The falling away of public Bible reading.

The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby Pretzelogical on Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:37 am

First Timothy 4:13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.

Am I right that Paul wrote this to Timothy, as a pastor, to read the word of God in public, and not just at "church" gatherings? With "exhortation and teaching", does it mean to read the word aloud, and not just to yourself? I have not seen a man read the word of God aloud on the sidewalk since 1977! A minimum of three men "worked" a shift in the same area of benches each day at their appointed times on the campus of Indiana University. It was awesome! They began in Genesis One, so it did not seem like they had an agenda to push on people. Leviticus grew quite a crowd, and many question groups off to the sides. People who just walked on by would be so animated when we got to class to ask questions of us Christians. It was incredible to see God work through His word, just as He promises to do! The verbal blasters of the readers were considered rude and hideous to the rest of the people. Would it be that way now or would rudeness be over-abundant? Is so, is that any reason to not obey this command? Some students would ask questions right then of one of the guys while one just kept on reading. Some teams had tracts. The Gideons handed-out scriptures once. The foreign students grabbed the Bibles up like crazy! Today-I don't know? I was always so blessed to go through that area, and went the long way around to go through as much as I could. MANY did that! It was the best place to meet and see people, and a great way to see their true colors. Small talk in the restrooms and all around campus ALWAYS revolved around something that pastor read as someone walked by. It was a huge blessing to us all!

As a child, I loved to hear the pastors read the scriptures aloud downtown and at the mall. (I really liked hearing the ones who had the word memorized, and could make loving eye contact to people. My grandfather absolutely hated it, I believe, out of shame he did not do it.) Sometimes they stood by themselves reading to the wind, and it seemed sad. Other times, one read aloud to another man with a booming voice that appeared too prideful to me. BUt when one read loud enough to be heard by those going past, yet not in a demanding-attention way, I always hoped for a red light to hold us on the corner so I could hear more of the love! The men would great those they knew by name. Friends would call out, "Preach it Brother Mike!", "Keep the word going out, Bob!". "Thanks for the word, Brother!" It was sooooo wonderful to kknow they were Christians by their love for one another and for the word. No one dared to distract the men from their task in order to talk business or chat small talk. Obviously, it left a huge impression on me.

Yeah, it is freaky to have one or more men reading aloud the word of God in a public place. Yeah, the perishing hate it. Yes, scoffers claim that freaky acts damage the message of God. Tell that to the *freak* John the Baptist, Jeremiah or Elijah! God says do it, and we don't. It is a sin. It is falling away. Lord, have our men repent of this neglect of Your word, and put Your word in their voices publically.

Now what if the Muslims start reading their book in public? And the New Agers start doing it? Then we'll be like, "Hey! We can do that too!" And once again, the lame Christian is seen climbing on a false idol. Men of God need to commit to do this! Yes, this takes huge trust for God to care for you in this boldness! I believe He will do it!!! With pastors reading and preaching whatever they choose instead of the word of truth, the true church of believers must obey all the word. Any takers?! Don't be a stumbling block and temptation to the women to do this!!

One guy reading aloud to another at the coffee shop? Or guys reading aloud and taking turns around the lunch table?
Bible reading at the county fair? The mall? The auto parts shop? The barbershop? In the cafeteria at work? In the courthouse? At the fireworks stand? At the neighborhood bus stop for the kids in your area? Please, men, put the word out there! This privilege may soon be taken from us!

Prayerfully,
Lisa
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby mark s on Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:58 am

Great post, Lisa!!!

You exhort me to good works!
ειπεν αυτη ο ιησους εγω ειμι η αναστασις και η ζωη ο πιστευων εις εμε καν αποθανη ζησεται
. . . saying to her Jesus, I AM the resurrection and the life, the one believing into Me even dying shall live . . .
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby WhiteH2OWoman on Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:47 pm

Amen, LIsa, and thank you for the motivation and encouragement to do that! Now, I just need to find the courage...
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby Pretzelogical on Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:58 pm

Always happy to tell others what to do...now if I only do it too! I have decided that anytime we eat out, we will not only pray before the meal, we will read a chapter of scripture after we eat. My husband keeps the word on his *blackberry* and I have a little electronic Bible. Plus those pocket-sized New Testaments with Psalms and Proverbs from the the Gideons are great! May He bless His word for His kingdom!
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby PerishNot on Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:38 pm

Lisa, thank you for this post. About 3 years ago the LORD called me to preach the Gospel in the open air. It is amazing how many so called christians say that this is not the way to do evangelism. However, if they would open the Bible and see what GOD says about the subject they would see that HE has chosen the foolishness of preaching. I will tell you that I am seeing GOD raise up men who are willing to proclaim the gospel and obey Him in this command all over this nation.

