A further fact in the article is that “Sixty four percent of Canadians and 60 per cent of Christians believe that the sacred texts of all major religions teach the same principles.”
How do we explain this decline in the daily reading of Scriptures by believers? And how can we explain the shallowness of our understanding of this incomparable Book — even among Christians?
Some suggest it’s the result of the vast array of distractions in modern life. Christians don’t have time to think reflectively about their faith. Or to return daily to its source.
It is worth noting that most people still find time to see movies, watch TV, eat out, garden, golf, and the like. Might not the above figures suggest not only distractions but also a diminished priority given to the Christian Scriptures in Christian ranks? And could this be because growing numbers of Christians feel less dependent on God’s inspired Word both for daily guidance and a clear path to an assured final destiny?
Near the end of his life, the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Paul’s admonition placed alongside the above figures on daily Bible reading should shock us into a course correction. The Bible is a “God-breathed” book. It overflows with sacred history, divine wisdom and prophetic utterances. It’s an ancient source of truth and, best of all, it gives us the Gospel of eternal life.
Its Old Testament pathway leads, sometimes obscurely, yet unerringly, to the world’s Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. And what it teaches us about the Savior answers life’s most important question: “What must I do to be saved?”
Among the Bible’s 100 most pungent, distilled and therefore most read verses are: John 3:16; Romans 8:28; Philippians 4:13; Genesis 1:1; Proverbs 3:5,6; and Romans 12:2. Priceless, they each carry timeless truth.
If a kind of indifference is growing among believers with regard to the importance of daily Bible reading let’s remember the name and work of William Tyndale.
In the Sixteenth Century he hid in Europe as a fugitive in order to give the English-speaking world his English translation of Old and New Testaments. And when finally apprehended he was strangled to death and his body was then burned at the stake.
John Wesley, is another voice that we should hear. This founder of Methodism wrote the following paragraph that might stimulate us all to give the Bible its proper place in our daily lives:
“I want to know one thing, the way to heaven; how to land safe on that happy shore. God himself has condescended to teach the way; for this end he came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. Give me that book! At any price give me the Book of God.”
Photo credit: Savio Sebastian (via flickr.com)