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Reading For Yourself Vs Learning From the Church

i read the bible on a daily basis.  i've been doing this for almost 2 years.  when i was about 12 i picked up the bible and read it through from cover to cover.  at that i age i didn't understand much of it.  but i was curious not being raised in a 'religious' home nor a home that even mentioned the existence of a God.

i've attended church on a regular basis in my past.  i've even worked at a church.  and you'd be amazed at the education i received in regard to 'today's church.'  this prompted me to quit attending religious services all together.  i floundered about for a couple years without any kind of religious or spiritual influence in my life.

in 2004 i was injured.  all i wanted, more than anything in the world, was for the pain to cease.  i began praying again.  at this point, more than ever in my life, i felt a desperate need for God in my day to day.  i knew i didn't want to attend 'services' so i began working on the internet in chat rooms.  i gave bible studies and provided support on all levels to those who came to the room.  after about 7 months of this and several episodes among management i realized that "Christians," no matter where they are - be it church, online, or the grocery store, are all the same!  they make me sick! 

this is when i began reading the bible.  i opened that huge book to the first page and i read every word in order, line for line all the way to the last word of revelations.  in 10 weeks i'd finished my first 'adult' read.  i learned more in that first read than i had in all my interaction with the church, giving bible studies, working in the church, socializing with "christians" etc.  so when i was done i didn't stop.  i turned back to page 1 and started over. 

i give the bible about 30-45 minutes per day and i am able to complete the entire book in 3 months time.  i do this 4x's a year and will continue to do so until the day i die.  the reason?  because each time i read i find more and more depth to it.  it all weaves together which causes an amazing dynamic of truth that most never realize.  and it's most certainly NEVER discussed in the 'church' ...

many people ask me why i read the bible 'in order' from page 1 to 15hundred something (all bibles being different.)  the reason is; that's how i'd read any other book i bought.  i wouldn't purchase a stephen king book and read chapter 38, then 27, then 3, then 45.  no ... i wouldn't do that.  it wouldn't make sense and i'd miss a whole lot reading it out of order, out of context.  it would be confusing to say the least and i wouldn't understand what the author intended for me to.   i'd only be getting bits and pieces of the story at best ... just like reading the bible out of order.  and this is why so many people say they don't understand the bible.  they're only getting bits and pieces of it rather than the whole of it.  this is also why each person is able to make a verse mean what they want it to rather than what it's truly meant to within it's WHOLE story and book.  the only way to get the WHOLE is to read from beginning to end and repeatedly.  you aren't going to GET IT in one read or even in five reads.  it takes a lifetime and even then i doubt all questions will be answered until the END.

there's another component to why i do this.  i found long ago you cannot trust man.  man is fallible at best.  the church consists of men, women and children and is headed up by one single PERSON (male or female... makes no difference.)  however, that one PERSON is fallible.  they might have the best of intentions, believe in God, etc. but they don't realize they are quite possibly misleading their parrish with their own perceptions.  not to mention if a church goer does not KNOW the bible, the WHOLE bible ... how will they know what the preacher, pastor, father, etc. is teaching IS the TRUTH?

due to my 'education' of the church and it's patrons, i read.  i have not turned my back on God because i turned my back on the church.  as a matter of fact, the church was destroyed by Jesus Himself ... therefore ... i read!  EVERY ONE who believes in God or professes to SHOULD!

AbbyNormal AbbyNormal 31-35, F 12 Responses Aug 1, 2007

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Yes I agree with opening the bible to a random page DOES answer your questions, ask ONE question and in FAITH try opening a random page. IF you do not understand the answer ASK for a better understanding and open randomly again. If it doesn't work for you, it's because the Lord ordains certain things for certain people, not everybody will be a prophet, some will serve others, while some will travel the world preaching, some will receive dreams, and some will hear directly from Him. NOT everybody is the same, so don't feel that way!

I think that if you have read the Bible, you can open it at random and let the Spirit guide you. Never ever take anything at face value (Man's word). Look how much trouble that causes. However, while I believe that reading the Bible with a prayerful heart is sufficient for fellowship with God, I believe there are flaws in the Bible. I like to call them errors in translation. Like the game telephone where you whisper your secret around the room and comes out something different. God may have inspired man to write it, but ultimately man wrote it and man is ultimately flawed, so likewise. I just let God inspire me for me and you for you. I do not attend an organized religion either. But I can tell you one thing. I accept Jesus Christ, and I am saved. I live my life trying to be an example of this choice. And I will go to heaven because of it.

I Think it is possible, as rosygal said, to randomly open the bible and receive answers to problems you are having in life. Christ moves in mysterious ways and can use many ways to speak to you on a daily basis. The question is are you ready to listen yet?

I'm glad to see that you're excited about reading the Bible and so dedicated to reading it- it really is the best book in the world. Sorry about the experiences you've had with other Christians. However, it shouldn't be a question of "the Bible v Church", rather, the Church should come under the authority of Scripture. I would question if a church that does not accept this fact really is a church at all. Being a Christian isn't an individualistic thing. We are all part of the Body of Christ. In Heaven the Church will be perfect but we're not there yet and Christians- including myself- are full of faults. But read the book of Ephesians to see the love that Christ has for his Church. I pray that you may find fellowship with other Christians who hold the Bible in high regard and that you may benifit and contribute to these God given relatationships.

Those references at the bottom of the pages are written by fallible man, robbo21. I'd allow God Himself to show me what he wants me to understand ... He will you just have to trust in Him is all - rather than man and his perceptions that are written at the bottom of those pages ...



Good luck.

I've just recently brought a Life application study bible. It has a section at the bottom of each page that explains more fully, what you are reading and also has profiles of key people in the Bible. I've found it really helpful as its given me a different perspective on things.

'Tis true, 'tis true ... on both accounts. HOWEVER, if you read the ENTIRETY, the WHOLE of it there is indeed a flow and it makes sense. It's much deeper than what you learn in church because at church you might as well open to a miscellaneous page and read randomly. There is INDEED a WHOLE story, a WHOLE lesson and it does have some fluidity to it, believe it or not...

That whole 'opening to a page' to solve a problem ... That's bubkiss ... You HAVE TO READ THE ENTIRETY! If you don't read the WHOLE of it how in the HELL do you know what the verse meant that you opened up to? I hate it when people say, "OH I just open up to a page and *POOF* the answer was there." ugh! Makes me nauseous!

Wow, 10 weeks! I have been reading it for about that long and have barely breached Leviticus! However, by reading it I feel further and further away from believing. But I do enjoy the stories.

Just for the hell of it I tried opening the bible to a random page in search of a solution to my problem but all it said was "so-and-so begat so-and-so" and "this guy was the son of that guy."

That book just doesn't work for me the way it does so many others.

I read the holy book not as much as I shold, what amazes me is when I open the book at a random page, it will always have the answer to my problem that I am having at the time in my life. There is also a meaning to the letters Bible, my friend told me this years ago and I love it.



Beginers

Instructions

Before

Leaving

Earth



To me that says it all.

i agree with you, El. there are many many truths of life within and great lessons, wisdom, etc. that can be applied. this does not guarantee any accuracy. and i very much enjoy how the great philosophers and their respective pholosophies seem to be rooted and seeded in the bible itself.

BRAVO! Most "believers" let others do the reading - and the interpreting - for them. This makes them easy prey for manipulators. As an English major, I came to the bible primarily through the rear entrance, because all the great works of literature map back to the bible - which contains all the great human themes and lessons. It is profoundly moving reading and - as long as you realize that it is not remotely historically accurate - can be a source of great wisdom and inspiration.