bible all claiming to be the best, the real deal. Imagine the message to children and to unbelievers who don’t have a clue about source texts and translation methods. Here we are in church where the claim is that we have the Word of God and that it is inerrant, inspired of God and 100% true and consistent in all it says; however the copy in my hand does not match what the preacher says, and several people around me have copies that are different from either mine or the preacher’s. Now that’s a strange message to get in church!
But, that old Devil is at work on other fronts too. He’s working to get Bibles out of church. Yeah! Really! Why bring your Bible to church when everything is right on the screen in front of you? You don’t need the extra baggage. Look around in your church. How many Bibles do you see? They’re vanishing! I suspect Satan is pretty happy about that. It’s an ominous sign that they’re vanishing from homes too.
When you can barely find a used copy of the Word of God in the house of God, it’s not hard to understand why more and more people have trouble locating the books of the Bible, especially those like Obadiah and Nahum. Yes; basic stories are fading from the collective mindset of society even in the Christian community. There was a day when at church people were exposed to the Bible. They learned its books, chapters and verses; and most Bibles were full of highlights, underlined passages and notes in the margins placed there by people of God who deemed them as especially precious. My mother’s Bible had tear stains all over the pages. She read it and wept.
Video projectors and screens are great tools. Power Point presentations are powerful learning aids. But, they cannot replace the Bible as the central document in church. Let us project our sermon outlines and list references to the Scriptures we use; but God forbid that we create an environment in church where people don’t need the Bible! “And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD,” 2 Kings 22:8. You’d think that of all places, the Bible would always be found in the “in the house of the LORD” which is the church. Increasingly that is not the case; however, technology (like smartphones and eReaders) does provide new ways for people to bring the Bible to church and other places. The issue is not the format; the point is keeping the Bible in church and in the hands of the people.
Few things are more precious than used Bibles. There was a day when the Bible was not available to the common man. That day is called the Dark Ages. This day in America it’s harder to find them in churches. Yes, of all places churches. Let us always beware of what we’re doing and of the impact on us what we’re doing is having. May the Word of God never vanish from the house of God!