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Breaking News All | Religion | Society | Tech | Choice | SA Newsroom
FRONT PAGE  |  10/1/2020
MONDAY, AUG 3, 2020  |  15 comments
Study: Over half of churchgoers find Bible ‘challenging’ when reading on their own
Over half of Protestant churchgoers have difficulty understanding Scripture when they read it on their own, highlighting the need for communal Bible study, a new report revealed.

A new poll from LifeWay Research, in partnership with Explore the Bible, found that 57% of Protestant churchgoers say the Bible is “challenging” when read alone.

However, nine in 10 churchgoers agree they can usually understand how a passage of Scripture is relevant to them, and four in five express confidence in their ability to help others with doubts about the truthfulness of Scripture. ...


CLICK HERE to Read Entire Article
www.christianpost.com

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· Page 1 ·  Found: 15 user comment(s)
News Item8/9/2020 2:52 PM
Adriel  Find all comments by Adriel
"if we know anything of growth in grace and desire to know more, let us not be surprised if we have to go through much trial and affliction in this world. I firmly believe it is the experience of nearly all the most eminent saints. Like their blessed Master, they have been men of sorrows, acquainted with grief, and perfected through sufferings (Isa. 53:3; Heb. 2:10). It is a striking saying of our Lord, "Every branch in Me that bears fruit [my Father] purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit" (John 15:2). It is a melancholy fact, that constant temporal prosperity, as a general rule, is injurious to a believer’s soul. We cannot stand it. Sicknesses and losses and crosses and anxieties and disappointments seem absolutely needful to keep us humble, watchful and spiritual–minded. They are as needful as the pruning knife to the vine and the refiner’s furnace to the gold. They are not pleasant to flesh and blood. We do not like them and often do not see their meaning. "No chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness" (Heb. 12:11). We shall find that all worked for our good when we reach heaven. Let these thoughts abide in our minds ..... " (JCRyle. 'Holiness)
15

News Item8/3/2020 6:21 PM
Noname | Mississippi  Find all comments by Noname
We need both.
14

News Item8/3/2020 3:31 PM
Wayfarer pilgrim | Lubbock, Texas  Find all comments by Wayfarer pilgrim
Quite honestly, when hearing from people say,” I just want to understand what the Bible means “, I tend to think that daily reading from a reliable translation along with a study system from your church is the best way to understand the Bible. I would recommend an expository study guide that can walk you through the Bible. In the 1980’s , I returned to my bible reading when listening to J Vernon McGee radio show, I’d receive an outline booklet for each month. I know,it sounds simple but McGee 5 years through the Bible did help my ability to read and self teach before I had returned to the church.
13

News Item8/3/2020 12:10 PM
Frank  Contact via emailFind all comments by Frank
Neil wrote:
...which, unsurprisingly, happens to support your Dispensationalism.
Frank, it's true we should not "Follow the Leader" blindly. However, there is a cost to this: We have found from experience that if one dissents with pulpit teaching, even on minor points, be prepared for treatment similar to that which "Woke Leftists" dish out to contrarians these days. Whoever owns the microphone wins.
This is tragic, for you can learn a lot from principled disagreement, whether you ultimately agree or not.
Thanks Neil! Yes there is a cost to thinking like I do. I am a perfect example of that cost.

Yes, iron does indeed sharpen iron! It is amazing how much my theology has changed in many areas over the years. Praise His holy name!

12

News Item8/3/2020 11:44 AM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
Jim Lincoln wrote:
...A very good way of studying the scriptures. ❗👍
...which, unsurprisingly, happens to support your Dispensationalism.

Frank, it's true we should not "Follow the Leader" blindly. However, there is a cost to this: We have found from experience that if one dissents with pulpit teaching, even on minor points, be prepared for treatment similar to that which "Woke Leftists" dish out to contrarians these days. Whoever owns the microphone wins.

This is tragic, for you can learn a lot from principled disagreement, whether you ultimately agree or not.

11

News Item8/3/2020 11:43 AM
Frank  Contact via emailFind all comments by Frank
Neil wrote:
'difficulty understanding Scripture when they read it on their own."
I question the value of such poll results since they are asking a Complex Question: Not all Scripture has equal difficulty in understanding. Many verses are trivial narrative (e.g. "So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah") while others can be really thorny or disputed, e.g. the symbolism in Revelation, as implied by the diversity of commentary interpretations.
But what is necessary for salvation is comprehensible to a mind prepared to receive it. And the 10 Commandments, where our duties towards God and man are summarized, aren't Rocket Science.
Yes, if the Holy Spirit is my teacher and guide, then I think He can make me understand. IMO, the problem is when men look to men and not Him. And many church members simply follow their leaders and in many cases, blindly follow them. I am against any concept that says we are not individually responsible for our understanding.
10

News Item8/3/2020 11:00 AM
Jim Lincoln | Nebraska  Find all comments by Jim Lincoln
2 Timothy 3:16-17

16. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17. so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. ---

https://tinyurl.com/has82mk (NASB)

https://tinyurl.com/y2vg4drj (NKJV MacArthur Study Bible Large Print Hardcover). You can buy exactly the same thing in the NASB version. A very good way of studying the scriptures. ❗👍

9

News Item8/3/2020 10:43 AM
Neil | Tucson  Find all comments by Neil
'difficulty understanding Scripture when they read it on their own."

