It's really hard to listen to God when there are really interesting things to think about.
Mark Galli | posted 11/05/2009 10:33AM [Christianity Today]
When I preach, I often quote the Bible to drive home my point. I think it more persuasive to show that what I'm saying is not merely my opinion but a consistent theme of Scripture. And to avoid the impression that I'm proof-texting or lifting verses out of context, I quote longer passages—anywhere from 2 to 6 verses.
When I did this at one church, a staff member whom I'd asked for feedback between services told me to cut down on the Scripture quotations. "You'll lose people," he said.
I understood the reality he was addressing, and so I scratched out the biblical references for the next sermon. But lately I'm beginning to question that move, and wondering, Why have we become so impatient and bored with the Word of God?
While the author of this article goes on to deplore this situation in his own way, I would like to offer a slightly different perspective. Why do we assume that most people will be interested in hearing the word of God?
Of course, they should be but that is a very different matter from will be.
This is a theme that is found throughout the (and I hope no one will be bored when I say this) the Bible. When Jesus sent out the disciples on their little ‘mission tour’ of Israel, He knew that some places would find few who were interested. He told the disciples in those cases to move on to those who were interested. Jesus one time told a story about seed falling on different kinds of ground. On some kinds of ground – and the kinds of ground map to kinds of people – the word is not well-received. Jesus made this very clear.
Of course, in the article from CT the author is talking about people at a church. You might think people at a church would be intensely interested in the word of God. Here is a little advice for people at a church who are put off by hearing ‘too much’ of the Bible: go home.
Go home or to the ball game or to the restaurant, or wherever it is you would rather be. You don’t belong at a gathering of the church. Should you become intensely interested in the word of God, then come back to the assembly of the saints.
But if six verses of the Bible is too much at once for you at church, you have no business being there in the first place. While you are waiting to meet the Author of that word, parked in front of the TV might be a better place for you. At least you will be entertained while you are waiting.