I could not believe what I had just read. In a lot of ways, I still can’t. As I was getting ready for my day this morning, I was scrolling through Facebook on my phone, and an article popped up from “Church Leaders” that lead to the actual article hosted on churchplants.com. They title of the article got my attention, but I never thought that it would actually read like it did. The article was titled “Do Christians Spend Too MUCH Time Studying the Bible?”
Do Christians Spend Too MUCH Time Studying the Bible?
I opened the article, fully expecting to read an argument for more Bible study, or maybe a little different approach to Bible study. What I read, however, was an argument from a minister claiming that we study the Bible too much. An argument that early Christians didn’t even have the Bible as we know it (which is true), and because of that, we shouldn’t waste as much time studying scripture as we do. I’m still in shock over what I read. If you’d like to read the article, you can find it here.
The argument made in the article is that we spend so much time in Bible study that we fail to interact with others in a meaningful way to introduce them to Jesus. I would agree that we don’t build enough relationships with non-Christians in an effort to earn the right to share Jesus. But I’m not so sure that it’s because we study the Bible too much. I mean, the Bible is the Word of God. It’s one of the best ways we have to spend time with Jesus.
I would agree that we don’t build enough relationships with non-Christians in an effort to earn the right to share Jesus.
What we don’t do enough of is actually applying what we learn from scripture to our own lives. If we are studying the Bible only for head knowledge, but not applying it to our lives, then we aren’t doing what we need to be doing with it. But to claim that we spend too much time studying the Bible is just too much for me. I can look at a section of scripture today, then next month look at the same passage, and it speak to me differently depending on what is going on in my life at the time. That’s why it’s called the Living Word.
It amazes me that a man who is called to preach the Word of God would ever suggest that we study the Bible too much. If the main reason one thinks we are studying too much is that we aren’t reaching others for Jesus, might I suggest that it is really because we aren’t applying what we learn to our own lives. Or it’s that we don’t value the lives of those that we are choosing to ignore. Like I stated earlier, I agree that we don’t do enough to reach others for Jesus, but let’s find something else that we can do less of so that we can reach others.
We live in a culture that busyness is held in high esteem. The more you have going on, the more society says that you are important. And we buy into it so much that we wear our busyness as a badge of honor. We stay so busy with work and activity after activity that we don’t have time to get to know our neighbors. We might need to cut something out, but studying the Bible, really? I just don’t buy it.
We buy into it so much that we wear our busyness as a badge of honor.
I think we need to continue to study scripture, maybe more than we already are in our personal lives, but I think we need to do a better job applying it to our lives as well. One of my elders here at the church likes to call it “applied Christianity”. What he means is that head knowledge isn’t good enough. We need to apply it to our lives. We need to be changed more into the image of Jesus by what we read. And we need to realize that our mission, as we learn more and more from scripture, is to find ways to build relationships with others and share that knowledge of who Jesus is with those that don’t know Him yet.
Do Christians spend too much time studying the Bible? No. But maybe we don’t spend enough time living our what scripture calls us to do.