Newsweek published an article where they, in many ways, correctly accuse Christians of misusing, misinterpreting, and flat out not knowing the Bible. The article is indeed a bit politically motivated, the scope firmly set on public figures who act a bit more like cartoons than real people and use the Bible to get what they want out of their political career. Here's an absolute money quote from the article:
Now, rightly so, Relevant magazine (who I love by the way) comes along and reminds Newsweek that not all Christians behave this way. Our problem is simply that those who behave like cafeteria Christians are far too loud and have been handed a microphone for good measure. There are good points in both articles, but it's really the title of Relevant's response that is bugging me this morning.
Can we talk about the Bible?
Do we not do that enough already?
We Christians do love to gather together and read the Bible. We do this in Church, as we listen to a Pastor read from the pulpit. We do this by ourselves, sitting in our living rooms enjoying "Quiet Time." We might even do this in a group that gathers together in hipster coffee houses. And all of this is great! I don't want for one second for someone to think I'm suggesting we NOT read the Bible. That'd be nuts.
What I am suggesting though is that the amount of time we spend READING the Bible and the amount of time we spend LIVING the Bible are unbalanced. It is one thing to read "If you have two coats, give one to one in need" and a completely other thing to grab your extra coat and hit the streets. And at least for me (this post comes from a place of conviction more than anything) I could do a far better job of living this text.
So it has to be both. We have to know what we're talking about, we have to know and understand our faith. The best way to do that (in my humble opinion) is to read the Bible in a dedicated community, a group of people reading together and learning from the text and each other. But once that's done, once you've finished your coffee and closed your Bible, the next step has to happen. The living word needs an opportunity to become alive in us! We need to become a people of the Book, but a people who have been moved to action by the Book.
Talk is not enough. It's time to get on our feet and move.