Tag Archives: Word of God

10 Reasons for Paper over Plastic

If you showed up expecting help with deciding on bags at the grocery store, you may be surprised to find out this post is actually on the use of bound, printed paper editions of the Bible verses an app on digital, plastic phones, particularly within worship services.  Below are several reasons why I believe paper over plastic is better.

 

  1. Lack of Reverence

v  Let’s face it, your phone is NOT the Bible.  It may contain the Bible, but it also likely contains some weird apps.  Think this is too fundamentalist?  When was the last time you threw away a Bible, or even burned one?  Phones…they’re discarded everyday, incinerated, recycled, broken down for parts.  There is a difference, we need to recognize it.

2.      Lack of Witness

v  Carrying a phone says nothing, carrying the Bible says a lot.  Think about a time when you’ve seen a person in a coffee shop with God’s Word open before them.  Quite a testimony, no?  Now think about how many times you’ve seen someone on their cell phone in the same places.  Pretty common and nothing distinct or noticeable about it.

3.      Inability to view text in paginal context

v  Often you need to see how the passage fits within the context, those larger sections before and after.  Phones tend to limit the view to several verses.

4.      Open to Distraction

v  I don’t know about you, but I’ve never opened my Bible to read it and had a text message show up on the page.  In other words, God’s Word does not have your full attention when facing the distractions that come through your phone.

5.      Open to Temptation

v  Too often, particularly among youth, using a phone as their primary Bible reader gives the appearance of reading Scripture, but there remains the temptation to play games, text, etc. instead of following along with their Bible [app]. 

6.      Over-reliance on a digital index

v  Bible Sword Drill anyone?  How is anyone supposed to become familiar with navigating God’s Word, knowing where a particular book or passage is, relevant to other books and passages, if there is a constant reliance upon the Scripture index in the phone app?  It simply doesn’t produce foundational knowledge of navigating the Bible.

7.      Lack of paginal memorization

v  Maybe this one is just me, but I have generally found that it helps me to remember a particular verse or theme based on where it occurs on a page.  For instance if I’m reading the Gospel of John and I can’t remember what chapter the woman at the well was recorded in, but I know it was at the top of the right page, it may make it easier to find again or help relate it to Chapter 4, where it occurs.  Just another helpful tool.

8.     Hindrance to in-depth study

v  This may not always be the case, as many of today’s apps come with commentaries, cross-references, study notes, etc. while not all of today’s paper Bibles contain even cross-references.  I have no real scientific data to back this up, but I wonder if people who use digital Bibles in a service or study are more or less likely to view a footnote or cross reference or even related study notes on a particular passage.

9.      Distraction to fellow worshippers

v  This might be another “me problem”, but I find the bright white glow of a cell phone to be a distraction.  Additionally, why do we feel the need to look at the person’s phone to find out what they’re looking at, be it the Bible, a text, etc.

10.  Sets a bad example

v  I suppose this could’ve fit under #2, but this is more so related to inside the church.  Kids watch and mimic adult behavior.  It would seem a little concerning that using a Bible app as a primary reader in services may send mixed signals to children.  Looking at your phone will have little to no positive impact on them other than creating the child-like curiosity of “What’s in there” and “I want one”.  Open up a Bible and have them see you reading it…..and you may just get the same questions.

Bible apps certainly have their place and can be a useful tool, but I simply fail to see any benefit for it being a primary reader, particularly in a church or Bible study environment.  I for one use my ESV Bible app on daily basis to look up particular verses quickly and when I don’t have a Bible on me.  Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but I think there is something to be said about carrying a Bible under your arm versus a phone in your hand.

Yes this was opinionated, what are your thoughts?  Pro or con Bible on phone apps in worship services or Bible studies?

Saul Revisited

Two months ago I published a post entitled, Are We Re-living the Time of Samuel.  My intention with this post was to point out some of the parallels that “could” happen to our country with the election of a new president.  I say “could” happen, because I included the caveat, “Unless the people can return to their roots and mission, they will crumble from within.”  I received some positive and some negative feedback on this post, because some were able to see the connection while others tried to compare every single detail of the transition of Samuel to Saul to the transition form President Bush to President Obama and that just simply wasn’t the comparison I was making.  No, Samuel is not the former president and Saul is probably not the new one, though time will tell.  It’s more about ideals and where we are as a country.  If you’d like, take a couple of minutes and read/re-read the original post and I’ll wait right here…..:-)

Back?  Good.  What we have to understand about Israel during their transition of power was that until this point, they had no king, no ruler, only judges and then priest(s) who served in capacity as prophet, priest, and “king”.  Samuel was an understudy to the priest Eli and took over for him after his death.  Eli had judged Israel for 40 years. I Samuel 4:18 Samuel had charged the house of Israel to abandon their idols and give their hearts back to God.  Samuel actually traveled via circuit year by year to different regions during his time over Israel, but as he aged, the people became disgruntled and increasingly dissatisfied.  Now is where we’ll start to see the parallels to today’s society. 

