Are We Lazy Today?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Bible Student, Oct 19, 2002.

  1. Bible Student

    Bible Student
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    My question is this, as students of the Bible are we lazy today?

    When I was called to preach my pastor gave me a concordance and said, "Use this and your Bible and tell me what God says about this topic." "Do not read what others have said you find out what the Bible teaches."

    I am afraid that today we are lazy, we would rather find a book writen by an author we agree with and pull proof text from there and leave it at that.

    There is more to Gods Word that proof text, we need to look at the whole councel of Gods Word and then decide what is right. This type of study takes days, weeks, months and years to do.
    And to do this type of study you have to put aside your personal opinions. You can not just do a word study and know about a subject you must study it all. (Gods Word)

    As the Bible says, "precept upon precept and line upon line." Please I do not want anything but an honest discussion on this subject. If you want to talk about a specific doctrine or personal liberty start a new post.

    What do you think are we lazy when it comes to Bible study today?

    Richard

    [ October 19, 2002, 01:12 PM: Message edited by: Bible Student ]
     
  2. Helen

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    Amen, Richard, and thank you. The pastor who advised you could not have advised you better. Knowing God's Word is far more valuable than knowoing the words of those who are giving their opinions as to what God's Word means!

    I pray you have a rich harvest.
     
  3. Maverick

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    Your pastor is right on!!! While pastors and teachers are given to the church that does not mean that each member is not to study on their own. That is the only way to have a better relationship with Christ, bit also keeps you from taking plane trips to Guyana or saying thing like a deacon I once knew, "If the pastor tells me that white wall is black, I'll believe him." S C A R Y!!!

    Study to show YOURSELF approved!!!!
     
  4. Deacon

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    Personal study is important, but after I've studied I like to "stand on the shoulders" of people who have studied the question before me. I get a lot of help studing the different approaches others use. Studing both those who agree with my study conclusions and those who differ.
     
  5. Ps104_33

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    I agree with deacon. Why noy use the knowledge of those who are smarter, have more time and were given certain gifts that maybe some of us were mot. I think it is conceiteed and egotistical to think that we can get all knowledge on our own. Does this opinion also apply to science and history? Why does this only apply to things biblical? should I throw my Matthew Henry commentaries and all my Spurgeon books in the trash? I always thought that that line of reasoning was hogwash.
     
  6. Bible Student

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    There is nothing wrong with reading others on both sides of the issue. But the problem comes when we use them for our understanding rather that allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to us through Gods Word. The Bible says that Gods word is truth not some writer.

    I am sorry that you do not feel that the Holy Spirit can guide you in all truth and that you do not feel you have the time to study for yourself.

    The one thing I like about those who wrote 50 to 100 years ago is that they never conclude that they were always right. They left room for me to study it for myself.

    I am responsible to study the scripture to insure what I hear and what I read is true.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Jim1999

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    I have heard some people who claimed "Holy Spirit" teaching and was not amused. I do not believe the claim to the "Holy Spirit" excludes hard work and much reading on one's own to develop an understanding of God's Word.

    I read all I can, develop my own mind, and determine what God's word is saying to me. This includes reading what others have said about the passage, including liberal and conservative writers, historians and sociologists. These all contribute to a full understanding.

    I depend on the Holy Spirit to keep my heart and mind in "tune" with God's will and word, and hence guide me in a right path.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  8. Abiyah

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    I am not a preacher or teacher and do not
    aspire to do or be either, so I will give you
    opinions from that side of this issue.

    All the Bible learning I have received has been
    purely out of a hunger to know more. The
    church I used to attend only encouraged Bible-
    reading and the reading of their own literature
    --nothing more. When I first started taking
    Greek aeons ago, they discouraged me, saying
    that this would lead to trouble. More recently,
    when I started taking Hebrew, they were even
    more discouraging.

    Their teachings were highly flawed, and they
    did not encourage me to seek outside help,
    other than from Clarke's commentaries.

    On one hand, Bible Student, you said you rely
    entirely upon Scripture, but then you said that
    you do read books other than the Bible in order
    to get others' opinions, both sides. I am glad
    you do that. But I have a question: Don't you
    think that the Holy Spirit is not restricted to
    teaching you through the Bible alone, but that
    He can also teach you through other books?
    (I know that even the words of a song have
    taught me; why not books?)

    From my experience, I believe that the churches
    in general do not encourage deep study of the
    Bible. They connect people with their own liter-
    ature, which, from what I have seen, is particu-
    larly shallow or elementary. They do not
    encourage the people by teaching them even
    the most elementary means of study and
    resources.

    I would suggest that a maximum of 50% of the
    adults who attend churches can even tell you
    the names of the books of the Bible. I suggest
    that 25% do not know what a concordance is,
    and have never used one. I think that 20% do
    not know that there is likely one in their Bibles.
    I would further suggest that 95% do not know
    what a biblical cyclopedic index is and have
    never used one. And when people start getting
    interested enough in the Bible to start looking
    things up, 75% do not know that the Websters
    Dictionary is not a good resource!!

