Friday, June 30, 2006

Conservative Evangelical Churches Ignore the Bible

Why is it that most "non-liturgical" churches (i.e. Baptist, non-denominational, etc.) ignore the Bible in their services. We defend inerrancy. We promote expository preaching. We pride ourselves in not being tied down to the lectionary. So we end up reading (at the most) a small paragraph of Scripture, normally the sermon text. Truth be told, on any given Sunday you could walk into nearly any mainline or liberal church and hear way more Scripture read aloud in one service than in most conservative evangelical churches. Don't get me wrong, a traditional use of the lectionary is no replacement for God-centered, Christ-exalting, Spirit-empowered preaching.

The absence of intentional and substantial Scripture readings has created a vacuum that has been quickly filled with the new sacrament called music. So instead of actually hearing from God himself, we spend 15-20 minutes singing about the concept of knowing and hearing from God ("I want to know You, I want to hear Your voice"). If we and our congregations want to know God and want to hear His voice, I've got a idea that I heard from a guy named Paul:

"Give attention to the public reading of Scripture" (1 Timothy 4:13)!

4 comments:

Jonathan Dodson said...

Good idea...but people need to be trained how to read Scripture aloud or it will be equally ineffective. Like everyone else, I have trouble focusing on a monotone, passionless, mispronounced passage of Scripture

corey thomas said...

AMEN to that! perhaps that is why it has gone to the wayside. I am all in favor of a new movement to get powerful, passionate scripture reading back into the corporate worship gathering!

jason said...

Yes powerful and passionate scripture reading is needed. We also need to be trained on how to listen to Scripture reading. I think that for most of us the Scripture reading is like the emergency proceedures on the airplane prior to take off. We suffer through it, like it isn't important or necessary to know.

Josh said...

Ouch! Public reading of Scripture = airplain safety proceedures. That's beyond sad. But I think that you are right, Jason. Most of us suffer through the public reading of God's Word so that we can get to the good stuff (the sermon).

You guys are exactly correct when you say we need training in both the READING and LISTENING of God's word. I've been compiling some helpful ideas that I'll post on soon. Would love your feedback.