Have you ever wondered why the pulpit at Charles Town Presbyterian Church is so prominent? Do you know the reason why there is a large, fancy Bible on that prominent pulpit? Do you notice the nice Bible that is displayed on the communion table?
These are far more than decorations in a sanctuary. Rather, they are a statement, and that statement is this: The scriptures are central to our faith.
This summer, I decided to engage in a different kind of study. Instead of studying an actual book or section of the scriptures, I am leading a study on how to study each of the different genre we find in the Bible. It has been an interesting, and at times, challenging approach.
The scriptures are important for the simple reason that they teach us about God, outside of our own subjective experience. This is why all persons ordained in the denomination are asked this question, “Do you accept the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be, by the Holy Spirit, the unique and authoritative witness to Jesus Christ in the Church universal, and God’s Word to you?” Scripture is our rule of faith and practice.
Most Christians don’t study the scriptures as much as they should. This is for a variety of reasons – we’re busy with other things, we’re intimidated by the Bible, or it may not be important to us. Whatever the reason, we are now two generations into a Church (and this is across denominations), that has very sparse understanding of God’s Word.
What is keeping you from studying? If it is your schedule, I know that can be tough. But even if you can only carve out ten minutes each day, use that time to read God’s Word. Don’t know where to start? I suggest the Psalms or the gospel of John. And if you run into questions or something you don’t understand, jot it down, and call me, email me, or stop by my office and we can talk about it. I’m happy to help!
The worst thing you can do is not study or read the Bible at all. That will do you no good. I am reminded of David’s words: