If you have been paying attention to the news at all and you were able to sift through the endless political nonsense, you may have seen stories about ISIS burning Christian books and bibles. The genocide that is taking place is horrific and we as Christians should speak out about it that our government would seek to do something, but that is not what this post is about. [Continue to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ] What would happen to American Christians if our bibles were burned?
My first thought is that there would be a FEW who were upset but all in all most people would not care out side the fact that a symbol of their religion was being destroyed. That is right I would contend many people who confess that they are a Christian see the bible as simply a symbol of Christianity and not much more. Would you be upset if your bibles were gathered up and destroyed? This question is not intended to be a litmus test of real Christians vs. fake Christians, but none the less would you be upset? If you said yes I would ask you to answer why? Is it that your personal autonomy was violated and someone else told you what you could or could not have, or is it that you actually value the word of God in a way that you need it? Would you be more upset if they took your Iphone instead of your bible? Would you be more upset if they took your favorite novel instead of your bible?
As I stated earlier I don’t know how many people would blink twice about not having a bible available to them. As a pastor who views the written word of God with high regard this concerns me. It concerns me not in a way that I want to yell at people in anger and say “shame on you for not reading your bible.” It concerns me because I am seeing less and less people with any type of biblical literacy [or literacy in general] which means they will have less and less of an understanding of the most important thing and that is who Jesus is and what He has done for them in his death and resurrection not to mention why it matters. It concerns me because it allows for wolves to enter into the church and lead the sheep astray. It saddens me when I see what is happening in the middle east and people are having their bibles taken from them yet we have more bibles than we know what to do with and don’t know what they actually say.
If you hear this as me yelling at you that is not my intention. I hope you hear this as me pleading with you as a Christian to engage with God’s written word that you would have a better understanding of Christ and his teachings. I pray that we would delight in the instruction of our God which points us to our Savior Jesus Christ.
Psalm 1:1–6 (ESV)
1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law [instruction] of the Lord,
and on his law [instruction] he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.