Call the Guilt Police

I was reading another blog entry this morning and it got me to thinking about the pressures and the guilt I felt when the church would emphasize “spiritual disciplines”.

One of the “spiritual disciplines” is the unwritten rule that you must read your Bible everyday.

Well, I am going to add this to my “What’s that Smell?” category.

Please do not get me wrong.  People need to read the Bible.  I would never say that people not read the Bible, but I would like for people to step back and analyze why they read it in the first place?  Do you read it out of guilt, or do you really want to read it to KNOW it?  To know the Bible is to know Christ.

Reading the Bible in and of itself is not a bad thing, it should be encouraged, and I do think knowing the Bible is important.  But there were many times I felt a healthy size serving of guilt being handed out in the form of “if you do not read your Bible everyday you are not serious about your relationship with Christ.”

I remember many times I heard things like … “If the first thing you do in the morning is get a cup of coffee before you read your Bible, then the coffee is your God!”  Well these kind of statements are a bunch of BS.

This kind of pressure needs to stop.  And by the way, call the guilt police, I have not picked up my Bible in over 2 weeks.  I guess that makes me less spiritual, right?

11 thoughts on “Call the Guilt Police

  1. Isn’t it good to know there are many disciplined Christians today that are much more spiritual than all of Christianity for the first 1500 years before the printing press. 🙂 Makes you wonder how all those followers of Christ followed without a daily reading from a leather bound book.

    Did Jesus leave us a book to follow? Nope… I think He left us the promise of the Holy Spirit. My prayer is that I learn how to follow His voice more lately.

  2. Swanny, you have a way of just speaking it like it is and I appreciate your honesty! This is a great post and I wholeheartedly concur! I think too many Christians that I personally know read their Bibles because they are told they have to not because they want to. And the result of that, as far as I can tell, is a bunch of Christians walking around doing their own thing and not the biblical thing because they aren’t taking in God’s word for real when they do their required reading. When I’m required to read something (for school as an example) I read what I have to in order to pass the test and then immediately forget what it was I read. I think, unfortunately, believers do the same thing. They read their Bibles, “required” reading, so they can have the right answers at Bible studies or be able to speak the speak when conversing on a Sunday morning or whenever there will be other Christians around. The “required” reading is just enough to make Christians “dangerous” and by that I mean they have read enough to take God’s word out of context and twist it for their purposes – usually unknowingly and with innocence the majority do this. Anywho…I probably could go on but I won’t. Suffice it to say, I am tracking with you! 🙂

  3. Beth – To be tracking with me, you must be the smartest person in the world 🙂

    You make some great points. A lot of the “required” reading I found was to learn the jargon, or Christianese… a language that works great inside the programs and studies a person partakes with others inside the walls, but is not much use to others outside the walls.

    Blessings! (Oh, I mean.. have a nice day)

  4. I think its all about the posture of one’s heart attitude. This effects all aspects of our walk.

    Personally, if I’m not “hungry” for the Word (spiritual food)…I don’t read in order to just to “check it of the list of daily disciplines”…

    Taking it further, I think it’s in Ephesians, that speaks of MORE than just “knowledge”, but of “experiential” knowledge, through the Holy Spirit.

  5. Todd – Thanks for stopping and commenting. I love the discussion.

    Are you talking about the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge?

  6. Yep. Paul’s prayer in Eph 3:14-21. More than just knowledge about God, or, knowing things about Him…(unbelievers can do that!). So it’s more than just (the starting point of) reading and memorization.

    But the deep indwelling knowledge and power, that goes beyond (man’s)understanding, and is exhibited in the gifts and fruit. Guilt (is from man and) should have no part in growth and sanctification. Let it be supernatural, so that He receives the glory.

    Thanks Swanny so much for blogging on these allergies that afflict us. 🙂

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