Worthy is the LAMB that was slain!

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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby Pretzelogical on Fri Jul 04, 2008 6:59 am

That is great encouragement! So, I can trust God in this, even at the pagan picnic today?! The mixed bag of emotions and reasonings are powerful in my head as I toy with the idea of reading a chapter of scripture after eating at the party tonight. Why do I "toy" with the idea instead of just set my heart on it, and go ahead and get excited to have the Living Water rinse my mouth after eating?! We do this at home with God faithfully blessing us. Why am I so fearful to trust Him when I am out. Satan plays the same recording over and over in my head: Do not be offensive. It does no good. People will run from Christ. You just want to look holy. You are such a freak. Improving your charm and social skills is the real key. BUT God did not give us a spirit of timidity and fear! (Paul to Timothy.) It is a tough assignment for me, but nothing near the sacrificing we are called to do daily. Yeah, Jesus having that trial and hanging on the cross sure messed up that holiday for a bunch of people...PRAISE GOD! Pray we read together today! May those of you who are called to preach...passionately preach to perishing people at pagan picnics!
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby daffodyllady on Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:57 am

Wow... I am still letting this sink in...

I guess I never thought of that verse to mean to read to the public, in public places. In the KJV, it just says that Timothy was not to neglect reading. But I can see this....

There have always been street-corner preachers... I expect these days, they would be hated more than ever in this land. And I doubt there are very many any more.

As a woman, I would rather a man do it. Are there men willing to stand out like sore thumbs for Christ? Or will they leave it up to us ladies to do it? Oh well.. there is plenty for us all to do!

I would love to do this...But I would really like to have a man around, just in case things got messy, you know. But then, if the man is there... shouldn't he be the one do the reading? Oh my, it has gotten messy already, I fear...
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby savedbygrace on Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:44 pm

Actually, I have had the strong urge to stand on the street corners twirling a big wooden sign that says "Jesus is coming soon"... and see what kind of reaction I get. Of course I'll have a bible handy and be open to answering questions from any interested passersby... but maybe I'll get more of the scoffing and ridicule than anything.
You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience you possess your souls. Luke 21:16-19
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby Abiding in His Word on Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:13 pm

savedbygrace wrote:Actually, I have had the strong urge to stand on the street corners twirling a big wooden sign that says "Jesus is coming soon"... and see what kind of reaction I get. Of course I'll have a bible handy and be open to answering questions from any interested passersby... but maybe I'll get more of the scoffing and ridicule than anything.


My son and his wife did this one Easter. They painted a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood with the words "the Easter bunny didn't die for your sins." :wink: They got a lot of positive reactions (cars honking, thumbs up) and some people even brought drinks by for them since it was so hot. None stopped to ask questions though.
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby savedbygrace on Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:35 pm

Well now you have encouraged me...

I think I'm gonna try it... and maybe even do it weekly and change the sign every time...

"Jesus is coming soon"

"YASHUA is the only true God"

"Jesus died for me, I'll live for Him"

Is this considered public bible reading in a sort of way?
You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience you possess your souls. Luke 21:16-19
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:48 am

Pretzelogical wrote:First Timothy 4:13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.


I don't mean to interrupt the enthusiasm in this thread, but I want to clarify the verse in the OP. I'm not seeing the word "public" in 1 Tim. 4:13.

1Tim. 4:13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. NASB

1Tim. 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. KJV

The word "public" in the NASB is in italics meaning that it was added by the translators.

Am I right that Paul wrote this to Timothy, as a pastor, to read the word of God in public, and not just at "church" gatherings? With "exhortation and teaching", does it mean to read the word aloud, and not just to yourself? I have not seen a man read the word of God aloud on the sidewalk since 1977!