    If the churches were to start classes in which
    they would teach people how to study, teach
    them the elementary st5uff, show them the
    resources, make the resources available, and
    continue such classes for those who are inter-
    ested, there would be a lot more interested,
    enthusiastic believers out here than there are
    presently.

    [ October 20, 2002, 02:14 PM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  9. Bible Student

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    Again I did not mean to imply that I do not condider other great men of God in the past, I do and value their insight.

    In fact I read books by those I disagree with, and many times I find myself reviewing what I believe. But, I have a better foundation to do so becuse I have searched the scriptures for myself. I rely on the Holy Spirit to guide me in all truth.

    The problem today is that too many christians read these books to develope their doctrine and do not know how to truly study the Bible for themselves.

    "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
    Acts 17:11

    I want my church members to not take and parrot what I teach and preach, I want them to search the scripture and question me if what I teach is not according to the word of God. But for them to be able to do that, they must know what the scripture says.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Pete Richert

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    Everyone should read the whole Bible for themselves, that is a no brainer. However I do not agree with shutting off what others have to say. On this I agree with Spurgeon,

    If no one needs help on understanding the word of God, why then, do you preach? Do you have different standards for HEARING the Word being preached instead of reading the Word being preached. If someone wrote down what you said in a sermon, would it then become invalid and useless. You better encourage people NOT to take notes (in written form anyway), lest they not let the Holy Spirit work.
     
  11. Pete Richert

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    Oh, and yes, I think most Christians are lazy when it comes to personal Bible Study.
     
  12. go2church

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    Every generation says they are surrounded by lazy believers, the old "well in my day" lives on. My feeling is that we have just as many believers studying the bible gaining more information, but doing nothing with it. The world they live in is not any different because of what they studied.
     
  13. Wisdom Seeker

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    This is the only right way in my opinion...and it doesn't take days, weeks, months and years...it takes a whole lifetime. The greatest commentary on the Bible is the Bible. God gives understanding of what He means by what He says.

    Yes, I believe it would be not only lazy but negligent to preach a sermon based on someone elses perception and opinion. God will give the lessons. ;)
     
  14. C.S. Murphy

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    I don't feel it is an either/or situation but both. While some may depend too much on others work a sampling of it is healthy. God can and does speak to me thru the Bible but also thru christian writings, messages, songs and even thru a still small voice.
    Murph
     
  15. Jonathan

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    And then there are those who buy the books (but never read them) as if placing them on their bookshelf will make them wise....then only use them to find the prooftexts.

    After I had studied how to study the bible inductively, I offered to assist members of my class in an inductive study of the books of Titus and Jude. One of the most mature members of the class was wanting to quit after a couple of weeks because he thought that the method was monotonous. His next statement was that He had the gift of teaching and that the truth of a passage just jumped out at him. No need for such hard work.

    I agree with you Richard. We are lazy today mostly because of the multitude of resources available to us today. A friend of mine, from Africa, is a student in a nearby seminary. He gets back to Africa during the Christmas and Summer breaks to do mission work. He says that in Africa, Christians rise up in the morning with Scripture and go to bed in the evening with Scripture. No TV's, no movie theatre, few restaurants. Just a growing desire to be satisfied with something eternal.

    [ October 24, 2002, 03:07 PM: Message edited by: Jonathan ]
     
  16. Angie Miller

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    Answer to your question: YUP! :(
     
  17. Ransom

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    Bible Student asked:

    What do you think are we lazy when it comes to Bible study today?

    Judging by the "sermons" I have heard by many of the giants of Fundamentalism (e.g. Jack Hyles and his crowd), many so-called preachers are indeed very lazy. Not bothering to learn what the Scriptures actually teach, they take a Bible verse in isolation and use it as a springboard for their own editorializing.

    Your pastor's advice:

    "Use this and your Bible and tell me what God says about this topic." "Do not read what others have said you find out what the Bible teaches."

    is at least partly right. It is a good idea to study a passage out by yourself, to get a feel for the structure, the context, and so forth.

    But your own effort will only take you so far, and then it is time to pull out the reference helps. Not only will the wisdom of the scholars help check your own thinking, but they can bolster you where you are weak. I have trouble with application, for example. But I'm glad Matthew Henry's commentary is full of good application.
     
  18. JIMNSC

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    Most are indeed lazy. We think we've done God a big favor by reading the Bible through in a year. In addition to reading, we should be studying just as the Bereans did (Acts 17:11). We are commanded to study and "rightly divide" (2 Tim. 2:15).

    Just a comment on Study Bibles:

    The scripture within a Study Bible is divinely inspired - but - the author's notes are not. It seems everybody who is somebody has come out with their own Study Bible. All notations in them are merely the authors' opinions.

    This is not to say they can't help you understand the scripture; they can. I'm just saying that some folks take the position that if Scofield wrote it, it must be so.

    In my opinion,the average bear subscribes to beliefs they were "taught," rather than what they ferreted out of the scriptures for themselves.

    Ain't America great? ;)
     

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