why christians aren’t reading the bible

{Disclaimer:  Everything I’ve written below pertains to those who claim to follow Christ.}

After taking a poll, and from my own experience, the top 3 reasons Christians give for not reading the Bible are:

  • I don’t understand what I’m reading.
  • I don’t have time.
  • It’s not relevant to our culture today.

They seem like reasonable excuses reasons, and if they weren’t life-threatening, I would let it go. But they are. They are life-threatening little lies that have been sown by the enemy of your soul. And you are the Church, so I love you and scripture is food that you need to stay alive. I can’t just ignore the fact that you are starving yourself to death, so I really want to try to convince you to eat.

– I don’t understand the Bible. It’s confusing to me. 

To be honest, I would be concerned if the Bible were an easy read. It is a complex book, with layers of meaning on every page, authored by a mysterious and complex God.  So we will read for all of our days and never fully get it. But as mysterious as He is, He does not hide from us in His Word. For the first 4 years after I came to Jesus, I had zero knowledge of God, and a Bible I didn’t understand.  But I wanted to know God. I needed to know His heart for me, and I believed I would find it in that book. So I read and read and read until little by little, understanding started to form. I also asked God to help me comprehend what I was reading, and He did, a little at a time. Twenty-nine year later, I’m still reading, still asking. But I understand a whole lot more than I did twenty-nine years ago.

There is no question that God wants us to know Him, and to know and comprehend His Word. I think the question begging for an answer is this:

How important is it to you that you know and understand the Word of God?

– I don’t have time.

It feels that way for all of us, but those feelings are not true. We can get up earlier, watch less television, put down our phones, get off of our computers, spend less time wasting time, and we’d have a lot of time on our hands. The issue is priorities, not time.  If you felt your body starving, food would be a priority, no matter what you had to give up in order to eat. But you don’t feel your spirit starving. You think the weekly sermon, maybe a podcast during the week or that five-minute devotional you have with your coffee is sufficient. That’s like trying to keep your body alive by eating nothing but biscuits. You’ll get no argument from me that biscuits are a mighty fine piece of food, but you cannot live on them.

Discipline is part of the priorities issue. I have the same problem, only with actual food. It’s easier to grab a quick bite of processed food than to take the effort and time to make a healthy meal (that makes us me lazy, not pressed for time). For years and years, we don’t see what our undisciplined lifestyle is doing to us, and then one day we find ourselves in a battle in which we are on the losing end. So I’ll ask you what I’ve had to ask myself:

How important is it to you to be healthy? 

– It’s not relevant to my life today. 

Yes. The names and the places are foreign to us, as are the cultures in which the word was written. I’ll give you all of that. But honestly, the Bible is so much more than names and places and cultural settings. It’s about people who cannot seem to grasp how deeply they are loved by God, so they wander around looking for love in all the wrong places. It’s about people who struggle to trust a God they can’t see, in spite of everything He’s done for them. It’s the story of fearful, weary, prideful, broken, unfaithful, strong-willed, weak-willed, sinful people trying to figure things out.  It’s about people who want to do good but keep returning to the mud hole again and again.  It’s about love and hate and hurt and truth and lies and fear and bravery. It’s about slavery and freedom, and how we can go from one to the other. It’s about hope. And it’s about the God who is the author of that hope, the giver of life, the healer of the broken, the giver of mercy, and the Savior of all who will believe Him, including you.

How can that not be relevant to you?

In many places, the Church is starving herself, or at best, subsisting on the sugary coated sermons of eager to please pastors and/or feel good devotionals. There are far too many of the people of God who do not know the word of God, which means they are ill-equipped to battle the lies that are ruling in the earth. I’ve encountered so many believers who live in fear, anxiety, and insecurity, and those same believers do not know, or have a very limited knowledge of, scripture. Coincidence, or principle?

But it’s more than just knowing what the bible says. I am convinced, more than ever before, that if we are to be people who know God, trust God, love God, and who are equipped to stand firm in the coming days, we must be a people who have the Word of God in us, and who believe that it’s true!

In my next post, I’m going to talk about what the Word of God has to say about the Word of God, and why it is imperative that we make it a priority in our lives as followers of Christ. Stay tuned!

 

12 thoughts on “why christians aren’t reading the bible

  1. Great post! I absolutely agree—most people don’t read the Bible for these reasons. The Bible is our spiritual food and fasting from it doesn’t do us any good at all. We need these words to keep our hearts centered on the Lord

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Today’s thought “Thus says the LORD …” (February 4) – Belgian Ecclesia Brussel – Leuven

  3. Those who say they do not understand the Bible mainly can not come to an understanding because they prefer to listen and to follow the false doctrine of the trinity, which makes many sayings in the Scriptures very confusing.

    If people would turn again to the essence: reading God His Word and listening to it much more would become clear and then they also would become more encouraged to come to know more and to go deeper in what God is telling them instead of what man is telling them.

    Like

    • Thanks for reading and commenting. I will, respectfully, disagree with you. I absolutely believe in a triune God…Father, Son, Holy Spirit…three but one. I believe the scriptures heavily support the doctrine of the Trinity, even though the actual word “trinity” is not found.

      Like

      • We shall pray and hope you shall come to see that Jesus is the sent one from God, the only begotten son of God , the authorised anointed one from God, the high-priest for God and the mediator between God and man.

        God bless.

        Like

  4. Great topic to cover. I heard those excuses…reasons before. I’ve been reading the Bible myself for sometime and still need understanding, Like you mentioned, the good news is God gives understanding the more you invest time to read. I loved how you mentioned the processed food vs taking time to make a proper meal. I liken that to the devotional apps, there great and all but nothing like a juicy meaty chapter of the Bible.

    Once again great post! I love your no holds barred style of writing.

    Liked by 2 people

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