Happy New Year, readers. Today, 1-1-11, is a new beginning, a new era, a new start. After a year like 2010, our whole nation is looking for answers to questions about life, liberty, and happiness.
Families all across America are suffering, falling apart, dysfunctional; but there are also families who are the ideal of society in the way they live; and the way they bring up their children.
What is the difference? These families live their lives by the teachings of the Bible both in the local church; but more importantly in their homes. Many broken families are searching for ways to reunite and stabilize their families; but are they willing to live by God’s Word?
There has been ongoing attacks against the Bible for centuries; but even more so here in America over the last few decades. Many of those who are unbelievers are not content with just not believing personally; but they don’t want others to believe either. So they set out to discredit all that they can regarding America’s religions that are based on the Bible.
Many times atheists and agnostics have been hurt in some way in their past by religious people who have let them down. They had their eyes on man rather than God. That is the trend today – to look in other areas for needs rather than to God’s Word.
Many condemn the Bible without having a clue. One could say to them, know your enemy. Read it for yourself.
While some people consider themselves a Bible scholar; there are those like Mark Twain who said, “It is not what is in the Bible I don’t understand that bothers me; it is what I do understand that bothers me.”
Pilgrims came to America looking for freedom from tyrants and kings; but mostly to be able to worship God in their own manner. To lose that freedom is to lose all freedom.
Recently, there has been a lot of emphasis placed on the Koran, the book of Islam; but there are other books for different religions such as the Book of Mormon. The Jehovah Witnesses have their own form of the Bible. The Catholics have their own version as well. This series will stick on topic by discussing only the Holy Bible of Protestants. This is not about comparisons of religion.
Mainstream Protestants rely on the original manuscripts which were written in both Hebrew and Greek which was translated in 1611 by King James of England. Before then scriptures could only be read by the learned ones; and was interpreted to the common people by them. Those who had the scriptures used it for power over those who did not.
But when the Bible became available in the common language of the people, they began to read and see it in a different way.
Martin Luther saw inconsistencies and felt that the church had it all wrong; and he set forth the Protestant Reformation. At that time, the church was more like a government over the people rather than an institution to care about the daily lives of the parishioners.
But when the people began to read for themselves, they saw the hypocrisy of the leaders in the church; as there still are today. But there came a time when the common man read the scriptures for themselves, and this resulted in a personal relationship with Christ Who is the authority.
When America was still just a colony, the principles set forth in the Bible were like the law of the land when there were no specific laws. Men and women held more dear their accountability to God than they did the church or to the government. New laws have to be made everyday, while God’s laws never change.
As the colonies grew weary of the ties to England and the dictates of King George, a revolution erupted that set America free unto this day.
But even then there were skeptics who wanted to discredit the Bible and tear it down with through many different movements. There were probably atheists in the colonies from the beginning as they have always been among the people. The Bible itself if full of non-believers.
Today there is a rise in those who claim they do not believe in God; but who want to prevent others from believing. They seek to remove every vestige of the Bible and Christianity from our public life; and the next step would be to banish it all together. We have seen a steady decline in our students; and in our country since Bible reading was banned from public schools.
The Bible even speaks of those who do not believe… as much as those who do believe.
People who are not familiar with the Bible may scratch their heads and ask, “What is all of this about?”
Others ask, “Weren’t the very laws of our land based on the Holy Script?”
Today is the beginning of a new time in our lives, and a new time in history, and a new time for our nation to either come full circle or to be caught up in a whirling spin believing anything that someone else might say about religion and the Bible; positive or negative. We have become a nation of liars – it is time the truth be told. And that truth can only begin with us.
We saw a decline in our nation over the past few years; but haven’t we also seen things changing back once people of faith took to the streets standing up for God and their nation? God blesses those who believe in Him. Millions have been praying that America would turn back to God – our only hope.
The only way you will ever know for sure, is to read it for yourself. The Bible is the most unique piece of literature in the entire world. And it has been discredited and adored throughout history. Many universities and even the History Channel have taken it upon themselves to discredit the Bible with no more than theatrics; and their own fantasies and agendas.
A lot of people have picked up a copy, be it the King James Version or one of the other highly accepted versions like the New International Version; but they simply get bored because they keep trying to put their own meaning and understanding in the Bible. They get confused and bored and soon leave their pursuit for understanding.
And many like Mark Twain begin to see written there things that are not in line with their own personal lifestyles; and they just don’t want to know any more because when you know something as truth, it is likely to change your life; and you have to make changes in your life.
Jesus says in the Bible, “I have come to give life; and to give it more abundantly.”
There are those who simply wish no understanding of the outline God has given for the betterment of mankind because they want to continue living in opposition to what is written there. They think by sticking their heads in the sand, it makes the Word become moot for them.
First of all to understand the Bible, you have to understand who God is. The Bible is all about God, His attributes, His design, His plan for the human race and for all creatures great and small.