Is the assumption that Paul was saying this to pastors only?
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby Rich Kelley on Sat Jul 05, 2008 6:18 am

Is the assumption that Paul was saying this to pastors only?


I agree. There were no Pastors in the NT Church. Also Timothy wasn't a Pastor, something mentioned in the post. The get people into the Church Building was not the adgenda in the NT Church, they knew and realized that they, the individual was the Church. The living example was the spreading of the gospel. When various letters were written and passed amoung the NT Churches, they didn't run out and stand on the street corner and read them. The letters were personal and written to a people that would understand them, lift them up, solve particular problems etc.
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sat Jul 05, 2008 6:35 am

Rich Kelley wrote: The get people into the Church Building was not the adgenda in the NT Church, they knew and realized that they, the individual was the Church. The living example was the spreading of the gospel. When various letters were written and passed amoung the NT Churches, they didn't run out and stand on the street corner and read them. The letters were personal and written to a people that would understand them, lift them up, solve particular problems etc.


I agree. And I'm not sure the "goal" was even reading the letters. The goal is to reach the lost with the message that Jesus Christ died for their sins.

1. Matthew 4:19 And He *said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."

2. Mark 16:15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

3. 2Tim 4:1-2 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

These ministries are for all Christians, not just "pastors" or elected church officials.

There doesn't seem to be a logical or scriptural conclusion that a lack of public Bible reading should be associated with an apostasy.
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby Rich Kelley on Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:16 am

There doesn't seem to be a logical or scriptural conclusion that a lack of public Bible reading should be associated with an apostasy.
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I agree.
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby savedbygrace on Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:49 am

Rich Kelley wrote:The living example was the spreading of the gospel.
Agreed! This is why I want to stand on the street corner with a big sign. Because going house to house is not received well by many, and more people will see the message in a shorter period of time on a busy street corner. Perhaps a seed will be planted easier this way. Personally, I am extremely tired of people coming to my door, trying to sell me everything from landscaping to remodeling to miracle soap to the local newspaper to pest control to mormon doctrine. I actually feel imposed upon, and don't receive any of them well because of the large volume of solicitors that come by here. I would definitely notice a big sign and receive it better. Anyone want to come down here to San Diego for an afternoon and join me? This could be fun... (considering, of course, that we aren't nuked off the face of the earth on July 8th...)
You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience you possess your souls. Luke 21:16-19
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby CrystalClear on Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:51 am

Hi, all!

I feel like I'm nosing in since I rarely post, but wanted to give encouragement to anyone thinking about street preaching. My little church does it by picking a different town within 50 miles or so and going on a Saturday morning, every 2 weekends during the summer/fall seasons. They preach, hold signs and/or "give a testimony", and everyone has tracts to pass out. The people who participate really feel more emboldened to share Christ on a daily basis.

I have never participated due to outside circumstances, so I can't answer any practical questions...but thought I'd share that there are people who still do this as a corporate body.

CC
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sat Jul 05, 2008 12:03 pm

CrystalClear wrote:I feel like I'm nosing in since I rarely post....


Good to see you, CrystalClear! Stop by now and then!

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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby Pretzelogical on Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:47 am

I learn so much, and am encouraged by all of you!
Lee Stroebel testifies that a *nut* with a "Repent! The end is near" sign was crucial in his salvation. I don't want to do it! Appreciate those of you who do! Love the Easter Buuny slogan! Keep the word "I" off the sign, in my opinion. It is not about us.

Anyone have ideas for reaching out to the youth who cruise in cars and hang out in parking lots on Saturday nights? They are all starving for something! We know what satisfies!
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:00 am

I think this is better suited for the How to Witness forum. :grin:
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby savedbygrace on Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:41 am

Pretzelogical wrote:
Anyone have ideas for reaching out to the youth who cruise in cars and hang out in parking lots on Saturday nights? They are all starving for something! We know what satisfies!