Let’s pause briefly to address the foundation of the United States.  We learn very early on in our education that the Pilgrims and Puritans came to the new world to seek religious freedom.  As such they escaped religious tyranny and began years of migration from England to what would be America to allow the practice of their religion based on the Bible.  This isn’t a history lesson, but merely to provide background for the foundation of this country on Biblical principles.  Some debated with my last post that we are such a “melting pot” that many different religions and ideas have factored into the development of the U.S., but this simply isn’t true.  It’s only been within the last century+ that this has been the case.  As I’ve mentioned, our laws, values, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, judicial system were ALL based sound Biblical principles and the authority of God.  As one of our founding fathers John Adams said, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  Interesting.  As a nation, we are daily abandoning these foundational truths.  Churches are being divided via the gay agenda, atheism is on the rise, apostasy is upon us, our country has become one of many worldly religions and to speak out against any of these issues via Christian principles will soon be deemed hate speech.  We are turning our back on God and rejecting him as our King and sole provider.

So back to the Israelites, Samuel was able to bring them back to God and as a result their adversary the Philistines no longer had dominion over them and the cities that were taken from them were restored. I Samuel 7:13-14 But as Samuel began to age, the people began to be restless with him and demanded a king; they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” I Samuel 8:6 KJV In response to these demands, this is what the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected Me as their King.”  The Israelites forsaked God, but He told Samuel to grant their request for a king, but offer a stern warning to them.  Below is his warning:

I Samuel 8:11-18 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

Keep in mind, this warning was given because the people had turned their back on God.  God had Samuel anoint Saul as king knowing full well what would happen. 

I understand that many people view the Bible with their own interpretations and above correlation is just an example of my viewpoint.  I even debated going through the passage above and relating each specific warning to what is and will take place in this country, but elected not to, because the focus should be on returning to our roots and foundation in God.  Read the passage for yourself and let God speak to you and what it means to you.  Because agree or disagree with the analysis, there’s no debate that we are a nation falling away from God.  Will we follow the same path as the Israelites?  Have we been given our warning?  Is it too late to heed the warning?  I pray that we’re not already on the path of the warning consequences, “When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religious, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”– Patrick Henry 1776

“The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.”  The US Congress 1782

“If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a Nation gone under.” – Ronald Reagan

Heaviness of Soul

I was flipping through a collection of readings by John Wesley early this morning, and came across a message that fits in perfectly with the post I made yesterday.  His sermon is based on I Peter 1, in which Peter discusses various trials and temptations that befall us.

I Peter 1:3-9 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Here is the message from Wesley on that passage:

There is a near relationship between the darkness of mind in the wilderness state and heaviness of soul, which is more common among believers.  The resemblance is so great that they are frequently confounded together.  But they are not equivalent terms; far, far, from it.  The difference is so wide and essential, as all the children of God need to understand, to prevent them sliding out of heaviness into darkness.

The manner of persons to whom the apostle Peter wrote the above words were believers at that time.  He expressly says (I Peter 1:5) you are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.  Again (I Peter 1:7), he mentions the trial of their faith; and yet again (I Peter 1:9), he speaks of their receiving the end of their faith, the salvation of their souls.  So, though they were in heaviness, they were possessed of living faith.  The apostle prays (I Peter 1:2) not that grace and peace may be given them, but that it may be multiplied. 

They were also full of a living hope.  For he speaks (I Peter 1:3) of their living hope of their inheritance that fadeth not away. In spite of their heaviness, they still retained a hope full of immortality.  And they still rejoiced (I Peter 1:8) with joy unspeakable and full of glory.  Their heaviness, then, was also consistent both with living hope and inexpressible joy!

Our God is good.  It’s through this message by Peter that God tells us we are kept by His power through our faith unto salvation.  No matter the burden, trials, temptations, or sins, Christ died for us once, for all. I Peter 3:18 Satan wants the burden of our sin to cast doubt with our faith to lead us into darkness, but we are given the living hope through Jesus and as such we should be rejoiceful, not disheartened.