Put off by the study of Scripture?

Monday, March 30, 2009

I was trying to read Matthew in one sitting today but I was not very serious about it. I read it in my cell phone, the KJV bible and fell asleep after being lulled by the king’s English! O forgive me, Lord.

This section impressed on me though. Here it is, not in KJV but NASB:

Matthew 4:23-25
Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.

Jesus was very active in his ministry – he was teaching, evangelising and healing. I wonder if there is a progression of importance here – teaching, evangelising and healing. But whether or not there is a progression, all three has to be done, and there is a lot of work to do, wherever we are: to teach, to evangelise and to heal. People need to know about the LORD, they need to be brought to believe in him and they need to be healed from their sickness, physical, spiritual or emotional.

But even if the importance begins with teaching, then evangelising and then healing, it would in practical start with healing, then evangelising and then completed with teaching. The passage above served as the precursor to Jesus' teaching in his Sermon on the Mount, that is, when Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them. (Matthew 5:1-2).

There must be teaching; which in turn, brings me to something I just discovered.

There is this particular church that wanted to start some small groups, which was good. The church was growing in number and there is a need to connect the people with one another and smaller group meetings should be the way. However, the church has decided that it will be officially announced that the groups shall not be bible study groups, because they believe that if they are, it will “scare” the people away from attending the small groups. They will instead be sermon-based.

The result?: the attendance of the groups were in fact, pretty good.

I am not saying that there are no teaching in these groups, but what does it say about Christians and the church in our days? Afraid to study? Unwilling to spend time and effort in digging into the Word? Still too baby and so only milk is requested and only milk is given? And where is the root of it all, the church or the people? I sadly wonder.

pearlie

p/s by the way, for those who were following my story on our hamsters, it turned out that we bought a pregnant hamster! We now have 8 babies in tow. For note, their birthdays were on 29th March 2009.

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10 comment(s)

  1. 20 to 30 years ago, bible study was golden hour in churches..

    but now , i too notice that, ppl dont like to put in effort in doing bible study..why?

    because asian tigers' economies thrive so well, ppl are so busy and pressurised with secular undertaking , so , who still has such willingness and luxury to study the bible?

    after all, study the bible will not add value financially?

    as a result, ppl want to be feed with "grace or hope" only preaching, and feel that, " I am blessed". that's it...

    Marxist say, how ppl feed themselves physically , will determine how they think spiritually...

    so when ppl facing promising/thriving secular undertaking, this have great impact in diverting their focus on the spiritual realms... or making it superficial..

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  2. Davinci,
    So true ... and I like your Marxist quote.

    But not only because of financial value. I think people these days are unwilling to work hard when it comes to anything. Everything has to be easy, and instant. We are after all, a commercialised society. We buy conveniences, shortcuts, easy-to-use, all-in-one. With that we are less likely to put effort into reading let alone studying of Scripture. And yes, you are right -- if we have to work, it will be for money.

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  3. the Marxist word charmed me here..hhahaha...

    I was just speaking to a chap recently and I realized more than ever, it's really not a big "wrong" to not "study" the bible. Of course all of us are called to read and dig god's word, who can fault that, but think about it, only in the last decade of so, ppl are becoming literate by the mass. Prior to that, no one would even be able to read scripture, far from "studying" it in our terms.

    I guess bible truth and spirituality can be passed down in many ways, including fellowshipping in a cg.

    And I am speaking as someone who thinks all xtians should get an MDiv at least. ;)

    Steven Sim

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  4. all christians should get Mdiv? wow, by then, STM would be packed with students...hehe...that's my ideal too...

    Perhaps , most pastors/ministers would turn against Sim, because most of them in Protestant vocation, as I see, got no Mdiv ...hehe...

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  5. God's commandment is ; let what you think spiritually dictates what you do as secular undertakings..

    so Marxists prophesy actually , reverse the order...very demonic..

    ReplyDelete
  6. yes, only in recent era, the masses are becoming literate. we call this the rise of middle class, in contrast to the older days of aristocratic society..

    but the point is: ppl now so literate with vast secular knowledge, graduates of multi-diciplines, go for MBA adhancement to add self value,..but...

    remain satisfied with children sunday school bible knowledge...like this , tak boleh lah...hehe..

    This is contrary to" love God with all your mind" tradition. no doubt, ppl like that still could "love God with all your heart and emotions" ....

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  7. Steven,
    I am still trying to merge "it's really not a big 'wrong' to not 'study' the bible" with "I am speaking as someone who thinks all xtians should get an MDiv at least" :P

    I agree that bible truth and spirituality can be done in many ways but to me, digging into Scripture is mandatory for everyone who calls upon the name of Jesus. People in the past, who could not read, would have spent a lot of time listening to the reading of Scripture, followed by the teaching. What more now that we know how to read, we no longer need to study?

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  8. davinci,
    so Marxists prophesy actually , reverse the order...very demonic..

    hahah ... true in a way. But the quote taken plainly make sense -- how we feed ourselves defines who we are and who we are in turn would determine how we further feed ourselves ... more of a fact of life.

    Nowadays children sunday school bible knowledge and theology actually very lacking to the fact of being scary. I have heard somewhere that someone had refrained from allowing their kids into Sunday School. And my friend's son was being taught in SS that in the Joseph narrative, Benjamin died.

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  9. >> And my friend's son was being taught in SS that in the Joseph narrative, Benjamin died <<

    Stunned, jaw dropped, silence. I laugh at many things Pearlie, but this one ... no joke. This is serious.

    ReplyDelete