Well my church has a street witnessing team called the "E-Team" (E for evangelization) and they go out to the Friday night street rod cruises in Escondido, CA in the summer in groups of 3 or 4 and just talk to people on the sidewalks who are watching the hot rods cruise by. Only one person does the talking, while the others are praying quietly for the person as they are engaged in discussion. Mostly its a casual friendly approach, with a direct emphasis on the gospel message. Testimonies are usually well received because people cannot dispute your personal testimony. Its about what Jesus did for you and for them. Its not a JW approach where you try to out-duel someone in their knowledge of scripture. Maybe ask around if your church has something like this, or try to get one started yourself. It can be very effective and rewarding.

At my bible study one night, a person who went with this E-team shared the experience with us. He said one teen age girl was a little curious and they asked her a few questions as she was sitting with her family on the sidewalk watching the rods go by. Their conversation was friendly and when they perceived she was a little curious, the leader of the group told her something like "You know, the reason we are here is to tell you Jesus died for you, and he gave you the opportunity to receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life if you believe in him". This was from the leader of the group, who was about the same age as her father. He shared his testimony about how Jesus changed his life, while the others in the witnessing group stood a few feet back, just quietly praying for her. Soon they noticed the girl's father who was still sitting on the sidewalk, started shedding tears. Later they found out he had been praying for her salvation for many years, and she had not yet received Christ. He had been praying for someone to make a bold impression in her life about Christ, and certainly that night was an answer to his prayers. My biggest problem with this kind of thing, is I get so emotional when I see someone receive Christ and I start crying with tears of joy, then it becomes difficult to be objective.
You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience you possess your souls. Luke 21:16-19
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:03 am

savedbygrace wrote:[
At my bible study one night, a person who went with this E-team shared the experience with us. He said one teen age girl was a little curious and they asked her a few questions as she was sitting with her family on the sidewalk watching the rods go by. Their conversation was friendly and when they perceived she was a little curious, the leader of the group told her something like "You know, the reason we are here is to tell you Jesus died for you, and he gave you the opportunity to receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life if you believe in him". This was from the leader of the group, who was about the same age as her father. He shared his testimony about how Jesus changed his life, while the others in the witnessing group stood a few feet back, just quietly praying for her. Soon they noticed the girl's father who was still sitting on the sidewalk, started shedding tears. Later they found out he had been praying for her salvation for many years, and she had not yet received Christ. He had been praying for someone to make a bold impression in her life about Christ, and certainly that night was an answer to his prayers.


:praise: Thank you so much for sharing this, savedbygrace!

My biggest problem with this kind of thing, is I get so emotional when I see someone receive Christ and I start crying with tears of joy, then it becomes difficult to be objective.


Psa 126:5 Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.

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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby Pretzelogical on Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:17 pm

Street preaching sounds like a great reason to visit San Diego!
I was so moved by the "E-team" story, that I wrote at length a response that is not posted. (My computer is really struggling with the changes.)
Just today I was wondering if this verse meant to meet as an assembly in public in addition to in homes? Instead of building, care for the poor, and assemble the large group at a rented place. Had believers not built buildings, then it would be more obvious when freedoms are denied for the Christians to gather. When asked "Why the large group of people here tongiht?" we would be prepared to answer. Now we just go off into a private Holy huddle and struggle to preach the word in public.
Can't wait to hear how it goes with y'all! Pray for me to boldy sow seed on fertile ground at an event this Sat. evening! :a3:
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby savedbygrace on Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:35 pm

This is a link to a video of Ray Comfort's tecnhique for street witnessing, I enjoyed it very much and thought it was worth posting again.

http://www.livingwaters.com/listenwatch.shtml
You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience you possess your souls. Luke 21:16-19
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby Abiding in His Word on Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:25 pm

I personally prefer personal testimonies to witness to the saving, transforming grace of Jesus Christ. In case you haven't read the one posted by IamtheWalrus, check it out. It will leave you walking and leaping and praising God for what He has done in this life:

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=41164
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Re: The falling away of public Bible reading.

Postby Pretzelogical on Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:19 pm

I personally prefer


Yes, I like what is easier, more reasonable, less uncomfortable for The Lost, etc., but what did Paul command?

“Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13)

There was a falling away of the reading, then the exhortations stopped, and now even sound teaching is polluted all through the public. This is a huge trust issue to obey this leaning not on our own understanding. Will He find us faithful in this when He arrives? Or are we apostate as the five churches in Revelation?
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