That’s the way we like to define ourselves in our culture today. It sounds “open minded” and like you are willing to change your stance on things if necessary.
It also gives room for those who honestly don’t consider God much at all, but are fearful others will judge them for it. While at the same time not wanting others to think they believe in something that they really don’t (like a certain religion).
And this “spiritual” mentality has bled in into the Church. Nominally committed Christians can keep the “Christian” label without really having to follow Jesus. Or we hear things like “I like Jesus’ teachings” or that the Bible says we should love one another.
And so many view the Bible as another self-help book. Something you read only time to time (if at all), maybe only to say that you read it.
So much so, that many Christians don’t (at least in practice) view the Bible as really that important when it comes to their relationship with God. As long as we listen to worship music from time to time, or go to church, or maybe even a small group or Bible study. As long as we do these things, we don’t really need to spend time in God’s word.
And besides, many of us aren’t sure it can be fully trusted anyway. We maybe cool with what it says about Jesus, but we aren’t sold on everything else.
But here is the irony of it all. When we say we just want to love like Jesus and be the most like Jesus that we can be, yet neglect reading and studying our Bibles, we are showing that we really don’t know what Jesus was (and is) like.
In Matthew chapter 4 and Luke chapter 4 we see that after Jesus fasted for 40 days, 40 days, Satan came to tempt Jesus. Satan tempted Jesus three times. Yet every time Jesus was tempted, he responded not with positive thinking about himself, not with doing whatever would make him happy, not even with some sort of worship song.
Jesus responded to each of his temptations with Scripture. He read it and he studied it.
When we neglect God’s word (which if you believe the Bible to be God’s word, and don’t read it, that’s quite paradoxical), and simply rely on sermons, or talking about God with others, or worship music, or anything else really, we really aren’t being like Jesus and we are missing out on the best opportunity to learn and grow in our faith.
We need God’s truth to live the way he calls us to live. But if we willfully neglect reading his truth (for those of us who have access to it), how should we expect to grow in godliness and represent Jesus in our daily lives, not too mention in the difficult times?
As I read Luke 4 this morning I was convicted of the need and importance of reading God’s word and also believing God’s word. Jesus did both of these things.