Not Just a Dusty Old Book . . . Part 1

booksoldI read about a survey done the other day by the Barna Group. Their subject was how many people read the Bible.

The survey found that one in five Americans read their Bible a couple times a week and still view it as the Word of God. It also showed that one in five Americans doubt the Bible. They say this is twice the amount found back in 2011.

Can you guess what age range was experiencing the biggest drop in reliance on the Word of God? Those 28-29 years of age were the ones doubting the Bible the most. Is this any surprise? For me, not really.

See, I’m approaching this age group. I know what life is like. This world is so crooked and depraved that my generation is encouraged not to read the Bible. Even at church, we are given excuses not to read our Bible. We are told the Bible is scary. What is wrong?

Conflict Aversion?

peaceI’m the type of person who responds well to conflict. For instance, the other day I was taking a quiz and one of the questions was, “Someone challenges you to a fight, what do you do?” I chose the one that said, “I try to peacefully reason with them.” Sure, I like to avoid serious conflict when I can but I’m not afraid of it.

And, this is a good thing. Sometimes, conflict can bring about amazing results. I mean, watch the following videos and I’m sure you will end up agreeing with me:

On the Brink – Bitter Words

cemetery25Psalms 64:3:

Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:

Everyone communicates somehow. Some are better than others. Some are more offensive than others. Some people I know don’t even have to try to be annoying, they just naturally come off that way.

Over a week ago I was told something that I think is definitely worth repeating:

Be careful what you say to people. You never know what has happened to that person so far that day, and you never know if what you say next might push them over the edge.

That really got me thinking. Could I really be the cause of a drastic action taken by someone to stop the hate and teasing? Even if what I said was just a joke or innocent in my eyes?

Yes, I could be capable of that. People live crazy lives. We don’t know every detail of each person’s life, and we could never be sure if, when we tease, insult or joke about someone, how much it leads them toward the wrong decision. We are not to blame, but why help in any way?

You know what the rest of that chapter says about the ones who shoot out bitter words?

Psalms 64:7-8

But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.

So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away.

Where’s the Love Bro? – Conscious Consciences

trafficWatching Noah and the Last Days got me thinking: do we, as human beings, even have consciences anymore?

I mean, seriously, if you watch the movie you will see people blatantly admit to horrible sins and even criminal charges. No one stopped to think about what they were saying or what they did. Where is the conscience of the people? Don’t people care anymore about what they do and don’t do? Has society fallen so low? Too tell the truth, it basically has.

We live in a crooked and depraved world! Yes, we all still have consciences, but we numb them to the point where they do absolutely nothing.

I remember hearing how the Indians described the conscience. They said it was a triangle. Every time the person tried to do something wrong, the angles of the triangle would poke them and let them know it was wrong. If you stayed away from the wrong then, your conscience would stay in its shape  and keep you in line.

However, the Indians said, if you didn’t obey your conscience, it would keep pricking you. If you kept on ignoring it, eventually the points of the triangle would wear down. If you ignored it long enough your conscience would be simply a circle; never able to prick your mind and tell you what is wrong. You will numb and dumb yourself down.

1 Timothy 4:2:

Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

That is the way we are going in this world. You want to change it? Start with individuals. Start with yourself!