Friday, August 3, 2012

RALLY SUNDAY: A New Culture of Study

Deuteronomy 11:16-21
Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them.   Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the Lord is giving you. Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.

Rally Sunday is the perfect time to start a memory program for the whole congregation and change the culture of your Bible studies.

Bible Sound Bites - It's the Real Thing

Most kids go through confirmation memorizing Bible verses and then promptly forgetting them because they only learn them long enough to recite them.  I often encourage teachers of confirmation to make memorization a family event or task to give it more meaning.  I've even thought about having the whole congregation learn along with the confirmands or putting Bible memorization back into our culture by having a theme verse for the year or a church season.

The Bible Out of Context - No More Topics!!

Cultural Christians have gotten very good at taking verses out of context to suit our topical needs.  We want to know what God says about drug use or pre-marital sex or parenting or we don't want people to feel sad so we take verses out of context to use as we see fit.  There is a local pastor here who uses Jeremiah 29:11 to tell people that God wants them to be rich.  Convenient and something every cultural Christian wants to hear but absolutely and completely out of context.  In an attempt to appeal to people we've begun to study topics instead of books but the one and only Almighty God is NOT our psychologist.  He offers us ETERNAL LIFE, not an hour of psychoanalysis.

If people study the Old Testament and they see and understand the true nature of God, they will not need psychoanalysis.  If they read the life of Jesus as told by four different men in the New Testament, they will hear His words and their hearts will be changed.  If you want to know what the Bible says about parenting then look at how God treats His children... with love and discipline.  It's an overall picture.  You don't need somebody to find verses to fit into the 5 easy steps to Biblical parenting. 

You want a good topic about you, your life, and how you should live to be happy?  Try the book of James... the whole book! 

1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts, Laura - I've long wondered about Confirmation Memory Work - do you have some practical suggestions on how best to implement this, so it isn't just a hoop to jump through and engaging for the Confirmands?