Being mis-led by mis-understandings, mis-quotes, and mis-interpretations of the Bible (by men for power or gold), many have allowed themselves to become disillusioned; and have turned away from any pursuit for the truth. The pursuit of God is a personal adventure; and each must seek it for their own knowledge and gratification.
Today Christians all over the world are being persecuted and damned by non-believers; and even in some countries they are facing death for believing in the virgin birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ. There is a young woman on death row in Pakistan right down facing death because she chose to be a Christian rather than a Muslim.
So what is the controversy? People who want to live their own lives without any impediment simply picks out verses that they disagree with and they move against the whole Bible. There are those who pick out certain verses to play them up for their “ministry” (usually TV Evangelist and preachers of huge mega churches) who preaches more prosperity and “giving” than they do a personal relationship with Christ. Many preachers today line their own pockets with profits from the Gospel which is strictly forbidden in the Bible itself. 2 Corinthians 2:17 And some just pick out the ones they like and disregard the rest.
So many of us today are caught up in social sites like My Space, Facebook, and general e-mails corresponding with people far and wide and counting them as “friends” when they have never met them or know anything about them. But they do get some insight into these people because of their bios (if they are true), and through the correspondences back and forth. So many are wasting their lives daily with this addiction to electronics which yields them nothing but a wasted day of their life.
But the way to get to know God is more than just reading about Him; but a knowing of Who He is; and what His purpose for creating this world and life is all about. How can anyone say there is no God; or that they hate God, when they don’t have a clue as to Who He really is? Get to know God this year. Many dwell on the wrath of God while others simply dwell on His Goodness – God is both.
That is like hating a peoples of a certain race, religion, creed, or nationality just because they are a part of one of those; while discrediting who they are as individuals. People count out God without having a clue as to Who He is.
And then the saddest of all are those who claim to be Christians but don’t have a clue. It was once said that going to church makes you no more of a Christian than going into a garage makes you a car. Many turn to God in times of stress and need; but when God provides, they immediately forget the Provider.
It has also been said that the coming together of the Bible by accident is much like taking all the names of the people in the huge city of New York and throwing them up into the air and a full published directory falls back down. The Bible is no accident.
There have been billions of articles and sermons written about the Bible – by both believers and non-believers. But the only way you will ever know for sure is to read it yourself; and with an open mind; and without searching for reasons not be believe; but searching for reasons to believe.
Lew Wallace, the author of Ben Hur, set out to read the Bible perhaps even to discredit it; and yet by reading it He found God. Not the God of others; but His own personal relationship with God. He had come to realize that he knew very little about the religion he claimed as his own.
There are those today who will defend that they believe ABOUT the Bible; but have little knowledge of what is IN the Bible; just as there are those who set forth to destroy the Bible for the same reason. Once a preacher asked a little girl if she knew what was in the Bible, and she replied. “There is a picture of Grandpa, a pressed rose, some clippings from the newspaper, and a four leaf clover.”
The Bible says of itself in John 8:26, 31, 32
“If you abide in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” NIV
Isn’t that what all people have wanted since the forming of this great nation – to know the truth and to be set free?”
Why not give God and the Bible a chance this year? There is an online program that is called the One Year Bible Blog. This is the best daily reading of the Bible that I have ever seen. It will take you through the whole Bible in one year with just a little time each day.
It is so well organized (and put together right there for you); that you will not become bored. As the days pass, you will become more interested in the daily unfolding the Word of God. It gives substantiating helps such as paintings by the old artist, maps, and the historical times of each era in the Bible. There are other sites as well. Just Google until you find the one you like.
Many of us sit mindlessly watching re-runs on TV for 30 minutes or more; or reading about the endless escapades of the rich and famous; and in that time, a whole new world could be opened just by spending a little time in God’s Word. The Bible has answers; soap operas and talk shows do not.
Choose the best time of day for you and set 30 minutes apart so that you will be uninterrupted as you read about God’s love and plan for His creation; and “dig” up nuggets (and jewels of scripture) that will come back to you in times of need in your life. It will amaze you how God’s Word will return to your heart and mind during those times.
Check it out http://www.oneyearbibleblog.com/ You can sign up and each day’s reading will be sent to your incoming box. How easy is that? Or you can put the link above in your favorites and find each day on your own. It is such a reminder when we see it each day in our incoming boxes; however. God makes it easy for us to know ABOUT Him.
Looking forward to another great year of reading the Bible through. See you on the blog.
Below are two links that gives the details of the life of Lew Wallace who lived during the days of the Civil War and his journey through life. If you love history, you will want to read this.
If you want to know God, you will read the Bible.
If you would like to be notified of this continuing series on the Bible as it unfolds this year, (and many other topics),you can subscribe to this page by clicking the tab above. Also, there is a place at the bottom of these articles which allow you to share your thoughts, your ideas, and your suggestions.
This series is only one aspect of this National Family Issues Examiner. This site is dedicated to informing, warning, encouraging, and helping readers stay abreast of many issues that affects the daily lives of families from recalls, health, news, and information on many aspects of family life.
Happy New Year – Happy New Life in 2011.