I question the value of such poll results since they are asking a Complex Question: Not all Scripture has equal difficulty in understanding. Many verses are trivial narrative (e.g. "So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah") while others can be really thorny or disputed, e.g. the symbolism in Revelation, as implied by the diversity of commentary interpretations.

But what is necessary for salvation is comprehensible to a mind prepared to receive it. And the 10 Commandments, where our duties towards God and man are summarized, aren't Rocket Science.

8

News Item8/3/2020 10:03 AM
Frank  Contact via emailFind all comments by Frank
Yes, the Lord has given His church those who have the gift of teaching. But, He expects each of us to personally understand His word. IOW, at the judgment, no one is going to say: “but my pastor said this or that”.

Matthew 16:15 “He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?”

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

We are all indeed responsible for our own theology. Are Christian teachers important and necessary to the body of Christ; of course. Will they be held responsible for teaching heresy; of course they will be. But ...

7

News Item8/3/2020 10:03 AM
Adriel  Find all comments by Adriel
Psalm 119:103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

GOD the Holy Spirit reveals the Word of God and His doctrines.
Christianity and truth come by revelation - Not education.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

6

News Item8/3/2020 7:36 AM
Carl in Asheville | North Carolina  Find all comments by Carl in Asheville
Luke 8:16 And no one having lighted a lamp, covers it with a vessel, or puts it under a bed. But he puts it on a lampstand, so that those entering in may see the light. 17For nothing is hidden which will not become manifest, nor secret which shall not be known and come to light. 18Therefore take heed how you hear; for whoever might have, to him will be given; and whoever might not have, even what he seems to have will be taken away from him.”

Whoever says that the Bible is NOT challenging should be very, very careful in their judgement of others. Anyone who would go to the Sermon by Bible section of SermonAudio.com will discover that all speakers do not agree on what each verse is revealing; but that does not mean that they are in error in their exegesis. It only proves the depths and facets of God's Word.

However, whoever says that verses concerning prophecy is not challenging is speaking arrogantly and foolishly. The wide range of teaching concerning Revelation and the End Times is proof that many are in error.

So let us be careful how we judge others for surely the way we judge will be measured back to us in equal measure (at least).

5

News Item8/3/2020 5:05 AM
Paul the reformer | North Carolina  Find all comments by Paul  the reformer
The Word is hidden from those that are perishing
4

News Item8/3/2020 4:24 AM
Watchmanrem | Australia  Find all comments by Watchmanrem
Chew the cud. Not hard. If God says read on your own just do it with a joyfull heart if you dont have one ask Jesus to change it!😚
Psalms 1 (KJV)
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
² But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
³ And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
⁴ The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
⁵ Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
⁶ For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Isaiah 28 (KJV)
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
⁹ Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
¹⁰ For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
Ask and it shall be given you!!!!! If any lacks wisdom let them ask He giveth liberally ......
If you want to know secrets ask. Daniel did. My best studys are alone in the closet..But love church as well.Peace and Grace on the Israel of God. 😚

3

News Item8/3/2020 2:44 AM
John UK  Find all comments by John UK
I fully agree with the statement that when believers get together in an informal setting, around a table, with open Bibles, with the intent of looking carefully at the word of God, in the presence of Jesus the head, and with the help of the Comforter, great good can come, along with a deeper understanding of scriptures, in the context of the body of Christ, and spiritual fellowship which can be a foretaste of heaven.

The one who put me on to the possibility of this was Dave from Oz, who shared with the forum of his multiple hour meetings at his home and the amount of scripture they got through, compared to the normal 60 min 'church service'.

Today, as usual, I shall be overseeing a four hour meeting of saints, during which time we shall seek to be led by the Spirit in Bible studying, taking the communion together, praying together, showing concern for one another, and discussing the mission we are engaged in. I have never in all my life experienced such joy in meeting with fellow Christians, and commend the format to anyone.

No-one need neglect their church to accomplish this, as the day of fellowship is not relevant. Just get together whenever you can and submit yourselves to the authority of Jesus Christ, having no agenda.

2

News Item8/3/2020 12:24 AM
The Quiet Christian  Find all comments by The Quiet Christian
If one reads a literal translation regularly and in rather large chunks after praying for the Holy Spirit's help, those challenges fall into place. I'm one who believes that the Lord desires for us to chew on His word and sometimes doesn't reveal aspects too quickly. Some of those will come with further maturity.

However, there was a time when I couldn't make heads or tails of the Bible. I wanted to get right with God but His instructions didn't make sense. Then someone showed me that I needed to put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Once I did that, the Bible suddenly started to make sense. The Holy Spirit is the key to explaining the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament.

Whether these people are in the situation of the first paragraph or the second, I am not qualified to say, But possibilities abound.

1
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